Amos and Social Justice - Part 1

Amos was a shepherd who lived in the region of Tekoa, not many miles from the city of Jerusalem. He earned his living by raising sheep and taking care of sycamore trees. He was not a prophet, son of a prophet or priest. He was an ordinary man chosen by God for a specific purpose: to prophesy to Israel. God called him, shepherd's staff in hand, and sent him forth to warn his straying people.

Amos' message was to an age of unprecedented post-war prosperity in the middle of the 18th century. Materialism had become the order of the day. Politically, the kingdom was secure. Samaria, its capital, was considered impregnable. Under Jeroboam II, Israel enjoyed a remarkable cultural, social, and economic revival. It was the last glorious period in the history of the kingdom of Israel. The hopes and expectations of the people were lifted to the highest heights. They looked forward with great anticipation to even greater success and declared a great "Day of the Lord" when God Himself would take the battlefield against their antagonists.

It was also a time of fervent patriotism. Everyone seemed unanimous in the conviction that God had at long last begun to fulfill His ancient promises to the nation (Genesis 9:25-27). Such was the climate into which, without warning, was catapulted the dynamic personality of Amos.

The prosperity enjoyed by the Northern Kingdom was accompanied by an almost unparalleled degree of social corruption which was caused primarily by the demoralizing influence of Canaanite Baal-worship which Jeroboam II developed at the local shrines.

The effect of this degenerating influence upon Hebrew society began to be felt in the corruption of justice, in willful and luxurious living of the upper classes, and in the general decay of social unity. The wealthy exhibited no responsibility towards the poor, and instead of relieving their economic distress, the rich seemed hell-bent upon depriving their less fortunate counterparts of all their property. Within a short period of time, the nation whose strength had subsisted in the mass of its independent citizens was divided into the dissolute rich and the oppressed poor. In just a few short years the poor had been reduced further to the level of serfs, and when circumstances dictated, they were frequently sold into bondage by their masters for trivial considerations. The virtual disappearance of the middle class marked a turning point in the stability of Israel's life.

The impending downfall and utter collapse of the Northern Kingdom is the predominant theme of the book of Amos. The basis for his prophecy is the injustice and immorality expressed in the political, economic, and religious life of the nation. It was Amos' conviction that Yahweh is a God of justice and His power over the nations of the earth is evidenced by the fact that transgression of the principles of justice and social righteousness will inevitably be followed by utter ruin and decay. (continued in part 2).

Rev. Saundra L. Washington, is an ordained clergywoman, social worker, and Founder of AMEN Ministries http://www.clergyservices4u.org She is also the author of two coffee table books: Room Beneath the Snow, Poems that Preach and Negative Disturbances, Homilies that Teach.

In The News:

The Religious Right is Pushing Liberals Away from Christianity Altogether  PatheosDoes religious affiliation dictate people's political beliefs? Or do people's political beliefs affect how they perceive religion? It's a complex question. But a recent ...
The Christian Right Is Helping Drive Liberals Away From Religion  FiveThirtyEightA few weeks ago, the Democratic National Committee formally acknowledged what has been evident for quite some time: Nonreligious voters are a critical part ...
Religion Notes 9/21/19  Leader-TelegramEau Claire Wesleyan Church welcomes Joshua Henderson, new Assistant Pastor of Family Ministries.
Richard Dawkins: How we can outgrow God and religion  New ScientistFEW scientists have acquired such a high public profile as Richard Dawkins – and maintained it amid such controversy. His first book The Selfish Gene, ...
Irish American star Danny McBride turned away from religion because of hypocrites  IrishCentralIrish American comedian, writer and actor Danny McBride says religion was a huge part of his upbringing, but he turned away from it because of religious ...
Religion in schools  Irish TimesAddThis Sharing Buttons. Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Email App Share to LinkedIn Share to Pinterest Share to Reddit Share to WhatsApp.
Community of Faith: Let’s talk about religion  The MissoulianOne of my favorite autumn pastimes is watching Charles Schultz's, “It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” After being ridiculed by his friends and especially his ...
Brad Pitt Opens Up About His Faith Journey: 'I Cling To Religion'  HuffPostActor Brad Pitt opened up about how his faith has evolved over the years ― and how he's “very optimistic” about the possibility that everyone is connected.
China’s atheist Communist Party encourages folk religion  The EconomistOfficials pray that the goddess Mazu will help them woo Taiwan.
HOW TO TELL GLOBAL WARMING IS A RELIGION  Herald SunYoung protesters at Friday's Climate Strike shouted in excitement that they were defending science.
Will ensure that no one is harassed because of religion: Amit Shah on NRC  The HinduThe Union Home Minister made these remarks after a delegation of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind Jamiat Ahle Hadees Hind called on him at his residence.
Why we need religion more than ever in the pursuit of peace  The Manila TimesBy Blerim Mustafa. GENEVA: The proliferation of political crises and armed conflicts in every corner of the world does not exclude religious groups, which ...
Religion in the area  goskagit.comUNDERSTANDING THE TIMES CONFERENCE: Pray!Skagit will host a free live-stream of the event from 6:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at Christ the ...
The Separation of Church and State is About Freedom For Religion not Freedom From Religion  History News Network (HNN)The United States has always been a largely Protestant country so it is no surprise that many Americans know little about the history of the Catholic Church.
Letter: Arizona businesses and religion | Local-issues  Arizona Daily StarI find it depressing that the Arizona Supreme Court now allows (in the 21st Century, no less) a business to use religious beliefs as grounds for discrimination.
Parents finding it ‘impossible’ to opt children out of religion education  The Irish TimesConstitution gives parents a right to withdraw their child from religion classes.
Why People Hate Religion  The New York TimesThe charlatans and phonies preen and punish, while those of real faith do Christ's work among refugees.
Killing in the name of religion an insult of Hindu Dharma, Lord Rama: Shashi Tharoor  Times of IndiaIndia News: Speaking at an event organised by the All India Professionals Congress , Shashi Tharoor described what is meant by inclusive India and in course ...
Shayne Looper: Religion is not a shortcut  The Columbus DispatchWhen religion is transformed from a response of faith in the God of heaven into an instrument for getting things done on earth, it is disfigured. It may retain the ...
‘How can you be lesbian and Christian?’ Home Office using religion against LGBT asylum seekers, says report  PinkNewsA new report, published earlier in September, has alleged that the Home Office is using religion against LGBT+ asylum seekers.
Trump's Focus on Religious Freedom at the UN Should Lead the Way  Daily SignalBy calling upon all nations to protect religious freedom, the president will be giving a voice to those who too often lack one.
What is the religious discrimination bill and what will it do?  The GuardianAustralia's religious discrimination bill has a broad meaning including religious observance, dress and expression of religious belief.
Religion in the age of Trump  Religion News Service(RNS) — “They hate religion,” wrote New York Times columnist Timothy Egan recently in a column titled “Why People Hate Religion,” “because, at a moment to ...
Life’s challenges remind us the essence of religion is to serve and help others in need  Idaho StatesmanIn times of need, the weak, vulnerable and suffering should receive our assistance. If you don't follow the Golden Rule, then you need to re-examine your ...
Academic antisemitism returns  Religion News ServiceJewish parents: be ready for your kids calling you from campus. It might not be about “please transfer money into my account.” It might be about something that ...
Who invented religious freedom?  Angelus NewsReligious freedom is a hallmark of American identity. The United States fancies itself the “land of the pilgrim's pride.” When we tell our story we begin with the ...
AI will transform religion with robot priests like this one  Vox.comA new priest named Mindar is holding forth at Kodaiji, a 400-year-old Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan. Like other clergy members, this priest can deliver ...
Hong Kong Christians fear religious freedom could be 'gone forever'  Fox NewsHong Kong Christians fear freedom of religion could be "gone forever" despite extradition bill withdrawal and the country's leader Carrie Lam's efforts to ease ...
Jewish Community Center hosting symposium on religion  Pittsburgh Post-GazetteThe Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill will host an invitation-only conference on Monday about freedom of religion in America. The event, sponsored by ...
Communism and Religion Can’t Coexist  The Wall Street JournalBolivian President Evo Morales, when meeting Pope Francis a few years ago, presented the Holy Father with a crucifix mounted on a hammer and sickle.
Schools ‘must stop promoting Christianity, or any religion’  CitizenLaerskool Randhart in Alberton has been getting flak for 'basically giving the middle finger to the courts' as it continues to promote Christianity. . Public schools ...
Israel's election highlights secular-religious divide  ABC NewsYamit Dulberg considers herself a traditional Israeli woman with right-wing views who would usually vote for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party.
Wrestling with Religion and Spirituality  Psychiatric TimesWe humans need to believe. We tend to feel better, more grounded, and safer.
Religious Crusaders at the Supreme Court’s Gates  The New York TimesConservative justices appear eager to take on a subject at the heart of the country's culture wars.
State Department hits Russia over jailing of Jehovah's Witnesses for 'peaceful religious practice'  Fox NewsState Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus condemned Russia on Twitter for jailing six Jehovah's Witnesses for 'peaceful religious practice.'
Trump will hold session on religious persecution instead of attending UN climate summit  CNNWhen President Donald Trump visits the UN on Monday, many of his fellow world leaders will be participating in a summit meant to address climate change.
Earl Crow on religion: Understanding the mysteries of God  Winston-Salem JournalQ: What does Nephilim mean? Answer: The word has been translated as “giants” or “Sons of God.” They were the offsprings of the sons of God and the ...
Bannon: Wall Street is starting 'to get religion' on China trade like Trump  CNBCSteve Bannon also says China's attempts to forge a two-tier deal to end the yearlong trade war with the U.S. is "wishful thinking."
Richard Dawkins: ‘Brexit is now a religion. They don’t mind if they destroy the country’  The Irish TimesThe atheist biologist has written a new book about God but what really worries him is closer to home.
In push for race and religion, Malaysian opposition formalizes pact  ReutersMalaysia's two oldest political parties signed a charter of formal cooperation on Saturday, presenting arguably the largest political platform for the majority ...
Newsnight, Richard Dawkins on religion, American education and Islam  BBC NewsAhead of the publication of his latest book 'Outgrowing God', Professor Richard Dawkins makes the case for outgrowing God. Professor Richard Dawkins talks to ...
In San Diego, Muslims question rollout of city's 'smart' streetlights  Religion News Service(RNS) — When San Diego's city council voted to install 14,000 LED streetlights in 2016, the move was touted as a major step toward reducing the city's carbon ...
Religion digest  Hot Springs SentinelCenter for Spiritual Oneness. The Center for Spiritual Oneness, 300 Oaklawn, corner of Third Street, will have Chris Johnson lead during a livestreaming of ...
Students explore Japanese religion through anime and manga in new Penn course  The Daily PennsylvanianA new class lets students learn about Japanese culture and religion by watching anime and reading manga. “Religion of Anime,” taught by Religious Studies ...
The Supreme Court Considers Mandatory Government Funding of Religious Education  ACLUIn Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the Supreme Court will address a question that would have been unthinkable to ask even until quite recently: ...
'Unbelievable': What Is Druid Religion Lilly Is Part Of In Show? | Martinis & Murder  OxygenActress Annaleigh Ashford plays Lilly in Netflix's "Unbelievable," a Druid woman who drank kava kava tea the night of her attack. By Gina Tron. Annaleigh ...
UN calls for eliminating violence against religion  Vatican NewsThe International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion and Belief was observed by the United Nations for the first time ...
Trump to give 'historic' religious freedom speech at United Nations; evangelical leaders invited  The Christian PostThe White House announced that President Donald Trump will give a speech on religious freedom next Monday at the United Nations headquarters in New York ...
This is your brain on Mormon Facebook  Religion News ServiceOver the summer in a social media group, a woman commented that most ex-Mormons leave the faith because they have read the CES letter, begun exploring ...
Religion is off limits  INQUIRER.netDear Emily, I wonder if a newspaper's advice on religion should be based on a particular person's relationship with God.
Podcast thinking: Why do many reporters avoid theological news on religious left?  GetReligionBack in the fall of 1993, I made — believe it or not — my first-ever trip as an adult to New York City. I had covered many important news stories in American and ...
Religious discrimination bill could legalise race hate speech, Law Council warns  The GuardianPresident Arthur Moses says proposed law contains a 'narrower' protection for racial discrimination than exists under section 18C.
Religion Briefs, Sept. 20, 2019 | Briefs  The Grand Junction Daily SentinelFaith in Community Life forum planned. The First United Methodist Church has created the Herb and Laura May Bacon Forum for Faith in Community Life and ...
Americans increasingly reject religion as politicians in Pennsylvania reject atheists and agnostics  NBC NewsA court ruling in Fields v. Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives says atheists and agnostics are barred from giving the invocation.
Liberal politics has become a religion for media, others  Wyoming TribuneHave you noticed how often the media and liberals act as if they are prosecuting attorneys and judges? As "the accuser of the brethren," Satan has operated as ...
Religious coworking spaces encourage faith, careers  Religion News ServiceAs co-working spaces become more popular, faith-based groups are pioneering in this field—hoping to bring together like-minded businesses, artists and ...
Catholic school backs ‘homework pass’ for attending religious event  The Irish TimesAtheist parent alleges son discriminated against for not attending Communion choir.
Did religion and state win the election? - Analysis  The Jerusalem PostMarriage, divorce, Shabbat in the public domain, ultra-Orthodox enlistment, conversion, and the Orthodox monopoly of the Chief Rabbinate. These matters of ...
Pete Buttigieg: Lawmakers Must Treat Religious and Non-Religious People Equally  PatheosMayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Cory Booker, more than the other Democrats, have been talking about their personal faith ever since stepping onto the campaign ...
Deadlocked election highlights secular-religious divide  The Times of IsraelAs secular voters complain of 'overboard' religious coercion, it appears Netanyahu's iron-clad alliance with ultra-Orthodox parties has cost him politically.
Christian students sue Chicago after city blocked them from handing out religious pamphlets  New York Post The Millennium Park supervisors informed the group members that they were "'soliciting' the public to subscribe to their beliefs and therefore in violation of a...
What it means to 'get' religion in 2020  Religion News Service(RNS) — Following the 2016 presidential election, Dean Baquet, then executive editor of The New York Times, declared that one of his “big jobs” was to “really ...
During Brexit storm, UK's efforts to protect religious freedom fly under the radar  Crux: Covering all things CatholicSince Brexit has dominated the UK news for the past three years, it might be easy to miss the great strides being made by the government in promoting religious ...
When Islam Is Not a Religion in America  ChristianityToday.comMuslim lawyer who helped Hobby Lobby and Hosanna-Tabor win at the Supreme Court details the difficulties Muslims face in securing the freedoms that US ...
Religion briefs  Hot Springs SentinelHonoree banquet set for Friday. Dr. A Chatman Ministries will host its inaugural Community Honoree Banquet on Friday at the Marriott Courtyard beginning at 7 ...
For some in Romania, the president's religion is a problem  Emerging EuropeRomania's presidential election, the first round of which will be held in November, is likely to see renewed attacks on the ethnicity and faith of the country's ...
The First Amendment and state bans on teachers' religious garb  Religion News ServiceRoutledge Research in Religion and Education announces new book. Examining the twelve-decade legal conflict of government bans on religious garb worn by ...
Why so many non-religious Europeans pay church taxes  The EconomistIN THE Old Testament, priests are told to take a tenth of every believer's crops as a tax to support the faith. In these latter days, they can outsource the job to the ...
Is It Fair That Washington Colleges Accommodate Religious Students' Schedules?  PatheosReligious college students in the state of Washington have been legally allowed to celebrate their faith-based holidays without class interference since July, yet ...
US clerics O'Malley, McElroy selected to attend Amazon synod at Vatican  Religion News Service(RNS) — Cardinal Seán O'Malley, archbishop of Boston, and Bishop Robert McElroy of the Catholic Diocese of San Diego have been invited to participate in the ...
Difficulty of defining religion - News  The Hutchinson NewsThe multiplicity of religions, denominations and cults is mind-boggling. Add to that confusing mess the difficulty of defining religion.There are six different ...
Interfaith group pledges to use religion's influence to address climate change, poverty  Religion News ServiceLINDAU, Germany (RNS) — The international interfaith organization Religions for Peace introduced its first-ever female and first-ever Muslim secretary-general ...
Religion is not a shortcut  The Hillsdale Daily NewsWhen religion is transformed from a response of faith in the God of heaven into an instrument for getting things done on earth, it is disfigured. It may retain the ...
Jacob Stockdale on running, religion and rugby memories  Rugby WorldJacob Stockdale on running, religion and rugby memories. Jacob Stockdale recently bought a Mustang on eBay. It's navy blue with white stripes down the centre ...
Despite rising numbers of atheistic S'poreans, this ex-Muslim remains closeted  Mothership.sgGrowing up, 25-year-old Rahim* (not his real name) practised his faith as a Muslim religiously. Advertisement. He would try his best to perform the five daily ...
UK Appoints New PM Envoy for Freedom of Religion & Belief  GOV.UKRehman Chishti MP to succeed the current envoy, Lord Ahmad, to further the government's work to promote the UK's firm stance on religious freedom and ...
Religious schools should be required to enrol a mix of religions: Hindu Council  Sydney Morning HeraldReligious schools should be required to admit a certain percentage of teachers and students from other religions so children can learn about other faiths, the ...
Children who opt out of religion in primary are denied teaching for 129 full school days  The Irish TimesIt is time for church bodies to address religious teaching time in our schools.
United Methodists float plans to split denomination after LGBTQ vote  Religion News Service(RNS) — The United Methodist Church's deadline for petitions for its next global meeting passed Wednesday (Sept. 18), setting the terms for a final reckoning ...
Religion in conflict with environment  Kuensel, Buhutan's National NewspaperCall it bad or perfect timing, on the eve of the Bishwakarma Puja, the department of forest and park services issued a notification to ensure that statues and other ...
A Crackdown on Islam Is Spreading Across China  The New York TimesYINCHUAN, China — In China's northwest, the government is stripping the most overt expressions of the Islamic faith from a picturesque valley where most ...
Navigating religion in the workplace - Religion and Ethics Report  ABC NewsFaith-based stereotyping is common in the workplace. An updated guide helps multi-faith workplaces to be inclusive.
Trump says Democrats are 'not big believers in religion' during North Carolina rally  CNNPresident Donald Trump cast Tuesday's special election in North Carolina and the 2020 presidential election as a fight for the status quo, describing Democrats ...
RELIGION BULLETIN: Congress approves separation of church and state  Utica Observer DispatchRELIGIOUS EVENTS IN HISTORY On Sept. 25, 1789, The United States Congress approves 12 articles of amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which would ...
Religious discrimination bill attacked as 'extraordinary foray in the culture wars'  The GuardianFormer Tasmanian anti-discrimination commissioner says the bill gives a 'special cloak of protection' to potentially toxic views.
When Faith Comes Up, Students Avert Their Eyes  The AtlanticIn college classrooms, where almost anything is up for discussion, religious ideas are met with awkward silence.
Ep. 336 - The Religion Of Environmentalism  The Daily WireAmerica is still a religious country, but our new religion is environmentalism. We'll talk about why environmentalism is a religion and why so many people ...
Time to shake up the religious status quo  The Times of IsraelThe messy results of last week's election do not easily enable a move toward peace with the Palestinians; the Israeli public is too complacent for that. But they do ...
53 religious communities in Vietnam commemorating victims of acts of violence  Religion News ServiceBased on religion or belief, with government interference documented in five communities. Responding to the call by UN Secretary General António Gutteres, ...
Religion Notes: Sept. 21-29 | Faith and Values | journalstar.com  Lincoln Journal StarBrock's Boutique — 9 a.m.-noon, Oct. 5. Free clothing and meal, donations accepted, all proceeds go to flood victims. Havelock Christian Church, 6520 Colfax ...
Relevant founder Cameron Strang accused of creating racially insensitive workplace  Religion News Service(RNS) — Cameron Strang, the founder and CEO of Relevant Media Group, found himself under attack from a host of former employees this week who accused ...
Feds cite Islam focus in review of Duke-UNC language grant  Religion News Service(AP) — The Trump administration is threatening to cut funding for a Middle East studies program run by the University of North Carolina and Duke University, ...
“Religions for Peace” pledge concrete actions for common good of mankind  Vatican NewsBy Robin Gomes. The 10th World Assembly of "Religions for Peace", the world's most representative, multi-religious gathering of religious communities, ...
Putting the R-word in politics: How religion has become the sleeper issue of the 2019 election  National PostIn the controversial context of an election, the best thing to say about religion is nothing, but nicely. So the present campaign is unusual for Canada.
How religious freedom was upheld in a South Carolina town  Washington ExaminerOne South Carolina civic center has hosted all types of events, from blood drives and birthdays to plays and fitness classes. But there's one type of gathering the ...
Richard Weikart: Michael Ruse Embraces the Darwinian Religion  Discovery InstituteOn a new episode of ID the Future, historian Richard Weikart, author From Darwin to Hitler, talks with host Michael Keas about a recent book by philosopher ...
Will Probe Scams Committed in Name of Religion and Narmada, Says Kamal Nath  News18Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Tuesday promised to launch an investigation into scams in the name of religion and the Narmada river ...
A California Court Dealt a Blow to Religious Liberty. It’s Time for SCOTUS to Act.  National ReviewThe California Court of Appeals rules that a transgender patient can sue a Catholic hospital for refusing to perform a hysterectomy.
US: 2 Muslim men face religious profiling, removed from flight because crew felt uncomfortable  India TodayTwo Muslim men from Texas said that American Airlines profiled them and canceled their flight after crew members said that they didn't feel comfortable flying ...
Religious response to suicide increasingly one of prevention, compassion  Tampa Bay TimesWhen a teenager from his mosque died by suicide, Imam Askia Muhammad Aquil helped the boy's family prepare his body for burial. “We washed and prepared ...

Loyola the Luciferian

Ignatius Loyola ? Luciferian or Heliopolitan:I kid you not! Lucifer... Read More

Bible and Kabbalah: The Hardening of Pharoahs Heart

There is continuous creation, out of the new ideas discovered... Read More

Story of Solomon

Without question, the greatest story in the Bible of someone... Read More

Are You Doing the Good Part?

Just compare yourself to these two sisters.Even though they were... Read More

Russia and Her Allies Will Attack Israel

This next event will be a major one! The Bible... Read More

About The Spiritual World of Madonna

Pop singer Madonna came this week to Tel Aviv to... Read More

Do You Have Disciples?

Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."... Read More

Praying Church or Playing Church?

The western church is seen by the world as anything... Read More

White Sun - Tao of Heaven: Heaven and Man are One Entity

The whole universe originated from Tao. Mankind also originated from... Read More

A Poor Man, With Rich Mans Dreams

Matthew 19:17-19:23A Poor Man, With Rich Mans Dreams Have you... Read More

Gods Breathed

For it is written in the book of 2Timothy 3:16... Read More

The Reign of Insanity

I know you want to kill me, and I wish... Read More

Cloning: Is the Human Being Unique?

I am not discussing here whether cloning is evil. [I... Read More

What If We Are Getting Paid For Prayer (Salat)...

What will be the effect on general public if the... Read More

Africa; The Forgotten Land of The Catholic Church

African Nations upset at the selection of the new Pope,... Read More

The Holy Spirit is our Teacher

Now that we know God and Jesus want to release... Read More

Thoughts on the Road to Emmaus

". . . their eyes were opened, and they recognized... Read More

From the Heart

1 Corinthians 9:19-9:23From The Heart A Look at Christianity from... Read More

End-Times and the Other Bible

Can you imagine Biblical "End-Times" prophecies happening in your lifetime?... Read More

Jesus in Wales

The next few days were as hectic and exciting as... Read More

Hope and Restoration in the Valley

The bible tells a story about the prophet Ezekiel who... Read More

What Is True Egalitarianism?

Why did the founding fathers of the United States consider... Read More

The Toilet Philosophy

Dr. Robins' observations are beyond mere intuition, they include an... Read More

Rapture and the United States in the End times Explained

1. Where is the Rapture in all of this? There... Read More

Purity

Is being purified only for the men of the cloth?... Read More