June 19, 2009

Defining Justice

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:30 am by Editorial Team

I admit some disdain for those in the legal profession as I contemplate these thoughts.  A recent discussion with a Christian leader from a church I formerly attended contributes to that disdain.

Our American system of justice is utterly flawed.  Justice is not blind, it is laden with corporate interest, political clout, and preference.  And yet, we attempt to justify a worldly system of justice through a Christian lens.   There is a reason why Paul warned the church of Corinth (1 Corinthians 6) to abstain from worldly legal institutions.  First, the worldly system has no right to judge people under a Godly system, which is far superior to the world.  Second, it is foolishness for followers of Christ to rely on secular institutions to resolve their internal squabbles.

But what makes our legal system profane?  The idea of justice cannot be achieved from a worldly perspective.  Worldly justice gorges itself on emotions that cannot be satisfied.  Worldly justice is a result of anger and seeks retribution.

The notion of justice is an attempt to restore what was lost our made wrong.  The world cannot accomplish this.  The world can ameliorate someone else’s suffering but only through the addition of suffering to another.  Worldly justice s flawed, because it lacks the transformative power of restoration.  Israel was well aware that “an eye for an eye” left everyone blind.

Worldly justice cannot be synthesized with Biblical, godly justice.  God is the only presence that has the power to truly restore and correct injustice.  God’s justice involves a full restoration of this earth (Romans 8 ) and will be the only force that counteract and restore the injustices done through fruits of humanity.

As Christians, we seek to live out the justice of God in the world.  As we seek his kingdom, we seek a justice that is not retributive, but loving and restorative.  What that looks like in the day-to-day, I’m still trying to figure out.

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