Recent Articles on Politics and Justice
Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. (Isaiah 1:16–17, ESV)
The call for Christians to work to bring all of creation back into the perfect harmony of shalom rings as clearly now as it did in the time of the prophet Isaiah. From trying to mitigate the suffering caused by the effects of the Fall and human sin, to trying to cultivate creational good wherever it may be found, the Christian’s participation in the all-encompassing redemption of Christ necessarily transforms the way he or she views the public sphere. The particular details of what this looks like, however, are locked in continuing debates about the relationship between the church and the state, the nature of a Christian’s earthly citizenship, and the proper arrangement of societal power. It may be surprising how much the worship of God is tied to fighting the systemic injustices of our world.
It ended Friday night. At 8:42pm, “The suspect is in custody” echoed over the airwaves, with a Boston police tweet not far behind. As quickly as they had come, the scattered gunshots, the chopping drone of the assault helicopters, the heavy boots of the SWAT teams, the hiss and crack of voices over the police scanner melted away into a raucous block party as Watertown returned to normalcy.
Does God ever call us to actions or lifestyles that he condemns? There is no question, I think, that God may bring good out of evil circumstances. We are told that God works all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
Why do Christians disagree when it comes to politics? We’ve all witnessed Christians react with incredulity when other Christians disagree with them politically. Now there are some people who think Christians ought not to participate in the political process. There’s not enough time or space here to contend with the Hauerwasians or the Yoderites, so
If Christian doctrine about sin is true, then any individuals striving to effect social change must be careful to realize that they themselves are part of the great problem that keeps humans from living just lives. Any protest movement must move carefully and humbly lest one unjust system merely be replaced with another unjust system.
It is not enough merely to replace the current financial system with one that is theoretically more amenable to alleviating income disparity. It is not enough to have a more socialistic society, to enact a more effective way of redistributing income. At the core, the institutions of democracy and finance are unjust because people are unjust.