Injustice: Does Size Matter?

by Wendy Herrmann Smith | September 06, 2014

Is my pain bad enough to count? Does the injustice that I suffer meet the standard?

I attend a complementarian church where I am allowed to teach men in Sunday School, but I am not allowed to preach to them in worship because I am a woman. Neither may I serve on the board of elders which leads the church. For now, I believe I am to remain a member of this church. So I suffer the injustice of being denied these privileges.

But is “suffer” too strong a word? Christians in Iraq – and so many other places – are tortured, raped, and murdered for their faith. If I were to meet those Christians in person, I wouldn’t dare to mention the injustice I suffer in my church. My pain is a pinprick compared to theirs.

Do I have a right to complain? Does CBE have a right to exist when there are so many more serious problems in the world?

Yes. We have not only the right to exist but the obligation. Are there bigger problems than my church’s refusal to ordain me? Yes. But the psalmist says, blessed are those “who execute justice for the oppressed,” and that means fighting oppression wherever it festers and stopping it before it morphs into something worse. We should not ignore the injustice we see over here simply because it is not as bad as the injustice we see over there.

Watch Jesus. He is smashing through the temple in anger. That is God’s reaction to injustice in all its degrees and forms – fury.

And God weeps. With us and for us.

Pray for the persecuted Christians and assist them if it’s possible. And keep fighting the battles God brings to you.

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@writerwhsmith