Catch Fire Day 35 Justice and Holiness 1 Peter 2:11-25
When I was in college, we were in “war” against our own government (in the form of student demonstration). The catch phrase was “justice.” At that time the advice of the 1 Peter 2:13, “Accept the authority of every human institution,” bothered me. That could be easily abused by the authorities as we had seen in the slavery.
When I am getting older, I am thinking a lot about “holiness” more than about “justice.” These days, not many people are seeking for “holiness.” Some even think that the word, “holiness,” should be banned or not used. I believe, however, we have to achieve “holiness” and make a “holy nation” in our country and on earth for world peace!
Justice demands a fair share for everybody. Holiness asks sacrifice of my share for others. In a just society, everybody can have his or her own rights be protected. In a holy society, everybody would sacrifice his or her own rights to serve others better. If we are trying to make a just society and demanding justice, the whole world will be in continuous revenge as we have seen in the Middle East. If we are working together to make a holy society and asking forgiveness and sacrifices, the whole world will be in peace.
Some people do not want to use the term, “holiness,” and use “restorative justice” as an alternative to the “retributive justice.” Restorative Justice was experimented at the South Africa. Instead of taking revenge, Nelson Mandela took steps for reconciliation and peace-making in and for his country. He forgave his enemies and suggested working together for a new society. That was a “holy” decision. Holiness includes more than what justice can do.
When we emphasize “justice” we are focusing on legal due process and fair share. We need more lawyers and complicated law systems, which will be far from perfection. People will still figure out how to avoid legal charges and to meet their own needs without being caught. When we emphasize “holiness,” however, we are focusing on accountability and sacrifices. We will have many responsible citizens and healthy relationships, which will promote growing together. In other words, we want to raise caring, loving, and sharing citizens who are more than legal, righteous, and self-sustaining.
Peace and “Justice” cannot go together. Peace will go hand in hand with “Holiness.” Peace without justice is a fake peace. Peace with justice is a forced peace. Only peace with holiness is genuine peace. Let us go beyond “right” answer and “just” relationships to find “holy” answers and “caring” relationships.