you are (1) an atheist and believe that religion is crazy or (2) of a
faith that doesn't value the Bible, please remember that the
overwhelming majority of Americans identify themselves as
Christian, and that most people make decisions and process information
based on their beliefs. As I pointed out last month:
The overwhelming majority - 75% - of all Americans consider themselves to be Christian. It is irrelevant for this discussion ... whether or not those 75% are all living up to their values, whether every word of the Bible is true, whether Christianity is a detrimental force undermining democracy and reason, or whether all organized religion is a con...What is important is that most Americans are Christian, and so [I invite you to become at least a little bit "bilingual" and to] speak in language meaningful to Christians.
As James 2:20 reminds us:
Faith without works is dead.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Chris Hedges points out that:
Anger at injustice, as Martin Luther King wrote, is the political expression of love.In other words, having faith and love is only half of what it means to be Christian. The other half is putting that faith and love into action, by fighting for justice.
As I wrote in November:
The Bible does not counsel us to ignore the breaking of laws by the the powerful.
In fact, the Bible mentions justice over 200 times -- more than just about any other topic. The Bible asks us to do justice and to stand up to ANYONE -- including the rich or powerful -- who do injustice or oppress the people.
There have been widespread, credible allegations that Goldman Sachs and other giant banks have broken the law (see this, for example).
Indeed, one of the first things God asks of us is to do justice:He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)While many churches and synagogues have become obsessed with other issues, many have arguably ignored this most important of God's demands of us. As pointed out by a leading Christian ministry, which rescues underage girls trapped as sex slaves in third world countries:In Scripture there is a constant call to seek justice. Jesus got upset at the Pharisees because they neglected the weightier matters of the law, which He defined as justice and the love of God . . . Isaiah 58 complains about the fact that while the people of God are praying and praying and praying, they are not doing anything about the injustice.Should Christians just pray for justice and leave the rest to God?
That's not what the Bible asks us to do. Instead, Hebrews 11:33 tells us that we are God's hands for dispensing justice, and God uses us to "administer justice."
We have to "walk our talk" and put our prayers into action.
God demands that we do everything in our power to act as "God's hands" in bringing justice. And as Saint Augustine reminds us, "Charity is no substitute for justice withheld."
Please reflect on the following Scripture:The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, He was appalled that there was no one to intervene. (Isaiah 59:15-16)This is the only place in the Bible where the word "appalled" is used for the way God feels -- in other words, the only thing which we know God is appalled by is if people are not doing justice.
There are hundreds of other references to justice in the Bible, including:
- Blessed are they who maintain justice . . . . (Psalm 106:3)
- This is what the LORD says: Maintain justice and do what is right . . . . (Isiah 56:1)
- This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right. (Jeremiah 22:3,13-17)
- Follow justice and justice alone. (Deuteronomy 16:19, 20)
- For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice . . . . (Job 11:5,7)
So if the powerful players in the giant banks broke the laws, they must be held to account.
- Learn to do right! Seek justice . . . . (Isaiah 1:17)