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When it comes to questions like racial justice, gender justice, and responding to abuse charges, there has often been a malaise in the church, in large part because the injustice didn’t directly affect those of us sitting in places of privilege.
Like Meroz, it doesn’t directly affect our tribe.
Deborah - Laments - Sidelines - Battle - Judges
As Deborah laments those who sat on the sidelines in the battle in Judges 5, she comes to a crescendo in verse 23: “‘Curse Meroz,’ said the angel of the Lord. ‘Curse its people bitterly, because they did not come to help the Lord, to help the Lord against the mighty’” (NIV).
“Cursed” seems like a strong word for a tribe that didn’t really do anything bad. It doesn’t say, “This tribe hung back and smoked weed and raided everyone’s tents while they were out.” It just says they did nothing.
Nothing - Land - Meroz - People - God
They did nothing because it was not their land that was threatened. Meroz represents those people of God who fail to act when injustice doesn’t affect them.
The church in the West in various generations has been slow—far too slow—to champion the equality and dignity of the vulnerable. We haven’t been as diligent when it comes to injustices like sexual abuse, for instance, because we weren’t the ones affected.
Galatians - Paul - Jesus - Burdens - Carry
But in Galatians, Paul tells us that following Jesus means bearing each other’s burdens: “Carry one another’s burdens; in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2 CSB). This means that believers should care just as much about injustices happening to others as they do injustices happening to themselves.
Advocacy for the “other” has characterized every generation of faithful Christians.
Christian - Cause - Service - Strangers - Care
[The Christian cause] has been specially advanced through the loving service rendered to strangers, and through their care for the burial of the dead. It is a scandal that there is not a single Jew who...
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"However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8