Drawing on her experience as lecturer and head of the Mission department at West Africa Theological Seminary in Lagos, Nigeria, Chinyere Priest contributed to our Lent series with a reflection on pursuing justice for those falsely accused of witchcraft within Nigerian society. . . . Here she provides more detail on the theological grounding of her post.
The stories are heartbreaking, but they are also the substantive content I am seeking. I am collecting stories of pain and injustice. Of course the overriding hope is that these stories can bring about positive change. Yet the fact remains that injustice is a building block of my research project.
Job’s colleagues explained his misfortune or calamity using moral causal ontology: they said that he was suffering due to his sin. This led several to put blame on Job, which compounded his suffering through his friends’ inability to lament with him and provide succor for him. The loss of Job’s flock, wealth, children, and health were used as evidence that he had sinned.
Are you falsely accused? Are you declared guilty while innocent? Are you suffering for offences you never committed? Are you abandoned or rejected for no just cause?
Yes, God was the first to cry. Just like God was the first to set His face upon evil to (Leviticus 20:6); to stretch out his hand (Isaiah 23:11), to be sorry (Genesis 6:6) and to grieve (1 Samuel 15:35). God cried and cries. Why? And for whom?