Fall 2015

Crack the Window

Let in some light on the issue.

EFCA leaders offer thoughtful insights on issues of justice.

Arloa Sutter

Founder and director, Breakthrough Urban Ministries, Chicago

The last part of Isaiah 65 gives a portrait of life when God’s kingdom is finally established on the earth. The city will be a delight. People will live long productive lives in their own homes. They will have an abundance of good food and will enjoy fruitful labor. They will have intimate communication with God and will be blessed. And “children will no longer be born doomed to misfortune.” Even the animals will live in peace with one another. This is the way it is supposed to be. This vision gives us our marching orders.

Dr. Ron Hesselgrave

Education/resource coordinator,

EFCA ReachGlobal, Europe/Asia

Christians often give primary attention to “retributive justice”—that is, “giving each his/her due,” usually in the sense of punishment for wrongdoing. While this is found in Scripture, biblical justice looks beyond simple retribution to restoration—doing what is needed to restore healthy relationships, foster individual well-being and renew hope within the covenant community as a manifestation of God’s redemptive purpose to make all things new.

Marc Nettleton

Director of advancement, 2nd Mile Ministries (EFCA), Jacksonville, Florida

I know it makes people uncomfortable; I know some consider it divisive; I know it completely scares folks, but I think race needs to be discussed more. It intersects most justice issues in America in some way, shape or form. Immigration policy and incarceration immediately come to mind as issues that cannot be discussed with integrity without having a real understanding and willingness to talk about race in America.

Diane Martinez

Director, Immigrant Hope-Santa Barbara;

member, Shoreline Community Church (EFCA),

Santa Barbara, California

As a church we seem to have separated justice from evangelism. However, when we apply justice to our relationships in the same manner the Lord showed us His justice, they are inseparable. There is a reason Jesus stated that all the Law and the Prophets hang on two commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” and, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Clete Bontrager

Associate pastor, Restore Church (EFCA),

Detroit, Michigan

About seven years ago, when I was living in Oregon, I was doing what I call transactional social justice—visiting the inner city to feed and clothe the homeless. But I became convicted that justice was not how I was living my day-in, day-out life. When we started Restore Church, we moved into the context where we minister, so that our justice would not be transactional but relational. We do give food away and seek to help clothe those around us, but we do so through relationships we have built—loving our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:31-32).