Righteousness and Justice
Am doing some research and thinking about the connection between righteousness and justice.
The camps of personal holiness piety people versus those liberal break the rules social justice types is an interesting divide.
I'm not sure why the chasm needs to exist apart from judgement on both sides and ungrace in general... but I know the connection between righteousness and justice is so important that together they form the foundation of God's sovereignty on the earth (check out Psalm 97).
Is it possible that high levels of personal holiness prevent us from rubbing shoulders and exchanging lives with those people who are oppressed and broken (because of their sin?)... I remember John Smith (the legend) telling me that he has never felt more connected with the average person than he does when he sits down and has a beer in a local pub with the bloke. All of sudden they are at the same level and the person feels comfortable to unload and tell the truth about his life etc...
That said, I've had some pretty decent conversations in a pub over a diet coke or a coffee but maybe holiness (in a religious puritanical sense) can sometimes act like a barrier as it shields and protects us from the realities of life. On the other hand of that one I come from a movement of people who's earliest memories are engaging themselves in the muck and mire of deeply oppressed people... sharing their lives etc... didn't seem to act as a barrier for them?
On the other hand what is justice if it doesn't impact people from the inside out. Obviously external rights aren't the same as a change of mind and behaviour. Only God can change the heart. Anyway, I won't write the whole ten pages of questions and roots and history etc... suffice to say separating justice from righteousness is like trying to separate one body - you can only do so with great pain and the end is death - to both. I'd prefer God's presence... even in the tension.