When we talk about the equity; there raise question; what is justice? This Blog’s post is dealing with Justice Issues in the Church.
What is justice?
Justice could be a construct of ethical rightness. This base on ethics, rationality, law, religion, equity and fairness. The administration of the law, taking into consideration the inalienable and inborn rights of all masses and citizens. This is right of all people to equal protection before the law of their civil rights. Justice has no discrimination on the race, gender, sexual orientation, identity, national origin, color, ethnicity, religion, disability, age, wealth etc. Here being inclusive of social justice.
Dealing justice issues in the church
1. Women’s justice Issue
Patriarchal beliefs and structures, including the church accorded women as second class and nobody can deny the fact. Paul stated in (Gal 3:28). In Christ all believers are equal. But when we investigate the administration of the Church. The Church has not proved the same status of man and woman as said in Galatians; the status of women in the church is no different from the status in the society. Women were degraded both in the social and church by traditional, superficial; and patriarchal reading and interpretation of the Scripture.
Women were treated as inferior begins; and not allocated important roles by the church authorities. There are same job for men and women; but women are paid less in comparison to men. Theologically trained women are not given equal job opportunities equally as men.
Church prefers single or unmarried women to person; who are supposed to be better fitting person for religious purpose than married women. So, with the advancement of education; we need to bring justice for women. The Church should opens the doors for women to contribute their qualitative service; and it can bring change in church as well as in social aspects.
2. Persons with Disability
Most of the church had neglected the PWD in their local church. And the society also neglected them as well. We considered PWD ‘good for nothing’ and neglect them in every aspect of life: be it in the social or inside the church. So, the church has a great role to play towards the person with Disability in our society and locality.
To bring Justice to PWD; the church leader should act as mediator between able and disabled persons. The church should also make appropriate infrastructure accessible for PWD. Create an environment of openness and the church should engage building inclusive community in the society.
3. Actions to be taken by the Church at the community, national and international levels for the justice
The church has the potential to engage in world poverty; and to change the culture of globalization in a way; that the governments and the other institutions do not have. This is mainly because; the church is in closer touch with the poor. At the same time there is the possibility that the church remains a sleeping giant in spite of its enormous potential in the globalization world.
In this context the church has to re-examine the elements of its own culture and theology; that are confronted by the rapidly changes values of a globalization society. Let us consider the following points for the actions to be taken by the church.
4. Re-introducing the Right Theology and Ethics
The Christian faith has been challenged in many ways by globalization; where a few of the people are connected in amazing new ways. While most of the people have experienced divisions and fragmentations. The consequence of the current dominant model is that of competing and conflicting values; where the dominant and powerful win and the loser disappear.
The social ethical problems in the age of globalization like poverty, inequality, employment, crisis of democracy, the problem of debt, ecological destruction, etc., This must be challenged from the Christian faith perspective.
The church has a situate a right theology and ethics in the light of Biblical teaching. The right understanding of God and the values of the Reign of God are something; that the church has to teach afresh to the people. It is the responsibility of the church to set before the people theological and ethical values; that would enable people to unmask and resist; what is idolatrous in the age of globalization.
5. Option for the poor
In the age of globalization the mission of the church must be characterized by a preferential option for the poor. The church is yet to extend its mission in taking full responsibility for the marginalized; who are the victims of globalization. The church’s concern with the issue of poverty is inadequate; because the church is hardly cooperating with organized NGOs locally and globally as well.
The church needs to promote those movements and work in solidarity with them; in the struggle for peace and justice. It is the task of the church to critically reflect on poverty and marginalisation and create meaningful awareness on the issue of poverty.
Furthermore, it is crucial for the church to participate fully in the struggle for justice in economic, social and political. In this process the church may be to empower the poor; and enhance the participation of people as subject of history in the globalization market.
6. Re-reading the Bible
The church needs to re-read the Bible in the context of globalization. For instance, in the context of ecological destruction re-interpretations of the biblical creation account have been done in such a way that human being is no longer considered the ‘lord’ of the rest of creation. Rather she/he is a steward or person responsible for care and nurturing other living beings and things.
The church may rectify the distorted view of the nature, human being, wealth, value system; and so on while re-reading the Bible in the age of globalization. Re-reading the Bible may also empower the people to implement the values of the Reign of God here on earth; where everyone will enjoy their rights as human persons. Caring and sharing for the poor and the marginalized
7. Meditation, Negotiation and Arbitration:
Increasingly people are turning to meditation, arbitration and negotiation to bring resolution to a variety of disputes. For Christians, meditation, arbitration and negotiation also can demonstrate love in action. Mediators don’t judge conflicts.
They try to facilitate negotiation. They are helping people to examine issue from Christian perspective. Mediators are pleasing a resolution work to God. Mediators must be neutral and must advocate the truth.
The process of Meditation, Arbitration and Negotiation
1. Develop ground rules
Basic rules may include keeping all matters confidential; no meeting privately with either side of a mediator and nothing to belittle or infuriate the other.
2. Facilitate story telling
Just being able to tell what has occurred cathartic. A mediator and negotiator can ask each side’s story in turn, encouraging people to keep focus.
3. Build and agenda
Listen carefully for the real issues. The part of the mediator’s and negotiator’s role is to help the parties define the conflicts accurately. They must first agree about what’s at issue before it can be resolved.
4. Create alternatives
Discuss way to meet each other’s needs. There is too difficult making solutions than analyzing issues; but people are still invest a lot of emotional energy in being right.
5. Restructure the conflict
Encourage people to approach from a different; more constructive perspective. Help them to see the points of agreement they may have not considered Peer beneath the surface to gain insight into what is motivating them.
6. Understand the interests involved
Fear, greed, pride vengeance and angry can grip people in the midst of disputes. But in many cases we handle; people who also know some scriptures and basic Christian values. We can help people to examine and understand their motive.
7. Separate past from future
people in meditation often want to resolve past injustices, Meditation. However, focuses, largely on the future. Negotiation can become most productive when people let go of the past.
As pastor or administrator in the church organisation; whether small or big congregation; he/she will face conflicts because conflict is inevitable. So, as the leader in the church he/she must know how to manage conflict in the church between staff, leader, community etc. by using the principles of meditation, arbitration and negotiation. So, that he/she can bring justices in the church conflicts.
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