15th May, 2008

Bloggers Unite for Human Rights

Bloggers Unite for Human RightsI just became aware of a very interesting site entitled Bloggers Unite – Blogging for Hope. This month, on this day, bloggers all over the world are writing about Human Rights. I am joining in that and joining with a group I synchroblog with once a month.

This is something that should be near and dear to all who follow Jesus, a man who set the world upside down to demonstrate what His Kingdom was all about.

Moreover, the prophets who foretold of Christ’s coming constantly called on the Israelites to repent of injustice. Look at the words of Amos as he cried out for repentance by the Israelites:

This is what the LORD says:
“For three sins of Israel,
even for four, I will not turn back {my wrath}.
They sell the righteous for silver,
and the needy for a pair of sandals.
They trample on the heads of the poor
as upon the dust of the ground
and deny justice to the oppressed.
Father and son use the same girl
and so profane my holy name.

Amos 2:6-7. The Israelites were to be judged because of the injustice that ruled under the leadership of their evil kings. They failed to feed the poor and allowed the rich to get richer. They worked injustice upon women and maintained a separation between those who had and those who had not. And then Amos’s prophecies bring the fire of God’s heart to life with these words in Amos 5:15, 21:

Hate evil; love good. Establish justice in the gates! . . . I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!

Look at the words of Micah in Micah 2:1-2 where he cries out because those who have the power covet the houses and fields of the poor and take them. He cannot believe that they would defraud a fellow Israelite his inheritance. In chapter 3 he notes that it is great iniquity of the leaders of Israel who do not know justice and who strip the people of all that they are and have. This continues throughout his prophecy and crescendos to the famous verse in Micah 6:8 – “He has shown you, o man, what what is good and what the Lord requires of you – to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Jesus came to feed the poor, to heal the sick, to free the oppressed, to seek and to save the lost. Jesus came to turn the world system on its head, defeating the rule of Satan, and to establish His rule and authority on earth. We pray for God’s Kingdom to come, but we often stand back and do nothing. James cried out against such absurd “faith.” He told us that faith without works is dead. He told us that knowledge about God without love for God is no more “faith” than the faith that the demons have. We can know all there is to know about the bible and what man might call “doctrine” but if we have not love, then it is all meaningless, vanity, and altogether worthless. From Genesis to Revelation we see that God is a God of righteousness and justice – a God who build His covenant with Abraham upon blessing all the nations and who desires all men to love Him and love others.

Does your heart cry out for the slaves around the world? Did you know that numerically there are more slaves today than there were in the 19th Century, some 27 million people? And this doesn’t even address the fact that there are about 218 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 working around the world.

Does your heart cry out for the women and little girls who are sold out into the sex trade? Did you know that about 10 million children worldwide are engaged in the sex industry??? In fact, nearly a million kids a year are sold into prostitution, often by their parents? This summer my family is going on outreach to South Africa. In that country there are approximately 40,000 child prostitutes!

Did you know that because of China’s one-child policy that there are predicted to be 40 Chinese million men who will be unable to find wives in the next decade?

Did you know that women in Pakistan have no rights and can be killed for “dishonoring” the family? Did you know that female literacy is less than 25% in Pakistan?

What will it take to awaken the Church of Jesus Christ to the plight of injustice around the world? How many more meals at Chili’s and McDonald’s and Pizza Hut do we need to have while billions don’t have three full meals a day? There is more than enough food on this planet for everyone. There is more than enough water on this planet for everyone. There is enough money in the U.S. for ice cream consumption alone to provide clean water for every child on the earth. Do you need another pair of $75 shoes while children run around on garbage dumps barefooted? (Amos 2:7 – “they sell the needy for a pair of sandals….”)

Oh, God, forgive us. Raise up a generation that will cry out for the voiceless. Change our hearts! May we rebuke the spirit of religion and poverty and take up Your cross for justice and righteousness, generosity and love.

Here are a few other blogs on the issue of human rights:

Responses

Sex trafficking, slavery, no rights for women, unjust laws and the powerful sending the weak to die in wars….all of these violations linger in the back of my mind as I go about my ordinary, dull-but-comfortable life. The frustrating thing is not knowing what to do about it. If enough of us work together, and if the church begins to take its scripture seriously on the matter of human rights, perhaps relief can come for the suffering.

Good post.

Adam G.’s last blog post..Os Pensamentos Pecaminosos (3)

The first thing we can all do is intercede. Pray. Pray like you never have. Pray believing. Prayer really changes things.

As you pray, listen. God can direct you to action. There are many things we can do. I will write more later. Going to bed right now.

Brian,

This is going to seem ridiculous, especially since I’m supposed to be a minister/missionary, but your reply hit me right between the eyes.

You’re right.

Adam G.’s last blog post..Os Pensamentos Pecaminosos (3)

I don’t think it is ridiculous at all. I lived most of my life not understanding what prayer was at all. Having been taught for so long that God only speaks through the bible and not being taught to listen or converse with God, prayer seemed more like something one did only to be obedient, but not with any expectancy.

It has only been in the past two years that I’ve begun to grasp a bit of what intercession and prayer is about. I know that Luke paints a picture of a Jesus who prayed desperately and feverishly throughout His ministry and in Hebrews we learn more about how Jesus prayed. I think all too often we say “the least we can do is pray,” but the truth is that the thing we MUST do is pray. Paul even wrote to Timothy in 1 Timothy 2 to pray FIRST OF ALL.

Of course, Satan doesn’t want us to pray so he keeps perpetuating the false picture of prayer as something done, but not lived and loved and life and nation changing.

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