Social Justice: Justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society. 1
Cause: a principle or movement militantly defended or supported; a charitable undertaking2
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CURRENT HOT TOPICS WHEN IT COMES TO SOCIAL JUSTICE?
2. Exploitation of children or women
3. Race Discrimination, including immigration issues
4. Wealth redistribution, including dealing with the poor
5. PETA (animal rights)
6. Environmental Change
7. Gay Marriage and Gender Identity
MAJOR THINGS TO CONSIDER ABOUT SOCIAL JUSTICE TODAY:
1. Who defines Justice? The reason universal social justice will never come to fruition is that everyone you ask to define justice will have a different definition (subjective truth).
2. Humans will always get in the way. In other words, even if we could accomplish perfect social justice for one day, we would mess it up the very next day! There has never been a point in human history where we have completely solved social injustice.
3. Humans have a contaminated/tainted flesh (sinful nature), and we are battling a spiritual enemy. This world cannot be heaven.
THE YOUNGER GENERATION CARES DEEPLY ABOUT JUSTICE ISSUES.
GOD’S PEOPLE SHOULD CARE MOST ABOUT THESE ISSUES BECAUSE GOD DOES.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT SOCIAL JUSTICE? We should care about what’s going on around us.
(see also Isaiah 1:17, Micah 6:8, Jeremiah 5:26-29)
Matthew 5:13–16 13You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 14You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
THE QUESTION IS: What role does the church play in social justice? (See Ephesians 3:10)
SO WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT SOCIAL JUSTICE?
1. LOOK WITH THE EYES OF JESUS. THERE IS A NEED AND A CAUSE ALL AROUND US.
2. BECOME A WORKER—A PART OF THE SOLUTION.
James 1:26–27 26Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
3. WORK AT THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS (SPIRITUAL, NOT PHYSICAL).
John 4:10–14 10Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” 11“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” 13Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” [See also John 6:26-29]
4. OUR PRIORITY TREE OF SERVICE
1 John 3:16-18 16This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
QUESTIONS TO DISCUSS IN LIFE GROUP OR WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Passages to consider: Micah 6:8; Luke 5:17-25 or John 4:1-6 &13-19; James 1:26, 27, 2:14-19
1. What was meaningful, impactful, or challenging to you from the sermon?
2. Read Micah 6:8, then read either: Luke 5:17-25 OR John 4:1-6 & 13-19. A) How do you see Jesus responding to the social injustices, issues, or needs of His day? B) What do you discover? Unpack the story together.
3. What has been your experience with engaging with social justice or humanitarian needs?
4. Is there anything that breaks your heart, or makes you mad, or is a wrong that you want to right? Please share if you are willing to. A) Have you stopped and asked yourself, “What am I hoping to accomplish?” Does it reflect eternity?
5. What would it look like for you to meet people at their place of need and bring them the gospel?
6. How are you actively looking for ways to serve and care for those around you? A) What does (or would) it look like for you to engage in tangible ways?