Justice and Amazing Grace

Monday, April 16, 2007

Wash yourselves;
make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
cease to do evil, learn to do good;
seek justice, correct oppression;
bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.
Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD:
though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow;
though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.

Isaiah 1:16-18
Several weeks ago, I asked a friend of mine to write about an issue close to her heart and one that should close to ours, that is, social justice.

Dear friends,

A few weeks ago, I went to see the movie Amazing Grace, a movie about a man named William Wilberforce who helped bring an end to the slave trade in Great Britain. Wilberforce’s life inspires me, not only because of his passion to abolish slavery but also because this zeal came from his deep faith in God. In one of his addresses to Parliament, he said “Sir, when we think of eternity and the future consequence of all human conduct, what is there in this life that shall make any man contradict the dictates of his conscience, the principles of justice and the law of God!” We are to conduct ourselves so that people neither violate their consciences nor strive against the principles of justice and the law of God.

Throughout the movie, and especially after, I was upset because we have not eradicated slavery! We have a regular 800 to 900 thousand people forced into slavery every year; most of these people are women and children! It is so easy to be comfortable with our lives, wanting to live near our families in comfort when children all around the world do not even know who their families are. We want to live near our friends and support system, when women all over the world only know the friendship of the four walls that protect them from the cold but do not protect them from the harm of forced sex. Who is going to minister to the women who are forced into the sex trade? Who is going to cry when they cry for the thousandth time because their body is being made a source of pleasure for a man and a source of hell for them? Furthermore, who is going to look after the children that have been forced into prostitution at a young age of two?

Wilberforce saw that slavery profanes the very name of God. Letting it continue is not merely an easy way out; it is a disgrace against the Lord. But the good news is as Jesus brought us His righteousness through His obedience, He, in a similar way, is going to bring justice for those women and children by using us, His Church.

My life here in America is not enough! I cannot just stand by and pray a prayer for them and call it a job well done. When I went to Azerbaijan, the women there were the ones who first introduced me to human trafficking. There it was very real and was not just a story in a paper. These women were flesh and blood just like you, just like me. These children are real children that need the love and care that most of us had the privilege of knowing, but the only thing they receive are perverted men who seek to appease their radically depraved sexual appetite. We need to educate ourselves, find out what human trafficking is, why it occurs, and who is out there to help prohibit it. Then we need to step up and tell others, letting the world know. Do not just stand by; talk about it! If the only thing you can do is talk, then talk! Find organizations who seek ways to stop human trafficking; then find ways to help them. One such opportunity is Justice Week this week, April 16-20, hosted by Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. We are going to spend the week bringing awareness of human trafficking to SIUC campus. Then at the end of the week, April 19 and 20, we are having a fundraiser by selling tickets to a conference. We are bringing in a speaker who will educate all of us and bring stories that will shock our comfortable existence. In addition to learning more about human trafficking, there will be a silent auction. All the proceeds from the auction and ticket sales will go to a human justice group; none of it will go to Intervarsity. If you would like more information or even like to talk more about human trafficking, I would be more then happy to talk with you.

For God’s Glory,

Marian

Amazing Grace (How sweet the sound)
That sav'd a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev'd;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ'd!
Thro' many dangers, toils and snare,
I have already come;
'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall profess, within the vail,
A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call'd me here below,
Will be for ever mine

An Old Dead Guy Can Still Be Relevant

Monday, April 09, 2007

Apparently, it does not take being pop-culturally savvy to be relevant to the perils of today. Three of John Owen’s works have been collected and edited by Kelly Kapic and Justin Taylor in Overcoming Sin and Temptation. They have made the texts more readable and have included some very useful appendices to aid your study.

Reading Owen is never easy, but these two have made it more accessible. Our generation is indebted to them. Owen’s treatment of sin and temptation is challenging and an essential tool in understanding how to fight sin. The battle against sin must be waged. If we are to make any progress in holiness, we should prepare ourselves to walk “over the bellies of [our] lusts.” We need to “be killing sin or it will be killing [us].”