Resisting Injustice

We must have the righteousness of Christ credited to us if we are to be saved, but we must also apply His standard of righteousness to the public square. Faithfully doing so would allow Christians to see more clearly the similarities of the injustices taking place in Jerusalem with those in America today. A primary application of these lessons to the church today is that Christians should be saddened and angered when they witness government injustice and be motivated to bring it to a halt. Unfortunately, many in the church—even in the conservative, evangelical church—seem to be too preoccupied with faux injustice to notice where biblically-defined injustice is taking place.

And God also made all the evil of the men of Shechem return on their heads, and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal. (Judges 9:57)

A Christian endures over a decade of state-sponsored legal harassment for refusing to bake cakes celebrating events that violate his beliefs. Half a dozen pro-life activists are convicted in federal court for protesting the murder of children at a Tennessee abortion clinic. Hundreds of Americans, including a former president, are harassed, indicted, disbarred, and/or jailed in multiple jurisdictions across the country for doing the same thing Americans have been doing for over 200 years—contesting the outcome of an election. A columnist is forced to defend himself in the D.C. district courts for 11 years (and counting) over a 270-word blog post criticizing a purveyor of climate change hype.

The American legal system is rife with injustice. Federal prosecutors boast a 95% conviction rate, with most cases never going to trial because even the innocent often plead guilty. Christians and conservatives are essentially no longer afforded their constitutional right of trial by a jury of their peers in most major cities, while in many of the same cities radical fascists/leftists and common criminals are not charged for their crimes.

Government injustice in America is not confined only to the courts, however. Welfare, public schools, and minimum wage laws are a large part of the reason black men in Chicago are unemployed and murdering each other at alarming rates. In Texas, the state’s transportation department floods a farmer’s property but denies he is due any compensation for the taking of his property. Corporate cronyism has extended beyond the legalized theft of subsidies to coercing Americans into consuming corporate products, such as renewable energy and vaccines.

Given that unjust rulers are a significant concern throughout scripture and in Jesus’ ministry (Leviticus 19:15, Judges 9:57, Psalm 94:20, Matthew 21:12-13, Mark 3:5, Revelation 6:9-10, etc.), we should be alarmed at the lack of engagement by many Christians with these examples of government injustice. To understand how we can awaken the church to the corruption and injustice of modern government, we will examine how Christians can be better equipped for the work of confronting injustice amongst our rulers, who are supposed to be “God’s servant[s] for []our good” (Romans 13).

The people of God are supposed to “maintain love and justice” (Hosea 12:6) because God’s way is “doing righteousness and justice” (Genesis 18:19). It was on this basis that Job asked God, “let no injustice be done” (Job 6:29). To equip us to mirror His character and uphold His standards, God gave us His Word of truth (John 17:17), righteous rules, and statutes (Psalm 119:7-8).

God emphasizes the importance of faithfully maintaining righteousness and justice when He attaches both blessings and curses to his laws in Deuteronomy. Those who obey God are set “high above all the nations of the earth,”(v. 28:1) and receive an economic bounty: “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field” (v. 28:3). But those who do “not obey the voice of the LORD your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes” will be cursed in their cities, occupations, and in their very lives (v. 28:15ff). God further drove home the necessity of keeping His standards of justice when he carried out His judgment upon His unjust people by twice destroying the city in which He had dwelt with them.

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