27 February 2011

Justice Conference - Part 1: : Ken Wytsma : : Why Justice

A couple weekends ago the roommate and I trudged over to Bend for The Justice Conference sponsored by World Relief. It was an inaugural event, so I'll admit that my expectations were fairly low. I recognized a few names on the roster of speakers but not most. The pre-conference breakout sessions were interesting but sitting all day listening to speakers in my sleep deprived state was a challenge. I loaded up on caffeine to make it through the evening; the official start of the conference. But I was so enthralled with the two speakers that evening I think I would have managed to stay awake without any chemical help. The conference as a whole knocked my socks off and sent them to orbit, it was so good. I'm still mulling over what was said, processing the insights gained; as an aide in doing so I want to post the key thoughts I picked up on from each speaker and the video. I would gladly welcome dialoguing and hearing your views on any of the topics.

First up, to kick off the conference, was Ken Wytsma, the pastor of Antioch Church in Bend. His title was "Why Justice." Below is the video of his session.
Here are some of the key thoughts I picked up on during his talk:
  • Justice is mercy. 
  • We can't fix the world, but we can change the world.
  • Choosing to intervene and fight for justice is messy, you lose out on the benefits of a just society and have to pour your life into the mess of injustice.
  • There are three reasons for justice:
    • Biblical: the sense that we ought to, but guilt holds us back.
    • Religious: we should fight for justice because of love, but the cost will often stop us.
    • Personal: God has given us a calling, but confusion and/or fear keeps us immobile.
  • Empathy comes before action, concern is part of our love.
  • Service is love in work clothes - action through which love is manifest
  • It is so much better to invest your life for justice, than to spend it improving your golf game. 
  •  If we give our life to God and spend it on justice, we gain our life.

Ken Wytsma :: Why Justice? from The Justice Conference on Vimeo

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