Seeking Justice for the People of Los Angeles

By Josh Beaton, Partnership Coordinator

Doing justice means giving people their due. It means giving people what we owe them as fellow image bearers of God. Every human being deserves and longs for vocation, dignity, hope, meaning, and value. Through the Gospel, Christ offers people the ultimate vocation as His servant, the ultimate meaning and value through His love, the ultimate sense of dignity as His child, and the ultimate hope in His sacrifice. I am overwhelmed with the emphasis the Bible puts on justice for people. I am even more overwhelmed with the deep need for Gospel centered justice on skid row in Los Angeles.

The charge in Micah 6:8 to do justice, to love kindness, to walk humbly with our God, is not minimized in the New Testament, but rather plays out in Christ’s life as shown in the book of Acts. The God of the Bible is a just God. He has always been just, and always will expect His people to seek justice for the marginalized. We live in an increasingly individualistic society, however, despite the popular belief of individual rights, the Bible overwhelmingly frames seeking justice for the poor, the orphan, the widow, and the immigrant in the context of community. These social classifications of people are dramatically present on skid row in Los Angeles. If you walk out the front door of the Union Rescue Mission on San Pedro St you will meet people from all walks of life. You will meet the drug addict seeking refuge from their slavery to addiction, you will meet the businessman who has fallen on hard times due to the declining economy, you will meet the child without a family. As a regenerate follower of Christ, we must seek justice for these people.

When Christians disengage from the struggle of justice for all people, the adornment of the Gospel and the credibility of the Church are at stake. The word “justice” searches out those who claim to be followers of the risen Christ, it tests our commitment to the Bible, and God’s people. We cannot look at the poor and oppressed and call them to pull themselves up by their own boot-straps. Christ did not treat us that way. Churches and Christians must work for justice and peace in neighborhoods through the communication of the Gospel and real service. At Next Step, my prayer for Los Angeles is that we continue to work for the eternal and common good of the city. Indifference to the poor means we have not grasped our own salvation.

One organization that has grasped the importance of justice on Skid Row is Union Rescue Mission. You will hear me speak of them very often as our main partner of Next Step in Los Angeles and we are beyond honored at this partnership. Below is a link to a video, sharing the story of a man named James. I met this man 4 years ago when I first interned in Los Angeles with Next Step. When he first came to URM he was addicted, had broken relationships, and was drifting away from God. I am thankful someone was there to tell him that in Christ he is valued, dignified, and has hope for the future. Please join us in Los Angeles to seek the peace and justice of the city!


Next Step Ministries