Advocacy

“Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but one who turns a blind eye will get many a curse.” Proverbs 28:27

Why Advocacy?

Since the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, God has been advocating for His marred creation. His yearning for justice on the behalf of his fallen creatures has led him to the culminating sacrifice of his only son, who our Bible tells us is part of the Godhead. In sacrificing a part of his self, God demonstrated his attitude toward injustice and the lengths to which He would go to “Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed…[and ]deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” (Ps. 82:3-4 NIV).

Via the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, God has presented Christians with many stories illustrating how those who are called by His name should act in times of injustice. He used the prophets, and many other unlikely individuals, time and time again to warn and protect the people of old, and to instruct them in times of impending disaster: He sent Moses to Pharaoh to demand the release of the enslaved and oppressed Israelites; He allowed and heard Abraham’s pleadings to save the people of Sodom; God forced Jonah  to warn Nineveh of their precarious position with God and as a result the city was saved; He used Gideon to defend the Israelites against the Midianites; He placed Queen Esther in a strategic position, wherein she risked her life to save the Israelites from extinction; and the stories go on and on. In the New Testament, we find our Lord Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan, His illustration of a good neighbor laid out for the people of His day and for generations to come.  Clearly, these stories are indications of the heart of God toward those who are unable to defend or care for themselves. He continues to advocate for His creation today by the seed of advocacy He has planted within His people–His church.

As creatures created in the image of God, we identify with His need for justice to the poor and powerless in our world. And so,

“The witness of [the ELCA] in society flows from its identity as a community that lives from and for the gospel. Faith is active in love; love calls for justice in the relationships and structures of society. It is in grateful response to God’s grace in Jesus Christ that this church carries out its responsibility for the well-being of society and the environment… As a prophetic presence, this church has the obligation to name and denounce the idols before which people bow, to identify the power of sin present in social structures, and to advocate in hope with poor and powerless people. When religious or secular structures, ideologies, or authorities claim to be absolute, the church says, “We must obey God rather than any human authority” (Acts 5:29). With Martin Luther, this church understands that “to rebuke” those in authority “through God’s word spoken publicly, boldly and honestly” is “not seditious” but “a praiseworthy, noble, and…particularly great service to God.”  – Church in Society, A Lutheran Perspective

–From the ELCA advocacy webpage

How can I be an advocate?

By yourself, being an advocate can be difficult.  However, being an advocate today means adding your voice to the many other voices that are already speaking out against injustice.  It can be as simple as emailing a pre-written letter to your elected officials, which is increasingly influential as more people participate.  Learn more about becoming an advocate from these excellent organizations:

Evangelican Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services

Bread for the World

One.org

Comments are closed.