Justice | Talking and Doing…

flablog

It’s surprising that my previous post could be so silent! I can post a stupid video about us getting In Ear Monitors or smoking a turkey, point people to a free give away from my wife or friend and get a dozen comments in a day on meaningless things, but, when it comes to justice the blog goes COMPLETELY silent.

I’m just curious why we, as a generation/culture, are so good at fronting that we’re about justice, but, when it comes to people actually doing justice we play a different card.

Don’t worry, I’m just as guilty of doing this too. I’m really good at talking about justice and I’m finally giving of myself to actually go and do it. What I find is interesting is that justice is sexy right now. It’s sexy in pop culture, it’s sexy in church culture and in and of itself maybe that’s a God thing. After all the reality of engaging the less fortunate was most revolutionized by the sexiest man in the universe, Jesus. HA! I know that’s a bit provocative, but, I’m just sayin’.

Seriously though…we’re the generation that’s good at talking, blogging, iChatting, leaving churches because they’re not justice driven enough, etc… but I’m just curious how serious we are about bringing the Kingdom of God here and now. The Christian sub-culture has a lot to say on the subject, but, I’m ready to move past hearsay and start doing! I’m having a moment of checking my own heart on how serious I really am on engaging the less fortunate for the sake of the Kingdom. It’s definitely easier to talk about it then to actually do it.

I guess my encouragement for all of us is to engage this on a practical level. Whether it’s you getting mobile and going or it’s just simply supporting people like Promise and I (who are getting read to get mobile) through your resource of encouragement or money. If it’s not money, which is TOTALLY fine, how about just a word to say…go for it, do it, we love this, press on, I’m with you…ANYTHING. HAHAH! It was honestly just a little discouraging to have ZERO support in our comment cues today. I know some of you did give, financially, yesterday and for that Promise and I are super grateful. I think I was just hoping for a bit more encouragement from our blogging communities, but, maybe I set my expectations way to high and I just need to settle down, humble up and shut up. 🙂

I wanted to share a little word from Mama Zipporah. She was the FIRST comment on Promises blog today. Listen to what she writes:

Thanks promise and brian . I do not have enought words to express my gratitude. I did not know that l was beautiful. But now l know l must be beautiful. I look forward for your coming in august. This time my heart is healed and l will really sing and l am telling everyone you are coming. I love you and l care. Mama Zipporah

mama_zippy

Let’s keep lending out our lives to follow Jesus, radically, in these days. Let’s get behind people like Mama Zipporah and the orphans here and around the world.  I definitely want to hear from some of you, my friends, on where you’re at as it relates to engaging the less fortunate. Do you feel lost in your aim? Do you feel, like me, that you’re better at talking about it then doing it?

Two Scriptures to ponder and then leave a comment with your thoughts! Come on now and then don’t forget to go read my previous blog post about the journey Promise and I are about to take to Kenya. ENGAGE US, PRAY FOR US, SEND US!!!

Micah 6:8

8 He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

Isaiah 1:17

17learn to do right!
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed. [a]
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow.

Advertisements

21 responses to “Justice | Talking and Doing…

  1. we are often a lot of talk…we can talk about stuff at conferences, churches, small-groups, books…but when it comes to the hard-cold reality…do we live it out or fake it?

  2. Personally, I don’t think many Americans can truly fathom what is going on in Africa. We can hear about it, but it doesn’t hit us the way it should. We can’t relate in any way shape or form, we get whiny when we don’t eat for 6 hours. We have never gone to sleep afraid that an army is gonna come kill our family overnight and make us into slaves. Our society is set up to be away from such things. Money is the cushion between us and extreme hardship, if we have money we won’t ever need to experience such things. It hurts, man. I am glad you and Promise are headed out there soon. I can’t give any money at this point, but you got my prayers.

    P.S. Anyone else think it’s a little strange that our American Media has been broadcasting non-stop about this so-called botched Iranian election, when stuff like this (and way worse) happens in African nations all the time without as much as a whisper out of the main news networks?

  3. Definitely easier to say than do…
    My strongest conviction is this- wasting time.
    You can spend your time on so many other things than supporting people that are out being mobile, or being mobile yourself.

    At Hume two weeks ago, the theme was Missions; being a missionary, supporting, etc. One thing that really struck me was this statement- The most powerful thing that we can do is pray.

    I think we can surely give money, go experience it ourselves, but we need to pray for justice. And sometimes it’s one of the last things we do. Or maybe I just put it on the back sometimes.

    If you have money, support people.
    If you’re stuck where you’re at (God willing), you can bring the kingdom of God regardless where you are. The fruits of the spirit, you know? Just showing love to others. Heaping coals on their head. Romans 12 and so on. And pray, of course. But something else I learned is that Satan is going to put things in your mind that seem like good excuses not to go. ex “I have a house now.” or, “I have to support my family.”

    I think we’ve all experienced God being bigger than a dollar sign, yes? Or any other situation.

    We give up too quickly sometimes to let God actually show us how great His plans are.

    In any case, do what you can!
    Don’t let any more time nor money nor silence in prayer go wasted. It all counts. And we all feel selfish after evaluating our hearts. But that’s how World Vision gets people to sponsor kids!

    And i’m working on all of that too.

  4. I am for sure better at talking than at doing. Worse, I tend to think on and pray for people without letting them know. I did read your blog post yesterday and Jay and I are praying for you and Promise as you get ready to go. I should have let you know! 🙂 Encouraged by this post and I am encouraged by you two!!

  5. B wurz- I will help send you in every way I can. I am glad you are heading to Kenya. Beware of this, it will get into your soul and you will not want to leave. I miss Kenya everyday. Take your malaria pills. You can get it Nairobi I did. I am excited to hear about your trip. Maybe some day we will go back together. Love you B!

    • Malaria Pills I will take. I’ve seen you on the other side of that business. Thanks so much for your support. I know Kenya holds a super special place in your heart.

      Love you man.

  6. Metzger, you’re one of my favorite people on the planet. I totally understand what you’re saying, and I agree that prayer is powerful and necessary. But… prayer has become a copout for too many people, myself included. If someone is starving while I’m super-sizing, I don’t need to pray. I need to write a check and get the medium (which is more than enough food already).

    • interesting thought Ryan. It’s simplifying the tangible and finding practical way to give of ourselves. the other part of this equation is that I think we get completely wrapped up in the money side of justice and all the while all some people need is a piece of our love. it’s time spent with the elderly, it’s listening to the story of the person on the street or finding more simple ways to just give up the right to us.

      we think a lot about it, but, we really do have a hard time doing it.

  7. Great question and something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I do feel social justice is important and as believers we def have a responsibility. There is a justice area I’m very passionate about and I financially support organizations who help in this area, and also am trying to get involved in the first organization in my city going after this. BUT…if I come home to my house and my family every night, am I doing enough? Where is the line? What if I take my small group and we feed the homeless once a month? Is that enough to impact peoples lives? What about twice a month or every week? Should I forget the home God has blessed me with and time with my family, to move us closer to the city and really get involved there? idk. I don’t know where the line is? Should I give up date nights with my daughter to give out PB&J sandwiches and socks? How much really makes an impact? These are questions I’ve wrestled with lately. There is a book I heard of about Social Justice in the Burbs. Anyone read it? Thoughts on the book?

    • hey lisa…

      you pose some great questions and I think at the end of all your questions there may not be a right answer. I definitely think that you are called to your family, first. if you’re not taking care of them, how can you take care of those in need? I know you probably agree with that too, but, what are your thoughts?

      I think we, as Christ followers, should have a laser like focus on our families. In the process, I also believe that we should be invititing our children into the plight of the oppressed for the sake of the Kingdom.

      I’m not a parent, yet, but, I hope that one day I’ll have the chance to model (like you) to your kids how important it is to share your life with others.

      I haven’t read the book that you mentioned. You’ll have to let me know your thoughts once you’ve read it.

      You pose some great questions for us to ponder.

  8. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/matthew_parris/article5400568.ece

    This was an interesting article that really surprised me. So…I have been wondering how effective we are at marrying social justice and the demonstration of God’s love & hope & restoration. How effective are we at communicating that God is the source of our desire to love others? Because I know that, hopefully soon as I’m talking to girls rescued from sex trafficking, I’ll be able to communicate that anyone can rescue them, but only God can redeem & restore them.

  9. Travis Timmons

    Thanks for your post Brian. So true of our society and today’s church. I have the blessing of meeting missionaries all the time being on our church board. Not only are they struggling to get support, they are not getting the encouraging words as well. I’m leaving in two weeks and some of the comments I have recieved are “that plane ride has gotta suck” or “don’t catch a disease while you are there”. The only encouraging words I have recieved are from a nonbeliever who told me “may your God be with you”. I’m also seeing too many first time mission trip goers having to float the bill of their own trip because they are not getting any responses for support from our church body. Answering the call to serve in another country should be a blessing, not a burden. Pretty clear in scripture – Give, Pray, Go. God calls us to do one of them. If you can’t go, support or pray (or both) for a local missionary, follow their blogs and enjoy the blessings of playing a part in how God is using them for the Kingdom.

  10. haha…dude…I like the ‘don’t catch a disease’ one.

    Bro, you are one of the most inspirational people in our community. The way you give of yourself, in every way, to leverage your life for the Kingdom is to be championed.

    I have so appreciated all of your encouragement along my ministry way and I could not be more excited about how God is using you here and around the world.

    I got mad love and respect for you Travis. Godspeed to all that you’re up too!

  11. BrennanSmiley

    Never left a blog comment before… this seems interesting, and actually this topic is something that i’ve been wrestling with lately. Really for me, it’s so cool reading this post/discussion because it gives hope that something that is so commonly pushed aside or into the dark is on it’s way to the light. We must not give into the lie that it is ‘ok’ to let this be pushed aside, or ‘that it isn’t for ME to take into consideration’, which i am often guilty of.

    I think the term ‘okay’ is a killer today. It’s ‘okay’ to do so many things, even as christians. It’s ‘okay’ to let foul language slip every ONCE IN A WHILE. Its ‘okay’ and completely normal when you hear a fellow brother/sister in Christ tearing down somebody, where scripture calls this MURDER. It’s ‘okay’ and normal to only compare ourselves and base our beliefs off of other PEOPLE rather than SCRIPTURE. When in reality there’s a very good chance that the person you may be comparing yourself to is just comparing his/herself to somebody who compares himself to somebody else, and so on. How are we being a light if we have no substantial source of electricity? It’s ‘okay’ to hear about GENOCIDE and get fired up about it for a day, and brush it off the next like dust. How are we being DIFFERENT than the world? It’s so trendy in culture to give to the needy, to the point where people are doing it for the glory of none but themselves. When really, we have no ability to do anything without the power of Christ.

    These are all very basic things, but so often brushed aside as if they aren’t a hindrance… or anything at all. I am/ have been guilty of ALL of these and more… which is all the more reason for me to get fired up about it! All the while, there is hope. Brian, it is SO encouraging to to see your fire on this topic, and in turn seeing a chain of people being set on fire up about it. So lets set this whole world on fire!

    Both of you are in my prayers, and i will support you in any way i can. Much love burrrOTHER. Hope to see you before you jet (nopunintended).

  12. Brian , I feel the best example today of seeing social justice manifested in the world is Shane Claiborne. When I read his book “An Irresistible Revolution” and when I listen to him speak on the subject, I am, and have been challenged by the simplicity of it all. Anytime he saw a need or felt a calling, he just went and did it. That’s it.

    In this world we live in, I think we tend to complicate matters so much that we talk our way out of it. Instead of just doing it. When we see a need or we feel a calling we sit down and weigh the pros and cons and then we decide. Instead of just going and doing and being.

    If you have the means financially, support financially. If you have a voice, ask around church and the community to see where you can serve. Be proactive. But the most important thing is the most simplest of all. When you feel that tug on your heart. Just get up and do it.

  13. mark connelly

    I’m with you Brian. so I wont add to the chatter, i’ll just give an invite. going in september to help in the rescue and restoration of trafficked girls in the south pacific. Sending medical relief team to Africa in October. going monthly to help the hurting in our backyard at house of refuge. Anyone want to come?

  14. Howdy. I don’t think I’ve ever commented here before, but this was good reason to do so.

    I think it’s beautiful that so shortly after your marriage, you and Promise are serving in such a huge way (not that there are any “tiny” ways to serve, but you get what I mean, I hope). I too am preparing to go to Africa, and have been facing a similar struggle.
    It’s tough to hear so many people talk about wanting to do something, wanting to see change, but then turning their ears from you when God is using you to be a part of this change, and they can be used to send you to do so.
    But be encouraged, HE is sending you, regardless of whether or not your community is sending you. And I think sometimes people just don’t realize how huge of a part support (financially, prayer, encouragement) plays in the preperation!
    I’ll be praying for you two as you go out. And someone above said it gets into your soul, it’s true. There’s something magical about Africa as a whole. You’ll love it!
    I can’t wait to hear more about what God is doing through you both! And to see the photos! Thanks for sharing!

  15. hey bro,

    read your blog a few times.. also had the chance to spend some time at huruma over the last few years. i think it’s great that you are going there.. and i pray that your time with mama and the children will be both fulfilling and life-changing. one widow taking care of 150 orphans… it’s truly a special place.

    i’m hesitant to share my thoughts on your questions.. because i’m struggling to live out these justice issues as well. i love the scriptures you shared.. and i’m constantly convicted by them and others. my own lack of real action/sacrifice.. especially once i’m back in the comfortable north american culture, troubles me. i have my moments.. but my life is far from the radical lifestyle that i believe God is calling us to. to live out the Scriptures, truly… you would be considered by many (even God-loving church folks) to be out of your mind. we’ve watered down the Scriptures so much to accommodate our love for comfort/security.. that we’ve lost the ability to see clearly. This quote does a good job describing the issue…

    “The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand it, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world?

    Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.”

    –Soren Kierkegaard, “Kill the Commentators!” in Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2003), 201.

    so here’s the thing. i’ll be honest. after scanning through your blogs (hardly enough to know somebody).. i was intrigued by the fact that you recently came back from what looks like a very luxurious vacation (honeymoon?) to the bahamas. i guess what i’m struggling with is that after such a vacation.. you’re asking for donations to go to africa and serve. for whatever reason.. it doesn’t sit well with me.

    and it’s crazy because i do the same thing.. but just in different contexts. i’m trying my best to live this thing out… but it’s HARD. at the end of the day… if i’m real with myself — no matter how much i’m moved at a place like Huruma.. no matter how much my heart aches for those living in the slums of Kibera… no matter how much hurt/need I see in the world… at the end of the day — i care about myself more than any of those things. i would rather be happy, comfortable… go to beautiful locations.. have amazing experiences… all of these things… are more important (as proven by my actions and the way i spend my money).. than the things that break the heart of God.

    so that’s where I’m at. ..and you’re right… it is much easier to talk about justice… because talking doesn’t cost us anything.

    .. and we’re all willing to help.. as long as we don’t have to sacrifice TOO much.

    God help us… He’s our only hope..

    wow, quite the ramble..

    i’m done. peace!

    j

  16. Parker Overturf

    Hey man I met you last year I think when I was down at your staff meeting I’m from wa, and I work with Dale at Bethany. My wife and I are going to be in Kenya some of the same dates you guys are we’ll be there the 11th – 20th. Where are you guys going to be when you are there? Hope things in az are good

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s