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城市轉化系列

教會作為公義倡議者

在我書桌上有一本題為《正義的政治》 (Just Politics,或譯《不只是政治》(台灣:道聲,2015))的書。人們看到這書時常會向我投以異樣的目光,因為我們大多數都認為「政治可以是正義的」這句話根本只是空想!比起誠實和真確性,政治的謊言和手段可是臭名遠播。有些人甚至會說:「永不要信任從政者。」

所以,認為基督徒能夠或應該參與政治領域的想法,就像嘗試「水溝油」一般:兩者並不相容,而且不應該相容。

問題是大部份人假設政治就是「政黨政治」,而我們都知道那可以多麼的充滿敵意及偏頗。但是,在那裡卻有我們作為基督從所應該關心、且我相信我們有責任在社會中倡議的事。

舊約先知向政治領袖直諫在他們統治之下公義嚴重缺失的問題。囤積財富、掠奪土地、賄賂、貪污舞弊、漠視困苦、作假見證;全是先知們強烈譴責的問題。這些都是一個不公義社會,其中強權的領導層濫用權力,漠視自己應在社會執行公義的領袖責任。在舊約聖經中論到「義」,不僅僅關乎與上帝的內在屬靈關係,而是關乎做對的事。它導致正義的外在行為,它產生我們今天所謂「一個更公平公正的社會」。

今天我們有責任向權力說真話。在我們社會,被任命的領袖有上帝授予的權利,去約束邪惡和促進美善(即使他們可能不這麼認為)。教會是被呼召,要為無聲者、被邊緣者、被忽視者、受害於不公義制度者發聲;與此同時,我們也被呼召要以友誼、仁愛和幫助,伸手接觸他們。

在三月底首次在港舉行的「全城轉化起動日」中,我們將會主持「公義」的專題分組會議(Justice Track),在其中檢視聖經公義的神學根源,並研究鼓勵年輕人參與成為社會和教會公義倡議者的方法。請加入我們並提出你的想法。

(城市轉化系列文章之二。作者聶東尼牧師〔Tony Read〕負責在灣仔葡萄藤教會促進公義事工,亦是亞洲公義特會的主席。柏祺城市轉化中心在港首次主辦的「全城轉化起動日」,將於今年三月廿三至廿四日舉行。詳情及免費網上登記:movementday.hk


以下為本文英語原文

The Church as Justice Advocate
by Tony Read

I have a book on my desk entitled ‘Just Politics’. When people see it they often give me funny looks because for many of us the idea that Politics can be Just is just a ‘pipe dream’! Politics often has more of a reputation for lies and dirty tricks than for honesty and truth. Some people would even say ‘never trust a politician’.

So the idea that Christians can or should get involved in the political sphere is considered to be like trying to mix oil with water. They don’t go together and they should not go together.

The problem is that most people would assume that politics means party politics and we all know how hostile and partisan that can be. Yet there are things that we as Christians should be concerned about and which I believe we have a responsibility to advocate for in society.

The Old Testament prophets spoke directly to their political masters about issues of justice that were seriously lacking in their administration. Accumulation of wealth; land grabbing; bribery; corrupt courts; ignoring the plight of the poor; perjury; were all issues that they denounced in the strongest terms. These were all examples of an unjust society in which powerful leaders were abusing their power and neglecting their responsibility as leaders to work for justice and righteousness in society. In the OT righteousness was not just spoken about as an inward spiritual relationship with God so much as doing right things. It resulted in outward acts of righteousness. It produced what we would call to day ‘a more fair and just society’

Today we have a responsibility to speak truth to power. The appointed leaders of our society have a mandate from God to restrain evil and promote good (even though they might not recognize it as such). The church is called to speak up for those who have no voice, who are marginalized, who have been neglected, who have been victimized by unjust policies, at the same time as we are called to reach out to them with friendship, love and help.

In the Justice Track of Movement Day Hong Kong, being held for the very first time in Hong Kong on March 23 & 24, we will look at the theological roots of biblical justice and consider ways that we can encourage young people to become justice advocates in society and in their churches. Come and join us and bring your ideas.

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