Mind the Beast – The Dangerous Pursuit of Justice

Ethics and Scales of Justice

Ethics and Scales of JusticeSo many of our discussions about ” justice ” today are really discussions about what basic rights human beings possess. These are weighty, passionate discussions that must be had with enormous care. I am one who thinks good Christian people can disagree on lots of these issues and make a legitimate biblical case for their positions. There’s space for disagreement on a variety of issues. I certainly have my opinions on the issues of the day—and am quite passionate about most of them. Nevertheless, I also have friends and colleagues who see these same issues completely opposite—and make a strong biblical case for such.

Having said that, at the end of the day I believe it is generally a mistake for the church to rely on government for ” justice. ” It is certainly easy to make the opposite case when one reads the Old Testament with the theocratic Kingdoms of Israel/Judah as the backdrop. However, when we read the New Testament, with the Roman Empire as the backdrop, the ” justice ” issues get far more complicated and warnings against getting into bed with government begin being issues. Why? Because Rome doesn’t seek God. So, we pray for rulers and those in authority. We pay our taxes. We advocate for those with no advocate, and we live godly lives even as we understand we are citizens of another Kingdom. Christians are citizens of God’s Kingdom and should not rely on courts, Congress, the U.N. or anyone else to forcibly make ethics happen on earth.

This means we don’t rely on the Beast to make the Kingdom of God a reality. This isn’t to say all of today’s government is like ancient Rome. I don’t believe that. It’s to say just as we see and heed the calls for justice in the Old Testament, we should wisely heed the warnings of the New Testament.

At some point, Christians absolutely must take stands. So, I’ll come out and say here’s one I’ll take—without a doubt in my mind God would want me to do so. In a recent article, most ironically in the Journal of ” Medical Ethics, ” a group of doctors has argued that, “what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.” That’s right, to quote, “both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral standing as actual persons.” The argument is that both fetuses and newborns are really “potential persons.” To quote the article:

“However, if a disease has not been detected during the pregnancy, if something went wrong during the delivery, or if economical, social or psychological circumstances change such that taking care of the offspring becomes an unbearable burden on someone, then people should be given the chance of not being forced to do something they cannot afford.”

Apparently, only if one is healthy and, now, reached a certain age, do they have rights. I have included a link to the PDF of the article at the bottom.

It isn’t hard for the church to champion causes alongside what they believe to be a benevolent Beast only to find out the Beast isn’t really it’s friend after all. It’s not a big jump from so-called human rights “science” to law. Just look at the current contraception firestorm, environmental science legislation, etc. What becomes “science” eventually becomes law. What becomes law becomes really serious for us all.

In all of our passion for justice, we must be careful who we align ourselves with–remembering we are but resident aliens here on earth. We are citizens of another Kingdom–and we seek justice according with those values.

Click here to read the article from the so-called Journal of Medical Ethics.

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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