A Mighty Flood of Justice

What if, in the eyes of heaven, one hard-working, well-meaning picketer/crime-fighter is worth more than a million-dollar ministry campaign?

Bizarre question, I suppose, but give me a few minutes to flesh out my thoughts, and you’ll understand.

“Actions speak louder than words.” We’ve heard this all our lives, but I stumbled on something which, I believe, proves it mirrors God’s opinion as well.

I used to work at the headquarters of a religious organization, and many people there knew how to talk a great game. The “stuff” they did for God was mind-blowing, and I knew I could never match their million-dollar projects, catchy slogans and slickly-printed promotional material.

Compare that with my buddy Emil, who, dressed as a Real-life Superhero (RLSH), “The Komet,” marched with a group of people in his hometown of York, PA, a few years ago, in a rally which combined a message of anti-violence with a city-wide clean-up effort. He’s the one on the right side of the picture below, with a red mask and shirt:

The Komet.JPG

One man stands on stage in a $1000 suit, laying out a stirring plan for distributing his new “Christian inspirational” book to thousands of church-goers all over the country.

While another marches in a home-made cape and mask, picking up trash and encouraging the community to seek non-violent ways of expressing themselves.

One man stands in front of thousands of mega-church attendees, flying their spirits to the very throne of God with soul-rapturing music, only to drive home in his expensive car, to his expensive house, and spend the following week planning for next Sunday.

While another is interviewed in his RLSH costume, telling the local news channel it’s time for change, and that the city may have to get their hands dirty in order to make it happen.

Is one better than the other? Am I claiming the workers at the religious organization, the Christian inspirational writer and the Worship Leader are “bad” or “unholy” in some way?

Absolutely not. 

Their actions are not for me to judge. Try this, however: weigh each against the following Bible verse, which God gave to a man named Amos, after having His fill of Israel’s pomp and pretense:

“I can’t stand your religious meetings. I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions. I want nothing to do with your religion projects, your pretentious slogans and goals. I’m sick of your fund-raising schemes, your public relations and image making. I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego-music. When was the last time you sang to me? Do you know what I want? I want justice—oceans of it. I want fairness—rivers of it. That’s what I want. That’s all I want (Amos 5:21-24).”

Another version states the last verse like this:

“I want to see a mighty flood of justice—a torrent of doing good (Amos 5:21-24).”

This inspired me. It reminded me that, while it’s wonderful I work at a Christian university, what am I doing to feed the homeless? Going to church every Sunday is a great thing, but am I fighting for the poor to receive the same measure of justice the rich enjoy? Having Christian friends is amazing, but when was the last time I slipped out for a slice of pizza with someone who doesn’t believe the same way I do? Someone who…GULP….even hates Christians, just to talk?

What am I doing to bring about a “mighty flood of justice?”

Nothing. That’s the embarrassing and humbling reply.

Nothing.

May we be stirred to movement. May we step out of our cushiony, velvety world, into a place of action and, for some, even danger. 

For goodness’ sake.

“Be good, flee evil—and live! Then the Lord, the Lord Almighty, will truly be your Helper, as you have claimed he is. Hate evil and love the good; remodel your courts into true halls of justice. Perhaps even yet the Lord God of Hosts will have mercy on his people who remain (Amos 5:14-15).”

4 thoughts on “A Mighty Flood of Justice

  1. I really don’t think for most that much is really required. I believe God simply wants us to do something. Those big projects, books. I don’t know. I love to read those books, but not sure they are worthwhile.

    The reason much of this is mere mush is that God is not really an intellectual pursuit. God is a spiritual pursuit and it is done through action! It is not sitting home or at church and feeling good, it really is out there sharing their suffering. I really don’t know any other way to put it.

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    • Well said. For me, “doing something” and helping the poor, pursuing justice for the innocent, etc, might be something as simple as fasting a meal once a week and sending that money to a church, or charity, such as Convoy of Hope. I agree, not all of us should be out in the streets, but SOME of us should be, and others can support us in prayer and, if possible, giving financially to those less fortunate. A “warrior” could be someone like Emil, fighting on the street for justice, or someone vowing to pray every day. A “prayer warrior.” There are many different ways to fight injustice, ya know?

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      • Fat Beggars takes worship (communion) to the streets, alleys, empty lots, and outside locked up church-house doors where we knock and quote Revelation 3:20. AND I have been known, on occasion, to bring royal/choir robes (graduation robes I collected over the years – meaning they are dirt cheap) all painted up with messages about Jesus and Fat Beggars. Its a poor mans worship service on a street corner, parading our humility and love for Jesus! (We had a car load of ladies whip around in heavy traffic with cars honking and screeching so that they could join us… or another time when Aldersgate UM Church was out looking for homeless to feed and they joined us for communion!)

        Not a caped superhero, I guess, but about that level of spectacle! Your post made me think of it.

        Agent X
        Fat Beggars School of Prophets
        Lubbock, Texas (USA)

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