Equipping Believers with the Word of God
I did not know for a while whether I was going to write a fourth and fifth part for this series or not. These parts will, by necessity, jump info many of the political and sociological movements such as Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality, Social Justice, and the main Black Lives Matter movement. With any philosophy, we have to compare it with the truth of God’s Word. If the philosophy is against the Word of God, then the Word of God must win out. Colossians 2:8 tells us to make sure no one takes us captive by philosophy and vain (or empty) deceit. As we discuss these things, you may be tempted to just “go along to get along” just be seen as a “woke” person, but James 4:4 says to be a friend to the world is to be an enemy of God. Ultimately, any philosophy that contradicts the Word must bow to the truth of God’s Word.
Before we talk about the concept of Social Justice as our current culture defines it, we need to look at what the Bible defines as justice. We have seen a previous article that righteousness and justice are the foundations of God’s throne. During the giving of His law to His nation of Israel, He commanded His people to execute judgment in Deuteronomy 16:18-20 and Micah 6:8. Also look at Philippians 1:8-10 and Philippians 4:8. Now, let’s see what that looks like according to the Bible:
In this verse, we have a command through the prophet Jeremiah telling Israel to basically clean up their act in this area. One aspect of Justice according to this verse is to deliver the individual who has been wronged. The fact that God had to tell His people this shows that the judges were basically taking the side of those doing the crimes instead of those who were criminalized. We should always stand up for those who suffer crime against them regardless of who they are. The best example of this is George Floyd. As believers, we must stand against the criminals and cry out for the prosecution of those who “oppressed” Goerge Floyd by taking his life.
Although these verses are dealing with buying and selling, I believe there is an element of Justice for the races also. In the Bible times, goods were mostly measured by an agreed-upon weight. An ephah of flour, or instance, was a set measure. Weights were often used to balance and measure the correct weight of an ephah of flour. Now imagine there is a salesman who uses an “ephah” weight that is significantly lighter than the standard measurement. Although the victimized person may or may know realize that were cheated, God sees it. So, let’s bring this into today’s world. Should someone be charged a different amount for a good or service because of the color of their skin? Let’s look at it another way. The justice system in our country is illustrated by a blindfolded woman holding a set of scales. This is supposed to illustrate that justice is blind to the person being judged and that the scales weigh the person’s deeds based on the blind standard of the law. So allow me to ask a question. With all else being equal in a particular jurisdiction, do certain races get harsher sentences than other races? According to a study, there seems to be evidence of just that in our justice system. I have not thoroughly investigated this study. However, I do know of some situations I know of where blacks were given much more time than a white person involved in the same particular criminal case. This is not justice. It is not justice for any race to receive a harsher or lighter sentence because of their ethnic background. Where we become aware of cases such as this, we are required to do what we can to right those wrongs.
These verses show a common problem in our world and that is the rich and powerful treading upon the rights of poor and needy. Whether the person being judged is rich, poor, widow, orphan, or whatever should make no difference how that person is either judged or defended. If a rich person commits a crime, they should be judged just as guilty as our neighbor Jim down the street that barely has two pennies to rub together. A person’s wealth or position should have no bearing on whether they are judged guilty or innocent or what punishment they get. Bribery applies here because bribes are paid out to individuals to either prevent justice or to cause a judge to act harder toward the person whom the person paying the bribe wants. This is unjust and God’s people should not only reject being involved but should also lawfully fight against this type of injustice. A very appropriate example of this for today is the case of Ethan Couch who’s lawyer used the “Affluenza” defense to get him out of jail with just a slap on the wrist. (article HERE). I believe the case could be made that money was the deciding factor for this case and this kid did not pay the price for taking the lives of four other people through his flagrant disregard for the law. Even his parents faced lessened charges. For me, this is a clear case of money preventing the proper prosecution of a crime.
I believe Micah 6:8 gives us a key here. Do Justice! Love Mercy! Walk humbly with your God. What does this mean? For us as Americans, do everything that is within our rights as citizens to promote Justice. Use our power of the vote to vote out those that are shown to be unjust. Now, I realize that in American politics, our choices may be few. We have seen so much evidence of corruption on both sides of the political fence. Sometimes our only choice is the lesser of two evils.
In our personal lives, treat others fairly and justly in our everyday life, no matter who they are. Where appropriate, extend mercy. Jesus said to turn the other cheek. This does not mean we should not defend our lives. He was speaking about personal relationships. Justice entails punishing evil for the good of all of us.
We also have the right to peacefully protest. I personally would love to participate in a protest against the treatment of George Floyd, but there are reasons I feel like I cannot. I will get to those later.
In my next article, I will dive into the sociological ideas of social justice, critical race theory, and intersectionality. I will also discuss the organization of Black Lives Matter. See you then!