Unjust Laws: When Sin is Institutionalised

I’ve been told by many so-called conservatives on many occasions that the Bible has nothing to say on social justice and institutionalised sin – that it’s only concerned only with the actions of individuals and Christians with social justice concerns are just following the culture.

I would suggest such individualism is itself more reflective of a western cultural perspective than an ancient Hebrew perspective. Here’s what just one prophet, Isaiah, had to say on the functioning of institutions:

“Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.”

Our society is governed by both people and the laws and policies they put in place. Such things are not ethically neutral, and when harm results from them it’s appropriate to repeal them and put better laws and policies in place. Isaiah is very clear on that.

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