Scot McKnight is going through Tim Keller’s new book, City Church, over at Jesus Creed.
McKnight offers a critique on Keller’s use of “justice” that I find interesting. When it comes to church and culture, I have had my thinking changed over the years. When I was growing up, it was the thick of the pro-life movement. I lived in Kansas at the time protests were going on at George Tiller’s clinic in Wichita. I knew pastors who had been arrested. It was something to hear them talk.
The church seemed to be ready to influence the culture in a new voice.
So… how’s THAT working for us these days?
How DOES the church interact in the culture? McKnight offers this thought:
“…when folks today mention “justice,” and I see this in lots of authors, including Keller, that term refers to what we do in public. I would contend that we are to participate in the church as a just culture, work hard to make sure justice is done within the fellowship, and then let that just culture be a challenge to the public culture. Not that Christians need to withdraw from culture but that it is a two-fold kind of justice work and not just a public-sector justice.”
I have grown to this thought, but haven’t quite figured out how to express it. I want to help in the transformation of my church. I want to see justice lived out in our congregation. Over the past few years I have watched this unfold beautifully. As we practice this in our local body, it is beginning to live as a challenge to the culture around us.
McKnight is helping me get some of these thoughts into words.
One thought on “Justice”
These are good thoughts. I am reminded of David Platt’s teaching through the book of Mathew. Mathew 25:31-46. Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” I recall being taught this verse calls us to care for the poor and those in need and it will be as if you were serving Jesus himself. However, Platt highlights Jesus words, “…of these brothers of mine.” Jesus is talking about fellow believers. If we are meeting the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ, Jesus is telling us it would be like offering the same to Him in his need. We are called to meet the needs of the poor and needy outside of the church, but Jesus is asking/demanding that his followers meet the needs of each other. What a disgrace if we don’t take care of the body in this way. How does seeking justice inside our body look? Do we write letters to imprisoned pastors/missionaries? Do we focus prayer on this matter? Do we look for missions opportunities that can minister to the missionary and other believers in addition to outreach. Justice inside the church.