Sunday May 1, 2016 | Greg Boyd
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
This third sermon in our Love. Walk. Do. series focuses on the importance of doing justice. There is always a danger in attempting to find solutions to justice issues with the political system where all solutions are ambiguous in nature. We are called to actively DO justice in our church and communities as a sign-post of the beautiful Kingdom of God because all of humanity has unsurpassable worth.
The focus of this message is around what it means to “Do Justice” from Micah 6:8 as the third installment in our Love. Walk. Do. series. The truth is that a person’s worth has nothing to do with any of the outward markers we normally associate with success. Every person has unsurpassable worth because Jesus thought they were worth dying for and paying an unsurpassable price. Our main task of discipleship and our most fundamental call is to agree with God about the worth of all people. To serve and regard all people from that point of view is the ultimate determiner of whether we are acting justly towards another person. On the other hand, to the degree that we define others by our judgments is the degree to which we are acting unjustly towards another.
One of the most prominent places where we hear the language of justice is in the realm of politics. The conversation revolves around what the government should do to act justly rather than what we as individuals should be doing. This comes up in debates around political candidates, transgender issues, black lives matter and a host of other issues and the positions of individuals tend to be broadly polarizing without the ability to critically hear the other side of the issue. The danger in this is that there has always been a tendency by Christians who feel so strongly about one position to label their opinion as the Christian opinion. Once this labeling happens it puts Christians in the same “us vs. them” mindset as the rest of the world and has us fighting for the best version of the world’s program rather than seeking out the Kingdom of God. We are to be ambassadors and representatives of God’s Kingdom and should avoid at all costs getting into a political debate with non-believers.
We are called to DO justice and there is a world of difference between doing justice and voting about what the government should do about justice. We are called to aggressively fight for justice in practical ways in our church and community and to tangibly DO justice. That is why Woodland Hills partners with and supports ministries around food assistance, job training, low-income day care and housing initiatives.
Do the kind of justice that you want to see the church doing around the world. We are called to model the beautiful justice of the Kingdom in every corner of the globe and empower the church to live out the mandate of the church rather than seeking out political solutions that are always ambiguous.
3 Actions Steps:
1. Examine yourself to see what parts in your own life you are not living out the justice of the Kingdom. Fighting for justice in the world will always feel like sacrifice.
2. Learn before you take any action. It is possible to run into situations with the desire to help and to do more harm than good. See the book When Helping Hurts or the documentary, Poverty Inc. for more information on how to fight injustice without hurting others.
3. Partners with others. Everything in the kingdom works better when done with others.