In Scripture, we see countless examples of Jesus standing up for and siding with people who’ve been oppressed and marginalized. Jesus called his disciples to love their neighbors as themselves (Mark 12: 30-31) and he modeled a way of living that did not exclude people based on status or identity. In fact, the opposite is true - he interacted with all different kinds of people. His meeting with “the woman at the well” is the perfect example of this.
When Jesus encountered the Samaritan woman, she expected their interaction to go badly. Because of her ethnicity, she was used to being mistreated. In the culture of the day, Jews responded to Samaritans with hostility. However, Jesus approached the woman with dignity and respect. He took time out of his day to sit down with her, enjoying a drink of water as he ministered to her.
As Christians, we are called to treat people with the same approach. We are called to stand on the side of love and justice and against oppression and injustice.
As we look at the roots of injustice across the world, a common thread emerges – dehumanization.
Dehumanization is a sin that strips away the intrinsic value that we are all born with and deprives a person or group of their right to flourish. Currently, we’re seeing evidence of this in the racial injustice that has long afflicted and continues to affect people of color in all parts of the world.
But this was never God’s intention.
So, how did we get here?
This is a question we seek to answer in Culture of Justice, a collection of devotionals that identifies the unique role Christians play in combating dehumanization and racial injustice in our society.