Social Justice (UK)

Justice
But let Justice roll on like a river,
Righteousness like a never-failing stream!

Social Justice is vital if a country claims to be morally as well as economically developed.  The measure of a country is how the government and the people of that country treat the disadvantaged members of society. The Bible criticises those who exploit their workers, ignore the poor or do not look after the immigrant or the homeless. Sharing our resources is fundamental to the ideal of social justice.

In this article I am writing from a United Kingdom perspective, but the principles are true for all countries whether developed or developing. People are materially poor because of one or more of the following factors:

  • Physical or mental disability which effects the possibility of employment
  • Marriage breakdown causing a split into two households.
  • Single parents struggling to balance a job and child care.
  • Insufficient jobs with a meaningful salary.
  • A major employer or industry closing down causing a disruption in the local economy.
  • Choosing not to work and deliberately living off benefits. (I am NOT suggesting that more than a tiny minority could be classified as “scroungers” or “benefit cheats”  but obviously there are a few who fit into this category.)
  • Addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling etc,
  • Debt.
  • Crime.
  • Prejudice based on racism or class.
  • Inadequate education, or failing educational achievement. Continue reading “Social Justice (UK)”

Changing the world one person at a time

Beach village in Sri Lanka devastated by the Tsunami
Beach village in Sri Lanka devastated by the Tsunami

I want to change the world! I have a vision of a world without extreme poverty; a world where everyone has the same opportunities that I have had. But I realise that I cannot do that on my own, and in any case, as an aim, changing the world is a bit vague. The world consists of people: we can only change the world, one person at a time.

So, this article is about one young lady whose life has been radically changed through a family in England who cared enough to sponsor her through Karuna Action, and a partner organisation in Sri Lanka. Buddika was brought up in a small hut built on the beach in Sri Lanka. Why build a house on the sand? Homes are built on the beach because poor people cannot afford to build anywhere else!

Without help, Buddika’s life would have been very different. Continue reading “Changing the world one person at a time”

Defending or Demonstrating our faith

bull
Defending or demonstrating his power?

Do we need to defend our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? Do we need to defend our moral standards? Does God need defending against those who don’t believe in him, or is God perfectly able to defend Himself?

We are called to let the Kingdom of God rule in our own lives and extend his Kingdom in the world around us until, “The earth shall be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea”. In seeking to bring more of God’s kingdom in the society in which we live we are meant to put our faith into action and lead by example rather than seek to impose our moral standards on our fellow human beings.

Continue reading “Defending or Demonstrating our faith”

Acceptance

Cover of "Accepted (Widescreen Edition)"

Everyone wants to feel accepted. There is a deep need to be accepted by other people, spouses, family, friends, colleagues and society. Yes, we need love, but we also need the respect and acceptance from those around us. We need to know too that God accepts us just as we are, unconditionally. We should accept other people too, particularly people who are different, and celebrate our differences, not despise them. But first of all we must learn to accept ourselves and then we will be free to accept other people. Continue reading “Acceptance”

Love and Justice

Justice“LOVE WITHOUT JUSTICE IS SENTIMENTALITY
JUSTICE WITHOUT LOVE IS LEGALISM.”

God’s love in Action…

For many years the strap line for Kingscare (the former name of  Karuna Action) was, “God’s love in action”. Love is voluntary, and is an excellent motive for giving.

  • We need to be sure that our love is not condescending.
  • It needs to be more than just sympathy.
  • It must not be out of a sense of superiority.
  • We can stand alongside the needy in the world, and stand up for them. That is where justice comes in.

Continue reading “Love and Justice”

Aid Dependency: Good or Bad

Beggars in India
Beggars in India

Dependency has become a bad word in the charity business. Fighting poverty is good, but meeting the needs of people in poverty can produce dependency, which is not regarded as a good thing.

But before we “throw the baby out with the bathwater”, consider our children. A newborn baby is completely helpless and completely dependent on its parents. We do not say to the parents,” Do not feed your child: you may produce dependency”. In this case, dependency is good and it’s natural.

At the other end of the scale, if a poverty relief programme simply gives out to needy families, Continue reading “Aid Dependency: Good or Bad”

Blessed are the Meek

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth

Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth“. The word ‘meek’ has become devalued over time and this statement sounds as though Jesus was saying “Blessed are the weak …”. So, who are the ‘meek’, and how will they inherit the earth?

The meaning of meekness

  • Meekness in not weakness.
  • It means having strength but under control.
  • It involves speaking out against injustice when it involves our fellow-man more than when our own rights are affected. Continue reading “Blessed are the Meek”

Extreme Wealth and Extreme Poverty

goldThe net income of the top 100 billionaires in the world is enough to end extreme poverty four times over! This is according to a report by the charity Oxfam entitled “The Cost Of Inequality: How Wealth And Income Extremes Hurt Us All,”. The report states that efforts to address the issue of global poverty were being hindered by what it terms an “explosion in extreme wealth.”

  • The total income of the world’s richest had a income of $240 billion (£150 billion) or a average of $2.4 billion each
  • Around a billion people live in extreme poverty which is defined as an income of $1.25 per day, or $450 (£300) a year. This represents 0.000002% of the top ‘earners’ income. Continue reading “Extreme Wealth and Extreme Poverty”
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