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ROAD TO RENEWAL: Day 1: Social Justice and Holistic Ministry
Road to Renewal, Day 1: Social Justice and Holistic Ministry
In times like these—racially polarizing, economically challenging, politically corrupt, generationally estranged, spiritually conflicted—it is essential that Christ’s Church advocates for social justice and holistic ministry.
Social justice involves making individuals and communities whole by doing two things: 1) Upholding goodness and impartiality, and 2) seeking avenues to better meet the needs of the total person—physical, psychological, social, economic, as well as spiritual.
Social justice and holistic ministry stand at the center of Jesus’ ministry thrust. It flows from our willingness to abandon the dead-end agenda of personal priority and privilege, and embrace Jesus’ character, which was typified by selfless service, rooted in unlimited, unrestricted love. This is what Jesus meant when He said, “I have come that you might have life, and have it to the full.”
The most injurious injustice over which we must prevail is self-righteousness —the belief that we do not need Jesus, but that we are just, good and right apart from Him. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is only as we cling to Jesus that we can participate in His work of restoring lives. To be salt and light, our practice of Jesus’ social justice and holistic ministry agenda must radiate out to all—but only after He first saturates us.
Ours is a corrupt society, and we have an obligation to speak and act against that corruption. In Christ, we can influence public policy and legislation. But we can accomplish nothing if we are afraid or unwilling to stand up. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that, “A man can’t ride your back, unless it is bent.” It’s time that Christ’s Church straighten its back, find its voice and speak. We should affirm in our living how the justice of God’s kingdom influences our involvement in civic matters. Jesus ministered to the poor and marginalized, even challenging societal structures that weighed down upon them. Today, we can do no less.