One June 6, Justice Network partnered with NECT(NorthEast Community Transformation) to bring a simulcast of the annual Justice Conference to the NY/NJ tristate area. Cedar Hill CRC church in Wyckoff NJ hosted the simulcast event streaming from Chicago IL.
Twelve local exhibitors shared with the 125+ in attendance about how they can get involved locally in justice issues.
Globally, The Justice Conference has emerged as a premier gathering for Christian leaders,justice practitioners, students, and learners from all over the world seeking to leverage the power of community and catalyze the work of justice globally, nationally, locally and personally.
The simulcast speakers include Eugene Cho, Bob Goff, Lynne Hybels, and a host of other leaders in the field of biblical justice. As speaker after speaker challenged us in different ways, my pen flew across the paper. Here are some quotes that spoke to me, and I hope will speak to you as well, followed by a highlight video clip from the Justice Conference.
“Don’t just love the IDEA of justice. ‘Faith without works is dead.’ [Jms. 2:17] Even good things can be an idol. Justice can’t just be ‘trendy’. Everyone loves justice until there’s a cost. In John 4:4, ‘Jesus HAD to go through Samaria.’ You can’t just talk about Samaria. At some point, you need to walk through Samaria.”
“And don’t forget about humility [Micah 6:8] The world doesn’t need more jerks for Jesus. God never intended people to be your projects. When we reduce people to projects, we de-humanize them. Beware – don’t seek justice injustly.”
“I spent life avoiding the people Jesus engaged with.”
“We need ushers in church, not bouncers.”
“We’ll be known for our opinions, but we’ll be remembered for our love.”
“Flying under the banner of Christ either changes everything, or it changes nothing.”
“Let the gospel change you into the humblest version of you.”
“My fear is that when I get to heaven, Jesus will say, ‘Bob, with all your good opinions, you blocked people’s view of Me.’”
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“Don’t keep up with the Joneses. Keep company with Jesus.”
“God is black, red, every color – because God is light which is ALL the colors.”
“Love without justice is sentimentality. Justice without love is brutality.”
“The sign of an Old Testament prophet was raising kids. Jesus raised 2 kids. We need to be resurrecting kids. Too many consider kids disposable.”
“If my core identity is what I DO (preacher, freedom fighter, abolitionist…), then heaven is gonna be a long eternity. We need to be a Jesus guy/Jesus girl first.”
“Worship is the fruit of lips giving thanks to His name.”
Heb 13:15-16: “Worship and justice are two sides of the same coin. Worship is more than a song. Song and mission cohabitate in the kingdom of God.
“Justice isn’t a career path. It’s a theological imperative.”
Dr. Cornell West:
“Love your way through the darkness. If the kingdom is within you, then everywhere you go, you leave a little of heaven behind.”
“Justice is what love looks like in public.”
Perhaps one of the presentations that impacted me most was the video shown my Lynne Hybels about a movement in Israel started by an Israeli mother whose son was killed by a Palestinian and a Palestinian father whose 10 year old daughter was killed by an Israeli soldier. They started an organization, Parents Around The Table, based on Psalm 23:5, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” whose mission is to encourage reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. As a Jewish believer, I was personally challenged to face my own biases. As a Christian believer, I saw the Word of God lived out in the lives of those who were enemies in grief and came together in reconciliation to bring peace.
Next year, the Justice Conference will be held on June 304, 2016 in Chicago. And in Wyckoff, NJ, we will again host the simulcast. Mark your calendars now, and plan to attend. You won’t be disappointed!