I love Justice More

December 18, 2017

For those who don't know me, or this is their first time they ever read a post from me: my name is Samuel Lee. I am a father, a pastor, author and a human rights activist. I am not sure if the 16 years old church, where I am pastoring, will be existing within coming three months or not. May be it will and may be not. We may soon loose our place of worship because the municipality has changed the housing rules and thus, we have to leave. As a migrant church, there is no place for us to go, the old church buildings are either fully occupied by other churches, or they are empty, ready to be sold for a mosque or a company to turn them into offices. 

 

Here I am, a pastor for the struggling migrants. The reason why I write this blog is to create awareness among believers concerning what is going on with some of our fellow migrant brothers and sisters; those who left home in search for a better future, a better life that is robbed from them in the countries of their origin. Those I am serving are not like average people working with a regular salary, with a home and a warm family. Some of these migrants have no right for healthcare, some have no right for education, some have no right to even exist, simply because they do not have proper document to stay in this country.  Some have not seen their children for the past 20 years; some have buried their loved ones without being present at their funeral service. Some never had a regular place to live, some are always on the run, and some are always hiding. Some of their friends have fallen down from 8th or 9th floor high balcony and died because of unexpected control in their apartments. 

 

On the other hand, I see many Christians (both natives as well as migrants) who are ignorant to the facts I mentioned above. They are having revival meetings, festivals and Spirit-filled rallies. They are dreaming for revival, for signs and wonders, looking for feeling nice and saving souls. They are looking for outstanding miracles that can make news here and there.  Yet, most of them are ignorant. Then, I observe other kind of Christians, those believers who come together to discuss theology, eschatology or hermeneutics. They write, they discuss and have their intellectual and theological “orgasm” yet, they are ignorant of the fact that in their own civilized nations, be it the Netherlands, or Belgium, USA or UK there are fellow believers who are struggling to survive, they battle to live. They fight for justice, they desire to be counted and seen as human beings. They worship in degraded buildings, under the garages and in the parking lots. I never forget those days in my life, where I ministered in rotten wooden building under a parking garage near the garbage area. 

I love my fellow Pentecostal/Charismatic and traditional believers. Pentecostals are longing to “shake” their countries with the glory of God and they pray for revival in their nations. My question to them is: “Is there a room for us migrants, in this revival you are dreaming for? Is there a place in your hearts for undocumented immigrant?” The Charismatic church has enough superstars, far too many miracle makers with jets and bodyguards, but I am looking for a day when the Charismatic church will produce Mother Theresas, Martin Luther Kings and even Mahatma Gandhis. I ask my traditional churches the following: “Does your intellectualism and theology attach us to you? Do we have a chance with you? Or we are only a subject for research and your theological discussions?” 

 

I am a Pentecostal pastor. I am very well aware of my background. I like signs and wonders, but I love justice more. I like to see the dead are being raised, but love righteousness more. I like to see people feeling “high” in the spirit, but I love sacrifice more.  I may like some tele-evangelists, but I love Jesus more. I like to be touched by the spirit and laugh continually, but I love to cry for justice more. A Christianity that is not standing for the rights of the fragile, for the undocumented migrants, for the poor and the suffering, for the widows and orphans is a worthless Christianity. It is simply a dead religion, even though it has a sign of liveliness. 

My fellow friends, may be what I am writing here doesn’t make any sense to you. May be what I argue here seems to be sentimental and emotional, but I can’t help it. I can only say to you that the world much is bigger than our little walls we have built around ourselves. One day we shall meet, one day we all have to give an count for how we have represented Christ and how we have advertised His Name. 

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A New Kind of Pentecostalism

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© 2010-2019 by Samuel C. Lee

 

Samuel Lee (Ph.D.) is university lecturer, at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam - Faculty of Religion and Theology (FRT-VU), and director for Center for Theology of Migration, the educational program of Samen Kerk in Nederland at the FRT-VU. 

He is the founder of Foundation Academy of Amsterdam, offering higher education in liberal arts and humanities for migrants, refugees and persecuted minorities.

 

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