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Is Social Justice compatible with Biblical Justice?

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Is Social Justice compatible with Biblical Justice

In a growing movement referred to as Woke Evangelism, there is a greater emphasis on the church playing a role in social justice issues. This movement was sizable enough for church leaders to address with the Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel. The problem, that the SSJG points out, is that the notion of social justice is inconsistent with actual justice or biblical justice. As one may expect, much of the outrage was brought on by modern day heretics.

The first tweet expounds upon a larger argument worth addressing. The second tweet is heretical due to blatant denial of the inerrancy of scripture. The first tweet poses a question worth answering: do Christians really misunderstand social justice?

Understanding Social Justice

David Miller, Professor of political theory at Oxford University, wrote a college level textbook that argues that principles of justice must be understood contextually, with each principle finding its natural home in a different form of human association. Because modern societies are complex, the theory of justice must be complex, too. The three primary components in Miller’s scheme are the principles of desert, need, and equality.

A more detailed explanation of social justices can be found courtesy of Peter Corning, author of The Fair Society: The Science of Human Nature and the Pursuit of Social Justice (2011). His book explains the three pillars of social justice as equality, equity, and reciprocity. Corning explains.

Among other things, the book calls for a new “biosocial contract” that includes a “basic needs guarantee” as an equal right and a societal responsibility, along with full recognition for personal “merit” (equity) and a strong obligation for reciprocity to balance the scales and repay the benefits that we receive.

Corning’s notion of equality borrows from Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Karl Marx. Social justice so often receives the label “social Marxism.” The label proves very accurate with Cornings openly building his biosocial contract theory from the social, collectivist, visions of Marxism.

 This is the fundamental promise of the “biosocial contract,” and it ultimately trumps individual property rights

Understanding Biblical Justice

There are many concepts in law and justice we apply today that are biblical derived. “Eye for an eye” or the law of retaliation is a brilliant notion that contradicts the ancient Mesopotamians and the ancient Greeks. Lex taliones means that the punishment is proportionate to the crime. It also means that everyone’s eyes are equal, regardless of class.

There’s also the Ten Commandments, a source of ethical monotheism. Morality, right and wrong, are determined by God. The Ten Commandments place a focus of human action in two particular directions: relationship with God and relationship with neighbors. Jesus uses the “Good Samaritan” to illustrate that our neighbor is our fellow man.

Outside of the doctrinal notion of justification, biblical justice consists of not sinning against our fellow man, and further implores the follower of Christ to engage in love for their congregation and the unsaved.

By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

John 13:35 ESV

The Bible further encourages followers of Christ to care for widows, orphans, and elderly.

You shall not afflict any widow or orphan.

Exodus 22:22 NASB

Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers, the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity.
Honor widows who are widows indeed; but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God. 
1 Timothy 5:1-4 NASB
Additionally the Bible is the inspiration for defending the unborn and youth.
Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
And before you were born I consecrated you;
I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah 1:4-5 NASB
Understanding the full extent of the Bible’s notion of justice takes time and study, but the gist of it is rather simple, unlike David Miller’s model for justice.

Are the two compatible?

While the notion of biblical justice presented was simplistic, social justice bears little resemblance to it. One of the immediate differences is the recipient. To whom is man obliged to act justly towards? Under social justice, man is obliged to society. Under biblical justice, man has obligations to God and fellow man. The bible focuses little if at all of one’s relationship with society and government. The Bible does however address the topic of citizenship.

But you are A chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. 15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 
1 Peter 2:9-15 NASB

This instance in 1 Peter, focuses on on citizenship as an extension of the Great Commission. Christians are called to be sanctified. In essence, obeying God makes one stand out, and standing out for being virtuous leads people to Christ.

This passage also divides people into groups that are the only groups that matter: saved and lost. Racial identity is unimportant. The only identity that matters is our identity in Christ. So the Christian worldview and, by extension, biblical justice are incompatible with identity politics.

Are The Two Complimentary?

Christians are instructed to be upstanding citizens. The next question to explore is whether social justice pursuits are complimentary or contradictory.

Churches that preach the social justice gospel place a large, primary focus, on social justice issues. In contrast the Catholic Church has a social teaching are seemingly compatible with social justice. However, the Vatican, up until now, has consistently denounced communism.

Catholic Social Teaching | Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart | Houston, TX

The Catholic Church’s social teachings lacks the component of Marxism found in social justice, so lumping the two together is misleading. A church can focus on a lot of the social focuses of the Catholic Church without promoting social justice.

The teachings of the Catholic Church are focused on the actions of the church, not the state. The entire focus of social justice is aimed at the state. While there is a biblical basis of instruction for caring for the poor and treating people with respect, that same level of instruction is lacking in political matters. There was never an instance where Jesus advocated a public policy change. The teachings of Jesus (Sermon on the Mount) changes peoples’ mentalities rather than changes people to conform to politically correct norms. Jesus spoke of our relationship with God and our neighbors. When Jesus said render to Caesar what Caesar is due, he followed it up by saying render to God what God is due, trivializing the former.

What Do They Really Look Like In Action?

It’s difficult to describe biblical justice in action. It would sound utopic. The ten commandments is a basis for which to begin that thought and the Kingdom of Heaven is the final destination. The simplicity of a world without sin is unimaginable. Here the notion of justice according to the Bible is inseparable from the doctrine of justification in Jesus.

In contrast, history has seen social justice in action. But even in setting aside the various examples of Marxism in action, churches pursuing social justice inevitably conflict with the Scripture. My colleague, Paige Rogers detailed the Episcopal Church’s slide:

As I have previously written, the has been a concerted, decades-long effort among a growing segment within the Episcopal Church to strip the Word of its masculine references to God, beginning with the 1973 publication of “Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women’s Liberation.”

These efforts to amend church materials in conformation to ideological post-modernist thought drew national attention this year after the Washington D.C. diocese adopted a resolution urging the national church’s General Convention to revise the prayer book and, when doing so, to remove the use of gendered pronouns for God in all future revisions. The Book of Common Prayer includes liturgies, prayers, the Bible’s Psalms, etc., was last revised in 1979.

A July 11, 2018, statement by the national Episcopal Church now informs us that this year’s General Convention has indeed concurred, passing a resolution that calls for the revision of the prayer book to include “inclusive and expansive language and imagery for humanity and divinity.”

Conclusion

Pursuing social justice inherently shifts the directional focus of the church in the wrong direction. In pursuing social justice, now-apostate churches have began the endless marathon of conforming to the ever changing whims of modern society. As I discovered when writing, Is American Christianity at an all time low, this is not a successful strategy for these churches. The issue is not that Christians fail to understand social justice.  Social justice is not only incompatible with biblical justice, but an outright opposition. The issue is that Christians understand social justice better than its advocates.


Originally published on Startup Christ.

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Culture and Religion

Louis Farrakhan refers to Ilhan Omar as ‘sweetheart,’ prompting zero outrage

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Louis Farrakhan refers to Ilhan Omar as sweetheart prompting zero outrage

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan referred to Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as “Sweetheart” as he addressed her during a speaking engagement on Sunday. He apparently caught his faux pas and immediately justified the remark, but at that point the moniker which many consider to be sexist or misogynistic had already been noted.

Nevertheless, it didn’t cause the stir one might expect. As a far-left progressive, Omar is known for being a feminist icon on Capitol Hill even though she hasn’t been in office for a full two months yet. As our EIC noted, the lack of a rebuke was because of the source, not because she now feels it’s okay to refer to her as “sweetheart.”

The statement came as Farrakhan was telling Omar she shouldn’t be sorry for the statements she made last week about Israel, AIPAC, and Jewish influence in Washington DC, particularly over Republicans.

In a world where consistency was still considered a virtue, followers of Omar would be wondering why she’s not expressing outrage over the belittling reference from a powerful man. But the world isn’t consistent and Farrakhan always gets a pass.

 


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Culture and Religion

Man fined £1,000 for outdated sense of humor

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Man fined £1000 for outdated sense of humor

Jonathon Van Maren, a contributor for LifeSiteNews, recently stumbled across an article in the UK’s Edinburgh News about a construction worker who was arrested for “pointing and laughing” at a biological male who was dressed as a female (transgender woman).

[Author’s Note: It is impolite and unkind to point and laugh at others. This article is not an endorsement of such behavior.]

As Van Maren explained, a construction worker named Graham Spiers was walking with a group of friends. The group pointed and laughed while passing a transgender individual who, suspecting that his appearance had become the subject of ridicule, telephoned the police.

Spiers was arrested five day later.

Sherriff Robert Fife scolded Mr. Spiers’s sense of humor and actions:

Transgender insanity: Police now jailing people for laughing at men in women’s clothes

https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/transgender-insanity-police-now-jailing-people-for-laughing-at-men-in-womenSheriff Robert Fife also piled on, informing Spiers that, “Your offensive comments were not funny at the time and are not funny now. Your children should grow up understanding gender differences and would be ashamed at your behavior that comes from a different era has no place in today’s society.” Fife then told Spiers that in addition to the cash he had to pay to the biological man for laughing at him, he also had to pay an additional fine of another five hundred pounds.

Graham Spiers was ordered to pay a total of £1,000 for his actions “from a different era,” 500 of which was paid to the complainant.

Of the actions by police and the court in this instance, Van Maren opined:

It is disgusting enough that law enforcement would arrest and charge someone for this triviality. That alone indicates that freedom in Scotland is truly dead. But the fact that law enforcement then lectured Spiers on being a throwback from a different age (that different era being about a decade ago, for the record) and telling him his children should be ashamed of him? And that Spiers was expected to cower and listen to this tongue-lashing from his betters so he could get re-educated and realize that men could now become women and that laughing at their attempts was forbidden by law? That should absolutely repulse any liberty-loving person and terrify everyone who values freedom.

My Take

Pointing and laughing at others is unquestionably unkind. I am repulsed at the thought of such outward meanness. However, that this behavior so would be considered illegal and result in one’s arrest is punitive at best, and is undoubtedly a waste a valuable time and resources. Furthermore, the punishment in this case is brazenly excessive.

This is yet another instance of big government run amok. The Founders knew the dangers of big government. It would be prudent of us to heed the Founders’ advice, lest we find ourselves in the position of Mr. Spiers: subjugated beneath the arbitrary boot of “benevolent” governmental authority.

 


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Culture and Religion

The anti-MAGA hoax epidemic

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The anti-MAGA hoax epidemic

There’s a trend that’s been quietly, consistently rearing its ugly head against the President of the United States and his supporters since before the 2016 election. We’ve seen it among unhinged journalists, virtue-signaling celebrities, and Democratic politicians. We’ve seen it manifest in the ugliest form of hatred – the common hate-hoax – and it’s doing more to divide America than the source of the perpetrators’ anger.

They hate President Trump. They hate the people who got him elected. The hate the idea of making America great again because as much of the MAGA agenda comes to pass, they’re learning they’ve been wrong the whole time. I know first hand. I’ve been proven wrong myself.

No, I’m not a hate-hoaxer, but I’ve been against the President to varying degrees for over three years now. Before he officially won the GOP nomination in 2016, I opposed him because I felt he would do too much damage while delivering only a moderate amount of good policies. He wasn’t as bad as John Kasich or Jeb Bush, but we had Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul as better candidates. Nevertheless, he won the nomination, prompting me to spend the final leg of the 2016 election without a horse in the race. I didn’t like the idea of Trump being President, but under no circumstances did I want Hillary Clinton to be President, either.

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After he won, I became a cautious but hopeful watcher. While we worked on alternatives to bring limited-government federalism to the forefront of local, state, and national politics, I took a case-by-case stance on the President himself. When he did well, I praised him. When he did poorly, I criticized him. This stance has remained until this day, though there have been times when I was more supportive or more critical, depending on the policy discussion of the day. Tax and bureaucratic cuts – good. Tariffs and bump stock bans – bad. The recent cave on the border omnibus – very bad. Most foreign policy moves (leaving Iran deal, leaving Paris accords, moving embassy to Jerusalem) – very good.

Unfortunately, it seems many on the left have been unwilling to recognize even the remotest possibility anything the President is doing is good. What’s worse is that some have been so aggressive in their desire to prove their point that they’ve pretended to be victims for the sake of getting their “victims’ perks” of love and affection from their peers while painting anyone wearing a MAGA hat as bigoted and hateful.

Thus, the anti-MAGA hate hoax was born and it’s been so prominent over the last two-and-a-half years, one must wonder how mainstream media and Democrats became so gullible that they fall for it every single time.

Andy Ngo at Quillette put together a comprehensive list of hate hoaxes that leftists have perpetrated to paint the President and his supporters as racists. It’s absolutely stunning when you see the magnitude of the hatred – THEIR hatred – that makes them willing to tell bald-faced lies just to prove the movement they oppose is as bad as they think it is.

I’ve had ideological disagreements with nearly every presidential candidate (let alone every President) since I became an adult. There’s nothing wrong with disagreement as long as one is willing to not be blinded in one direction or the other. There are plenty who blindly follow President Trump to approximately the same degree that supporters blindly followed President Obama. The herd mentality seems to have become the way of the political world in America for our last two presidents. But that blind devotion is simply an annoyance. The blind hatred that drives people to commit these hoaxes is far more dangerous.

It’s likely when the details are fully revealed regarding Jussie Smollett’s hate-hoax, it was driven more by a narcissistic desire to advance his career rather than pure hatred for the MAGA crowd or the President, but obviously the latter hatred played a role in his decision-making process. This type of action is never acceptable. We have enough outrage in America. There’s no need to manufacture even more for false reasons.

It’s time for the unhinged left to stop assuming every MAGA supporter is racist and start asking how the actions of those on their side of the political aisle drove massive amounts of people to support President Trump. Perhaps then, they’ll realize the hatred is coming mostly from them.

 


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