Reviews > Books

Nothing to fear

"Nothing to fear" Continued...

Issue: "2008 Daniel of the Year," Dec. 13, 2008

Entire families were suffering because brutal brick kiln owners held them in slavery. Young fathers languished in prison on trumped-up charges. Little girls were held in brothels and relentlessly assaulted by men who paid their "owners."

Q: Say a young lawyer is bored by corporate law. What interests and personality characteristics should he have to work for an organization like IJM?

At IJM we aspire to three primary attributes-to be Christian, to be professional, and to be bridge-builders. We set high goals, measure by outcomes, and work hard to achieve success: Our offices around the world are full of competitive, extremely bright, and hard-working lawyers, social workers, and investigators-but it is my great hope that the characteristic that would most define IJM's staff would be our love. And this is the trick: to take those powerful professional capacities into service among the poorest and weakest.

Q: Why should such a lawyer join IJM rather than, say, the Peace Corps? Are people called to IJM-and what does that calling look like?

Law is most fundamentally meant to address the issue of violence-and rule of law is the crying need of the poor in the developing world. A lawyer who wants to use his or her skills and training to address this urgent need of the world's poor is answering a call from God's own heart. Scripture makes it clear that God hates injustice and wants it stopped. Though a specific call to justice and the response to it may look different in each Christian's life, the call itself comes from God's very clear words to us.

Q: The term "social justice" is often used by the left. How can conservative Christians recapture that term without abandoning their political principles?

We must return to the basics. The pursuit of a just society is a very fundamental biblical calling and has always been a bedrock commitment of thoughtful conservatism. We are not talking about nuanced social engineering projects. We are talking about protecting the most basic liberties of poor people made in the image of God-the right not to be raped, illegally detained, assaulted, dispossessed, and enslaved. This is still a great struggle and Christians are called in this generation to fight as they always have in history.

Q: Why is it good for us as Christians to go beyond where our own strength can take us?

When we choose to follow God beyond where our own strength can take us, He rescues us from our small prisons of triviality and fear-and this is a good and beautiful and freeing thing.

When we walk with God to the jagged edges of our faith-the places beyond our own control, beyond what we may see the crowd around us doing or approving-God promises we will experience Him: His power, His wisdom, and His love. I can imagine no greater thing for any Christian to experience than that.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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