Social Justice

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One of the things that has been happening in the emerging context for many churches - and is I think a mark of genuine mission - is the enagement in social justice, and seeing this as integral to the Gospel and mission, not something to bolt on as an option.

Christ identifies care for the poor and socially abused as one of the highest values; he identifies ministry to the poor, social action, and justice as normal parts of Christian faith and expression. He spoke about this in Matthew 25:31-46 when He said those who take care of the hungry, thirsty, strangers, unclothed, sick, and imprisoned actually care for the Son of Man. Christ’s consistent pattern of healing and feeding individuals and befriending outcasts and sinners confirms His social sensitivity and activity.

Stuart Murray Williams describes holistic, social justice mission as a people who:

"Chose to be identified with the poor, the weak, the marginalized, those without voices or status. They adopt as their agenda the Nazareth Manifesto: The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour. What might this mean? Holistic mission which refuses to separate social justice from evangelism? Decades of Justice as well as Decades of Evangelism? " Stuart Murray, Church Planting: Laying Foundations, (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 2001), 195.