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Justice & Advocacy - an affiliate website of The Lehigh Conference of Churches

What is Justice?         What is Advocacy?

The church is called to charity and social service as well as justice and advocacy, but sometimes justice
is mistakenly equated to charity, or advocacy to social service.

Justice versus Charity

“He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice,
and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
–Micah 6:8

Charity entails giving as an act of generosity; we are often inclined to charity at Christmas
and Easter or other occasions when we hear of natural disasters that affect many people.

Doing justice, however, reflects a lifestyle that acknowledges God’s ownership of all creation
and exercises social, economic, and political power for the benefit of all people, and, in fact, all creation.

Advocacy versus Social Service

“Speak up for people who cannot speak for themselves. Protect the rights of all who are helpless.
Speak for them and be a righteous judge. Protect the rights of the poor and needy.”
— Proverbs 31:8-9

Advocacy recognizes that vulnerable people (whether individuals or whole communities) are sometimes treated unfairly and actively works for justice

Social service provides direct assistance to people in need.

Last updated April 6th, 2008.