Concerned for the Oppressed and Needy?

It is easy for someone to demand fairness and tolerance from an ideological stance, a personal view, or even a philosophic approach. But real life is not ideal, and ideology and philosophy clash with the harsh realities of everyday life.

Reality and objective truth will never conform to anyone’s ideological, philosophical, or religious viewpoint. And yes, absolute, objective truth exists no matter how relativistic morality and culture may become, even though people challenge or try to redefine truth.

Personal opinions are just that—personal. They are subjective, not objective. They are captive to emotions and outside influence. Personal opinions are fickle.

Culture changes. It is not objective or absolute. A simple review of modern history reveals how culture does not just waver. It swings from one extreme to another.

Personal opinions, politics, and philosophy, including ideologies and religious views, drive the currents of cultural change. This should be self-evident but consider how relativism drives and characterizes our present culture.

And it is not just moral relativism, it seems as if anything and everything is questioned as to its veracity, even physical and scientific realities. Just because you can think or imagine something does not make it a reality.

At some point, those of us who trust in God need to hold the line regarding the truth. We must not only take a stand against dishonesty and immorality but also stand up for the oppressed and disadvantaged.

“Speak out for the one who cannot speak, for the rights of those who are doomed. Speak out, judge fairly, and defend the rights of oppressed and needy people.” (Proverbs 31:8-9 GW)

As I read and think about what these two verses express, I hear the polarized arguments and opinions of our present American culture in the background. People speak out for those who seem to have no voice and appear defenseless. I am thinking of those concerned with refugees and illegal immigrants. But is anyone genuinely listening to them? Are these voices speaking on behalf of those they are concerned about or for them?

There is a difference. We can speak for someone yet not express what they think and feel. I have seen this when one spouse answers a question for another in their presence. When we speak on behalf of another, we should share what is in their heart and mind, not ours.

One segment of the world’s population is doomed and defenseless, with no voice of its own, pushed aside and ignored for the sake of another segment of the population. I am referring to the unborn, whose lives are cut off before it begins outside the womb.

Life begins at conception. This is a biological reality. It may not be the existing interpretation of the law in the USA in all states and by all people, but it is true.

America’s Declaration of Independence and the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution speak of equal rights. The Fourteenth Amendment is the basis of civil rights for all humanity and recognizes former slaves as humans with equal rights.

Before this, slaves of any gender or age were considered chattel. They were mere possessions of their “masters.” The Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision of 1973 did the same to the unborn, and some states have already extended this beyond actual birth.

Although Roe v Wade was overturned, a legal interpretation still denies the rights of the unborn in many states based on opinion, not scientific fact. This was and is a slippery slope, as prophetically expressed in the book and video series — Whatever Happened to the Human Race?

Causes, whether secular or religious, usually begin with a concern but often develop a life of their own. How does this happen? Emotions, opinions, and personal views replace the concern and drive the conversation instead of reason.

My wife and I worked with abandoned and abused children and young women for many years. Prior to developing our ministry in the Philippines for the abandoned and abused, we were foster parents for several years in the US.

We have real-life, firsthand experience as advocates of those in dire need and who need protection and restoration. But we were never protesters, and we still are not. We are doers, along with thousands of others, engaged in similar work throughout the world.

We have heard and seen many people show concern and even speak out on behalf of those who are oppressed and at risk. But talk is cheap. Causes and opinions come and go. Real advocacy has no agenda, but does what is needed to help those in need.

If you have a genuine concern for the defenseless, needy, and oppressed, then consider these three admonitions — “Speak out. Judge fairly. And defend the rights of oppressed and needy people.”

  • Speak out — It’s good to speak out for those who have no voice, but be sure you do so for their benefit, not just your view of them and their situation.
  • Judge fairly — Be objective, not subjective. Do not be driven by emotions and opinions. Ask genuine questions and listen to those you want to defend. Put yourself in their place and see things from their point of view.
  • Defend the rights — Throughout history and in every nation, some are guilty but get set free and those who are innocent yet condemned unjustly. The Lord knows this firsthand. He was betrayed and put to death as the one and only innocent Man ever (Matt 27:19-26).

We will all come before the only One who is able to judge justly—God. Here are some concluding thoughts from the Scriptures—

But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless. (Psalms 10:14 NIV)

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. (Psalms 68:5 NIV)

He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you—But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8 NKJV)

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