Sunday, June 24, 2007

Training for Justice

"Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow." (Isaiah 1:17)

Part of my job requirement is to do 65 hours of training in domestic violence and sexual assault training. We've had former police officers, lawyers and specialists share about all aspects of this issue --and all the evidence points to the fact that perpetrators are 95% men.

As the only male in this training, it has been uncomfortable to see the plain truth of our rampant "gender violence" culturally and globally. But as a Christian, I'm also to reflect on this general issue of justice based on my understanding of Scripture and theological tradition. (More on the specific issue of gender violence later)

1. Scripture: I think we have enough devotionals on how much God loves us and wants to be our friend. Many passages have been coming to mind as I sit through training that are focused on seeking justice, and I think it's high time to have a devotional book on that area!

2. Theological tradition: while things are changing for Evangelicals, there still exists a woeful split between social justice and spirituality, the sacred/secular that remains to be mended. I sit in training thinking that the Evangelical church overall has given up much of the thinking and action towards seeking justice to secular liberals, the courts, and government. The average Christian's ability to think through justice issues tend to be simplistic (like legislation against gay marriage, etc) or perverse applications of "love your enemy." Even with my Christian college and seminary education, social justice has been on the periphery of all that training, something extra.

I hope to see that training in justice becomes integral to what it means to follow Jesus.

1 comment:

Hannah said...

yep, I agree w/ that.