Whether linked to the gospel or not, social justice is a topic that is very prevalent in our churches and communities today. We addressed this topic as a part of XChange, a leadership event of conversations with various generations of women’s ministry leaders. This is the first in a four part series on this topic.
Today we want to look at what social justice is from the perspective of the leaders at XChange:
- Bringing the voice of Jesus to those who have no voice, including the unborn, children in poverty, those who are trafficked, orphans, homeless
- Ministering to the “least of these” (Matthew 5:19, 25:40, 45)
- Advocating for others — seeking justice for those who cannot seek it for themselves
- Reaching those in a distressed or captive situation
- Freeing the oppressed, such as abused women
- Understanding it’s not always a physical imprisonment; sometimes people are mental hostages
- Supplying a need, such food and water or clothing
- Reaching people person-to-person instead of relying on a governmental or organizational policy
- Defending the helpless, bringing their voices to light, meeting needs, righting wrongs
- Spiritual and physical impoverishment (Isaiah 61:1-3, Luke 4:18-19)
- Bringing Christ’s justice into social justice
- Ministering to the spiritual orphan and directing them to placement in a community of believers
- Reaching out to people in distress, whatever that distress is
- Fair treatment of all humans — fairness and equality are not always the same thing
Clearly, social justice issues are broad and include the sex industry, trafficking, orphans/adoption/foster care, widows, foreigners, captives, impoverished, drugs, child trafficking, hunger, poverty, access to clean water, immigration issues, older people (do they have access to all they need or is there age discrimination?), rehab for addicts, prisoners, illness, gender inequality, PTSD, mental illness (and discrimination against mentally ill), FGM (female genital mutilation), disabled, and domestic violence.
Social justice has been romanticized, but we must address this from a biblical perspective even as we meet physical needs. The gospel must underlie what we do.
What types of social justice ministries do your women engage in? How are you seeing lives changed through these efforts?
Watch for the next post in this social justice series from XChange.