Posted by: Yvonne | April 13, 2010

Biblical Justice vs. ‘Social Justice’

In a fantastic radio interview on Ingrid Schlueter’s Crosstalk,  Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, a spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance on the Stewardship of Creation, clarifies the difference between biblical justice and what is being touted by liberal ‘Christians’ as ‘social justice’.  

Dr. Beisner states:

Justice is very, very important in the scriptures.  And we are told to do justice and the judges of Israel were told to do justice and nothing but justice. Not to be afraid of what men would think but that they must recognize that the god of justice is going to judge them.  So justice is very important but unfortunately the meaning of the term gets pretty twisted when you stick the word ‘social’ in front of it; it really becomes a euphemism; a code word for a different ideology. 


The phrase ‘social justice’ actually grew up in the progressive movement of the early 20th century.  It’s not a very recent phrase; it’s a phrase that’s got about a hundred year long history.  And that progressive movement was committed to that ideology of diminishing the gap between the rich and the poor.  It was founded upon a truly Marxist definition of justice as equality of condition among all people.  The idea was that you didn’t have justice as long as there was a gap between the rich and the poor.  That understanding of justice is quite contrary to a biblical understanding of justice.  The biblical understanding of justice, and I develop this at great length in my book, Prosperity and Poverty, the fourth and fifth chapters in that book.  The biblical understanding is that justice means rendering to everyone his due.  Or, to expanding that a little bit, rendering, impartially and proportionally, to everyone his due according to the right standards of God’s moral law and its judgment of that persons actions; that persons performance.  That’s justice.  And since people behave differently, if you’re going to render to all people the same things, if you are going to achieve equality of condition, you actually have to treat people differently rather than equally.  That is, you have to apply different standards to different people and that’s contrary to the biblical notion of justice.  (emphasis mine)

Dr. Beisner uses biblical exegesis to explain the proper meaning of Scriptures commonly used by liberal and post-modern Christians to support their ‘social justice’ claims, like Leviticus 25’s sabbatical and jubilee year laws.   What a refreshing lesson it was to hear the historical meaning and context of these important passages!

Later, Beisner shares an interesting story of a conversation he had with Brian McLaren concerning so-called, man-made global warming.  In a nut shell, McLaren claimed that people living without electricity now, like in some parts of Africa, should not be allowed to have it because it would lead to more man-made global warming. 

How’s that for social justice?

Listen to this excellent interview at Crosstalk .



  1. Well, what can you expect from heretics?!?!?


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