Tag Archive: Justice


Seldom do I venture into mixing politics and faith.  Jesus separated the two.  He said, “Give to Caesar what is Caesars and give to God what is Gods.”  The two alone can become vicious between two debaters.  I imagine together they can bring death and destruction.  Today, I’m going to dip my toe in.

As our government roles deeper into the shutdown and the sides continue to play tit for tat, as a believer, I’m saddened.  Regardless of our views on welfare and political parties and border control, in the sad game are real people.  People who are at the mercy of powerful and often arrogant leaders on both sides of the issues at hand.  Who is going to care for those caught in the middle?

I was having this discussion with a friend who reminded me the employees will be paid once the shutdown is over.  I reminded him that many of those in these positions are pay check-to- pay check.  It won’t take long till mortgages and rents are missed, electric and water bills become critical, and credit cards become maxed out.  In the meantime those in authority play games with national audiences.

I don’t have the answers to immigration, and I don’t have the answers to the holes in everyone’s political platforms.  What I do know is people – white, black, yellow, young, old and still to be born, are trapped in a world where the weak are used as pawns for a perceived cause, and my Bible does speak about that!

In the Old Testament, God set out his people to be separate.  They were a holy people to be used by God for his holy intentions.  Their purity was important to God.  Along the way, they forgot the source of their purity.  Their purity was to be founded in listening to and following the words of God.  Instead, they took a few words (law) ,built power centers (Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes), and created a means to judge others instead of loving others.  

They forgot they were not to take advantage of the disadvantaged.  They missed the words about taking care of the alien and stranger in the land.  They disregarded the teaching about making a profit off the backs of the weak.  They were reprimanded but changed nothing when the prophet Micah said, “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.”  Instead, the rich and the proud distorted justice, had little mercy and forgot God.  Sounds familiar. The Bible is relative to our world as it was to theirs.

When we, as a people, have little compassion for the weak, we have lost the heart of God.  Micah did say love justice.  It’s not about letting life become a free for all.  However, the three elements of what God requires are connected at the hip.  As I grow older, I discover they cannot be separated.  They are the heart of God.  

Psalm 41:1 says, “Blessed is the one who has regard for the weak!”  First of all notice the exclamation point.  It was used to emphasize an action of a believer.  The word used for regard is not a passing glance.  It was used to describe someone “who has the ability to know what to do and how.”  How do we develop the ability?  Micah answers that one.  He said, “…walk humbly with our God.”  

Jesus came from his position at the right hand of the Father and walked among us for 30 years, giving his very life to give us life and give us a mediator who knew us personally.  It’s an amazing feature about Christianity.  God with us!  His Holy Spirit makes that possible every day, no matter where we go.  Humility with God is recognizing he didn’t have to leave the throne and walk among us, much less die for us.  His justice demanded our death!  Instead of death, we are given mercy and He calls upon us to remember it (Lord’s supper) and be the touch of Jesus to the weak.  

It’s time we quit fighting about which party best fits the Christian faith.  We are not called to pick the least of two evils.  We are called to live separate of that.  It’s a life that considers “others better than ourselves” according to the Apostle Paul in Philippians 2.  Now we not only have a weak people (immigrants) dying to come to this land of prosperity, we have our own who will not be paid by the richest government in the world while the proud make their points.  It’s been this way for years (Regan amnesty) and won’t get fixed quickly.  

Where do we start?  Walk humbly with our God.  He is the only one that can melt the heart bent on judgment and destruction.  I’m going to say it!  Donald and Nancy, put your sticks down, walk humbly with Jesus, figure out how mercy and justice work together and don’t forget to take care of the alien as well as your own brother and sister.

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Quiet!
“Quiet” may be one of the most paradoxical words in our English language. It’s something we all want in our noisy, noisy world. At the same time, we can’t stand too much of it. Even in the Bible, quiet can have this double side.
In I Timothy 4 the Apostle Paul tells his young protege, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life.” I wonder, I really wonder, what Paul would write in this fast-paced, over-stimulated world. On the other hand, in Revelation 8, the Apostle John writes his prophecy and states “…there was silence [quiet’s kissing cousin] in heaven for about half an hour.” This heavenly silence was very rare and was a pause before judgments of God were poured out.
Silence or quiet (pick one) tends to occur even in the Scriptures when someone or something demands it or the responder is stymied. The same thing occurs in our lives. Quiet occurs in hospitals, at funerals and in special places. Silence will be demanded when children are screaming in the car. There is a place and a time for silence for sure.
One of the classic Scriptures pertaining to quiet is Psalm 46:10 where we are told “Be still and know that I am God.” There is indication from these words that man has always been scurrying around in this world making noise every step of the way. Maybe we think we can find our significance in making noise. God tells us at this point to take the time to shut up, sit down and focus on Him. Now we have a specific reason for quietness.
Jesus remained silent at one of the most important times…his trial. His silence was purposeful. If he were to speak at this time, the redemption of man might have been in jeopardy. His silence is the lamb taking on the sin of man.
Quiet can be scary and uncomfortable as well. At our church we have a few minutes (actually seconds) to sit quietly before God as we enter into worship to Him. We also may have a time of quiet during confession. Man, it feels like those few seconds go on forever. It’s the same use of quiet in a horror movie. The same concept is in Revelation 8. Silence can be the bearer of bad news.
We can see that quiet at the right time has great purpose. Quiet at the wrong time tends to speak volumes as well. When I was taking counseling courses, a wise instructor taught, “Everything we do and say is counsel. Everything speaks.” Quiet speaks. Sometimes we think being quiet keeps us out of the fray. Not so fast! Quiet speaks when there should actually be words. Quiet at the wrong time leaves interpretation up to those we should be speaking with (notice I did not say “to”).
So, why am I taking so much time to write about something that there is not enough of in our lives and yet scary as well? I have noticed lately that the modern evangelical church is loud in its worship and silent on important issues going on in our world.
Let’s take the latest immigration issue where children have been separated from their families as they try to illegally cross the border. The church sits quietly.
How about the abuse of women going on in our culture? The quiet is condemning on this one.
What does the church have to say about the murder rates in our big cities? The opioid epidemic? Civil rights violations? Issues of justice where the poor are being used in issues like predatory lending? The president when he goes over the line in his attacks and opinions that look nothing like what we read in the Bible? We have gone quiet.
Our quietness demonstrates our inability to develop and promote a response built on the foundation of God’s love and truth. Our quiet is not so much a fear of God but rather a fear that we will lose something. Jesus said, “You cannot serve two masters. You will love the one and hate the other.” Our silence betrays our belief. We have two masters.
It is interesting to study the book of Acts. The early church clearly had one master. They were far from silent. 12 men changed the world. How? Not by being quiet. Can we be humble, loving and caring and not be quiet? Yes! The only thing is we will have to sacrifice. I can hear the quietness from here.