America has seen several tragic events recently, from the shooting in Ferguson to the death of Eric Garner. Protestors are out on the streets calling for justice. We all are questioning the justice system in American and changes that need to be put into place. But what is justice and where does it come from?
Merriam-Webster defines justice as:
jus·tice: noun \ˈjəs-təs\
: the process or result of using laws to fairly judge and punish crimes and criminals
I hold that justice comes from God, the one true judge, and by His character. Without God, there can be no justice. Only religions that worship the true and living God can contain a consistent and true view of justice. We all are the guilty party. We sin against God and need to be judged for this sin. However, Jesus came in the flesh as a man (John 1:14). Jesus lived a sinless life to be our representative before God (2Corinthians 5:21). Through Jesus, justice is preserved.
However, other religions do not result in justice. In works-based religion, we are not judged for the crimes we have already committed. We get off scot-free by changing our behavior and doing better next time. True justice is not a component of works-based religions. Fair judgement is not dispensed for the crimes already committed by the individual.
Justice is also not a component of the atheist worldview. Within the atheist’s worldview, there is no fair judgment and punishment. Fair laws must be based upon God’s laws and unchanging character. Human laws are simply based on the collective subjective moral preferences and relative ideas of just punishments. The majority subjective moral preferences and the majority ideas of just punishments are then put into laws and enforced. This enforcement shows itself by separating people from friends and family and even death if a person follows their own subjective morality and subjective ideas of justice instead of going along with the group. Individual morality and idea of justice is not valued unless the people in power or the majority of the group decides to value it. This results to simple group suppression of the individual, group coercion, and physical punishment of the individual who does not conform the the collective subjective moral standard. Group oppression does not equal fair judgement and punishment.
Only through God’s law and by His character can fair judgment and punishment be found. We are all guilty for committing crimes against God (Romans 3:23). For there to be true justice, we must be punished for these crimes. However, God came in the flesh to satisfy the Father in heaven (1John 2:2), give to us His very righteousness (Phil. 3:9), and deliver us from the judgment to come (Romans 14:10).