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Picture Justice by Bethany Hoang

Examining the back of the moped and the bags in my hands, I knew I had an interesting balancing act to perform. While my coworker was a well-seasoned moped driver, I had hardly ever ridden on a moped. But time was running short and we had an important errand to run; we knew the french fries and hamburgers would only stay hot for so long.

As we made our way through the unwieldy traffic patterns of Cambodia’s capital city, I began to relax despite the lack of any hand-holds. The bags of fast food and drinks I was balancing in each hand easily shifted with my weight as the moped carved back and forth through the busy streets and into a neighborhood.

The house itself was not visible from the road – it was well protected with high trees and shrubs and a secure gate. Behind this gate and inside of this house I would meet two little girls. Their story had already left a mark on my heart. Now, to meet them…to see their smiles, to hear their laughter,to share a few fries and a burger with them…Whether I spent five minutes or five years with them, these moments would be a gift, an offering of pure grace to me.

It did not take long for them to warm up to us. They knew my colleague well, and seemed to decide they would quickly befriend me too. Kunthy and Chanda took me into their bedrooms and proudly showed me drawings they had taped by their bunk beds. They giggled and stared me down and clung to my arms as they tried to ask me questions through our language barrier. (One key piece of information that made it through the language barrier was that the fries, unfortunately, were indeed cold, despite our valiant efforts to deliver them fresh. The girls let us know this as they happily giggled and gobbled them down.)

Kunthy and Chanda insisted on giving me drawings that they had made themselves, carefully writing their names at the top. I gave them the best equivalent I could find in my sparse belongings - a photo of my husband and me.

I count those drawings among my most prized possessions today. They are an indelible reminder to me of the restoring work God desires to bring to all of creation. They are a visible symbol of the intangible mark that meeting those girls left on my life. The drawings depict more than just lines of ink fashioned into a few flowers or a village scene – the drawings illuminate childhood, even human life itself, as it is meant to be. The drawings insist that children – that all humans – are meant to live free.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me…to set free those who are oppressed,” Jesus tells us.

When I met Kunthy and Chanda, these 11 and 12 year-old girls were living as children should live. They were being loved and cared for. They could go to school. They could laugh and play. They were free. But only months earlier, these little girls were living as slaves to those who glibly peddled the sale of their bodies. Only months earlier, they were living as chattel for those who would daily profit from their rape.

To meet Kunthy and Chanda is to learn that you needn’t crack the history books in order to imagine what slavery is like. Slavery is in many ways more alive today than it has ever been in history. There are, in fact, more people locked in literal slavery in our world today than were extracted from Africa during the 400 years of the transatlantic slave trade combined.

The fact that there are at least 27 million slaves in the world today is not merely a matter of population increase. Slavery is a thriving economic industry that nets billions of dollars annually. Slavery is a shadow economy that breeds the buying and selling of human beings by other human beings – not just a one-time transaction as in the case of a drug or a gun, but over and over again until slaves’ bodies expire from the toil. Kunthy and Chanda are just two out of millions of little girls, boys, and women whose lives have been forcefully and fraudulently converted into multi-sale commodities made available to whoever desires to purchase them.

Selling their daughters into the slavery of forced prostitution, Kunthy and Chanda’s mothers participated in a one-time exchange of dollars. They were paid by the brothel owners and gave their daughters over to the industry. But for the brothel owners, the possibilities for selling and using these girls’ bodies over and over again were virtually without limit. Kunthy and Chanda were beaten if they tried to go outside of the brothel in which they were held. They were beaten if they cried while men were having their way with them. To help the customers feel they were getting the most out of the cash they had forked over, the brothel owners would even inject these little girls with narcotics, sedating their resistance and stymieing their tears.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me…to set free those who are oppressed,” Jesus tells us.

What would it mean for us, as Jesus’ followers, to proclaim these words to someone who lives under the violent dominion of another human being? To proclaim these words to a slave?

On the one hand, these words could be delivered as a powerful statement of truth. They could be received as a promise of cool water to a parched tongue. On the other hand, these words could bitingly mock a soul that is thirsting for freedom. Depending upon the context, these words could be spoken as a veritable heresy.

Justice is a biblical, theological and eternal matter. It is not merely a temporary ethical matter. Justice is central to God’s character and therefore central to the character of mission and discipleship. When these become deeply rooted convictions, Christians will be able to lastingly sustain their engagement in justice ministry.

HE HAS SHOWED YOU, O MORTAL WHAT IS GOOD

Scripture makes it clear that the pursuit of justice for the oppressed is to be the pursuit of every person who would claim to follow Christ. Justice is a matter of discipleship. It is a matter of mission. It is a matter of worship.

Proverbs 14:31 is just one of many scriptures illuminating the inextricable connection between the way we regard oppression and the way God regards our worship of Him. “He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” In Isaiah, God denies and even condemns more common expressions of worship that have come to mask his people’s inaction on behalf of the oppressed. In his anger against what he considers to be false worship, God not only commands that his people worship him in truth through bringing rescue to the oppressed, but he also gives staggering promises of reward for obedience. Commanding us to seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, and plead for the widow, God in turn promises, “though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow”(Isaiah 1:17-18). Insisting that true fasting in worship of God has little to do with self-flagellation but everything to do with setting the oppressed free and breaking every yoke of bondage, God promises, “then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail” (Isaiah 58:6, 10-11).

Jesus himself inaugurates his ministry, defining the course his disciples are to follow by declaring that he has been sent to bring freedom to the oppressed (Luke 4:18-20). When Jesus brazenly critiques the ministry of other leaders in his day, their neglect of justice is the first “weightier matter of the law” to which he points (Matthew 23:23).

The fact that anyone is enslaved in our world today is a matter that implicates the whole of Christian discipleship. When Jesus teaches that the second greatest commandment is to love our neighbor, he makes it clear that our neighbors are not defined by proximity – whether of geography or ideology (Luke 10:29-37). The whole world is, in fact, our neighborhood. Regardless of how we may come to learn of the reality of slavery in our world today – from our couches watching the evening news or from a personal encounter with the slave industry – we are implicated.

The book of James warns against our propensity for ambivalence and inaction. Knowing that Christians all too often profess belief without living-out the actual implications of what we say we believe, he asks, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?”(James 2:14-16)

WHAT IS REQUIRED?

Imagine this scenario: a handful of Christians are ministering in a region where there are rumors of people who are forced to live as slaves to other human beings. These Christians hear that it is in fact not uncommon for women and children to be taken - whether by force or by fraud - from their homes, locked behind barred doors, stuffed in a back room, beaten, drugged, and then brought out for customers who give cash in exchange for a half-hour or even a whole evening of treating this human being as their sex slave. Surrounding these Christians is, in fact, an industry of rape-for-profit.

Given the Bible’s clear call to justice, can you think of any reason why these followers of Christ would not do everything in their power to figure out how to intervene on behalf of these women and children in their city – or in any city?

Reading this scenario on paper, it is probably not too difficult to experience rage against the idea of children – or anyone, being enslaved for sex. It is equally easy to respond with a zealous sense of indignation that no, there is no reason why these followers of Jesus would not or should not do everything in their power to figure out how to stop this heinous assault.

But we live with paradoxical souls. And we are all too easily discouraged. These needs may strike us with crystal clear conviction on paper, and yet, at the same time, these same needs are easily pushed aside for lack of close proximity. On the other hand, needs that are actually quite near to us may seem to beg for our attention and action, but the sheer proximity in itself can all too easily feel unbearable to us. In either case, the magnitude of the needs can be paralyzing. We are easily convinced that there is nothing we can actually do to bring change.

The accompanying biblical mandate may convict us. But as more and more Christians awake to the reality of slavery in our world today, we will be tempted to believe that God promises to bring freedom to the oppressed but also believe that it is not we ourselves who are the vessels intended by God to carry this promised gift. We will continually face the temptation to speak promises of freedom in Christ without tangibly bringing the physical, bodily freedom Christ Himself promises to bring.

I fear that, when we say we are following Jesus, Jesus’ ministry is not always what our ministry looks like. Our understanding of discipleship does not bring us into the fullness of the obedience Jesus intends. John Stott has remarked that his “main concern for the church everywhere is that we often do not look like what we are talking about. We make great claims for Christ, but there is often a credibility gap between our words and our actions.”

But the prophets are clear and Jesus is clear – Jesus’ ministry is a ministry to those who are deemed least in the world. Together they proclaim, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Isaiah 61:1-3/Luke 4:18-19 ESV)

The credibility gap of which Stott speaks is often a result of our failure to ask the question of where exactly people are agreeing to go when they make the decision to follow Jesus. Karl Barth has argued that, “we do not believe if we do not live in the neighborhood of Golgotha.”

When Jesus says, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me,” he has a particular destination in mind. Golgotha is where Jesus is headed, and it is therefore precisely this neighborhood – the neighborhood of Golgotha – that is our own destination when we make the decision to follow Jesus.

To be clear, we are not following Jesus and carrying his cross. We are not called to bear the same suffering in Golgotha that he bears. He alone can bear the suffering that accomplishes the redemption of our sins.

But Jesus does ask us to carry our own cross, and he does ask us to join him in the neighborhood of Golgotha. He asks us to willingly go with him to places of deep suffering in our world. He asks us to choose to follow him in such a way that our witness – one of weakness rather than of power – points straight to himself and what he has done in his atoning death on the cross. He asks us to live in the very neighborhood of suffering – and in doing so, to live lives that not only speak of the salvation he brings, but testify to it through our actions on behalf of the very most poor, vulnerable, and oppressed in our world.

Will it be the case with the church’s response to modern-day slavery that we say we are passionate about abolition, but neglect to engage slavery and other issues of justice as integral, even central to what we understand the mission of the whole church to be? Will we make great claims of what we believe to be true about Jesus and the life he offers, and yet not live out this life on behalf of those who sit in what might feel like an unreachable darkness?

The moment seems ripe for a response. The opportunity to live what we say we believe, and therefore, to truly believe, is freshly at hand. There is a fresh work of the Holy Spirit, reviving the hearts of God’s people to see and understand and respond to injustice and to bring an end to the heinous abuse of the poor that brings contempt to their Maker.

However, there is yet another dichotomy in the Christian life that has woven itself into the very foundations of classic evangelical belief, particularly in the United States, for at least a century. We have segregated our souls, and consequently our Christian mission, into spiritual and physical realms. Even as efforts to uncover, highlight and mend this dichotomy have been underway to various degrees for decades, we are living in a time of unprecedented opportunity. The opportunity is not to simply mend this rift, but to relearn the implications of salvation, of Jesus’ work as it ends not at redemption, but restoration. The opportunity is at hand for Christians to pursue justice for the oppressed as fundamental to discipleship itself.

TO ACT JUSTLY AND TO LOVE MERCY

As is often the case, it is helpful to look behind us as we discern the way forward.

100 years ago, much of the Church in America was steadily building toward a major rift in belief about what constituted the best ways for Christians to tangibly live out the Gospel on behalf of their neighbors. The rift that transpired by about 1920 has come to be known by historians as the Fundamentalist/Modernist Divide. 3

There was much at stake on both sides of the theological spectrum, and it was, in the end, views on the ultimate authority of scripture that determined one’s position on the theological spectrum. The arenas of social action and justice became part of this divide. As the so-called Modernists (espousing a liberal view of the authority of scripture) of the day became more actively and vocally engaged in social reform, the so-called Fundamentalists of the day – those who most vehemently argued for a traditional, orthodox understanding of the authority of scripture (basically synonymous with what we would call “Evangelicals” today) – began to back away from any kind of social reform. Verbal evangelism regarding the salvation of one’s soul became, on the whole, the only emphasis in mission. There was an evangelical backlash against any definition of mission that could breed confusion with Modernist commitments. In tandem, Modernists launched forward with what became known as “the Social Gospel,” – a departure from the orthodox understanding of the Gospel as found in the scriptures - seeking to meet the physical, tangible, temporal needs of society to the abandonment of any emphasis on spiritual needs.

By 1920 a divorce between evangelism and social action was all but written in stone for the American church.

It is important to note that even when the evangelical understanding of mission had once involved a hearty embrace of tangible, physical needs of one’s neighbors near and far around the globe, there was not a robust theological rationale driving their social action. In the late 1800’s and into the turn of the 20th century, evangelically-minded Christians had been, in many ways, actually known for their involvement in society, particularly related to such issues as temperance, health, poverty, even forced labor and forced prostitution. However, without a deeper understanding and commitment to the Biblical view of justice, any mission activity that was not completely synonymous with traditional evangelism became unsustainable when a time of marked theological conflict came upon the church.

Because action on behalf of the social, physical needs of one’s neighbors was seen as merely a convenient, albeit good, byproduct of the more pressing and primary focus of mission – namely, soul salvation – and not as a good in itself (much less, an aspect of holistic biblical salvation in itself), it was easily abandoned. Neglect of social action became an opportunity for evangelicals to clearly distinguish themselves from the liberal Modernists and demonstrate their exclusive commitment to a particular understanding of salvation – namely, the salvation of souls. It was the ideal vehicle for conveying a strong “us against them” message in the Fundamentalist arguments for orthodoxy.

Much has changed since the original divisiveness of the Fundamentalist/ Modernist conflict – but much has remained the same. In the arena of change, after WWII in particular, evangelical leaders began forging a frontier of relief and development work. Bob Pierce, who began his ministry as an evangelist with Youth for Christ, sought to meet the immediate physical needs of orphans in Korea, thus birthing World Vision, a now billion-dollar mercy ministry spread throughout the globe. Carl Henry wrote “The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism,” and, while seemingly uneasy himself with exactly what implications he wanted his indictment to have, effectively called the evangelical American church and its leaders to deeper engagement with matters in the public, social sphere. World Relief, Compassion International, Habitat for Humanity, Opportunity International, and nearly countless other organizations have sprung up and have been effectively drawing evangelicals into engagement with the more physical, tangible needs of their neighbors in the name of Jesus Christ, both near and far around the world.

Most recently, Christians are even beginning to involve themselves not only in mercy ministries but in matters of violent injustice as well – rising up to intervene where there is abuse against the poorest of the poor. Slavery in all of its literal, rampant forms, police abuse, unprosecuted rape, torture, illegal detention, and land exploitation are all beginning to come onto the radar screen of the church, and action is brewing. God’s people are beginning to mobilize on behalf of the very most vulnerable and voiceless in our world – on behalf of little girls just like Kunthy and Chanda.

Whether the ministry is one of mercy or of intervening in violent injustice, the divide continues. There is still a significant degree of wariness toward justice ministry among much of the evangelical church. We have not understood the way in which tangible rescue in the here and now effectively points to God’s eternal purposes for His people. Evangelical engagement in social action is still misunderstood as a byproduct of the more primary priorities related to the needs of the human soul.

Many express concern that justice ministry be subordinated to “direct” evangelism and church planting. One church leader, for example, stated his concern that “justice ministry can devolve into ‘the social gospel’ if it is divorced from direct evangelism.” He even recognizes the potential root of this concern as he continues, saying, “I think this is partly a reaction against more theologically liberal/ mainline denominations that took up the mantle of justice ministry

while compromising on the authority of scripture, the priority of evangelism, etc.”

However, his solution is not to bring understanding to the role of justice ministry in the comprehensive biblical narrative of salvation. Instead, he explains, “Nevertheless, not wanting to throw out the baby with the bath water, our church seeks to support ‘word and deed’ ministries, ministries that care for the physical needs of those who are suffering as well as their spiritual needs through direct evangelism and discipleship, especially through church planting.”

Implied here is that the church will only support ministries that have direct evangelism as their primary emphasis. The meeting of physical needs is deemed important, but secondary. But where does one draw the line? How might this kind of bifurcated thinking play itself out in situations of violent oppression in our world right at this moment? Would Kunthy and Chanda need to hear the Gospel before being rescued? Would their new lives of freedom appear to have been given for naught if they did not at some point trust their lives to the Lordship of Jesus after they had been rescued? Is there any missional value, any true witness to Jesus that comes simply through their physical rescue? Does their rescue in and of itself glorify God and witness to God’s desire that ‘none should perish but have eternal life’?

The very fact that many evangelical communities cannot let ministry to physical needs stand alone from “direct evangelism” and church planting indicates a dualism in our understanding of not only mission, but of salvation and eternity. It was Greek philosophy that introduced the idea of the immortality of the soul, apart from the body. Christian Gnosticism (the heretical world-view that undergirds The DaVinci Code, as one example) continued this proposition. Orthodox, robustly biblical Christianity has never tolerated the idea of the immortality of the soul in separation from the body. Our belief in eternal life is wholly grounded upon the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. We believe that through Jesus there is not eternal salvation of one’s soul only, but rather “resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.”

It is important to note that this is not an issue of mere semantics. What we believe about the life to come has everything to do with the way we live God’s mission in our lives of today. If we have fallen into believing that the life to come is a matter of our souls only and not our bodies, we have not held to orthodox Christianity but have rather fallen quite blindly into the realm of Gnosticism’s commitments. We have neglected to believe Jesus’ promise that he has come to make all things new.

Jesus did not come to abandon this world, nor did he ask us to follow him away from this world. Jesus did promise that there will be a new heaven and a new earth, that one day all things will be restored, that just as God created this world, and just as humans sinned in utter disobedience to God, creation groans toward redemption, and one day our redemption will be complete (Romans 8). There will be a final restoration – and this restoration will not look like disembodied souls living eternally. It will look like a new heaven and a new earth, with resurrected bodies eternally worshipping around the throne of Jesus, casting all of our crowns at his feet (Revelation 4).

AND TO WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD

What is at stake in whether we see ministries of justice and mercy as central to mission? In short, our understanding of the character of God is at stake. Scripture is clear on the point that God is a God of justice. 3 And God’s justice does not extend to our need for justification from sin alone. It extends to free us from the bondage and suffering imposed by the sin of others as well.

God’s justice encompasses the whole of human existence. God’s justice intervenes in the most fleshly matters of humanity’s inhumanity, and God’s justice calls us to live out his character on behalf of the oppressed.

Our lives of justice witness to the God of justice – and this in itself is significant. Our lives of justice witness to the cross of Jesus, as we put ourselves in places of darkness, as we risk suffering alongside of those who suffer in our world, in the here and now. Our lives of justice point to the reality that all things will be made new, that one day all of creation will be restored.

Our souls are inextricable from our bodies, our lives are inextricable from the lives of others around us, our discipleship is inextricable from the way we treat even the parts of this world that are surely passing away. All will pass away. Only God’s word will remain. And yet God’s word will renew all things.

How can followers of Jesus robustly engage the tangible, physical needs of our neighbors throughout the world – even those who are seemingly farthest from our reach – while still holding to the ultimate authority of scripture, still proclaiming Jesus as the only Way, Truth, and Life, still admonishing the need to be reconciled to God, still professing the call for all to profess Jesus as Lord and to follow Him with their lives? Whether we choose to engage this question or not will determine whether current interest in ministries of justice and mercy become rightfully integral to mission and discipleship or casually sidelined as secondary to soul salvation.

Matters of justice are matters of salvation. Any separation or ordering of physical and spiritual needs forces a false choice. Our action will not be sustainable unless we retool our thinking to align with the whole of the biblical witness to salvation.

WHEN JUSTICE IS DONE

Brilliant stories of hope blaze the trail for us to move forward. In fact, it is precisely because of the way God’s people are mobilizing in response to the biblical command to seek justice that little girls are being rescued from lives of serial rape. It is precisely because God’s people are responding to God’s passion for justice, made clear in abundance throughout the scriptures, that Kunthy and Chanda now live as free children.

Because of the generous prayer, financial, and mobilizing support of church communities and individual Christians, the organization I serve with, International Justice Mission, was able to respond to the reports we were receiving about the country of Cambodia. Cambodia has long been a hot-bed for trafficking; certain parts of the country were in fact notorious for providing the youngest of the young to sex tourists who came asking. But because of the support of Christians who believe justice to be central to the mission God calls His people to live, when we at IJM received a tip that two little girls were being sold for sex at a certain brothel in Phnom Penh, our investigative staff was able to respond, and we were able to do the work of helping an entire nation to reverse a whole industry of exploitation.

Posing as a sex tourist looking for young girls, one of our investigators showed up at the brothel where Kunthy and Chanda were being held. Equipped with a hidden undercover camera, our investigator inquired as to the age and pricing for this brothel’s girls. The girls were brought out like wares for purchase – the owners offered that they could be taken for the whole night.

Our investigator left the brothel and took his evidence to the local police. Because of our sustained presence in the country, relationship building, and conducting robust training with a police force that had once taken bribes in exchange for tipping-off brothel raids, the Cambodian National Police responded to the evidence we brought them and agreed to raid the brothel with International Justice Mission.

Kunthy and Chanda were not only rescued – they were also brought into a safe, loving new life and home. The girls’ abusers were tried, convicted, and sentenced to prison. The girls themselves bravely testified in the tiny Cambodian courtroom, standing just feet away from the very people who had enslaved them, abused them, and offered their bodies for sale. The courage these little girls mustered to stand in a small room so near to the very people who held them in slavery to rape is astounding. Their testimony was so powerful that the judge declined the need to see the corroborating undercover video evidence.

And the courage in these girls’ hearts continues to this day. They are a beautiful picture of the work God desires to do through His church on this earth. Their lives point to the only true Life. But getting to these girls meant choosing to live in the neighborhood of Golgotha – not only for the Christian investigators, but for all those who daily choose to support and join the work that brings the kind of freedom these girls now have.

FOLLOW ME

All throughout our lives Jesus offers sign-posts of the life-giving death that he wants to give to us. His grace and promise of abundant life comes to us, more often than we would anticipate, through experiences that look like and echo the sounds of death. For me, that day with the girls in Cambodia was a sign-post of the Kingdom. The mark they left on my life was an offering of grace to me, a beckoning of Jesus to count all as loss compared to His offer of living a dying life.

God gives us the gift of drawing us toward realities where death seems to reign, so that He can show us the power of the life He alone has to offer.

This is witness. This is mission. Not merely to tell people that they can be raised from death to life, but to go to the places where death rules the day and let God use us to bring life, to show that Jesus has conquered all death.

Jesus offers life to us, saying,

“Follow me…” in loving the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

“Follow me…” in loving others as you love yourself.

“Follow me…” to Golgotha.

Do we want to see the nations come into the saving knowledge of Jesus? We must go to them from every angle, heeding every command of scripture related to every part of human existence.

The girls that I met in Cambodia –Kunthy and Chanda – sent me away from their home with pictures they had drawn. These drawings, just by virtue of their existence, spoke of childhood, of life, of freedom. But they were drawn with hands that have known, all too intimately, the very darkest shadows of death, of slavery, of utter violence. Their bodies will always bear the memory of beatings, of narcotics forced into their veins, of money exchanging hands as they were thrust into the arms of a stranger who would take them further into the dark shadows of death… stripping them of the very things that make them human and children, violating them to the core.

But they have new life.

They are free.

They are a living testimony to the work of redemption, of restoration that God desires to bring to all of creation. Just as one day all things will be made new, Kunthy and Chanda’s lives point to this truth.

If we are to groan with all of creation for the healing of the nations, we must groan for the freedom of our neighbors near and far, one by one. And God will surely be glorified.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

This essay refers to a “global neighborhood.” Given a recent increase of globalization, who is your neighbor and what is your responsibility to your neighbor?

Have you ever wrestled with the idea of service combined with evangelism? Do you think this is an essential within service, a threat to authentic service, or do you have another perspective on this issue?

In what way have you participated in God’s passion for justice recently?

In what way do you or your church fall into the Gnostic teaching of separating our souls and our bodies? What are some natural consequences of that line of thinking?

Hoang confronts some commonly held beliefs regarding the mission of the church. Do you agree or disagree with her assertion that matters of justice are matters of salvation? Why or why not?

Where are the “neighborhoods of Golgatha” around you? In what ways can you choose to live in those neighborhoods to bring justice?

Lastly, consider these ways to get involved in justice:

• Tell a friend that slavery exists today.

• Go to the places where injustice reigns in your global neighborhood.

• Whether near or far from you, ask God to open your eyes to the reality of

oppression.

• Pay for the rescue the poor cannot afford - Write a check to an organization

pursuing justice.

• Pray for freedom of the oppressed.

• Start a small group to study God’s passion for justice throughout Scripture.