Wednesday, February 26, 2014

DANCING UPON INJUSTICE

Chris Tomlin, at Passion 2007, performed a song titled "Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble?" It is one of my favorite songs. But there is a line in the chorus that puzzles me. He pictures the Church as "dancers who dance upon injustice."
What a peculiar visual image. How does one dance upon injustice? In the bible, there are many stories and parables that describe injustice. I get the feeling that our reaction to them is supposed to be anger. After all, how will positive change happen if people are content to let injustice survive? Isn't our moral exception to injustice the basis of human law? Doesn't God command us to establish government with justice?
But the book of Jonah tells us a different story. You know the Sunday School version of the story. Nineveh was doing wrong and they were about to be judged by God. But God, in His love for humanity, sent one of His prophets, Jonah, to warn them. Jonah didn't want to go so he set sail on a ship heading the opposite direction. The waves came; Jonah confessed; he was thrown overboard; the fish swallowed him; Jonah repented and God landed him on the beach in front of Nineveh. He preached and the city repented. We emphasize the miracle of Jonah surviving three days in the belly of the fish (yes, I believe it). But that isn't the point of the story.
Here is the rest of the story. Jonah was upset and angry with God because Nineveh repented. He said: “I am mad enough to die.” Israel and Nineveh were enemies. Jonah didn't want to go to Nineveh because he didn't want them spared from God's wrath. But God said 'There are 600,000 young age children....” The Spiritual principle that we find in the book of Jonah tells is that God alone is God, God loves everyone and God does not play favorites among the nations.
So how do Christians dance upon injustice? The answer is simple: with the gospel. God's news is good news. Jonah suffered three days in the belly of a fish because he confused his religion with his politics. God doesn't care about human political systems that always create winners and losers. His desire is for everyone to win. His desire is for everyone to be blessed. God wants to bless the entire world with no exceptions. That is why God came to us in Jesus Christ. Jesus said: I came that you might have life to the full. (John 10:10).
The gospel does not get political. The gospel tells a different story than politics. The gospel seeks to redeem everyone involved. Unconditional love melts hard hearts. Unconditional love raises up those who believe they are trapped in despair. Unconditional love creates generosity. The good news helps people no matter what station their life possesses. God loves saving the world.
We are the church. We have the same power inside of us. Romans 1:16 tells us that the good news is like dynamite that releases the power of God to transform anyone. Therefore, I am apolitical. And I have to remind myself that God loves every side as much as He loves me.
The mental image “dancing upon injustice” is different than “stomping out injustice.” Yes, the dancer is on top, but the dancer is celebrating God's love. And the celebration of God's love lifts the injustice up to the point of celebration. And that is the place where the Good News redeems us all.
Praise God!




2 comments:

Jerry Brenneman said...

Amen Phil. You are absolutely right - God isn't political - He's all about redeeming humanity, despite what fools we sometimes are.

Michele M. Rizzo said...

Hello Phil - you've written an excellent article on the topic of "dancers who dance upon injustice," from the lyrics of Chris Tomlin. I have always loved this song, and wondered precisely what dancing on injustice looks like - and you have done an excellent job of writing out what this "truth" looks like. Thank you for taking the time to write this out in your blog. I am going to share your article with a young woman called into music ministry - who has a real heart of love for Jesus, and a heart's cry for justice burning inside of her. God bless.