Presenter: Dr. Paul Louis Metzger
Richard Twiss’ life as an example of justice for the long-haul. He taught people how to do justice and bring reconciliation in the oppression of Native peoples by government and white culture. He followed the way of Jesus.
Justice is not sexy, but it is beautiful.
Dr. John M. Perkins’ example of reconciliation in the South after being persecuted and beaten by his oppressors.
Justice is not a technique or tool or photo op, but a way of life. It must be sustained by way of biblical convictions and our heart’s attitude.
The justice race is a marathon, not a sprint.
How do we sustain a justice movement for the long haul?
MLK’s example from being threatened with death for being involved in the civil right’s movement.
“I heard a voice say Martin Luther: stand up for righteousness, stand up for justice, stand up for truth!”
Jesus will never leave us alone and will be with us.
Our struggles will all be different.
Solidarity is key in order to sustain a justice movement.
The example of Deitrich Bonhoeffer:
Seeking to identify with those who were suffering and could not help.
Believe in the suffering God. “Only a suffering God can help.”
“The only God with us is the God-forsaken God on the cross.”
Believe in the resurrected Christ. “Today is the end, but really it is just the beginning.” Because Jesus was secure in the Father’s love he could lay his life down.
Only a secure people can lay down their lives, not for entitlements, but to be undone like Bonhoeffer, Jesus, and the Apostle Paul.
“Take back America” language is problematic. Bonhoeffer gave up his life for others. We need to follow his example.
Theology of cultural engagement- being willing to be led by Christ, giving up control, laying down our lives for others.
If we want to make this a marathon race we need to be spiritually transformed more so God will take us and use us.
Cesar is not Lord, Jesus is. This is a comfort to those who have been oppressed.
“If we think that the Kingdom of God is only now, I don’t know how we will be sustained for the long haul. It is not simply now, it is not yet. A way I like to explain this is that Jesus has been to Mordor and back again.”
The example of Mother Teresa:
See Jesus in relation to the poor. “Blessed are the poor”
We cannot commodify the poor. Don’t use people. “In light of God’s love I want to have the spiritual gut-check, people who will keep me accountable.”
Mother Teresa’s work was not institutional, it was relational.
Mother Teresa sensed her own poverty in relation to the poor.
Lay down your life for your friends. When you see the people you’re ministering to, as not an object of charity, but as friends it is much easier to sustain a movement. We are ministering to them and they are ministering to us.
Lay down your life with your friends. Satan tends to get to lone rangers much quicker.
The boy with the starfish was throwing them back into the sea. A man said “What difference can you really make?” The boy replied, while throwing starfish back “I made a difference for that one.”
The example of Dr. John M. Perkins
Invest in people. Invite them to partner with you.
Dr. Perkins engages structural evils to do justice for the people.
The Navigator’s principle of spiritual multiplication.
CCDA Movement: relocation, reconciliation, redistribution as a community.
Don’t operate out of a sense of entitlement, but a debt of gratitude. The gospel frees people.
Be creative in your suffering- so often we see it as an obstacle to do God’s work.
Mae Cannon “Just Spirituality” (IVP)- Very good book.
We must see our own spiritual poverty in light of those we minister to.
We must focus on integrity (personal morality, James 1:27, pure religion) and faithfulness, not success. Don’t compartmentalize your life. It’s not about the programs, but that your initiative is fitting the people. Make sure it’s not about you, but about the people you serve.
Jesus has been to Mordor and back. We know in the end that Jesus wins and we can remain faithful.