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  • Lilies Martyaningrum posted an update 5 years, 2 months ago

    Social Justice and the Present Duty of the Church

    Author(s): Arthur E. Holt
    Source: The Biblical World, Vol. 54, No. 2 (Mar., 1920), pp. 136-139
    Published by: The University of Chicago Press
    Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3136384
    Accessed: 14-09-2016 03:14 UTC

    Social faith and trust can only be built upon social justice. Giving of justice builds social faith and makes permanent community life possible. The critical opportunity for the Christian to reveal his purpose to do justice is found in his human vocation which comes to him out of the community life in which he lives.

    The crucial test of his Christian ethics is found in his vocational ethics. No man can be good apart from a vocation and no kind of goodness can be offered as a substitute for righteousness in one’s earthly vocation. Christian churches are social groups of people who have heard the call to the Christian vocation which comes from Jesus Christ and are pledged to the working out of social justice in the human vocations which come to them out of the communities in which they live. As Christians they are banded together for the task of promoting social justice in themselves and in others. Our Duty as Individual Christians Our first duty as individual Christians is to become thoroughly conscious of the demands which arise out of our Christianity that we give social justice.

    Religion is always in danger of offering something less than social justice as its obligation which it renders to society. As Christians we have the task of fighting the sin of misplaced emphasis in religion. The development of a Christian conscience which is conscientious about things which are important and not about issues which are petty is the. We must be interested in social and vocational ethics because we see in these ethical codes the specific application of Christian principles to social situations. Decalogues, law codes, social creeds, professional ethics, the customs of society, are the itemizing of the general ethical principles which maintain in a generation. As Christians we must see that these codes are the expression of general Christian principles. Our Duties as Christians Organized in Churches As Christians we have duties as individuals, but we also have duties as organized groups. We must become conscious of our resources and obligations in our corporate capacity as members of churches. Our first duty as a church is to become acquainted with our resources for social ministration.

    We must understand the contributions which we can make to a community when we call that community together in meetings for public worship, public discussion, festivals, and community recreation.

    These are instrumentalities for the development of a community conscience and a common mind which are at the disposal of no other institution in such a degree as possessed by the church. We must understand that in the experience of the Hebrew people and in Christian history we have a great laboratory of social experience and out of this laboratory we can bring wisdom which is of great value to the social experience of the present. We must understand our resources of social fellowship. The fundamental crisis in democracy is at the point where fellowship is extended or denied. We must understand the contribution which we make to social righteousness when we bring people together in Christian. we must understand our resources of mercy upon which the church can draw in extending helpfulness in case of need. The church is committed to the giving of mercy as well as justice and possesses resources of mercy in the ability of those who constitute its membership. Our second duty as a church is to work out methods of social service which are adapted to the needs of the various communities in which the church must live