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Posts Tagged ‘oppression’

One thing I really enjoy about Dr. Bird’s class is that he does a pretty good job at integrating the information he gives us with critical thinking and application of the Christian life. Or, to say it in Taylor terms, there’s an “integration of faith and learning.” I don’t always appreciate this as much as I should, I suppose. Sometimes, it seems shallow at best. But when it’s done well, it can be a wonderful thing. With Bird, he has such a desire to push students to where they’re uncomfortable. And I really like that.

The topic of this class revolved around the biblical concepts of justice and relating them to the countries which we are learning about. My country of study is Sri Lanka, and learning about the human rights violations going on there is surprising. Things that we Americans don’t even have to think about… We had prayer time in class for the different countries to address directly some issues that pertain to each. It was actually very moving for me, and it was a challenge for me to pray for things beyond my individual scope of life. I’m so selfish that I always pray for me or for things pertaining to me. Our “individualized” and “personal” Christianity is cheap when we realize Christ gave himself for the whole world. If we claim that missions and evangelism is important to us, what better place is there to start than just to pray?

It must be hard for him. To know so much, to have those types of things on your mind, to feel very limited in our individual ability to act against such systematic types of oppression. I’m at a loss because I do care, because I know that God cares, because I believe scripture tells us to look beyond ourselves, and because I believe that the Gospel carries along with it freedom in its Kingdom concept, not only from personal sin but from injustices as well.

I honestly get a little annoyed when people speak of things such as disallowing homosexuals to marry as the greatest form of societal oppression. Give me a break! Even when I grant that there are some oppression and discrimination that shouldn’t be there, it pales in comparison to…. human trafficking, torture, female genital mutilation, genocide, child soldiers, etc… So why then do people spend so much time on more minor issues when they turn a blind eye to the much more serious injustices? That’s not at all to say that we should ignore the other issues because there are still injustices around us. But comparatively, the suffering caused by these other issues are are significantly greater in scope and individual harm than, say, the “deterioration of the family” in America (Sorry, I can’t pick on one side without jabbing at the other. At least now we’re all offended). It’s funny that some things that people often crusade for become just as much a source of oppression or alienation to others as the things which they claim are the “oppressors.” Just something to think about…

What types of injustices are particularly important to you and how do you go about doing your part as your work of faith?

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