What About Justice?
I’d thought about that a lot so the answers, (an outside audit to track the money and a substantial pool of money to assist the young people) came easily.
My friend quickly asked “what about justice?”
The truth was that I had dismissed seeking justice for the victims…it was outside the realm of possibility because in church, justice is not only often delayed, it’s usually denied.
Despite that, it is the one thing that can bring true healing, wholeness, and the possibility of reconciliation and restoration… the lack of it is part of the reason why the church is losing members and credibility.
Those of us involved in fighting for victims count our victories according to how much exposure our stories get, hoping that the more exposure that comes through the media, the more the powers involved will be shamed into doing justice and seeking righteousness.
It rarely works that way…because when it comes to holding on to power and money, hirelings have no shame.
It rarely works that way because our ecclesiastical systems are set up to benefit those in power, not the people in the pews or others under the control of the ones in power.
(Let me note here that Rob McCoy has been transparent with me in the Potters Field scandal. Others, not so much…)
When scandals or corruption is discovered in churches the machine goes into action…the issue and information about the issue are handled by an elite few and the objective is to keep the machine working whatever the cost has been to victims of that machine.
All this despite the fact that “doing justice” is as biblical a concept as “seeking holiness” or any of the other tenets of the faith.
Justice means that not only is the wrong fully acknowledged and set right, but that every individual affected by the injustice done is made whole to the degree to which such is possible.
Each individual deserves the right to be affirmed in the fact that they have been treated unjustly, to be affirmed in the truth that this was not only wrong, but evil, and to speak to those who have perpetrated the injustice and hear personally the repentance of the ones who hurt them.
Especially in the church, people deserve to know they matter.
“For the body does not consist of one member but of many.If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.If all were a single member, where would the body be?As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty,which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it,that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” (1 Corinthians 12:14–26 ESV)
Those verses seem like a pipe dream to many…because ecclesiastical leadership often considers others in the Body to be “unpresentable parts” and treats them as such.
Thus, the church continues blindly limping through the culture, whoring itself out to earthly powers because the power of the Holy Spirit has left us.
The church is not a business or empires built by men…it is the people of God, the Body of Christ…and we must commit to doing justice and seeking righteousness for all in the Body, not just the ones who really are “unpresentable parts”…and don’t know it…
If you’ve been hurt in the Potters Field scandal or any other church matter, what would justice look like to you?