Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Social Justice as Kingdom Justice...

More and more, I am coming to the conclusion that our term "social justice" is lacking. I am not disagreeing with the passion and movement behind the emerging church's emphasis on such, I am just having an internal conflict over terminology. Please bear with me on this.

Social justice, the term, in my thought process, is always going to be flawed. For to me, there is little justice that is noteworthy in societies because societies are made up of a fallen race of man. Our efforts and ideals of "social" justice will thus always fall short. The only exception I see is a totally redeemed society where "social" justice in reality becomes "Kingdom" justice.

Even under the best of circumstances, if any of us received the "justice" we deserved, it would be a terrible thing. However, because we are of the redeemed people, we receive a Kingdom justice, paid for by the precious blood of Christ. My Grandaddy Palmer frequently would reply when asked, "How are you Mr. Lonnie?", by saying, "Better than I deserve." In truth, all of us who follow Christ are "better than we deserve" because we have been born into a new, living hope and an imperishable inheritance through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

So, with fear and trembling, I want to make a few bold statements...

1. Social justice is of little value unless it is seen in a Kingdom perspective
2. There never has been a time that this world has seen complete social justice (except pre-fall)
3. There will never be a time that we will see perfect social justice until the time that His Kingdom comes in fullness
4. My efforts as justice are at best mirrors or dim, foggy views of things to come
5. None of my efforts at social justice will hasten or delay the coming of His kingdom
6. In social/Kingdom justice, the process is much more important than the product especially when it relates to my heart, attitudes and actions
7. Consequently, social justice has greater implications with seeing just systems implemented than equality of outcomes

There you have it. It may sound a bit jaded or a bit anti-social justice movement. On the contrary, I see it as realistic Kingdom justice and am deeply passionate about this topic.

One of my favorite prayers of all time is what our Lord taught us to pray. I pray it regularly...

Lord, Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven...

Looking and longing for a better day...

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