Wednesday What is it? What is Justice?
This weekend I had the privilege of attending The Justice Conference Australia hosted by TEAR Australia. Ken Wystma, the founder of The Justice Conference, was also one of the key note speakers. I have only been introduced to the work and writings of Ken Wystma in the last few months through my connection with The Justice Conference. Let me tell you, he is an incredible speaker. I love the way that he thinks. With Ken’s background in Engineering, Masters Degrees in both Philosophy and Biblical Studies Ken brings an incredible paradigm to his teaching on Justice. He has excellent communication skills and a thoughtful and creative approach to the topic.
After reading his book ‘The Grand Paradox’ I feel like the light has gone on for me to the true meaning of Justice and for this I am very thankful. Justice is something that we consider periodically. Some churches make Justice a focus of a series or a weekend service or portion of the allocated church budget. It has often been that mysterious partner to ‘mercy’ but we have not often grasped the true depth and meaning of what it means for our daily lives as Christ Followers. Indeed how integral Justice is to the character and posture of God.
What IS Justice:
“Justice is the single best word, both inside and outside the Bible for capturing Gods purposes for the world and humanity’s calling to the world”.(Wytsma).
“JUSTICE IS A GARMENT, A BILLION THREADS, INTERWOVEN, INTERLOCKED, KNIT TOGETHER WITH STRENGTH AND INTEGRITY.
Pull one thread from the fabric and the garment begins to fray. Pull ten million threads and justice unravels into injustice.
The work of justice is to mend the holes injustice inflicts upon the garment. It is a brave, challenging, courageous work and it does not begin with expertise or duty. It begins with love… and love is a thread‘(TJC).
Justice is like a mosiac. It’s not only about single pieces–it’s about all the pieces working together in a stunning whole. All too often we believe that our desire to pursue justice can only be lived out or understood in a single shard. Criminal justice. International development. Creation care. Education. Anti-trafficking. Works of mercy and love. All of these shards are vital parts of God’s mosaic of justice. (Wytsma,Pursuing Justice 6-7)
“Justice is, in fact, the broadest, most consistent word the Bible uses to speak about what ought to be, and it has been used throughout the centuries by Christians and non-Christians alike to describe vital areas of human and divine concern”(Wytsma).
- Justice is the foundation of Gods throne and the sceptre by which He rules (Psalm 97:2, Psalm 45:6).
- Justice is inseparable from Jesus.
- Justice is the mission of Jesus, Jesus and justice are so clearly linked that whatever we do for the marginalised and poor we do for Him (The Grand Paradox p50).
- Justice is the very heart and nature of God.
- Justice is the lens through which we do and see everything.
What Justice is not:
Justice is not an allocated budget or part of our church programming plan.
Justice is not separate from Jesus.
Justice is not someone else’s problem.
Justice is not just ethics.
Justice is not a month, a season a topic.
Justice is not a fad or a task for the liberals.
If we want to understand who God is. If we want to understand his nature and character and plan for us and for the earth then we need to fully understand Justice.
Justice is what God is trying to teach us. Justice is what it means to know God.
‘He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the LORD’ (Jeremiah 22:16).
Justice is the fair, moral, and impartial treatment of all persons. In Christ there is no jew, no gentile, no male, no female, no slave, no free. All are equal (Galatians 3:28).
Shalom – Lisa.
I highly recommend both of these books by Ken. Click on the book to order through Amazon.
The Grand Paradox: The Messiness of Life, the Mystery of God and the Necessity of Faith
Pursuing Justice: The call to live and die for bigger things.