I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Part One
By Jason Koon
There are certain issues in the evangelical world that are hot button issues. Denouncing abortion, same-sex marriage, sports on Sundays, or gender-neutral bathrooms plays well in Evangelical circles, and while blogging about them may run the risk of drawing the ire of liberal detractors, most of us who are in the blogosphere know that accumulating liberal detractors can be a big key to success for a Christian blog. There are also certain key issues that everybody in the evangelical world should be talking about, but most are afraid or unwilling to because these issues run the risk of raising the Ire of Conservative Evangelicals. So, in my never-ending pursuit to make everyone mad at me I figured I’d tackle as many of these issues as I possibly could and see what happens. Here goes:
Social & Economic Justice
One talk radio host recently said that any Church leader that uses these phrases should be avoided because they are covert communists. Well, I’m not a communist, and I recognize these words have been coopted by the militant left to mean anything from reparations for slavery to a call for a global currency. However, we can’t just dismiss them because there is one more thing we must admit. They are thoroughly biblical. Leviticus 19 says:
“Treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native…love him as yourself for you were strangers in the land of Egypt… “You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measures of length or weight or quantity. You shall have just balances.”
In today’s world, the word sojourner could be translated immigrant. It’s God’s call to treat the lowest in society with justice, and not just that but to love them. He gives a profound reason, “because you were immigrants in the land of Egypt.” The reality is I have nothing. Everything I think is mine belongs to God. The land I live in, the food I eat, even the air I breathe doesn’t belong to me. This is the heart of social and economic justice for the believer. It is not mine. Whatever I’ve been given, whatever influence I have, I must use that to make sure that, as Jesus said, “God’s Will is done on Earth as in heaven.”
This means that I’m not ok with a homeless man dying in the cold this winter if I have the power to stop it. It means that since the starvation, sex trade, and the treatment of widows and the disabled that goes on in majority world nations will not be acceptable in the Kingdom of Heaven, it’s not acceptable now.
I know these are big issues. What can I do to even make a dent in these problems? Leviticus 19 has something to say about that. In verse 9 it says that a farmer is not to harvest the corners of his field. This should be left for those in need. What a brilliant solution; no wealth redistribution, no global currency, or reparations, simply everyone being willing to share a little bit of what they have left over. If you have a field, leave a little bit of food in the field. If you need food, go get it. Don’t expect us to box it up and hand it to you, but it’s there if you need it and are willing to go get it. If everyone did this in every area of their lives, if we recognized that none of this is really ours to begin with, we would go a long way toward seeing God’s Will done on earth as it is in heaven.