Injustice and Totalism

Just reading and pondering, and trying not to quickly read over Paul’s words in Romans but take them in and ask some questions. It seems like I have landed on the word injustice and so I ask myself if I am filled with “every injustice” or what that means, how could that be, why and what can I do about it.

Strangely enough, before Lent I stumbled into the Old Testament and have doing some study there. Truthfully, I had no idea how much I had missed in reading the OT as a just a literal account. Needless to say that my mind is being blown by learning how the OT speaks to us right now. I am learning quite a lot about the OT and it’s teachings on injustice from Old Testament scholar Walter Bruggeman. One cannot go very far into injustice without getting into what Walter Bruggeman calls Totalism. “Totalism” is Brueggemann’s term for the normalization of a military-industrial-complex, both in the ancient world of the Biblical texts and our market-driven war economy today.) Bruggeman says “The first prophetic task is to be clear on the force and illegitimacy of totalism.”

At this point, I am aware that when I don’t love my neighbor (all creatures and creation) as myself, then I am committing injustice, and just one injustice against one of my neighbors is an injustice against all my neighbors. Even writing this, I am convicted of the injustice I have done and am still doing each and every day as I live, move and have my being in a culture built and sustained by totalism.

My reading today: Romans 1:28
And, as they did not deem it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God surrendered them to a reprobate mind, to do indecent things, 29Having been filled with every
injustice (unfairness/wrong)

What is injustice?

“One of the misfortunes in the long history of the church is that we have mistakenly separated love of God from love of neighbor and always they are held together in prophetic poetry.

Covenant members who practice justice and righteousness are to be active advocates for the vulnerable and the marginal and the people without resources and that then becomes the way to act out and exhibit one’s love of God.

So love of God gets translated into love of vulnerable neighbors. And the doing of Justice is the prophetic invitation to do what needs to be done to enable the poor and the disadvantaged and the neglected to participate in the resources and the wealth of the community.

And injustice is the outcome of having skewed neighborly processes so some are put at an unbearable disadvantage.

And the gospel invitation is that people intervene in that to correct those mistaken arrangements.” Walter Brueggemann

Forms of Injustice

1)Economic Injustice

A Christian Perspective: Defunding American Totalism

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