Author Wednesday: An Excerpt from Gary Haugen’s Good News About Injustice

Posted: November 23, 2011 in Author Wednesday
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As we commemorate today one of the darkest days of our country in recent history, one of the questions that Christians face is “What is our role in the fight against injustice?”

One of the most powerful books that we’ve republished in the last year has been Good News About Injustice, written by Gary Haugen, the President and CEO of International Justice Mission (IJM), a human rights organization.

We’d like to share part of the book here, where he talks about what every Christian can do in the fight against injustice.

WHAT EVERY CHRISTIAN CAN DO

by Gary Haugen

God can use our careers, our artistic expression and our words to bring relief to victims of injustice. But you may be wondering, where do I start today? There are some practical pathways for involvement in this work – steps we can take that, as IJM has seen over the past decade, truly can make a life-or-death difference for victims of injustice.

God in his graciousness has provided a role for every Christian in the work of seeking justice. Rescuing the oppressed is meant to be an integral part of our life of Christian devotion simply because it is how we share in the fullness of the character of God. What a joy, what a privilege to be used by God to transform the lives of those broken by the crushing abuse of power! What poverty, what sadness, what regret to have never known the profound joy and satisfaction in being used by God to redeem a life from oppression and violence.

When it comes to the biblical work of seeking justice, every thoughtful and compassionate Christian can know the exhilaration, significance and challenge of being the instrument of our almighty God. At IJM we see this journey in three parts: Educate, Explore, Engage

EDUCATE

Raise awareness

Our communities need to know the truth about violent oppression. We can share with our church, school and family about the abuse faced by the poor, and about God’s gracious plan to include us in bringing relief to these victims. In order to undertake this task effectively, we’ll need to become familiar with our global neighborhood. Awareness creates the social demand necessary to  bring change.

Build up the justice generation

God is doing an incredible work of mobilizing the church to bring justice for those suffering from violent oppression and the coming generation is positioned to have the greatest effect in continuing to bring about this shift. It is our desire to nurture this God-given passion in the coming generation, but we need the assistance of the entire body of Christ. Visit the IJM website for resources to educate and encourage students in the work of justice.

 

EXPLORE

Become a part of the IJM Institute

Join the IJM Institute, a web-based community where Christian leaders share ideas and engage in dialogue about concrete actions for overcoming injustice. It is a source for leaders to gain access to urgent rescue updates, global news, cutting-edge tools, best practices and technological reflection as they seek to draw others into the work of justice.

Incorporate justice in a short-term trip

IJM’s As You Go mission-training DVD is a great way for a church community to explore the work of justice as it engages in ministries of compassion and mercy internationally.

 

ENGAGE

Seek God

When confronting violent oppression, we become aware of our limitations. We are desperate for God’s assistance to move the case forward and to protect victims and people who are on the front lines. Every Christian can bring before God the urgent needs of a prisoner illegally detained, the numbing despair of a child held in prostitution, the wounds of a torture victim or the suffocating burdens of a child held in bonded servitude. Followers of Christ who step with Him into the work of justice through intercessory prayers experience the glory of stepping into the very heart of what the Creator of the universe is doing in history. They come to know God. They see his faithfulness, his loving kindness, his mysterious ways. In this way every Christian who loves Jesus can proclaim his character of love and justice around the world.

Work to unite the global church

It is vital for the future of the justice movement to have the local church in the developing world at the forefront of this work. Their communities are affected by the violence and out of their congregations, God will create the social demand for change, raise up leaders to pursue justice for the communities and enable connections with Christians in positions of influence.

Consider a career in human rights

IJM constantly needs qualified interns, fellows and full-time professionals. Christians pursuing these career paths have a tremendous opportunity to use their careers to follow God’s call to justice.

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What is our responsibility as Christians when face-to-face with evil and injustice?

In the 10th Anniversary edition of this classic work by Gary Haugen, president and CEO of International Justice Mission, read about the stories of heartbreak and courage that will challenge your stance as a Christian and as a human being on painful issues like slavery, oppression and crimes against humanity.

But more than just leaving the reader outraged or feeling helpless, the book brings to light the theological basis for Christians to take up the fight because our God has always risen up against injustice.

Through biblical references and the stories of Christians who have confronted this evil, this book has been instrumental for organizations, ministries and everyday Christians who want to do their part in carrying on Jesus’ call and promise “Take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)

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