Biblical Justice Focus

Perhaps one of the most profound and influential tenants of the Christian faith is the recognition of imago dei; that all people are uniquely and wonderfully made in the image of God. This aspect of our faith determines so much as to why Christians should value and nurture human life, human dignity, and human rights. It turns the focus of our faith towards loving people and their communities by promoting abundant life, productivity, freedom, and the relational well being of all. At BridgeHead, we support Christian organizations that foster human dignity and freedom, and who are particularly are engaged in biblically based justice programs that seek to reduce and alleviate human trafficking and religious persecution.


Despite the recognition of imago dei among Christians as a call to promote the common good, sadly this type of social engagement is often pushed aside as churches and Christian organizations over compensate in response to legitimate theological concerns of progressive liberalism that have been attached to the “social justice” movement. However, rather than addressing these concerns in tandem with ongoing social engagement, many have become ambivalent to the issue of justice, believing that it is not possible to focus on reaching out to the abused and yet distance themselves from theories of social change that run contrary to Scripture.


The Christian faith is built upon a long tradition of holding together certain tenants of the faith that appear at first glance to be in contradiction. Grace vs. law; divine sovereignty, vs. human choice; to name just a couple of seemingly paradoxical mysteries that must be held in tension with one another. The current postmodern era breeds a sense of uncertainty about what we know and believe as a community, and with it, an intellectual insecurity that often sparks a dogmatic adherence to embrace only one side of a theological mystery. As such we tend towards one extreme or another, rather than embrace theological humility that values both sides of a position. Sadly this has become evident in the fundamental mission of the church to administer justice for the oppressed and relief for the poor. Conservative theologians understandably grimaced  as proponents of the social gospel use its message to purport a hybrid Christian-Marxist redistribution of wealth and equity. The damage of this debate is not to the proponents of one side or the other, but ironically, it is the impoverished and oppressed themselves who have no understanding of the debate that feel the consequence of the intellectual impasse. A recent article published in Christianity Today entitled, The Vacuum Christian Indifference Creates, argues that concerns among Christian conservatives regarding the philosophical foundation of the social justice movement in particular has resulted in a crisis of indifference towards issues of human dignity and freedom. Dogmatic hang ups invariably lead to further ambiguity and inaction that leave a damaging vacuum around this issue into which liberals and progressives are seizing upon in the absence of any Christian leadership.


The sad irony is that history proves that a progressive social agenda advances when the church leaves a vacuum and is filled by the bureaucracy of the state. Our work is to partner with Christian organizations that are committed to restoring imago dei through an emphasis on redemptive, not bureaucratic, biblical justice.