It’s time for some straight talk about social justice. There are challenges in both the way its practitioners understand the concept as well as the results of their attempts to enact it, but these have generally been pushed aside as anomalies rather than the rules. We see economic failures in raising minimum raise, for example. The people who were supposed to be helped by it in cities like Seattle are the people who have had their hours cut, jobs lost, and who have watched the businesses they work for forced to shut down.
Dr. Voddie Baucham, Dean of Theological Education at African Christian University, spoke at the Sovereign Nations ‘Social Justice & The Gospel’ Conference in Atlanta, GA. He was tasked with defining “social justice” but went well beyond that by explaining how social justice in the context of the Bible creates a disconnect between its goals and its results.
“A number of schools are offering degrees in sociology and social justice and the way we define it order to say this is a Gospel issue looks nothing like the way it’s being defined in the culture at large.,” he said.
Social justice has its place in the world, but the modern interpretations of what count as “social” and what is defined as “justice” have gone far from their roots in righteousness. Much of it comes down to terminology.
As Baucham noted, “Is it necessary for us to use social justice terminology in order to get at the issues we’re trying to get at? I don’t think it is.”
Discounting the concept of social justice as inherently wrong is a mistake many conservatives make. Acknowledging that the modern manifestations which claim the mantle of social justice are wrong is a better way of looking at it.
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