SOCIAL JUSTICE = EGALITARIAN MINIMALISM
“Social Justice” is a term you hear almost every day. But did you ever hear anybody define what it actually means? Jonah Goldberg of the American Enterprise Institute tries to pin this catchall phrase to the wall. In doing so, he exposes the not-so-hidden agenda of those who use it. What sounds so caring and noble turns out to be something very different.
Many equate this with Christianity as it was originally taught. So we need to look at this from a Biblical viewpoint for at least two main reasons. First: many promoters have brought in the Bible and Jesus’ teachings to validate this practice. They claim he was teaching socialism. Second: The United states governmental system, is not perfect, it was based on some Biblical principles and the overarching theme was to give freedom, self – governance to individuals, not government control over the minute aspects of our lives, especially on our finances. This was different than every other government existing at the time.
One of the main framers of our constitution stated: “To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it” (Thomas Jefferson, letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6, 1816).
I don’t like politics but this where the promotion begins and is now finding its way into the church. It involves a philosophy that is antithetical to Christianity. We need to look at this concept in History, philosophy, logic and most importantly the Bible, which becomes the final and authoritative answer for Christians. Those who engage in promoting this inside the church are attributing Jesus’ statements as an endorsement of this philosophy. It was Karl Marx’x idea to redistribute the wealth not Jesus’.
For now, this appears to have more to do with politics than religion, but the church (and other religions) are not exempt. A fundamental transformation of America is taking place. This must involve religion, i.e. Christianity as well as politics for it to succeed. As religious values decline other systems are trying to replace it. Secular humanism, socialism, new ageism are on the rise.
The government is promoting i.e. social justice. The idea of social justice makes one feel better about themselves. This is based on the ideology of everyone being intrinsically good and are willing to give their fair share to help others in need no matter what the circumstance.
This pseudo humanistic movement of bringing fairness is more ideological than altruistic. Altruism is defined as 1: unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Instead this is based on an ideology: “the integrated assertions, theories and aims that constitute a sociopolitical program.”
Convincing people with a platform of platitudes that this is the right thing to do for everyone, as the goal is a utopian type society. But it will never be reached by human efforts no matter how noble or earnest they may be in them. They want the world to be perfect without Christ and take the credit for making it happen. Don’t be fooled by the religious humanists, they are not for Christ but for their own peace of mind to relieve themselves of guilt.
Social justice is being presented to the church as ones Christian duty. The progressive liberals that feign being religious have found their way into the government and now the church is next in their transformation. This comes from the United Nation’s plan to have world governance, to forge a fair and just world economy.
We may be familiar with the social gospel, where social activism is changed into the gospel. This social gospel requires us to do something beneficial for the people such as to feed them or clothe them before we can speak them about the gospel that saves them from sin. The social gospel was stepping stone from the new trend of social justice, both distort the meaning and effect of the gospel. They have salvation come from society by the good we do, such as feeding the hungry helping the homeless. Certainly we do not negate doing these things, but let’s be clear – they are not the gospel or part of it.
The gospel is about an individual saying yes to Jesus’ offer to follow him and receive salvation, it is about the forgiveness of sin. It has nothing to do with social justice as it is promoted or practiced. Most use the word in connecting it to their platform to further their agenda. They don’t believe the gospel is focused on the message Jesus gave to forgive sin. Like the cults, they assign a different meaning to the words, and they add to it; works.
In a free country and those who live in a free enterprise system we keep what we earn. People work hard to have what they own. Is it fair to take from those who work their goods to support those who do not work (not those who cannot work because of a situation they cannot control). Its one thing to take care of those who are unable, the Bible makes it clear we are to do this. Micah 6:8: “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”
The Bible calls this charity and it is done by an individual’s choice. This is when the Lord leads or we choose whom we want to give to, how much and when. When government legislates law, it is far different in application, there is no individual choice, it is about the collective; it is law, like taxes.
Social justice that would be implemented by the government is more accurately defined as wealth redistribution. This is done by seizing the wealth of the rich (identified as greedy) and given to the poor (the oppressed), using government agencies for the redistribution. This is the Political left’s social justice agenda. The redistribution of wealth is actually confiscation using the law under the pretense of helping the poor. How can this be any different than socialism or communism?
Who would have thought the government would one day partner with religion to accomplish its goals, but this is what the faith based initiative program is about (more on this later). When government becomes involved with the church it advances interfaith cooperation to accomplish its goals. To the church the gospel is to be priority, if it is reversed the gospel will rarely be presented because social justice is always the focus.
As Paul Proctor writes that “The social gospel and its increasingly popular “social justice” campaign is not an acceptable substitute for preaching repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Its promoters all too often set aside the vertical, spiritual and eternal issues of sin, rebellion, obedience, holiness and reverence toward God in order to redirect the focus toward more horizontal, physical and temporal values. In the end, the flesh is, for a time, fed and comforted, but the souls of sinners are left abandoned to biblical ignorance because disobedient do-gooders have spiritually sidetracked the Church and its mission” (News with Views January 6, 2010).
The government promotion of social justice brings humanism into the church and by its nature ends up promoting interfaith co-operation (like Rick Warren’s peace plan). Social justice is the long arm of socialism reaching into the church. It has been connected to liberation theology that gained access to the churches in Central America. If the pastors are unaware and see this as a good thing the church in America will be corrupted from within. There are schools and churches that are already teaching social justice (please check your own). We may have never thought of it in this manner but not only New agers, but socialists, Marxists have found their way into Christian universities and our pulpits, their common ground is socialism.
Now we can understand better what has been taking place in some churches that want social action and service and ignore doctrine. This removes us from being gospel centered in a Biblical manner to a humanistic gospel of service. The Emergent church, liberal mainline denominations have already accepted this.
This kind of foreign intrusive system will ruin the church that is to operate by grace. It’s not about obedience to a law but being motivated by love that makes giving and help genuine. Love will always be associated with a freedom to choose whom to give to, and when. If it is legislated as law it becomes no different than being taxed, and we all know how we like taxes. If people want to pay for more social programs, nothing is stopping them now. They can contribute by paying more than their fair share of taxes. But they don’t, instead they want everyone to do it equally, by legislation. They don’t find people to help on their own but want everyone to do it together, through government.
The requirement of involuntary redistribution of individuals’ wealth to others by the state goes against the Bible and the constitution of America. When man is required to care for the welfare of others by law his own freedom of choice is controlled. Jesus said to serve him, it is our choice how we will pursue this call. If we allow others to make the decisions for us, then we are not being directly involved.
Jefferson wrote:”…shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government” (Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801)
Marx does not sound like an atheist to call himself equal to the creator, at least not in the normal sense. He admits he had only ruination in mind, like a type of the antichrist he was to destroy, to bring about his solution. So why do so many look to his philosophy as the cure to societies ills? Marx advocated the abolition of capitalism and all private profit, even using the means of violent revolution when necessary. We have seen the fruit of his philosophy. Far more people were killed from the communist system[s] in this last century (which has never happened) than all the religions combined. Over one hundred and fifty million were killed from 1,800’s to today under these “Benevolent Dictators” whose better way to bring their utopian society only brought death and oppression.
Progressive liberals, democratic socialists and communists all want the government to take goods and money from those who have an abundance and transfer to those who do not have to create economic equality – not just here in America but worldwide.
But “Social justice” is not about the fair distribution of goods to the those in need, it is a product of Marxism and was used in Central America through the vehicle of Liberation theology. Most think social justice is like Robin Hood, but he took from the king who was robbing the people by their being overtaxed and gave it to the people who were poor. It had nothing to do with the wealthy abusing the poor to become wealthy on the backs of their workers. The key in this story was being overtaxed.
Hayak “Government has no resources of its very own. The only way government can give one person money is to first take it from another person. Doing so represents the forcible using of one person, through the tax code, to serve the purposes of another. That is a form of immorality akin to slavery. After all, a working definition of slavery is precisely that: the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another”(the road to serfdom p.14).
Socialism is an economy controlled by the government – the redistribution of wealth. Socialism equals collectivism, which limits or eliminates personal liberty (depending how oppressive the government is), where freedom of conscience and religion is the first to go. In America these are our liberties mentioned in the Bill of Rights. In other words the constitution in America recognizes these rights are from God, not man or government. As a Republic she is made in contradistinction to socialism and is incompatible with this system. We have a government by the people and for the people, you can say the foundation is built from the bottom up. Socialism works through an all-powerful state government; therefore the people must give up their freedom and control for this to work.
To introduce social justice into this system is to mix oil with water -social justice is socialism. Marxists see private owned property as capitalism, those that have oppressed the poor to gain it, they do not believe there is any fairness in the free market system. Instead of lifting the lower earners to a higher level which would give them freedom, they do they opposite and make the higher earners lower thus taking both to the lowest level which is poverty, this is the economic equality which one can see in the socialist countries throughout the world. They are given no opportunity to improve their situation but only find happiness in the equality they share with everyone else. Misery loves company. The miserable leftists cannot feel good unless everyone is as miserable as they are.
Someone accurately described social justice in this manner: what if in school you got an A on your test and someone else got an F. If I took you’re A and portioned it out to the one who got and F so they can get a C, which then made you have a C along with them. You both are equal; that’s their idea of justice.
This ideology affects everyone’s freedom to grow and expand and lowers the bar for all.
“Individualism, in contrast to socialism and all other forms of totalitarianism, is based on the respect of Christianity for the individual man and the belief that it is desirable that men should be free to develop their own individual gifts and bents. This philosophy, first fully developed during the Renaissance, grew and spread into what we know as Western civilization. The general direction of social development was one of freeing the individual from the ties which bound him in feudal society” (Hayak, the Road to Serfdom p.42)