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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

Top 5 ‘assault weapon’ technologies that existed BEFORE the Constitution was written

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Top 5 assault weapon technologies that existed BEFORE the Constitution was written

Just a sample of some of the repeating firepower that existed long before the 2nd amendment.

Leftist lore has it that the only guns in existence at the time of the writing of the 2nd amendment were muskets that took 5 minutes to reload. This being exemplified by the New York Times in using an image of a musket contrasted with an assault rifle in an article on their usual obsession with gun confiscation. Or from a commercial from a liberty grabber group depicting the long, drawn out reloading of a musket. As is usually the case with leftist lore, this is a complete fabrication.

The fact is that multishot or repeating firearms existed long before the affirmation of the common sense human right of self-preservation in the US Constitution. We’ve already highlighted some of these technologies that predate the Constitution. However, for the sake of completeness, we shall fill out the list with the other fine examples.

Since there is no set definition of the term ‘assault weapon’ or ‘weapons of war’ or what ever farcical term the liberty grabber left has come up with to demonize ordinary firearms, we bestowed this term to these technology as some of the first ‘Assault Weapons’.

Repeating rifles of the early 1600s, predating the Constitution by 160 years

The Encyclopedia Britannica has a very informative article on this subject with this excerpt detailing the most important point:

The first effective breech-loading and repeating flintlock firearms were developed in the early 1600s. One early magazine repeater has been attributed to Michele Lorenzoni, a Florentine gunmaker. In the same period, the faster and safer Kalthoff system—designed by a family of German gunmakers—introduced a ball magazine located under the barrel and a powder magazine in the butt. By the 18th century the Cookson repeating rifle was in use in North America, having separate tubular magazines in the stock for balls and powder and a lever-activated breech mechanism that selected and loaded a ball and a charge, also priming the flash pan and setting the gun on half cock.

[Our Emphasis]

Please note that these multishot or repeating firearms existed almost 2 centuries before the writing of the Constitution, eviscerating the ‘Muskets only’ lie of the national socialist Left. For those who are numerically as well a factually challenged, this was also 370 years before the 21st Century.

The Lorenzoni repeating flintlock: Portable firepower that predated the Constitution by over 100 years

Our first video from the venerable website Forgotten weapons is of two London-Made Lorenzonis Repeating Flintlocks. This was a repeating flintlock developed in the early 1600’s that was able to fire multiple shots 160 years before the writing of the Constitution.

Early development of revolving cylinder firearms, predating the Constitution by over 109 years

Next on the Pre-constitutional timeline, we have One of the Earliest Six-shot Revolvers from the collection of the Royal Armory that we profiled in a previous article. The Curator of Firearms, Jonathan Ferguson notes that this wasn’t one of the earliest revolvers along with pointing out how the technology has ‘evolved’ over time.

This also brings up an important point, that arms and other weapons of self-defense were vitally important, a matter of life or death. Every living being is in a battle for survival, in the case of human society, these technologies determined its survivability. Thus it is a constant competition with these technologies constantly changing and evolving over time. Something that would have been known by the learned men that wrote the founding documents.

The Puckle or Defense Gun from 1718, was predating the Constitution by over 70 years

We have previously detailed the Puckle or Defense Gun invented in 1718 and demonstrated early ‘automatic weapon’ fire in 1721:

The Puckle Gun, or Defense Gun as it was also known, was invented and patented in 1718 by the London lawyer James Puckle.

This was an early ‘automatic weapon’ was capable of firing 63 shots in 7 minutes in 1721.

For those following along this missed the mark of being a 21st Century weapon by almost 300 years.

The multishot Girardoni Air Gun that predated the Constitution by 9 years.

This is another multishot weapon of war that existed before the Constitution.

Jover and Belton Flintlock Repeating Musket – 1786, this also predates the Constitution

Our last video of multishot or repeating firearms that predated the Constitution is the Jover and Belton Flintlock Repeating Musket from 1786. We’re trying to keep this as short as possible, thus we have left off other examples such as the Ribauldequin, Duckfoot or Nock gun.

Very much like the previous example, the Belton Flintlock Repeating Musket was known to the founding fathers because he corresponded with Congress on this weapon in 1777 [Again, before the drafting of the Constitution]. For those keeping score at home, 1786 is still is not of the 21st Century.

Leftist lies on this subject depends on a number of improbable fallacies and assumptions. The founding fathers would have known the history of technological developments and they would have expected those developments to continue. Thus rendering the fallacy that they could not have foreseen that weapons technologies wouldn’t of continued on to the point of absurdity.

The Takeaway

Unfortunately for the Liberty Grabber Left, firearms tend to be valuable historical artifacts, these videos show that multishot or repeating firearms existed well before the Constitution. Thus we have eviscerated the ‘musket myth’. It should also be evident that the violence problem hasn’t been caused by the ‘easy’ availability of guns or repeating firearms.

As is the case with most Leftist lies and prevarication’s, they depend on a lack knowledge of the subject to succeed. This is why is extremely important that everyone of the Pro-Liberty Right be apprised of these facts in engaging those of the Left who have little care for logic, science or truth. The fact that multishot or repeating firearms existed centuries ago should make it clear that the Left is lying about the subject of self-defense from beginning to end.

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Naeem Fazal: Is Allah the same as Yahweh?

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Naeem Fazal Is Allah the same as Yahweh

One of the biggest reasons for the rise of the various movements attempting to unite the various religions of the world is the desire to end conflict. This isn’t just on the battlefield. Many want to prevent any one religion from spreading its doctrines as superior, opting instead for the push to say all religions are just variations on the same theme. This is, of course, very far from the truth.

The push to claim Allah, the god of Islam, is the same as Yahweh, the God of Jews and Christians, has been making its rounds across churches and public discourse for a while. It’s heretical and can be clearly debunked with a basic reading of scripture as well as readings of Quran. At the heart of the matter is the relationship with Jesus Christ.

Christians believe Jesus is the Son of God. Muslims believe Jesus was a prophet and the right-hand-man who will return to chastise all non-Muslims into believing in Islam or falling to the sword. There’s no connection between the two beliefs that can reconcile these fundamental differences.

Former Muslim Naeem Fazal visited with the folks at The One Minute Apologist to clear things up about Allah and Yahweh. His book, Ex-Muslim, is a great read for those who want to explore a wonderful transformation to the faith.

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7 life lessons we can learn from Daniel’s example

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7 life lessons we can learn from Daniels example

The Book of Daniel is one of the most profound and even entertaining books of the Bible. Within its amazing pages are some incredible lessons that we can apply to our lives today.

Chapter 2 in particular is often hurried through for a couple of reasons. First, it’s considered by most Bible scholars to be prophecy that’s already been fulfilled, so those who look to Daniel for its prophetic reasons may skip it as a history lesson. Second, the story focuses on Nebuchadnezzar‘s dream, but there are little nuances that highlight the character of Daniel in ways that are truly amazing.

Let’s take a look at 7 important lessons from the book. There are many others, of course, but these seven are all great places to start as we apply them to our lives today.

1. Be Reasonable with Your Faith

In the first chapter, Daniel and his companions are supposed to eat of the king’s meat and drink the wine of the kingdom. This had two purposes – to keep these special children who would become the wise men of the land as healthy as possible and to indoctrinate them into the customs of their new masters. Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself in this manner, knowing that doing so would go against the Torah.

Rather than fight, refuse, or hold a hunger strike, he asked to eat pulse and drink water. His request was denied because the master of the eunuchs did not want them to get weak and feeble in fear of what the king would do to him. Daniel took one more shot, this time with Melzar who was their caretaker.

Daniel 1:11-13 (KJV)

11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,

12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.

13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.

God allowed this to happen. Daniel and his companions were “fairer and fatter in flesh” than those who were eating the king’s meat.

There is no compromise for our faith. Had Melzar not allowed Daniel and his companions to eat the food that God required of them, then it’s very likely that Daniel would have handled the matter more firmly, even risking his own life to remain true to his faith. He would probably have become militant, but he first tried to be reasonable and it worked.

As Christians in such a perverse age, we are often called to take a stand against injustices that go against our faith. Many of us (myself included) often start off militant rather than giving the Holy Spirit a chance to move on our behalf. There are times when we must stand firm, but that should not always be the first option. Daniel accomplished his goal without offending anyone or hurting his own objectives.

2. Pray with Friends

Daniel prayed by himself all the time. However, when faced with death by decree of the king in Chapter 2, Daniel requested time to answer the king’s challenge. The first thing he did with his time was to go to his three companions so they could pray together for help.

There are times to pray alone, but when the need is great, it’s important to pray with others. The verses themselves, listed below, reveal two more important lessons; so many things we can learn are right there in a couple of short verses in Chapter 2.

3. Pray for Ends, not the Means

The prayer of the Jewish boys was done with more wisdom than most Christians and Jews have today. It’s a shame that we don’t get to read the actual prayer, but its short description within two verses in Chapter 2 tell us what we need to know about them:

Daniel 2:17-18 (KJV)

17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:

18 That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

Most people, given the impossible challenge of knowing what a king dreamed and interpreting it for him in order to save their lives, would pray to know the dream and the interpretation so they would not perish. It seems straight forward, right? However, Daniel and his companions did not pray for this because this would be a presumptuous prayer. Instead, they prayed for mercies concerning this secret so they would not perish like the other wise men of the land.

Do you see the subtle difference? As it turned out, God gave Daniel the dream and its interpretation, but God could have easily answered the prayer any way He chose. His “mercies concerning the secret” could have been to change the king’s heart, to open a way for the Daniel and his companions to escape, to send a fireball down to devour the king… you get the point. They prayed with the goal in mind, that they would not be killed like the others. They left the methodology to God.

4. Be Humble, Thankful, and Full of Praise to the Father

It’s amazing that there are so many lessons in a few verses in Chapter 2. Another lesson was taught immediately after they prayed to God to not let them die. The lesson is one that we all need to hear more: Praise God as the wonderful Father that He is.

Daniel 2:19-23 (KJV)

19 Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

20 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:

21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:

22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.

23 I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter.

Obviously, Daniel was extremely happy that he was not going to die thanks to the blessing he received from his Father and was quick to return that blessing in the best way he had available to him at that moment: praise. Then, once he was presenting to the king what the Lord had shown him, he gave us another important lesson…

5. Take No Credit for the Lord’s Works

Daniel could have very easily told the king that he was given a vision by God because he was special. He could have told the king that he was the smartest man in the world and the king would have believed him once he revealed the dream. He could have said that he was holy and blessed and that’s why God gave him the vision. He could have taken credit in any way that he chose. Instead, he chose to take no credit at all.

Daniel 2:21-28 (KJV)

27 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king;

28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;

Human ego is a hard thing to put down. When good things happen to us, when we’re able to accomplish things that others cannot, or when we build things that are great, we often take credit. Sure, we might thank God for the blessing, the talent, the knowledge, the luck, the opportunity, or anything else, but we often do not realize or acknowledge that all things happen by the Grace of God. King Nebuchadnezzar learned this lesson the hard way in Chapter 4.

6. Have Courage to Tell the Hard Truths

In three different instances, courage was required to deliver a harsh message to a king. First, the three companions spoke boldly in the face of death.

Daniel 3:16-18 (KJV)

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.

17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

They knew that what they were saying was going to get them thrown into a fiery furnace, but they said it anyway. This is an important lesson, one that every believer must prepare themselves for if they are ever faced with death over their faith.

As a mini-lesson, notice that they did not declare that God would save them. They would not presume to declare what God was going to do. They simply declared that God was able to deliver them from the furnace and that he would certainly deliver them from the king’s hand. Either way – had they been saved by a Son of God or had they burned – they would have been delivered from the king’s hand.

In Chapter 4, the king had a dream that he told to his wise men. In Chapter 2, they could not deliver an interpretation because they did not know the dream. This time, the king told them the dream, and as it says in verse 7, “they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof.”

The meaning of the dream itself was actually pretty obvious, but the wise men did not make it known to him. Notice that it did not say that they could not make it known. Chances are, they knew exactly what it meant but because it spoke of bad tidings for the king, they didn’t want to be the ones delivering the bad news. They were afraid.

Daniel was afraid as well.

Daniel 4:19

19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies.

He overcame his fear and revealed a terrible fate for the king. It wasn’t easy. he hesitated for a long time, perhaps building up the courage. After all, it isn’t easy to tell someone that they’re going to be eating grass and living with animals because of their evil doings.

More ill tidings were put to Daniel to deliver to a king in Chapter 5. This time, Daniel didn’t hesitate at all. In fact, he used the opportunity to deliver the message of the king’s death that night to chastise him for defiling the ornaments of God’s people.

7. Ask Forgiveness for Your People

This is arguably the most controversial of the lessons taught through the Book of Daniel. In Chapter 9:3-19, Daniel asks for forgiveness for his people. He does not make excuses. He acknowledges their shortcomings, their sins, and their betrayals. He does not ask for anything that they deserve but rather forgiveness for the Lord’s sake as they are His children and Jerusalem is His city.

I won’t put in the whole prayer, but please take the time to read it. Instead, I’ll focus on the final verse of the prayer:

Daniel 9:19 (KJV)

19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

As Moses once did, here Daniel asks the Lord to forgive His people for His sake, not theirs.

We are viewed as individuals, of course, but we are also viewed as nations. It is important that we do pray for a turning away from sin. We are in a time when just about every country is faced with challenges with faith. In America, we contend with a turning away from our foundation of belief. Abortion, gay marriage, and the silencing of Biblical doctrines for the sake of diversity and tolerance are just some of our country’s sins.

In other places such as parts of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, being a Christian can bring persecution and even death. There are challenges that the enemy has placed before all of is in one form or another. It is too much for anyone to fight alone. We must pray for our Lord to forgive us and help us fight the good fight.

The entire book is wonderful on so many levels. Yes, there are incredible lessons for everyone to hear, but there are also prophecies and messages that God wanted us to know. If you’ve never done a thorough reading of Daniel, now is the time to do it.

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