What is biblical injustice?


Injustice was a five-part series that aired in 2011 on England’s ITV-1.
[Image credit]

There is a lot of talk these days about injustice, even reminders of God’s command in Micah 5:8 to “do justice.” I have written a lot about justice and injustice on this blog; just click the injustice tag link for proof!

Before tackling more injustice issues, I am curious to learn how others define injustice. I am particularly looking for biblically based ideas of injustice, but am interested in cultural ideas as well.

Take your best shot in the comments, either the Facebook comments or the regular WordPress comments. If you use the Facebook comments consider checking “Post to Facebook” to expand the conversation. Social sharing would be appreciated especially if you know someone passionate about justice issues.

Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.

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  • The practice and structures that reconcile, restore, and make whole those who have suffered the indignities of power, the powers, and powerful people. Power treats as un-human those that are human. Biblical justice is the God-ward move that stands with those who have been maligned, marginalized, and discarded by any society, power, or persons.

    Justice is to be distinguished, in my mind, from punishment. Those who have been wronged are not made right when the perpetrator of the act of injustice is punished. Those who have been wronged are made right when someone(s) come alongside and help restore, reconcile, and help make whole the one bruised by indiscriminate power, or the act/event of injustice.

    (Influenced by N.T. Wright’s description of justice in his video series on Surprised by Hope)

  • Apologies Marty – I did not answer injustice directly. Biblical injustice, to my mind, would be those habits and practices perpetrated by human beings and human systems that devalue others made in the image of God. The prophets called for justice when Israel failed to care for those not tied to the land. In this sense, the land was what tied them to promise, specifically God’s promise. When others lived in the land without the benefit of the land – widows, orphans, strangers, aliens – were neglected, mistreated, and marginalized they were thereby treated less than human. Injustice occurred.

    • Marty Duren

      No apology necessary. Thank you for bringing the imago Dei into the discussion. I think injustices against humanity are rooted in the character and righteousness of God, as Paul aludes to above. I’m thinking through a longer definition myself, though it will be like a Dickens sentence when finished.

      All of these comments include an angle of truth I think.

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