Fwangmun Oscar Danladi – Reflections on The Justice Conference Global 2021
I first heard about The Justice Conference last year, and like a village boy who dreams to one day visit the city, I was hoping that one day I will have the opportunity to participate. Fortunately for me, my dream came to pass with an invitation, not just to participate but to be on a panel as a young theologian to discuss, “Climate change and Inequality” with other seasoned and experienced speakers around the world. What a great opportunity!
At first, I was sad knowing that The Justice Conference was going to be online – in the past it has been in-person gatherings. I felt that the experience for some reason would not be the same. However, I quickly realized that this year’s online version was testament to the fact that the church is not bound by walls, and the global church has never been so connected, particularly in speaking against the issues that have affected all humanity so severely. Hence, the conference reinforced the fact that the church is on the move, following the Master where the need is greatest, learning together God’s heart for justice and how best to speak truth to power and healing to the oppressed.
So much was said during the conference, however, the conference demonstrated strongly that scripture was being fulfilled – that creation is waiting in eager expectation for the manifestation of the children of God. The church spoke against injustices with a different expression, from the south to the north, from the young to the old, from the institution to the streets, from the seminaries to the sanctuaries. Listening to others has further challenged me to remain passionate for the cause of justice, and particularly the call to care for God’s creation.
I believe the church has a special and unique role to play in the struggle against rising global warming, climatic disbalances, and all the injustices around the world. I wish that the entire church would awake to this call and bring the power of the gospel of redemption to all the broken systems of this world. And I pray that the entire church would be willing to not just pray but also to act. The words of Kuki Rockham continue to echo in my ears, “The time to act was yesterday but we still have today.”
Like Jesus and his disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration, I wished we would just remain on the mountain of ‘The Justice Conference’. However, the essence of the conference is to spur everyone into action, not just endless conversation!
I must acknowledge that the call to justice is challenged within my context. Some Christians feel that it is a distraction from our anticipation of Jesus’ second coming. The conference clearly explained that we should see all injustices as gospel issues. It is also not just a reactive response to injustices like the climate crisis – it is an integral part of our mission and an expression of our worship of God! For instance, wouldn’t we still care for creation even if it were not in a crisis? I believe we will – in the new creation! We can then conclude that we care for God’s creation because it is something we ought to be doing today in joy and in obedience, and not just as a response to crisis!
Oscar is a young theologian, youth pastor, activist and emerging leader in Nigeria. He’s a passionate environmentalist currently involved in promoting environmental sustainability through radio interviews and projects around his community. He volunteers with a group of young people on the platform of, “Jos Green Centre,” a youth-driven initiative on green, renewable energy, eco-entrepreneurship and engagement with social issues. He connects with youth, inspiring them around environmental issues and connecting their faith with everyday activities. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fdanladi Twitter: Fwangmun_D