In America, rousing a crowd to action often means pointing to inequality or a suppression of rights. We love our justice for all. And to be sure, many such problems deserve our attention as Christians. We should take up the cause of those who can’t fight for themselves.
But it’s really a sandy foundation.
By its very nature, following Jesus is about giving up our rights. We shed our personal kingdoms, we throw down our claims for self-rule. We become a slave. In our hands, instead, is a cross—a symbol of humiliation and brokenness and victory.
We’re called to live as Jesus lived and to do what we see the Father doing. In other words, when we make a cause about “rights,” we’re pointing to us—not Him. When we charge in to remove injustice for the sake of injustice, we’ve stepped beyond the bounds of the gospel.
God is a God of justice. But that doesn’t have anything to do with human rights or fairness or equality. It has to do with seeing God’s kingdom break out all over. And when God’s kingdom breaks out, then we see transformation. Then we see what His love can do.
From a human perspective, God’s kingdom isn’t fair. He doesn’t allow “equal” marriages; He doesn’t let us live like we think we should; He doesn’t give us our “rights.”
So, what do we get instead? Jesus and a righteousness we don’t deserve. To be blunt, all our rights are like dung compared to that.