8.11.2013

On the correlation between justice and the gospel

I was once asked if a concern for social justice is a distraction from the Gospel.  Far from being a distraction, justice, both in my personal interactions, and in the community (i.e. social justice) is a part of the good news or gospel of the coming reign of Christ.  And like the Kingdom of God, justice is for both the now and the future.

The gospel or good news of Christ is that the Kingdom of God has come.  We are each individually and collectively invited to participate in and submit to the reign of Christ.  We do this by confessing our sins, both those of an individual nature, and those that we participate in collectively.  We must also invite Christ to have the preeminence in our lives.  We ask him to enable us to live according to his values. In turn Christ's values demand that we order our lives and our communities in ways that are just.

(For more on the definition of justice see Tim Keller's article What is Biblical Justice, or this good conversation starter on justice from a friend working to stop sex trafficking.)

While my own identity is a moving target, I grew up as an evangelical, and continue to own many aspects of that identity in the broad sense of the word as defined here.  For evangelicals, there are three key principles that help support the connections between justice, the Kingdom of God, and the Gospel.