Archive for the category “Social disorder”

Create true justice God’s way

TV news is no different than the entertainment programming: They put the actors onscreen, not the executive producers.

The rioting you see on TV today — and the inevitable blowback from opposition — is just the storyline. The actors are but pawns in service to kings and queens whose only concerns are money and power. The storylines are just fodder for viewers who the kings and queens hope to manipulate into actions that serve their purposes.

Street activists and rioters are fools, as are the ones who defend the unjust status quo. Do not allow yourself to be counted in either camp. Though the word pops up everywhere, none of these people understand ‘justice’ as the Creator intends it.

“Human anger does not produce the justice God desires.” (James 1:20) and “The Lord executes righteousness and justice to all who are oppressed.” (Psalm 103:6).

Systemic injustice in this country is real. Denying it is an insult to the Creator of justice. But the solution lies in caring enough to cross barriers, develop deep relationships in which people from separate worlds can listen to each other’s stories, understand our common humanity and different struggles, and together find solutions that help people in desperate need enter the Kingdom of Abundant Life.

Injustice inspires revenge, but “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19) And he means vengeance upon both the oppressor and the rioter.

Get out of your comfortable bubble and take a risk. Refuse to stand with angry people bent on violence. Align yourself with the God of Justice and look for the opportunity the Lord wants to give you to be a peacemaker.

Otherwise, you are nothing but a pawn of evil souls who care only for their own welfare.

The only way justice will be done in Steubenville, Ohio

Ma'lik RIchmondMany Americans are shaking their heads over the rape convictions of two teenage boys, members of a high school football team in Steubenville, Ohio. While those who respect God are shaking their heads in sorrow over the moral and cultural disintegration of a society, many of the rest are baffled by the arrogance of these boys and their friends — and how readily the treat others as objects and abuse them for their pleasure.

What is mystifying about injustice and oppression, except to a society that denies the darkness of the broken human heart? Tell children the entire universe is a cosmic accident and that right and wrong are personal decisions. Encourage them to “obey your appetite.” Deprive them of a two-parent home where adults honor God and make every effort to walk in his ways. Instead, fill their hearts with an insatiable desire for material things and teach them to dull the pain with alcohol and other drugs. Center adult lives around the exploits of youth and, when young men demonstrate athletic prowess, cater to their every whim — especially their hormone-inflamed sexuality.

And then we are shocked when they oppress girls sexually?

Dan Wetzel writes for Yahoo! Sports:

 The five-day trial of [Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond] for the August 2012 rape of the West Virginia girl, who had come across the Ohio River for a night of partying, engulfed this old mill town in the eastern part of the state. Both boys are members of the high-profile and historically successful Big Red football team at Steubenville High School, which serves as a point of pride for the city dealing with economic hardship after the collapse of the steel industry.

Put in the spotlight was the local football team, which, critics said, allowed players to brazenly operate seemingly above the law for years. Social-media accounts, self-made videos, photos and classless text messages exposed an entire world that seemed like a Hollywood script of a high school team out of control.

It also exposed a teenage culture of weak ethics, rampant alcohol abuse and poor family structures that wound up dooming Mays and Richmond, both of whom had promising futures and no criminal past. …

Rape, experts say, is a crime of power and control more than sex. Underlying all of that is arrogance, and in Steubenville it was taken to the extreme.

Throughout this trial, the two defendants and a parade of friends who wound up mostly testifying against the defendants, expressed little understanding of rape – let alone common decency or respect for women. …

Arrogance from the defendants. Arrogance from the friends. Arrogance within the culture.

Arrogance based on the fact that this night, witnesses testified over and over, wasn’t strikingly different than any other night in the life of a Big Red football player.

The boys drank. They drove around. They went to each other’s houses until 2, 3, 4 in the morning. They exploited permissive parents who let the party continue. They, according to so many locals, knew there were bars that would serve them, liquor stores that would supply them and adults who would look the other way. They were football players being football players.

They slept wherever and whenever they crashed, preferably with some girl. Any girl.

———

The Steubenville police reportedly investigated the charges aggressively and swiftly. The state’s attorney general, Mike DeWine, called for a grand jury to continue the investigation. “This community desperately needs to have this behind them,” DeWine said, according to Wetzel’s article. “But this community also desperately needs to know justice was done and that no stone was left unturned.”

“This community also desperately needs to know justice was done.”

The state can exact retribution for this crime, but doing justice is not possible when the people are broken and their hearts are filled with self-seeking injustice. Our society clamors for justice without understanding the root of injustice, clueless that injustice is all that is left when they have cut themselves off from the Just One.

The only way justice will be done in Steubenville — or any community — will be when people who have found freedom, healing, and restoration in Christ begin telling and living the truth among their neighbors.

How do you multiply justice?

Update: Two teenage girls charged with online threats against Steubenville victim

The real poverty behind America’s crisis

povertyThe fundamental crisis in the United States is not political or even financial, but cultural — the deterioration of a society into herds of utterly self-absorbed souls, focused entirely on getting what the commercials, pundits, and demagogues tell them they need, completely clueless about how to make good lives for themselves, much less how to create and govern a healthy society.

The moral crisis that has so absorbed conservative evangelicals for four decades — as serious as it is — is but a symptom of the underlying disease. Christians who want to see justice done for the poor and oppressed (and for the broader society as well) must attack the root cause, sharing not only a verbal witness to the abundant, eternal life Jesus offers, not only mercy ministries that help people in desperate need, but also the knowledge and habits they have used to make their own way in the world. Poverty, at its core, is a poverty of relationship with people who know how to not be poor.

Sohrab Ahmari interviews Harvard University political scientist Harvey Mansfield about the 2012 election, the real cost of entitlements, and why he sees reason for hope:

The Crisis of American Self-Government

… “The Democrats [during the recent election] said nothing about their plans for the future. All they did was attack the other side. Obama’s campaign consisted entirely of saying ‘I’m on your side’ to the American people, to those in the middle. No matter what comes next, this silence about the future is ominous.”

At one level Mr. Obama’s silence reveals the exhaustion of the progressive agenda, of which his presidency is the spiritual culmination, Mr. Mansfield says. That movement “depends on the idea that things will get better and better and progress will be made in the actualization of equality.” It is telling, then, that during the 2012 campaign progressives were “confined to defending what they’ve already achieved or making small improvements—student loans, free condoms. The Democrats are the party of free condoms. That’s typical for them.”

But Democrats’ refusal to address the future in positive terms, he adds, also reveals the party’s intent to create “an entitlement or welfare state that takes issues off the bargaining table and renders them above politics.” The end goal, Mr. Mansfield worries, is to sideline the American constitutional tradition in favor of “a practical constitution consisting of progressive measures the left has passed that cannot be revoked. And that is what would be fixed in our political system—not the Constitution.”

… “Democrats have their cultural argument, which is the attack on the rich and the uncaring,” Mr. Mansfield says. “So Republicans need their cultural arguments to oppose the Democrats’, to say that goodness or justice in our country is not merely the transfer of resources to the poor and vulnerable. We have to take measures to teach the poor and vulnerable to become a little more independent and to prize independence, and not just live for a government check. That means self-government within each self, and where are you going to get that except with morality, responsibility and religion?”

Read this important article by clicking here.

“Where are you going to get that except with morality, responsibility and religion?”

Where are they going to get that, except through transforming relationships — with God through Christ and with the people of God who can model for them the abundant life in all its dimensions.

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