Beware, Selective Justice Everywhere

By Nelson Thomas Mumbai

The recent death of Father Stan Swamy under judicial custody in Mumbai and the demolition of a church in New Delhi attracted the attention of many around the globe. Many see it as a sign of growing intolerance and hatred towards Christians in India. By the way, both the incidents happened under the watch of judiciary.

Father Stan Swamy was arrested for his alleged connections with a banned outfit. Before the court could make a final judgement on his appeal for bail, he passed away while he was under treatment in a hospital. Regarding the demolition in New Delhi, according to reports it was built on an encroached government property and the structure was pulled down as a result of a court order, that too through the efforts of another Christian. The argument of many Christians in Delhi is that there are many other religious places all over India on encroached land.

Compared with many other neighbouring countries, Christians in India are still enjoying much freedom and we must praise God for that. The founding fathers of this nation adopted a constitution that guarantees enough freedom to believe, practice and propagate one’s faith. At the same time, how much of this constitutional right is practically available to each citizen is a different question.

Flawed law

Not only about religious freedom, even on many other matters we can notice that certain people in India act as if they are above the law. They feel free to do anything they want. They don’t fear the law, and the law too often remains silent or lenient with them.

The result of such selective justice in India is visible in every area of life, like business, politics, religion, etc. It is due to such mockery of judicial system that certain people die waiting for a legitimate bail, while some others easily move around even after having a dozen cases filed against them.

Same with the encroachment issue; there are people who took it as a business. They grab any vacant land, develop it gradually and sell it off. The law enforcement agencies never see all such illegal activities, especially in the cities. However the same agencies are zealous to act against some others. What does it mean? What can we learn from all these irregularities prevailing in this land?

A Christian response

A true Christian will always seek to live by the law of the land where he resides. We ought to remember that we are not supposed to circumvent the law as many others do. We cannot even search for loopholes in the rules to overcome it.

Let the privileged and powerful do what they like, but let us be true to God and the authorities irrespective of the level of their integrity. Particularly, when there are people who look for an occasion to demoralize and demonize Christians using the law of the land, let us not give them an opportunity.

Our duty as born again Christ-lovers is to communicate the message of Christ through our words and deeds. It’s not a healthy practice for believers to indulge in the social, political issues prevailing around us. Yes, seeing the injustice and exploitation of the poor and the marginalised, one may be challenged to raise a voice against that. However, our response should be confined to the limits set forth in the word of God.

Consider the times when the Lord Jesus was on earth and that of apostles. There were enough social problems in those days yet we don’t see any of them gather a crowd against the government or making any effort to overthrow the regime. Instead the Lord said, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." (Matthew 22:21b) Apostles Paul wrote, “Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.” (Romans 13: 7) The scripture teaches that it is God who allows a ruler to sit on the throne and it is He who removes him. (Romans 13:1; Daniel 2:21).

Heavenly Citizens

It is true, the Lord Jesus and His disciples spoke about the evil prevailing among mankind but never involved in political and social matters. The Lord Jesus Himself made it clear, “My kingdom is not of this world.” John 18:36. We as followers of Jesus Christ are not here to make this world a better place but to invite men and women for a better place through the gospel of Jesus Christ. This does not mean that we should be blind to the needs of the fellow citizens. We ought to sympathize with the poor and needy, but that should not be by sacrificing our primary responsibility of exalting the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Moreover, though we are living in this world, we have a different value system and a different goal in life. (John 17: 14, 18) "Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:21) That’s why Apostle Paul warns, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2Corinthians 6:14)

A careful consideration of the above-mentioned verses and similar passages in the Bible reveals that a born again Christian cannot come together along with unbelievers under one yoke because it’s unequal. Any effort from the believer’s part in love and compassion for the underprivileged should never be a cause for misinterpretation of Christ and His followers.

Yes, the Lord Jesus commands us to live as salt and light in this world. (Matthew 5: 13 – 16) Definitely, it is the presence of God’s people in the society that gives light, taste and even a divine protection for the land. Nevertheless, it is our responsibility to see that the enemy does not have a reason to rejoice over us. (1Timothy 5:14b) Beware of the real state of affairs and behave prudently.




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