Social justice, in the sense that it is being inculcated in our society today, does not mean what most Christians think it means. Social Justice does not mean equal justice under the law for all members of society, as it should, and as the Bible correctly advocates. The Social Justice theory (theology) currently being promulgated by politicians and clergy means racial equity and retaliation for assumed past systemic injustices. This is severely unbiblical and should be strongly rejected in faith-based communities and Church congregations nationwide. Here is a simple equation that illustrates our thesis:
Social Justice = Civil Reprisal
Unfortunately what we are seeing is an unholy alliance by the progressive (extremely secular) left and many evangelical churches around the nation. Pulpits and pews are filled with well-intentioned, albeit ignorant, laity, and clergy that are happy to walk lockstep with such a corrosive worldview. These may have good intentions but the outcomes are going to be disastrous and debilitative to the church and its communities. Social justice is not social justice, it is social retribution. This is what believers need to realize before they attach themselves to this movement. R-Rated Religion wrote about the political agenda associated with the BLM movement earlier so, for the sake of brevity, we will dispense with the recap. If you have not read that article, please click the link below and read that article before you proceed. It is essential that we, as communities of faith, get this problem correct or the ramifications will be problematic for generations.
What we are seeing is the ole’ bait-n-switch technique where a certain movement (entity, organization, political platform) redefines the words and their meanings and then sells them off to an unsuspecting group of gullible, kind-hearted, loving, people who only want to see peace, love, and fairness in society. What so many are missing is that this has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with retaliation. What the social justice warriors (SJW) want is REVENGE. This is dangerous, unbiblical, and should be unanimously rebuked by all biblical Christians.
Sins are sins; we all sin, every human alive sinned and fell short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). There is little debate on this topic. What social justice theory proposes is that we, in some way, atone for those sins collectively. This is highly precarious and pits individual responsibility against collective action. God judges nations, not man: “He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; he will shatter chiefs over the wide earth” (Psalm 110:6 [Joel Chapter 3 is a great place to start a Bible study on this exact topic]). Jesus Christ atoned for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3) two thousand years ago. Besides, we know that biblically God alone judges (Psalm 75:7), and His wrath will be satisfied (Romans 1:18) and justice will be served by Him alone (Psalm 9:7-8).
This is the basis for not overexerting ourselves into the sins of the past. We know, with certainty, that God is a Sovereign God of Justice and His will and purpose for life will never be thwarted (Job42:2). We can then rest in peace knowing that humanity can never right the wrongs of the past or make appropriate restitution for bygone generations. These are best left to the almighty. Revenge is never the answer. St. Paul writes in the book of Romans: “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord'” (12:19). Furthermore, this revenge as social justice is nothing more than an attempt at generational lex talionis (law of retaliation). Correcting the sins of our forefathers by punishing current innocent generations is illogical, angry, and unforgiving. These are not tenants that believers ascribe to.
In addition to these positions, social justice theology (if you can call it that) takes on other non-biblical platforms such as same-sex marriage, transgenderism, wealth disparities, classism, and so many more unbiblical themes that relate to modern society. They pull these all under the umbrella of “love,” which they misdiagnose and contort into something that can only be good but deprive it of necessary elements such as choice, responsibility, obedience, sacrifice, or strength; which are all components of biblical love. Most people in society think of love as nothing more than a feeling, this could not be further from the truth. Here is a short example showing that there are 4 types of love in the New Testament to discern from. R-Rated Religion will dedicate other articles to showcase these issues but it underlines the problem that simple “love” is not the correct answer to complex issues without weighing the biblical moorings that support it.
So where does this leave us, as Christians? That answer can be found in a small book of the Old Testament:
“With what shall I come before the LORD,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:6–8 ESV).
Notice that this passage starts with a conversation between man (any man) and the Prophet Micah (speaking for God). The man starts with a question on how to please God. He begins with ritual sacrifices, offerings, and even human atonement. He offers his firstborn for his own past transgressions. These viewpoints represent penances that can be made for the sins of man and society. Look familiar? This type of activity is what we are seeing now in society at large; humans attempting to subvert the sovereignty of God while trying to fix the ills of the past by sacrificing the freedoms of the present. Micah answers with a simple statement: to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.
This is what real social justice looks like, walking humbly with our God, knowing that he is the source of all and also the recipient of all; “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36).
For Social Justice
Almighty God, you created us in your own image: Grant us
grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace
with oppression; and help us to use our freedom rightly in the
establishment of justice in our communities and among the
nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ
our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
Do Not Be Naive About What You Believe!