Posted by: Yvonne | March 24, 2010

‘Social Justice’ Is Not Christian Charity

By Paul Proctor
March 16, 2010
NewsWithViews.com

Glenn Beck has certainly cut to the quick by reportedly saying: “social justice is a perversion of the Gospel,” adding, “I beg you, look for the words ‘social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words.”

The implication here is that these “code words” signify the Church’s infiltration by two tyrannical extremes of the political spectrum: Nazis to the right and Marxists to the left – both attempting to advance unbiblical agendas in and through the Church. Although I hesitate to point blank call fellow Christians “Marxists” and “Nazis,” I am acutely aware of ungodly influences from both sides of the aisle adversely affecting the Church today and have addressed the issue on numerous occasions over the years, concluding a November 2000 article with the following:

“Socialism needs two legs on which to stand; a right and a left. While appearing to be in complete opposition to one another, they both march in the same direction.”

Now, I’m not a Mormon. I don’t watch Glenn Beck’s show on the Fox News channel; and based upon what I’ve seen and read online, there are more than a few things he and I would not agree on. But, he is right about social justice being a perversion of the Gospel and “progressives” being a danger to the Church. In fact, I tackled the topic of “social justice” in three recent and consecutive articles for NewsWithViews.com.

Not wanting to belabor the issue and weary my readers with redundancy, I moved on to other subjects of concern after the first week in January. But, since social justice in the church has now made front-page headlines due to Beck’s recent comments, I thought it prudent to revisit the issue again from a Biblical perspective and point out a couple of the things that are conspicuously absent from all of the heated rhetoric and media coverage.

ABC News’ story on the controversy noted what appears to be a little backpedaling and damage control from one of Glenn Beck’s producers:

Stu Burguiere, executive producer at “The Glenn Beck Radio Program,” sought to clarify Beck’s comments today.

“Like most Americans, Glenn strongly supports and believes in ‘social justice’ when it is defined as ‘good Christian charity,'” he said. “Glenn strongly opposes when Rev. Wright and other leaders use ‘social justice’ as a euphemism for their real intention — redistribution of wealth.”

But you see, in my estimation, it is the contrived and duplicitous definition of “social justice” that is causing all the confusion.

“Social justice” is not “Christian charity.”

You will find the word “justice” in scripture, as you will the word “gospel” – but you won’t find the word “social” in front of either of them because “social justice,” like the “social gospel,” is the wily work of men, not the Will and Word of God. Jesus Christ did not suffer and die on a cross so we could repair, remodel and rehabilitate a wicked world for Him to rule over, but instead to redeem us from it for a “kingdom not of this world.”

If someone doesn’t speak up and point this out, the issue will be forever confusing, controversial and divisive and the Church will continue to be swayed off course by those with political ambitions.

Scriptures containing the words “justice,” “justly,” and “judgment” that progressives handily quote to try and validate “social justice” as a Christian concept and mandate for the Church are predominately from the Old Testament, which is ironic considering progressives by and large prefer to dismiss or discount much of the OT and its so called “legalism” because it inconveniently clashes with their no-absolutes and no-authority philosophies, theologies and lifestyles. Frankly, it is God’s justice and judgments throughout the Old Testament that confound and offend progressives the most about the Bible resulting in the sleazy greasy grace they preach and practice as “Christianity.”

But, the term “social justice” puts global change agents in the driver’s seat down at the church house allowing them, through carefully placed operatives, endless opportunities to enable, justify and even promote, via the humanist mantra of “tolerance, diversity and unity,” any number of unbiblical behaviors, theories, religions and causes from promoting promiscuity, to homosexuality, to syncretism, to abortion rights, to euthanasia, to birth control, to stem cell research, to Darwinism, to faith-based initiatives, to “no child left behind,” to global warming, to you name it – which fits in perfectly with the United Nation’s plan for a one-world government, one world economy and one world religion.

The New Testament scriptures most often cited by progressives to support “social justice” are not about justice at all, but about charity. Even so, they use the words “justice” and “charity” as if they were synonymous, and in doing so, morph and merge social/political issues and programs into moral/religious issues and programs while steering the Church’s focus and attention away from the spiritual and eternal to the more carnal and worldly.

It has also been my observation that embracing “social justice,” more often than not, shifts the emphasis from repentance and faith in Jesus Christ to more earthly endeavors like environment, empowerment, employment, entitlements, equality and esteem-building programs promoted by global elites to benefit or punish selected people groups as needed for its “sustainable development” – an agenda more in keeping with that of a community organizer than a follower of Christ.

Justice is about righting a wrong, defending the innocent and punishing the guilty. It is a commendable work but it is not Christian charity.

Charity is about generously and sacrifically helping, serving and providing for someone in need. The Good Samaritan did not stop to exercise “social justice” when he found the man wounded and robbed by thieves along the road in Jesus’ parable as recorded in Luke 10:30-37. He demonstrated compassion toward the victim of a crime, not because he was socially, ethnically or financially disadvantaged, but because he was simply a “neighbor” in need.

Furthermore, the Good Samaritan didn’t go after the thieves to recover the man’s belongings, avenge his abuse, have them arrested and start a traveler’s protection and possessions recovery program at the local synagogue because that’s not what Jesus was teaching His followers in the parable to do – nor was it the mission of His coming.

If you steal someone’s money, it is “justice” that sees it returned to its rightful owner and/or has you punished – not “charity.” Charity has empathy for those in need and shares with them, cares for them, comforts them, encourages them, prays for them and provides for them as a divine demonstration of God’s love, compassion and generosity. In doing so, we bless others as God has blessed us in our time of need. Christian charity is a picture of the Gospel and God’s grace toward the spiritual poverty and desperation of a lost soul.

This is the age of grace, my friends, not the age of justice.

If anyone wanted and needed “social justice” during Jesus’ earthly ministry, it was the Samaritans, as revealed by Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well, who told Him: “…the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.” But, Jesus didn’t offer her social justice – He offered her “living water” which had nothing to do with her social status, rights or economic condition.

But, if you synthesize the two words “justice” and “charity” in Hegelian Dialectic fashion, as “progressives” in the church have so shrewdly done, you end up with a hybrid gospel that does not demonstrate the love, grace, mercy and generosity of God at all, but a government-approved, politically-correct, humanistic religion called “collectivism” that glorifies the brotherhood of man through “good works” for the benefit and advancement of an earthly kingdom instead of glorifying God through His work on the cross of Christ for a heavenly kingdom.

Christians need to be very careful about setting aside the Gospel to pursue “social justice.” Jesus took our justice on Calvary’s cross that we might receive and reflect God’s grace and forgiveness.

Is it social justice the Lord is calling us to or Christian charity?

You see, Jesus told another parable in Matthew 18 about a king whose servant owed him ten thousand talents. When the servant couldn’t pay, the king ordered him and his family sold to make restitution. When the servant fell at the king’s feet and begged for patience, the king had compassion on him and forgave the debt.

That same servant then found a fellow servant who owed him a hundred pence and demanded payment. When the fellow servant fell at his feet and asked for patience, the king’s servant would have none of it and had his fellow servant thrown in prison. When the king found out that his servant did not show the same compassion and pity toward his fellow servant, the king had his servant thrown in prison as well until he could pay back all that he owed.

Charity moved the king to forgive his servant’s debt. Justice compelled the king to later throw that uncharitable servant into prison.

So, what are we to learn from Jesus’ parables – social justice or Christian charity?

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Responses

  1. “Jesus Christ did not suffer and die on a cross so we could repair, remodel and rehabilitate a wicked world for Him to rule over, but instead to redeem us from it for a “kingdom not of this world.”

    Yes and no is my response to that statement. Yes, because Jesus did not die so that we could try and model the world in our own image or our own power. No, because we are not being saved out of this world (as if our ultimate destination was some sort of disembodied state far from here), but are being redeemed in order that we might take our places in this world when it is redeemed.

    You seem to have an escapist mentality when it comes to understanding Christian hope, which undeniably lessens the importance of transformation (for you at least) of being agents of new creation in the present. The fact is, we live in an anticipatory fashion as Christian disciples. That is not to say that we can build the kingdom of God by our own efforts, or that the social gospel was after all a good and comprehensive way of bearing Christian witness (I am very passionate about evangelism). However, we cannot fall into the trap of conceiving of Christianity in purely escapist, dualistic terms.

    • Thank you, Scott for your visit and thoughts. Would love to discuss further but would like to use Scripture as the foundation. Please identify the passages where you draw the support for 2 points in your comment:

      1. ” because we are not being saved out of this world . . . but are being redeemed in order that we might take our places in this world when it is redeemed.”

      2. “the importance of transformation . . . of being agents of new creation in the present”

      Thank you and look forward to your reply. judy

  2. I thought the Bible also says that we are strangers or temporary residents on earth (Psalm 119:19). The Bible teaches that the world will be destroyed and will pass away and disappear (1John 2:17). Isaiah 65:17 talks about God creating a new brand new earth.

    • Yes, Clabby, we Christians consider ourselves ‘aliens’ here and there will be a new heaven and a new earth that the Apostle John sees in Rev. 21:1. I’m looking forward to that!

      While here, though, we are commanded to share the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Matt. 28: 19-20) and expose error (Eph. 5:11) when His Gospel is twisted into another gospel. That is exactly what Paul Proctor did when he wrote this above article.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      ~Yvonne


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