Dr. King challenged people of faith to hold unjust systems accountable and to not be seduced into complacency or collusion. His challenge is clearly grounded in the prophetic truth-telling found in the Hebrew Bible. To understand the depth of this theme, we encourage you to look to the prophets Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Micah, and Amos. These prophets were fierce champions of justice.
Under close observation of these texts, we see Ezekiel condemning the princes, priests, and officials for practicing extortion, oppressing the poor and the needy, and denying justice. We also see Amos turn to religious leaders and plead for greater attention to justice: “Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” (Amos 5:23-24)
Time after time in the Hebrew Bible we find a litany of stories and testimonies about prophets who are clearly critical of the public, religious, and economic leaders for failing to live up to God’s vision for justice. Justice Matters seeks to carry on the prophetic tradition of calling systems back to what God created them to be.
For further study on the theme of the Prophetic Call to Do Justice, we encourage you to read “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and “The Prophetic Imagination" by Dr. Walter Brueggemann.