5 Reminders That Justice Work Matters

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“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” —Matthew 25:40

Working for justice can seem frustrating, hopeless, and insignificant. Despite our work, volunteerism, financial donations, and advocacy, it’s easy to succumb to burnout. Most will never personally meet the people they’re trying to help or witness any obvious changes. They will face the constant cynicism of a seemingly uncaring and apathetic society. But here are five reasons why doing social justice work really matters:

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The Death of Childhood Christianity

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Does Christianity become more harsh and somber the older you get?

It’s convenient to scapegoat youth groups—and the younger generation—for being superficial, focusing on entertainment, and trying to be “fun” instead of facilitating true discipleship, but what if the church has the exact opposite problem: what if its lost its joy?

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What Makes Christianity Unique?

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Are all religions the same?

The ideologies, practices, and traditions associated with our beliefs aren’t that unique, and many characteristics we find within Christianity are found in other belief systems. For example, the following attributes we assume are “Christian” are actually practiced by numerous religions:

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The Rise and Fall of American Christianity

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The recently released Pew Research Center Report has revealed that Christianity within the United States is on the decline. Christians are freaking out and the fear mongering has begun — many seeing it as an apocalyptic sign of the moral downfall of our secular society coinciding with a theological weakening caused by “liberalism.”

Everyone seems to have an explanation of the data, and among Christians, the infighting has already begun, with most denominations rationalizing their growth, decline, or stagnancy by offering the same explanation: We’re theologically sound and remaining faithful to God while everyone else is getting it wrong.

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Is Christianity Getting Better or Worse?

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Stephen Mattson:

A remember amid the new data regarding Christianity…

Originally posted on Stephen Mattson:

Christians often follow a narrative that assumes everything is getting worse. Sermons, books, and movies preach that the End Times are just around the corner, and apocalyptic doom is an unavoidable fact.

Signs of the Armageddon are everywhere—and we love to point them out within a secular culture saturated with sex, drugs, and immorality.

It’s an easy temptation to evaluate, gauge, and measure the current—and upcoming—state of Christianity within this fearful context. It happens often, and when we take time to reflect on humanity and Christianity in general, the results are usually gloomy.

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A Mothers Day Reflection

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Originally posted on Stephen Mattson:

Moms should be celebrated, and they deserve all the flowers, spa days, pampering, and gifts given to them. I love my mom and I can’t thank her enough for all she has done for me and my family — Mother’s Day doesn’t even begin to cover the gratitude I have for her.

But for many, Mother’s Day is the most painful day of the year. For women who have experienced miscarriages, have had children die, have had abortions, who want to have kids but are struggling or unable to, have had to give up their children or currently have broken relationships with their kids, the holiday serves as a stark reminder filled with personal sorrow.

Christian communities can be especially harsh because of their tendencies to show favoritism to the idea of motherhood — as if mothers are somehow more holy and righteous than non-mothers. In an effort to praise…

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Let’s Stop Rationalizing Injustice

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Large segments of society refuse to believe that racial inequality exists within our justice system, and whenever an “incident” arises that gains mainstream attention, a disturbing trend is almost immediately conjured up in response to any demands for accountability and reform: the immorality of the victims.

They’re often aggressively criminalized.

He’s been arrested numerous times…

He should’ve respected authority…

If only he followed orders…

He was addicted…

He was in possession of…

He shouldn’t have resisted arrest…

His parents have felony convictions…

He was a thug…

He’s shown in photos holding up gang signs…

If only he had done this, this, and this…

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Has Christianity Become Too Busy?

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Originally posted on Stephen Mattson:

Jesus is famous for many things—like performing miracles, claiming to be God, and dying on the cross—but one of his most underappreciated characteristics was his ability to just hang out.

Whether it was attending weddings (John 2), resting from long journeys (John 4); participating in religious festivals (John 5), spending time with his followers and disciples, having dinner with the tax collectors (Matt. 9 and Mark 2), or eating and talking with Pharisees and prostitutes (Luke 7), Jesus spent a lot of time with people in casual, familiar, and very unremarkable circumstances—it was within these situations where the most profound miracles occurred!

Average interactions suddenly became divine—filled with transformation, redemption, and life-changing events. But the original settings were so ordinary.

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7 Things I Wish I Knew About Christianity Before Becoming A Christian

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Originally posted on Stephen Mattson:

Christianity comes with a lot of expectations. Some are biblical. Some, we’ve grafted on.

Sometimes we have unrealistic expectations of what our lives will look like after accepting Christ into our lives. We think seasoned Christians have it all together, always feel close to God and never doubt.

But it doesn’t take long for those illusions to be shattered. We soon realize that following Christ doesn’t look exactly like we expected.

Here are 7 things I wish I knew about Christianity before becoming a Christian:

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