February 3, 2007
Rebel’s Heart for Social Justice
Hello, world. It’s been a deep slumber and she is reawakening. Things have been bubbling and hopefully bursting forth with some good results soon.
First off is a book project by a bunch of enthusiasts initiated by the Agora people, on a book written for young Malaysian Christians.
I’ve been asked to pen the chapter on social justice. Here’s what I have as a very rough outline – feel free to add and comment as you see fit.
1. Churchianity: The ‘Church’ as we see it today
A brief outline on the way church is being run today, largely introspective and insular, emphasising particularly the evangelical model of running Christianity. Save the soul and leave the body to rot sort of Christianity that focuses upon ensuring each damned soul needs to merely acquire a passport into heaven. There will be an emphasis on how the modern church has defined Salvation, as opposed to a more holistic salvation (the Eastern orthodox church defines salvation as becoming the person who God intends us to be, which captures the whole person sort of salvation – body, soul and spirit).
2. Life of Christ, not just His death!
Because the church places emphasis on salvation of the soul alone, it is Jesus’ death that has been the focus. Redemption from sin, eternal life in heaven, a place by God’s throne that He prepares for us way in advance – we are all too familiar with these anecdotes from Sunday school to sunday morning sermons. While these are important and crucial concepts in understanding the Christian faith, few people realise that it is through Jesus’ life itself that attracted the crowds to Him. If truth is indeed in the form of a person, and Jesus is this person, then what was it about His life that we as the church should learn from and emulate? I’ll talk about the relationality of Jesus in His ministry to the people… maybe bring in some concept of the Trinity and how that itself forms a good model in interpreting relationships.
3. Kingdom Principles
I’ll have a lot to say in this part of the chapter. I’ll start off by saying that the whole point of Jesus coming was to restore relationships between those that had been frissured at the Fall, meaning to reconcile man-and-man, man-and-God, man-and-nature. What is relevant in this chapter is man-and-man. Basically, redeeming broken and lost relationships between one and the other. In the perfecting of humankind in the “here and now”, this leads to practicing of “kingdom principles” in the here and now! What sort of principles did Jesus live by? Principles of justice, speaking up for the poor and marginalised in society, the downtrodden, the voiceless, honesty, integrity, humility. And I’ll say this was historical in nature too – the kingdom principles of God did not just start with Jesus – it has transcended the ages, all the way back in the Old Testament especially in the minor prophets of Amos and so on, which clearly expounds on God’s principles in valueing the marginalised in society. God used a lot more examples to judge people because they oppressed the weak, then He did on anything else in some of these books. Will give some quotes and examples here.
4. Doing Justice for Malaysia
And then of course there will be the examples that should be practiced in Malaysia. There’s a lot to say here as well. Will give examples one by one on the areas which we should be lending our ears, hands and heart to.
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