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城市转化系列

教会作为公义倡议者

在我书桌上有一本题为《正义的政治》 (Just Politics,或译《不只是政治》(台湾:道声,2015))的书。人们看到这书时常会向我投以异样的目光,因为我们大多数都认为「政治可以是正义的」这句话根本只是空想!比起诚实和真确性,政治的谎言和手段可是臭名远播。有些人什至会说:「永不要信任从政者。」

所以,认为基督徒能够或应该参与政治领域的想法,就像尝试「水沟油」一般:两者并不相容,而且不应该相容。

问题是大部份人假设政治就是「政党政治」,而我们都知道那可以多么的充满敌意及偏颇。但是,在那里却有我们作为基督从所应该关心、且我相信我们有责任在社会中倡议的事。

旧约先知向政治领袖直谏在他们统治之下公义严重缺失的问题。囤积财富、掠夺土地、贿赂、贪污舞弊、漠视困苦、作假见证;全是先知们强烈谴责的问题。这些都是一个不公义社会,其中强权的领导层滥用权力,漠视自己应在社会执行公义的领袖责任。在旧约圣经中论到「义」,不仅仅关乎与上帝的内在属灵关系,而是关乎做对的事。它导致正义的外在行为,它产生我们今天所谓「一个更公平公正的社会」。

今天我们有责任向权力说真话。在我们社会,被任命的领袖有上帝授予的权利,去约束邪恶和促进美善(即使他们可能不这么认为)。教会是被呼召,要为无声者、被边缘者、被忽视者、受害于不公义制度者发声;与此同时,我们也被呼召要以友谊、仁爱和帮助,伸手接触他们。

在三月底首次在港举行的「全城转化起动日」中,我们将会主持「公义」的专题分组会议(Justice Track),在其中检视圣经公义的神学根源,并研究鼓励年轻人参与成为社会和教会公义倡议者的方法。请加入我们并提出你的想法。

(城市转化系列文章之二)

作者聂东尼牧师(Tony Read)负责在湾仔葡萄藤教会促进公义事工,亦是亚洲公义特会的主席。

柏祺城市转化中心在港首次主办的「全城转化起动日」,将于今年三月廿三至廿四日举行。
详情及免费网上登记:movementday.hk


英语原文:

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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