Issue 31: Is God Just? Justice and Humanity – Part One


If, for instance, God is unjust or simply by nature indifferent to justice (such as the lack of difference between the concepts of good and evil in Buddhism and Eastern Mysticism) then we are alone in our efforts. It also means that anything goes, that is, to the extent that you can get away with it. Survival of the fittest plays a significant role and there is no accountability or responsibility for what we do or do not do. It implies that we can use other people for our own ends, rather than loving them for themselves.

This notion can also produce a romantic understanding of heaven for some Christians, where we all get there in the end. However, we cannot so easily get away with the idea that there is no justice in the universe, or any sense of indifference towards issues of justice. The concept of an unjust God or an indifferent God can only be cold and heartless. It betrays our humanity and the validity of our being.

On the other hand, if God is a just God and justice is important to God then we face an entirely different world where justice matters and accountability is required. At the same time, we must face the fact that the concept of a just God can produce a particularly cold and harsh picture of God.

Such a picture of God had developed in Israel amongst the Pharisees in Jesus’ time. This picture did not reflect the revelation of God as Yahweh, who desired an intimate relationship with His people. The biblical texts tell us that God is a just God, but at the same time He is neither cold nor harsh. God’s justice is accompanied by faith, love, kindness and mercy. In representing a just God, Jesus challenges the Pharisees’ harsh application of the Law given through Moses that had become a burden for people to carry. He highlights their neglect of the more essential ingredients of the Law: justice, faith, mercy, kindness and love. This concept takes into account that this Just God is also Love.

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