Posted by: gcarkner | March 15, 2015

The Courageous Quest for Justice

Thought-provoking Quotes from Jim Wallis, The (Un)Common Good

It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.  ~Robert F. Kennedy

Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives. ~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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“People were made for family, community, and human flourishing, not consumerism, materialism, addiction, and empty overwork.” (p. 18)

“How do we build a culture for the common good in an age of selfishness?” (p. 21)

“Who we think Jesus is will determine the kind of Christianity we live.” (p. 25)

“We are looking for moral clarity, mental sharpness, and emotional maturity in our responses to the steady assault of outside messages on our lives.” (p. 37)

“The greatest challenge to us in a world of injustice and a culture of cynicism is how to hang on to belief in a better world that would change this one.” (p. 39)

“The pilgrimage of our lives is the learning to apply the kingdom to the biggest and most consequential of social and political events, to the most personal of our closest relationships, and to the daily interactions we have with colleagues, coworkers, neighbours, and complete strangers. The Teacher wants to teach us in all those ways.” (p. 39)

“The Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount are the charter of the kingdom of God, the Magna Carta or the constitution of the kingdom; they are the instruction manual for living in the new age.” (p. 47)

“To be able to feel the pain of the world is to participate in the very heart of God. The compassionate response of God’s people to human suffering is one of their defining characteristics.” (p. 48)

“And when Jesus is asked by his disciples who will be first in his kingdom, he tells them it will be the servants of all. Humility us the one of the most under appreciated values in our intensely competitive culture, economy and politics.” (p. 49)

“And those who long for the presence of justice, who are hungry and thirsty for it, demonstrate that they belong to a God who promises it.” (p. 49)

“There is no way that all our conflicts and sins against each other can be rectified in this very human world, but those who have learned to forgive by practicing “truth and reconciliation” herald the coming of the kingdom of God.” (p. 49)

“Pure heart” is another way to say “having intensity”, something that seems to be sorely lacking in cultures that encourage us to get away with anything we can. We long for people have have an inner quality of truthfulness, honesty, goodness and honour.” (p. 50)

“What we need most are not just peace lovers, who talk against all the violence, but peacemakers, who actually learn to resolve our endless and inevitable human conflicts without recourse to such destructive methods.” (p. 50)

“His instructions about retaliation call for revolutionary tactics of nonviolent resistance, and he follows that by giving us the most radical command ever–to love our enemies.” (p. 51)

“Thus, for me, “social justice” is integral to the meaning of the gospel—a holistic message that includes both personal salvation and social transformation.” (p. 54)

“And from a biblical perspective, salvation extends far beyond the personal, to see God acting in the world to redeem and restore the whole creation—persons, relationships, institutions, and the natural environment itself.” (p. 61)

“The Occupy movement has focused our attention on the top 1 percent who rule our economic structures; today the enormous gaps between the top and the bottom (and even the middle) of our societies continue to grow.” (p. 69)

“Read it carefully, Jesus says that the way we treat those who are “the least of these” will be regarded as the way we treat him!” (p. 70)

“The Samaritan, on his way down the road Jericho, sees another person in trouble and breaks all the rules and boundaries to help him. Most of all, he shows that compassion and love require action and are not just ideals or feelings.” (p. 97)

“Jesus says no to [exclusion] because there are no “non-neighbours” in this world. All of God’s children are our neighbours, and that radical concept is absolutely essential to the idea of the common good. Indeed, it is a spiritual foundation for the common good.” (p. 98)

“Even in the nation’s business schools, vibrant conversation is going about how the practice of turning supply chains into sustainable value chains will help build business credibility while creating loyalty among customers and among even more discerning stakeholders of all kinds.” (p. 105)

“One of the clearest and most holistic words for justice is the Hebrew shalom, which means both “justice” and “peace”. Shalom includes “wholeness” or everything that makes for people’s well-being and security and, in particular, the restoration of relationships that have been broken.” (p. 244)

“This is some of the strongest language in the Bible about worship and justice, and it clearly makes the connection between the two. God “takes no delight” (as some of the other translations say) in the “noisy” worship of his people if their worship is disconnected from justice—from making things right for those who are poor and oppressed.” (p. 246)

“Words such as “oppression” and “justice” fill the Bible. The most common objects of the prophets’ judgements are kings, rulers, judges, employers—the rich and powerful in charge of the world’s governments, courts, economies, systems, and structures, those who run the world’s logic. When those who are in charge mistreat the poor and vulnerable, say the Scriptures, it is not just unkind but also wrong and unjust, and it makes God angry.” (p. 252)

“And the topics of the prophets’ messages to the powerful are things like land, labour, capital, judicial decisions, employer practices, rulers’ dictates, and the decisions of the powerful—all the stuff of justice ad politics.” (p. 252)

“Do you want to make fundamental changes in the way the world works? It is really not about commitments to political systems or philosophies, or large or small governments. Instead, it’s about going to the root causes of things that are wrong, getting to the core of the problem, and then going far enough to make things right again.” (p. 252)

Justice and Religious Extremism “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” ~ Mother Teresa (p. 129) “First, religious extremism will not be defeated by a primarily military response to it.” (p. 145) “Second, religious extremism is best undermined from the inside rather than smashed from the outside. The answer to bad religion is not a secularism, as the “new atheists” like to say; rather, it is better religion.” (p. 145) “Third, while the use of force to protect our security and bring perpetrators to justice is justifiable, defeating the mind-set and motives of terrorists will come with much broader and more creative strategies.” (p. 145) “The hardest saying of Jesus, and perhaps the most controversial in our post-9/11 world, is indeed, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matt. 5:44).” (p. 147-148)

See also Alabama Lawyer Bryan Stevenson on Answering Injustice Excellent Sermons on Lent and Justice by Darrell Johnson!sermons/c12v3

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