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Our Mutual Mission of Love-Driven Justice

Article originally posted by Light + Life Magazine Jun 29, 2023, | Live It TogetherJuly 2023Vital Signs

Psalm 89:14 says, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.” Or as Eugene Peterson devotionally states, “The Right and Justice are the roots of your rule; Love and Truth are its fruits.” (MSG version)

And complimenting this sentiment, Psalm 111:7–8 adds, “The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy. They are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.”

We continue to read, “For the LORD loves justice; he will not forsake his faithful ones” and “Mighty King, lover of justice, you have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.” (Psalm 37:2, 99:4)

As you see for the psalmist and us, it is not simply that God cares abstractly about justice; it is that God loves justice, does justice, is justice, and provides our trustworthy foundation through his precepts in how to act Justly.  

Peter Drucker’s, The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Nonprofit Organization remains a relevant leadership resource and reminder. The five questions Drucker shares embody his core leadership principle to serve is to live. One of those fundamental questions to identify that principle is, “What is our mission?” We know that mission inspires, gives purpose, guides, builds legacy, and impacts, and should be evaluated and measured often.

“For such a time as this, to accomplish this mission, we have been called to ignite a Spirit-fueled movement that embodies five values that we view as a whole.”

The Free Methodist Church USA mission inspires, gives us purpose, and impacts the world by calling us to love God, love people, and make disciples. For such a time as this, to accomplish this mission, we have been called to ignite a Spirit-fueled movement that embodies five values that we view as a whole, each bringing balance and shape to our identity as we participate in making this mission known to the world.

One of those values is Love-Driven Justice! We define this part of our identity in mission by the following:

Love is the way we demonstrate God’s heart for justice by valuing the image of God in all women, men, and children, acting with compassion toward the oppressed, resisting oppression, and stewarding Creation. 

We devote ourselves to our founders’ deep convictions around matters of injustice as they took their stand against the evils of slavery, the oppression of the poor, the marginalization of women, and the abuse of power in the church.

Our heart for justice continues and expands today, fueled by God’s holy love for the unborn, the vulnerable, oppressed, marginalized, and people of all races and ethnicities.

The Free Methodist Way is not only to realize a better society but that all may be reconciled to God and one another in ways that reflect God’s just character.

Our founders relentlessly pursued the mission by introducing people to the saving grace of Christ, promoting holiness both set apart and invasive, and transforming society for the sake of God’s character and definition of justice.

B.T. Roberts reminded us when talking about being an earnest Christian that truth and justice are recognizable attributes of God, and in whatever way they may be trampled in the dust, we as a people know we cannot be false to them and, at the same time, be true to God.

In other words, in the days we live where truth and justice are both trampled and misunderstood in both secular and sacred spaces, we, as Free Methodists, are called to pursue our lives in Christ in such a way that His truth guides us in our biblical practice and witness of justice in our churches, communities, nation, and world.

Our theological foundation as Wesleyans is steeped in love and relationship and, therefore, defines us as we “love God, love people, and make disciples.” This theological foundation has caused us to pursue freedom that takes the Methodism we inherited and expresses it in uniquely defining ways of how we treat one another.

Love-Driven Justice invites us to see our freedom not only as a gift of grace to be received but a gift of grace to be given persistently so that others may experience freedom in Christ, leading to a life that flourishes and thrives in our churches and communities.

“Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.”

– Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.”

As Free Methodists, we are joyfully caught in this mutuality, bringing our witness, practices, and theology to the world.

Kingdom People

I leave you with this encouragement and an important goal for the value of Love-Driven Justice from our friend Rev. Dr. Howard Snyder:


Kingdom people seek first the Kingdom of God and its justice; church people often put church work above concerns of justice, mercy, and truth. Church people often think about how to get people into church; Kingdom people think about how to get the church into the world. Church people worry that the world might change the church; Kingdom people work to see the church change the world.

When Christians put the church ahead of the Kingdom they settle for the status quo and their own kind of people. When they catch a vision of the Kingdom of God their sights shift to the poor, the orphan, the widow, the refugee ‘the wretched of the earth’ and to God’s future.

“If the church has one great need it is this: to be set free for the Kingdom of God, to be liberated from itself as it has become in order to be itself as God intends.” – Rev. Dr. Howard Snyder

They see the life and work of the church from the perspective of the Kingdom. If the church has one great need it is this: to be set free for the Kingdom of God, to be liberated from itself as it has become in order to be itself as God intends (“Liberating the Church, The Ecology of Church and Kingdom”).

Our mission is clear to love God, love others, and make disciples. Now may we demonstrate it. May Love-Driven Justice be one of the ways we participate in integrating this mission to the glory of Jesus and the freedom of people.

“Justice is not just a temporal problem seeking temporal solutions but a spiritually formed calling both individually and communally bringing a spiritual solution, Jesus.”

Scripture verses in this article are from the New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition unless otherwise noted.

Fraser Venter, D.Min., is the strategic catalyst for love-driven justice on the Free Methodist Church USA Executive Leadership Team. He previously served as the lead pastor of Cucamonga Christian Fellowship in Rancho Cucamonga, California, and as a superintendent of the Free Methodist Church in Southern California. He earned his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees at Azusa Pacific University. And is currently enrolled in the Masters of Justice and Advocacy at Fuller Seminary.

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