This article is from Issue 64: July/August 2013

A Justice Manifesto

5 crucial areas of injustice and the new movement that is changing them.

We don’t willfully turn a blind eye to the world’s injustices. Usually, we have the best of intentions when it comes to compassion and world change—and yet, we become preoccupied.

We get caught up in the next deadline, the next work day, the next distraction blinking up on our phone. We get caught up in me-centered living. Even when faced with the world’s profound needs, our self-preoccupation can slip into complacency. The end result is apathy—somehow, we’ve just stopped caring.

Apathy is the easy road when the horrors of life-gone-wrong disconcert us. Before we realize it, it becomes our default habit because it requires so little change.

Rejecting apathy, on the other hand, is a radical counteraction. It’s the about-face to the gravitational pull of self-centeredness.

We reject apathy because God calls us to embrace something far stronger: life. Because the God who made us in His image imprinted that same divine thumbprint on the soul of every human being, including the poor, the weak and powerless (Genesis 1:27). Because, as Christians, we follow the One who said: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19).

From the womb to the cradle to the wheelchair to the grave, human life is created by God and is precious to Him. Therefore, it is worth protecting, championing and celebrating. After all, this is Christ’s self-professed mission: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). And not just spiritual life, but whole life. Resurrection life. The kind of life that will thrive spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally.

Following such a Savior, we answer God’s call for Kingdom justice not because we ought to, feel guilty or simply want to jump on the bandwagon of a trendy “cause.” No, we reject apathy because we believe all human life is sacred. In the following sections, you’ll find the five areas of injustice where life is most often threatened—and where God calls us to champion life once again.

POVERTY

If you trace most injustice in the world today to its source, you will find poverty.

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