Defining social justice
Commissioner MacMillan speaks on social justice
Commissioner M. Christine MacMillan, director of the International Social Justice Commission that was launched in July, discussed social justice and its meaning in a recent interview with Major Charles King, international communications secretary/editor-in-chief.
MacMillan said social justice can be interpreted broadly—including topics like human trafficking, climate change and caring for God’s creation, and religious freedoms—but focuses on standing on behalf of the marginalized.
“The issue is indicating that the Army is wanting to provide a transformational environment of God’s love to practically impact conditions of life to truly bless people,” MacMillan said.
Although administratively connected to International Headquarters, MacMillan’s office is located in New York City. An expanded office at the United Nations provides the Army a voice in global deliberations on social justice matters. The commission is working with other international agencies and organizations concerning such matters and is evaluating the role of the Army in relation to other major world forums, advising the General on representation therein. The small group of full-time specialists, all committed Salvationists, liaise regularly with territorial and other Army groups engaged in social justice advocacy, seeking to ensure a coordinated approach and offering encouragement and guidance.
“The marginalized includes more than just the poor,” MacMillan declared. “We have to have eyes to see and ears to hear what the issues are and where they are hidden. This is an opportunity to reflect on the DNA of our own theology…to be concerned about our neighbor…to create a conscience within the territories.”
MacMillan said it is important for all of the territories to partner together. “We need to galvanize our resources together,” she said. “That’s a territory saying they want to be part of the global mission.
“In Scripture justice is not just about equality, it’s about grace,” MacMillan continued. “When you look outside of yourself, your salvation will dawn… I like to think of a storyline of God’s plan. In the salvation plan, social justice is a continuous thing. How we look at and treat people is important in the kingdom of God.”
Listen to the full interview at www.salvationarmy.org.