Thursday, May 26, 2016

Understanding Justice

Proverbs 28:5 - Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it completely.

Justice is a big issue in our society. Economic inequality seems to be growing. Racial inequality still exists in America despite 50 years of progress. Immigration rules are applied differently depending on one's country of origin, and sometimes one's religion, which sure seems unjust to most people. The sexual revolution has made some factions in our culture demand their version of justice even if it hurts the rest of the nation. Justice is important, but how to achieve it, in fact, how to define it, seems more complicated than ever. What seems like justice to one group feels like injustice to another.

Perhaps one of the reasons we struggle to understand justice is because we disagree on the source of justice. Most Christians see the source of justice as God. This is called the Divine Command theory, and it prevailed in American society until about 25 years ago. When applied correctly, this theory of justice makes for a stable society.

Many non-Christians see the source of justice as whatever the larger group agrees upon. This is called the Human Creation-Mutual Agreement theory. It is a relatively new concept in western thought and assumes people are basically good and want what is best for the group. Though that might sound acceptable at first glance, the problem arises when the group cannot agree on what is best for the group. When an agreement cannot be reached, someone must then "force" their view of what is good on everyone else. As soon as that happens, real justice is lost because now people are forced to do what is not good for all, only what is good for those with the power to force others to do their will.

As American culture has lost connection with the Divine, those in power have used their force to push forward mandates that are not always best for the larger group. In fact, they may ultimately be disastrous for the larger group. In the name of justice, great injustice is being done.

God knew this would happen and warned us about it in Proverbs 28:5, as well as in many other places in the Bible. These developments do not take God by surprise. They have happened in the past and will probably happen again if the Lord tarries. Those of us who believe that real justice comes from God must remain faithful to the Lord, speaking up for true justice, and perhaps enduring the hardships of human injustice from those who disagree with us, until such time as the Lord allows righteousness to prevail once again. This is the way it has always been and the way it will continue to be. It is our turn to be found faithful. Are we up to the task?

Lord, help us remain faithful to true justice even as our culture rejects Your divine commands. Bring revival to our land again so that Your justice reigns. Amen.


Dr. Terry W. Dorsett has been a pastor, church planter, denominational leader and author in New England for more than 20 years. He is a happy husband, a proud father and adoring grandfather. He is a cancer survivor and believes that God works powerfully through times of suffering. He has written a book about the spirit of offense that prevails in our current society. You can find all of his books at:


  1. Thank you Terry Dorsett for sharing this. It is certainly something that we all need to hear.

  2. Boom...Good Word, Terry