Speaking out against injustice
Our second son is a student in computer engineering. He came to visit during the past weekend. He also serves on the church council (and a few other committees) at the church where he worships. He shared something with me which made me angry and at the same time immensely proud of him.
The congregation where he worships has a great number of students attending and is considered to be something of a model church. A short while ago an orphanage, consisting of a number of smaller buildings, had a fire and one of the buildings which houses about twelve children was destroyed, fortunately without loss of life, as it seems that the house was not being used at the time. However, all the mattresses were lost.
The orphanage then approached the church and asked if they could assist them in getting new mattresses (or sponges, as we know them.) Now, we’re speaking probably of around R2000 ($250) for new sponges – not even an issue for a church of their size. Yet, as my son told me, the discussion went on for a long time and eventually it was approved that the church would donate their old sponges to the orphanage. At this point my son stood up and asked them if they could really do this with a clear conscience. The fact is, the church’s sponges were not being used, not because it wasn’t needed, but because they were so old and totally ruined, that nobody WANTS to use them anymore. And this scrap was going to be donated to an orphanage while they have more than enough money to give them twelve new mattresses.
I still don’t think that the church will buy new sponges. But I was so proud of my son standing up and speaking out against a decision that is totally wrong and unchristian (this before people twice his age or even older.)
To speak out against any form of injustice is not easy. Most of us (and I myself have done it more often than I want to admit) prefer to keep quiet when we have the choice to stand up against a group of people choosing for injustice. And then sometimes someone will stand up and become the conscience of the group to indicate to them that their decision cannot be justified in the eyes of God. These people will seldom be popular amongst humans. But then, God never called us to be popular. He called us to be witnesses of His love and his care and to speak on behalf of those who cannot speak.
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This is a blog where I would like to share some of my ideas about contemporary mission. I have more than 25 years experience as a full-time missionary in Swaziland, have done a PhD on the theology of mission – specifically on the relationship between mission and eschatology – and am presently specialising in the problem of HIV/AIDS and how the church should approach this problem. You are welcome to respond and share your ideas on this blog.
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