Day of Justice to Be Held August 2018

Day of Justice to Be Held August 2018

Last June, Synod 2017 called for an annual Day of Justice to be held in churches beginning on Aug. 19, 2018.
A planning team has gathered a variety of resources to help congregations plan a service that matches their individual justice journeys.

“Different congregations have different instances of injustice in their community and different understandings about what their response should be,” said Kristen deRoo VanderBerg, a member of the planning team.

“We’ve tried to compile resources that can meet churches where they are, whether it is at the beginning of their justice journey or much further along the line.”

The 2018 Day of Justice resources can be found here. This site includes study materials about justice, background information on a variety of justice topics, and suggestions to help plan a justice-themed worship service.

Gail De Young is a member of Rehoboth Christian Reformed Church in Rehoboth, N.M. The church will be holding a Day of Justice this summer. In fact, the congregation was so excited about this annual day that they held a Day of Justice in August 2017, a year ahead of schedule.

She said that the church acted quickly because they believed the quest for justice cannot wait.
“It has to happen as soon as possible, given the many forms of oppression, persecution, prejudice, and discrimination that occur every day,” she said.

As other congregations prepare to join Rehoboth this year, De Young said her hope and prayer is that “it will ignite a passion to stand up for others who have no voice.”

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A Sunday devoted to a "Day of Justice". Another Sunday devoted to "Refugees" and who knows what other Sundays we have on the church calender when the gospel must share center stage with those who are intent on saving the world apart from saving their fellow man from his/her own sins. According to the Bible the Sabbath is a day that God gave to man so that he could immitate God after He had finished His works of creation. Lord's Day 38 of the Heidelberg Catechism gives a clear exposition of what is required on the Sabbath Day of all believers which is that believers; rest, attend church, make use of the sacraments, public prayer, giving of alms, rest from our evil works, conform ourselves to the ministry of the Holy Spirit, hear the preaching of the word. In other words the Sabbath Day is a day to hear exhortations to exercise our faith to furthur our growth in leading of a pious life. There is nothing in the O.T. or N.T. that hints at using the Sabbath Day to promote our own worldly affairs in terms of work or politics. Any efforts made in either of these directions is a violation of the Sabbath rest and I believe is an abuse of the the commandment to not neglect the gathering together of the Saints.

I state this because attending worship services is not an option but a duty and for the person occupying the pulpit to use his position as an opporunity to focus on an issue where he cannot point to a passage where he can show unequivocally, this saith the Lord, is an abuse of the pastoral power infused into his office of ministry. Jesus Christ when He was on earth and during the time of His ministry constantly states that His Kingdom is not of this world. And He even rejects Satan's offer to give Jesus all the kingdoms of thw world if he would only bow down to Him. 

Bringing justice to this world that is fading away, is not one of the tasks that Jesus gives to the church. The task of the church is to preach the gospel of salvation through the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ and to administer the sacraments of baptism  and the Lord's Supper. No where in the Bible does God approach a civil magistrate and say, if you do as I say and reorder your society as I tell you then you will be saved and so will this world of sin. When Hosea goes to Niniveh he doesn't coutline a plan for Ninivehites to reclaim their soeity. God's lectures and judgement on bad civil government is resereved for the nation of Israel or the church. It is impossible for people who aren't saved to live holy lives. What they need to hear is the word of God. The very thing that non-believers look upon as being foolishness to those without the gift of faith.

Hi Julian. Thanks for this comment. I'm part of the planning team that worked on resources for the Day of Justice. If you head over to crcna.org/DayOfJustice, I think you'll be pleased to see the large array of worship resources that we've currated to help churches commemorate this day as part of (not instead of) their Sunday worship.

You might also appreciate the resource called "What is Biblical Justice" that is listed there. This short document provides the biblical foundation for why Christians should care about justice as something that goes hand-in-hand with our pursuit of righteousness. For example, one of my favourite parts says this, "In his ministry Jesus restored the outcast, the blind, the leper, the possessed. He is the righteous king who brings God’s justice, God’s reign, God’s kingdom. His is a life lived and a death died for the sake of restoring us to right relation (tsedaqah) with God, neighbour and the creation. Simply put, Jesus is God’s justice in the flesh. His followers are to imitate his example, pursuing justice by erecting signposts of the Kingdom, motivated not by ideology but by the desire to be like Him."

The idea behind the Day of Justice is not to promote a specific cause or political agenda, but to instead remind us of God's call to live a life in pusuit of justice and righteousness. I hope you'll agree that this is a great fit for the Sabbath. 

Hello Kristen VanderBerg. I want to thank you for taking the time to read my comment and for the reply. I did try to connect the, Day of Justice link but it there appears to no longer be anything there. I have read the article, What is Biblical Justice and I do not see in it an effective Biblical statement that the church is responsible for establishing an heaven on earth by changing insitutions rather or as as people. Institutions don't have souls and can't profess a belief. I still don't see anywhere in the Bible where God comes to a non-covenant community and tells it to fix this or that societal inequity. All of the Biblical passages which refer to God's justice and righteousness reigning are stated for the benefit of the covenant community of Israel and we know that Israel failed. 

There is now no longer any covenant community of believers that has a political or territorial base. We are now the same as the Israelites who went into exile. And just like them we must obey the law of the land. There will be no righteousness or justice that is of a Biblical nature. I also still believe that the church takes too much to itself when it believes that it has the duty to tell secular governments how to operate their justice system or their economies. Once more I must point out that the church is neither elected nor accountable to the broader nation and therefore has no right to tell it what to do. It is a complete violation of Herman Dooyeweerd's teaching of sphere sovereignty. I guess I see the Social Justice Warrior side of the church as being no different than the Theonomists who also want to use the Bible as a template for organizing society and its governing institutions. Neither effort is really Bbilical because both are guilty of misusing the Bible. When it says in Acts 2:44 that is not meant to be a statement about Communism. It doesn't go any furthur than the church of that time and it not meant to talk about some universal principle of economic  justice. There is nothing to indicate that what they did is binding in nature on even the church of today. The story of Ananias and Sapphira upholds our right as Christians to private property. It was the lying that got them killed. When the tax collector, Zacchaeus, tells Jesus that he will repay seven fold to those he has wronged he doesn't talk about changing the Roman tax collection system because righteousness is purely personal.

In the end if it is really a more just world that you and I want the place where we have to work is with changing hearts. In other words evangelism is the key to a better world because evil people will hopefully want to have laws that are fair to their fellow man. To try to bring about justice by changing the system is only to invite Animal Farm, where some are more equal than others.

It is ironic that in a year when the 200th birthday of Karl Marx is being celebrated in some quarters that the worldwide Leftists movement is more active than ever. And this even though Russia and China both threw in the towel on Communist economics. We have the collaspe of Marxist government of Venezuela and everywhere we turn we are in fear of totalitarian Islamism. 

I can think of no better country in the world than the U.S. as it was constructed by the Founding Fathers and not as the Left wants it to be. 

I appreciate your words of reassurance that Justice Sunday is not meant to take the place of regular worship but I'll be going somewhere else to worship that Sunday. I alread got sideswiped on refugee Sunday with a lecture on why I'm a racists if I oppose immigration and was fed a lot of bad theology to go along with it. The Bible says nothing about immigrantion policy. I would say overall that sermons in the CRC today have gotten way too political. 

Thanks again for the talk though. I found it interesting to hear another point of view straight from the source.

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