Monday, August 27, 2007

Justice:Movement Beyond Emotion

We started a new series yesterday that we're calling Justice:Movement Beyond Emotion. Over the past few years, we have been trying to 'show the face of God' to our community and world in a variety of ways. We've been involved with issues of child soldiering, human trafficking, AIDS, poverty, refugees, among others. These activities have 'felt good and right' for us to be involved in, but have led to some questions:
  • Can we really make a difference?
  • If not, then why do we keep talking about all this stuff?
  • How important is this to God, where does it say it in the Bible, and how important should it be to His church?
These are great questions and this series is our attempt to address them and create a deeper discussion that will (hopefully) give us some answers and direction. The podcast is here and if you regularly attend on Sundays, you should listen to this one. The rest of the series is in part based on it.

Some of the comments people made after the service were regarding experiences they had with situations of injustice. Some reflected on the Hebrew concept of justice and how charity and justice are viewed as the same thing. And one person questioned whether or not we have a Scriptural obligation to justice and/or charity outside the community of the church. All were great comments/questions and I put this post up because I'd love to discuss it further. Feel free to post anonymously as well.


At August 28, 2007 12:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something about your message on Sunday made me remember this...I went to a Catholic Church and Catholic school my entire life. The Church and the school are located next door to each other. When I was in elementary school, a house across the street from my school was converted into an AIDS house. The AIDS house was meant to support AIDS victims in various stages of the disease. Well, the school and church were opposed to such a place being so close to the school (like we could catch AIDS from across the street!) I remember protests and "concerned" parent and parishioners making a big deal out of the whole thing. In school I was taught the 10 commandments, “Golden Rule”, and various Bible lessons but I just couldn’t figure out why our teachings didn’t apply to the AIDS victims that truly needed our support. I couldn't for the life of me figure out was everyone was so upset! I was 12 and somewhat “mouthy” you could say, and I got into a heated argument w/ my grandmother (one of the protestors) about the whole situation. She would refer to the residents of the house as “those people” and make comments that they didn’t belong across the street from a school. This Sunday, as I sat and listened to your message on "JUSTICE" I couldn't help but think of the injustice demonstrated by the "Christians" in my community back then...and it made me sad. The AIDS house did well despite the protests in its early days. When I entered high school my friends and I would volunteer at the house around the holidays...I did it for AIDS victims, I did it for myself and I hate to admit it but I did it to make my grandmother mad and it worked! It is still a sore subject between us, as are many things but I continue to stand my ground (respectively) with my grandmother in hopes that I can soften her heart a bit and perhaps infiltrate some justice.

I look forward to more in the series.
~Lisa Quinn

At August 30, 2007 1:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey Jeff, we (Mr. P.) and i listened to your podcast... Powerful stuff. You challenged us and made us think a little differently. we are excited to see what God does through this series.

About praise music... I was reading hebrews 13 today and in verses 15, and 16 it says THROUGH Jesus therefore, let us CONTINUALLY offer to God a sacrifice of praise- the fruit of lips that confess His name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for that with such God is pleased.I guess the sacrifice is that when we praise God we sacrifice our pride and self worship.

You know, as a teacher of young children I see the intrinsic value for them of treating others with respect... having to say please and thank you etc even when they really don't want to... if they weren't trained to do so, they would become even more egocentrical and demanding.. so even tho it is more pleasing to me when they say it naturally, with joy, it is still pleasing when they just want something becuase i know they are sacrificing a 'bit' of self and bowing to authority...
and i know that's good for them in the long run.

anyway- I think God loves our honest praise, but i think when the praise is given 'just because'everyone around us is or... there is value in that too because we are sacrificing at least the appearance of self worship for God worship...and in that wroship experience God can do much with just a little sincerity. He Himself is in the midst of the worship and calling us to change in and through it.The world around us does not give us enough reminders in our days that our selves are nothing apart from God.

So i guess what I'm saying- is praise that comes out of the heart of the psalmist, praise that recognizes the majesty and wonder of God remind us that all of our efforts will be meaningless and puny if we think we can do it on our own... and also... the most puny and small seeming efforts can take on eternal significance from His holy perspective.

I'm glad you are daring to lead your community in this series. I believe the Lord is pleased.

a Roanoke follower


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