As Christians, we’re called to compassion, and we’re doing a pretty good job of it as Canadian evangelicals, according to Rick Tobias. We’re known (and needed) for our generosity, cheerfully giving our time and financial resources to help those who are in need. This is good news! Yet, it’s not good enough. In a recent interview with our friend Dr. Rick Tobias, he reminds us that compassion is not our end goal. God desires justice.
I remember reading Ron Sider’s Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger when I was a seminary student twenty years ago. It was already a classic, and I was elated to finally feel understood. He was a welcome companion on the journey I was taking into understanding the relationship between faith and justice.
A couple of weeks ago the Baptist tribe of Atlantic Canada met in Moncton for its annual gathering. I was skeptical about an item on the agenda that indicated a time for Indigenous peoples from Canada to welcome new Canadians (Syrian refugees). I was worried it would be contrived, or feel forced, as we try to squeeze together our newly-recovered sense of justice as Bible people, welcoming refugees and reconciling with indigenous communities post-TRC.
Travel the world over, and statues are everywhere to be found; in public squares and on stately grounds, honouring the people who represent accomplishments of which to be proud. Whether warrior, explorer, or political leader, a statue represents the values a culture wishes to uphold in a person they wish to honour. From perfect human forms in ancient Greece, to the victorious modern soldier, a statue is an ‘idol’ of an age. This is reinforced in totalitarian cultures where statues of leaders are openly venerated.