Saturday, November 19, 2005

Replacing Justice with Service

Every time we attend CCDA, we hear someone who gives the re-focus message. It's happening right now. We're listening to Richard Townsell of Lawndale Community Church right now. He's preaching from Micah 6:8. He's asking the crowd WWFT (What Would the Funders Think). And why is that our priority?!? We have to change how we raise money! The current system requires us to find a really hard story (especially if its a child) and use it to raise money. Does the hard luck story change? No, but we get a check and the donor gets a tax write off. Stop denigrating people in the effort to raise money. Its easier to get $20,000 from a bank than $5,000 from a suburban church if we don't pimp the poor for cash.

Deutoronomy 15 tells us how God looks at justice. Every seven years all debts are cancelled. This is a systemic response, not an individual response. The LORD wants to level the playing field so that there are not people thinking, "I can help people" and "I need help from someone." Wealth is OK. Extreme inequity is unjust. God wanted to make sure that no one got stuck on the bottom of the pile. Our system keeps people stuck on the bottom of the pile. We shouldn't be standing for justice. We should be moving for justice! Standing doesn't get us anywhere.

The Three R's of Justice
Repentence - We believe that people are poor because they have a pathology. We have to repent because we don't apply the same standards to the rich who are stealing money all day long! I'm sorry that I've raised money on people's backs.

Relationships - We don't have real deep relationships in our neighborhoods. We have service relationships. A real relationship has reciprocity, a mutual give and take.

Response - After we've done the first two, we pray. We ask God, "Where do we go now?"