Christian Justice in the Light of Worldly Justice: Where is the Line?
by W. M. Mayfield
I keep looking at the issue of the world trying to make the church succumb to its viewpoint, use worldly justice as the measuring stick, all in the guise of social acceptance and political correctness. This is my third article looking at the view of the church becoming very close, perhaps, to the bride Babylon. This is an exercise of stacking the chips into two stacks; ours and the worlds. Who has the most chips from an objective point of view? We are concerned with mans justice -v- God’s justice and the church‘s position in the balance.
As debates are seemingly kicking up their skirts before the world, the skirts of the Bride of Christ unashamedly is being revealed under a worldly microscope, and is she (the bride) being found naked and destitute in the same ways as the world that is so painstakingly trying to measure her from its standard? Since the time I wrote some of my last articles, that very question seemed to keep plaguing me. After all, we are supposed to be separated from the world in our judgments, appearance, even our sovereignty; a peculiar people.
Even though the world doesn’t want us to be unique in our lifestyle and presence, we are supposed to be while not compromising love. Without a debate on the definition of love, we are at least supposed to have the wisdom of God in the gift of the Holy Spirit (not to mention the Word) to guide us in regards to right and wrong, and the position we are to have concerning equity and justice (especially in our church leadership).
We often talk about the dialog of society with the church as the standard both sides herald for an assertion of supremacy within the creative order. Simple Minds had a song titled, “Another Soul Crying Out,” and in this song they depicted the crowds of people in long lines at banks, stores, waiting for the bus or tram - souls crying out. The question is, are they crying out to God or against God and what is inherently right in the eyes of God’s triune court of justice.
Justice, to be justice, will not ignore the cry, but neither will justice bow to the inequity of the social order just because those souls demand the right of seeking their own perverted view of justice at the expense of the cause of justice. There is a line drawn, a crimson thread of mercy, yet it never surrendered to the din of dishevel boiling from the anguish of the unrepentant soul caught in the rebellious defiant world of self inflicted sorrows. These people want the band aid, not the cure. The view of justice is an agenda of manipulation, not an agenda of correction that comes from the cause of justice. Justice seeks correction creating good, not just the appearance of good.
The way of social justice is Wade -v- Roe. Sexual responsibility is a demand of God’s justice while the social order opted to created a justice that allowed escape bowing to human reason without regard to human dignity. Kill the object of responsibility and the responsibility disappears from view (make it look good and it appears good). So, now, to make it look better than murder, the morning after pill. Justice does not hide or create a solution to escape from the reality of wrong, but to face it. To do anything else is manipulation.
Manipulation requires deceit. Deceit is force. Force is the highest standard of rebellion and inequity, the failure to serve justice with a healthy respect for ones self and others can not help but be a manipulation. Manipulation is the power of the pretender.
But now we must look at the church. Does the justice within the body of Christ try to appease the creatures need to hide like Adam and Eve in the garden? Do we act just like the world in our approach to the cry of justice, trying to manipulate our position from “looking bad,” wanting to appear as perfect till it all blows up in our face? Doesn’t the world do the same?
The church, in its very nature, is responsible for bowing to the cause of God’s justice - daily. “Unless your righteousness exceed that of the Pharisees ….,” Jesus warned. Church is not a committee of the socially acceptable. Church is the place where, and for, the socially correctable. We do not sweep our failures under the rug hoping it will go away and everything will be sweet and pretty. We do not change a standard, such as “homosexual activity is a sin” and pervert it to “except if it is true love,” etc. That is like sitting on an atomic bomb falling to earth and telling yourself you won’t be blown up since you really love all people while killing them!
How does the church convince the world it has a justice that is most reasonable for the human race? By not failing in our living by God’s standard no matter how it doesn’t feel good to the emotional creature we are or how our hurt feeling will make us look bad to the hurting and confused social order. We don’t save, but we can kill.
Somehow it seems we don’t trust God any more. Otherwise, we wouldn’t fret about whether we are acceptable by the worlds standards anyway. St. John addressed this in 1 John 4 when he points out that “you can not say you love (honor, respect) God whom you can’t see while [despising] your brother whom you do see.” Not setting a standard of truth that opens the door to cleansing and mental health seems to be “despising” our fellow man. Pretending to be semi worldly for appeasements sake and a feel good really hurts the ones we say we love. (We walk by faith, not sight.)
In the present day prosperity message, just like the world, we find a lot of words about monetary substance and “the good life” for a standard. So are numbers of great evidence and media power for the church to feel it is meeting its “moral responsibility” or Godly call. How many saved equates to dollars for ministry etc. We act like a corporation fighting for financial empires in a financial strata. No empire is just, no, not one. Else, we would not need God! Only His kingdom (not empire) remains untarnished. So, how do we measure up now?
Cause: Freedom?Both sides of the argument are relentless to establish that freedom is their judicial cause. Yet, the definition of freedom seems to go unpublished as intent or purpose. To the world, freedom is to act as they choose without being fully responsible for their acts. Freedom to the world is about perverting the order of reality to a quasi-real fantasy of “what if.” The judicial place of God for humanity is “what is.”
I often wonder if God didn’t do humanity a favor at one time by creating a communication gap by establishing various languages. It took a lot of work, distance, and need to cross communicate, hence, mankind had an ignorance that was truly grace for us to a certain time. In the writing of Ben Sirach, one of the issues that was upon husbands concerning their family conduct warned to “not teach your wife the evil by which you will suffer (some translations say “to die by”). Yet, in this world of internet, the flow of information and the flood of philosophical rhetoric is in your face almost instantly. Some freedoms compellingly distort reality into a fantasy of surrealistic hopes and expectations promising “true freedom” while a realistic look at the world and our society leaves a lot of room for skepticism.
So, what is the present day meaning of freedom in the actions of the church? What is our real meaning when we say we are free? How does it really measure up to the Bible and the words of our Savior? Can we really pass the test or is the world really winning in our failure to see freedom as a responsibility to carry the cause of God that meets the true needs of the human creature? Compelling questions, to say the least.
Personal View of the Church and Justice:
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