Why Christians Care About Every Injustice

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By John Piper About Public Justice
Part of the series Message Excerpt

The following is a lightly edited transcript.

Christians care about all injustice, especially injustice against God.

Christians care about all injustice. The word all is intended to prick the conscience of Christians who, because of self-indulgence or fear, have dulled the capacity of their hearts to care about the injustice of the world — all the countless ways that people all over the world are treated by other people worse than they deserve.

I say this is because of self-indulgence, because I think most indifference to injustice among professing Christians is not owing to convictional partiality or convictional opposition, but rather to the moral stupor that comes over us when we are satiated with the comforts of this world.

And I’m saying that the dulling of our capacities to care about injustice is owing to the fear of man because so many of us fear that if we feel strongly or give expression to caring about some manifestation of injustice, somebody is going to put a theological or political label on us that’s going to feel misleading and offensive. And so, we will convince ourselves that indifference to injustice is a price worth paying to maintain our reputation.

But in fact, Christians care about all injustice because all justice is rooted in God.

If you don’t care about all injustice, you’re striving in your heart against God. And from the justice of our God and Savior flow his commands:

If we neglect justice, if we don’t care about all injustice everywhere that we see it, we’re not acting like Christians, because Christians care about all injustice, especially — especially — injustice against God.

And the word especially is intended to call out unbelief among Christians. It’s intended to call out the practical unbelief of Christians for whom the injustices against humans ignite more passion in their hearts, in their mouths, than the global tragedy of injustice against God. It aims to call out the practical unbelief of Christians who are so anesthetized by the comforts and entertainments of the world that they don’t care about injustice against man or God.

Injustice is to treat others worse than they deserve, and the more respect they deserve, and the less we render, the greater the injustice. God alone deserves the highest respect and praise and love and fear and devotion and allegiance and obedience of all beings in the universe. Yet every single human being in this room and on this planet has fallen short of this worship and have exchanged the glory of God for the creation. Therefore, every human is guilty of an injustice that is infinitely worse than all the injustices against man summed up totally throughout all history.

God is infinitely deserving of complete worship, trust, and obedience. Therefore, in treating God as unworthy of our total allegiance, every human is guilty of an infinite injustice against God. That’s our biggest problem everywhere.

This injustice against God came to a climax in the very moment when God himself, in great mercy and without compromising his justice — in the very moment — when God came in human flesh to save us from the just penalty of our injustice against him. In that moment, our injustice rose to its heights.

Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter
and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he opens not his mouth.
In his humiliation justice was denied him. (Acts 8:32–33)

And as God embraced infinite injustice against himself and purchased a people who would prize him above all things, Christ crucified became the vindication of God’s justice and the forgiveness of our sins. He embraced injustice against himself to create a brokenhearted, bold people called Christians.

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