Embracing Justice the Right Way
By Reject Apathy
May 10, 2011
At RELEVANT, we’ve recognized the movement of a generation restless to change the world. A generation anxious to use the abundance God has blessed them with to be a blessing to others. RejectApathy.com was borne out of that desire—a desire to live out true compassion and to embrace justice the right way. Reject Apathy is a voice for the movement—a place where like-minded world-changers can connect, dialogue and challenge one another as we work to affect change locally and globally.
Reject Apathy is focused on five key areas. Each represents a part of our “whole-life ethic”-an ethic that believes every life is created by God, has a purpose and should be given an opportunity to live fully. Each of the five key areas address barriers that stand in the way of this opportunityLoss of Innocents: Rape. Child soldiers. Sex trafficking. Abortion. Slavery. The innocent and their innocence are stolen and destroyed around the world every day. Lending our voice to theirs can bring justice. Supporting victims for the long haul can bring healing.
Creation Care: From deforestation to coal mining, climate change and our interaction with the earth have severely impacted the poorest of the poor and their ability to survive. Paying attention to our lifestyle and how that affects the environment as well as facilitating sustainable agriculture globally can go far in lessening our negative impact on the earth and its inhabitants.
Preventable Disease: Today, HIV, malaria, measles, tuberculosis, pneumonia and diarrhea—all completely preventable diseases—will kill tens of thousands around the world. But there is hope. These diseases can be stopped—and it can be done in our lifetime.
Poverty: It’s about more than money—poverty is a lack of dignity. And true restoration will take more than a simple donation. Our hearts and our daily lives must become attuned to the poor—globally and locally. We must see how our lives impact theirs and seek sustainable solutions.
Violence: The effects of violence—through unjust war, rape, abuse and torture—on the vulnerable are vast and devastating. We can become advocates for the voiceless victim—a light in one of humanity’s darkest places.
Besides focusing on these key areas of justice, we want to highlight organizations and practices that are effective, so we can all get involved and be part of the solution. We’re very aware that our help can sometimes hurt. There are plenty of moments in history when people tried—with the best possible motives—to come to the aid of the poor or the hurting, and instead damaged a culture or enabled a cycle of dependence. With that always prayerfully in mind, Reject Apathy has adopted these core values to guide our content and help us choose what we spotlight.
Sustainability. While immediate compassion and in-the-moment generosity are sometimes what God asks of us, the long-term solutions for huge global issues must be rooted in sustainable development. Micro-loans, education, agricultural stewardship—these practices and others will help create lasting change for years to come.
Local involvement and leadership. We don't have all the answers—it’s arrogant to think we do. Partnerships—especially partnerships with the local church—are key. Enduring change will only come when we listen to nationals, give leadership to locals and work together for a viable solution. We all have much to learn from each other.
A faith focus. A full belly and a bursting wallet are not enough if there's spiritual emptiness. Social action only works coupled with faith. We believe true, holistic renewal is rooted in Christ.
Financial transparency. Effective stewardship is a virtue. As such, we believe in being transparent with how and where money is allocated—with the hope that as much money as possible is dedicated to work done in the field.
A long-term view. Educating children—from birth through adulthood—must be a central tenet to any social engagement. Generational cycles of poverty, war and slavery are not broken overnight. They are broken through the training of a new generation—one dedicated to God and His desires for their lives and communities.
Reject Apathy is the voice of a generation desiring to authentically live out a radical faith—to live differently, through service, simplicity and sacrifice. To be known for peace, and for sharing God’s love in a tangible way. To have our priorities line up with the heart of God, which, Scripture shows us repeatedly, is His creation, His children and the “least of these.”
The following pages are glimpses into what is being done worldwide to address these five areas of justice. The organizations and ideas presented are intended to inspire, challenge and convict. You'll find opportunities to engage in world change, as well as encouragement to invest time and energy locally. You'll see examples of miraculous forgiveness and the hope available through education. Our prayer for the stories and ideas here—and those at RejectApathy.com—is that they'll help you see it is possible to change the world. It is possible to make a difference. It is possible to reject apathy.