In the Old Testament, the concept of justice had to do with a few central ideas:
- Don’t cheat people (all that stuff in Proverbs about using proper scales).
- Don’t accuse the innocent and pardon the guilty.
We can come up with a few more, but they all boil down to honesty and integrity and treating others as though they were made in the image of God…because they are.
In fact, the OT seems to focus on 4 groups of people who deserve special consideration:
- the poor
Basically the most vulnerable in our society.
Now, I’ve mentioned the OT twice, but this was central to what Jesus taught and lived as well. The whole, “Love God, Love your neighbour,” thing being #1 and #1a makes that pretty clear.
Currently, in my home country, there is a serious discussion taking place as to whether or not those who are no longer productive (and actually expensive to maintain) should be more important than the economy. Now the headline for this article claims that America was angry with this idea…but if you read the article, not everyone is angry. A lot of people seem to think he makes sense. The Lt. Gov. of Texas made the same point on one of the major cable news networks.
[the photo above is of a relatively unproductive and quite expensive to care for member of our family.]
My wife has lost one of her jobs due to the virus. There is a chance she will lose another soon. And yet we have no desire that certain people put their lives at work so she can get back to work. That hardly qualifies us at good people…actually seems more like a baseline for being human.
There are people who stand to lose a lot more than most of us can imagine because of the current crisis. But is there a line where deciding “it is better for a bunch of random, unproductive, old or sick people to die than for me to lose a huge chunk of my wealth,” becomes a reasonable suggestion?
If you not sure, the answer is no. In fact, if you were making a list of the most anti Jesus thoughts you could come up with, that would be near or at the top of the list.
I think I need to end this and go read James 2 again.