Black History Month: Joining the fight for social justice (Week 1)

Wisconsin

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The Counseling Corner

By Rev. Judith T. Lester, B.Min. M.Th

“Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Churches have long since acknowledged their role as being social activists as recognized in Scripture, which calls every believer to defend and uphold the dignity and wellbeing of all persons, especially the poor and the powerless. Committed Christian pioneers such as John Wesley helped to shape the social justice tradition by leading prison reform and abolitionism movements in the 18th Century in England. Within our generation, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Civil Rights Movement, Mother Theresa of Calcutta and other people of faith took brave stands against the evils of injustice. Believers today are acting out of their convictions from Scripture and their experience of God’s grace and power to work for equality and justice for all regardless of race by promoting Christian involvement in crucial social issues.

Beloved, more and more churches are answering the call to become more socially conscious resulting in social justice gaining considerable traction among churches and pushing issues of injustice and oppression into the national conversation. Yet, many believers still shy away from becoming involved in social justice, especially when it involves controversial but crucial issues. The reason may very well be because social justice calls us to action and awareness and will take us out of our comfort zones.

The bottom line is there is simply no way to preach and teach Jesus and not care about justice. Jesus announced the purpose of His ministry in Luke 4:18 as being primarily focused on the poor, the captive, the blind and the oppressed. Jesus was a social revolutionary and thus churches best represent the mission of Jesus when they are theologically conscious but also socially aware. By that I mean, churches can join in the mission of Jesus when they engage their world with the redemptive message of God’s love by proclaiming the gospel; but also, when they confront injustice and touch human needs. Every believer should sense a God-given desire to serve the hurting, restore the broken and minister to the marginalized with the tools and opportunities God has placed at their disposal.

This month, in recognition of Black History Month, we will be encouraging you to join the fight for social justice as the fight against injustice, oppression and inequality continues.

“Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”
– Isaiah 1:17

Next Week: Continuation

General Disclaimer: The writer has used her best efforts in preparation of this information. No representations or warranties for its contents, either expressed or implied, are offered. Neither the publisher nor the writer shall be liable in any way for readers’ efforts to apply, rely or utilize the information or recommendations presented herein as they may not be suitable for you or necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. This information is for educational purposes only. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.

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