Throughout the bible we are reminded that justice and righteousness are interwoven into the very fabric of God’s being, the Kingdom of God and the salvation strategy of Christ.
Justice and righteousness is not an addition to the Good News of Christ,
they are encompassed into God’s restoration of human kind.
We cannot preach the gospel of Christ without thinking about justice, we cannot have God’s peace without justice and, within the context of South Africa, we cannot bring about justice without deep introspection and a personal willingness to actively seek justice and pursue it.
The concept, definition and execution of justice governs the way we think, reason, vote, spend our money and the way we initiate and run justice-orientated activities in our churches. It is imperative that we investigate the various usages and thought processes behind our justice-orientated language.
We need to be cautious of using the ideologies of ‘social justice’ as the driving force of our justice work within churches. By doing so, we will be expected to focus on whatever is termed ‘social justice’ by society. However, if we use God’s word and Christ’s teaching to determine our justice work we would be able to navigate the justice needs within our context better. We should be driven by God’s definition of justice and what God is asking us to do. There will certainly be an overlap with those causes that are called for by social justice activists, but the reason and the way in which we respond will be determined by God’s justice requirements and prompting, not driven by society.
We cannot promote that we are doing social justice work within our churches; we are not. We are championing restorative justice work, restoring people to people and restoring people to God. Within our South African society, this restorative justice work will have to include those aspects highlighted by social justice movements such as economics, equality and relationship.
As the AOG Group, we are embarking on and discovering news ways in which we can discover and understand how we, as individuals and as communities, can live in right relationship with those around us, create space in which we can learn and re-learn our theology, our history and definitions of justice and where we can learn from one another and read the bible contextually together.
These news ways include the publication and promotion of the book Make Room, a resource publication on justice within the South African context, intentional facilitated discussions and workshops.
We must be careful that we do not simply become justice ‘discussers’ and not justice ‘doers’. Justice is not only a corporate response from the church, it is also individuals within the church living rightly and making just decisions each day.
Make Room is an Assemblies of God Group publication, born out of the desire of our Group and its national leadership to earnestly grapple with the theological foundations, principles and tools for justice in our context of South Africa.
It is guide that will help us begin the conversation of the ways that we can approach corporate and individual justice. This book asks us to begin making room in every aspect of our thoughts, perceptions and actions as we navigate our journey of sharing God’s Good News and his Kingdom to our families, congregations and communities.
To facilitate these intentional conversations we launched Make Room Conversation Groups, working through the resource publication on justice released at last year’s conference.
These conversations are designed to enable small groups to work through the chapters of the Make Room book and to have open, honest and exploratory conversations about the contents and concepts contained.
In order to enable these conversations to happen on a more wide reaching scale we have constructed a facilitator’s guide, including key video teachings, that will enable anyone to lead staff, justice teams, or connect groups in these national building discussions as they systematically work through the Make Room book.
Start Making Room Today!
Connect with us to purchase a Make Room Book and Download resources to facilitate Make Room Conversations Groups below!