The following was written as a response to an e-mail sent to me by a friend where he, after querying some students and professors involved with social justice at Wheaton College, ventures to explain an acceptable “Christian” definition of social justice.
First, my friend’ e-mail:
We were talking about “social justice,” as you recall. And you rightly asked me for my definition since I was challenging the idea that “social justice” can only mean a Marxist, socialist, redistribution of wealth to achieve equality. When I talk with my students about social justice, and support them when they express interest in working for “social justice,” I actually treat the phrase more broadly than you do. Although the phrase often is used by social liberals to promote socialist political programs, it doesn’t have to be used that way. The idea (although not the exact phrase) can be traced historically to Christians who opposed slavery and genocide, and who believed that evangelism is damaged when the rich oppress the poor. So, my view of social justice is shaped by the OT prophets (God’s emphasis on mercy and providing for the poor) and the NT concept of love and justice. So social justice = seeking to be an agent of God’s mercy in social conditions of unequal power relationships. For me, this doesn’t mean that all the power relationships ought to be made equal, but that Christians MUST recognize that unequal power relationships often produce oppression and harm. I don’t support a view of social justice that justifies stealing, violence, or “socialism/communism.” Rather, I believe social justice is best practiced in a free market economy where one’s private property is respected.
My response to this e-mail:
I thank you for your e-mail. It requires a long response of which I apologize in advance. Please console yourself with the knowledge that I could’ve made this much longer. I’ve tried to boil it down to its essence. The concerns expressed by those you spoke with are manufactured by the religious and cultural left, and the solutions exacerbate the very problems that give rise to these manufactured concerns.
To simply redefine a term is not to change its actual meaning or make its true meaning nonexistent. The twisting of language and redefining of words is one of Satan’s greatest tools. The Christians who opposed slavery were abolitionists (which formed the foundation of the new Republican Party), not social justice warriors (the foundation for the Democrat Party). Affirmative action and the black lives matter movement are classic examples of social justice extremism which has nothing to do with liberty, true justice or with the abolition of slavery. It is nothing more than a democrat political weapon. Emancipation, on the other hand, was the fulfilling of the founding principle in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal. This equality meant only equality under the law. It did not mean equality of stature, of ability, of intelligence, of beauty, of prosperity, of success, of outcome or even necessarily of opportunity. And it certainly did not mean to become the permanent straw man to be forever setup and gallantly slain by the social justice left and the democrats. To expect such equality is irrational and our founders were not madman. Liberty was never meant to be a guarantee for success. But Wheaton college and the majority of the Christian church in America is ignorant of these things. To them social justice is an emotional appeal, a popular, post rationalist argument, with little regard to its real world consequences.
The opposition to genocide has nothing to do with social justice. Firstly, who doesn’t oppose genocide? This is a gutless stance. It’s like standing for world peace or hoping to win the world for Christ. It makes the person feel good about themselves and win beauty contests but is of little significance. Genocide is carried out by tyrannical regimes, and ironically it is usually carried out in the name of social justice. The Nazis committed genocide against the Jews because the Jews were the successful (as they become almost everywhere), and thus the rich, in Germany. This inequality between the rich and the poor is a typical complaint straight from the left, not from the Bible. This is the “gospel of envy”. Both Solomon and David were very rich and they were never admonished by God to “give back” to the poor. Charity (a Christian virtue) and social justice (a demonic virtue) have nothing in common. To redefine social justice as charity is to diminish or even eliminate true Christian charity. God calls us to charity Satan calls us to social justice. The very fact that these social justice teachers (most of whom are the very rich they hypocritically condemn) speak in this manner is an indication of how deeply this cultural Marxism has been leavened into their Christianity. It is to such an extent that they feel they’re doing the Lord’s work rather than advancing this counterfeit gospel of guilt and envy.
The statements about the Old Testament prophets and New Testament concepts are desperately simplistic and seem to come from a generally leftist interpretation of the Bible, that cherry picks only that which it wants to hear. It strains out a gnat and swallows a camel. That the emphasis of the Old Testament prophets was one of mercy and caring for the poor rather than God’s righteous indignation against sin and His coming judgment against sinners is beyond recognition. These people are simply not honestly reading, or reading at all, the Old Testament and have closed their minds to what it actually says. What the Old Testament prophets would have prophesied is God’s oncoming judgment of the compromised state of Wheaton college and how they have abandoned the truth of God for this leftist lie. God will be executing real justice, not the redefined “social” justice.
Regarding New Testament concepts: Placing “love and justice” in the same sentence in this manner, like they are two sides to the same coin, is very telling. It is a misunderstanding of love and a complete twisting of the concept of justice. When God executes justice it has nothing to do with equity or social justice. It has everything to do with punishment for wrongdoing and sin. Believe me, you do not want God’s justice. Pray for His mercy. When Christians in the New Testament prayed for God’s justice it was to avenge their blood upon their enemies (Rev. 6:10). This does not strike me as “love”. True justice is carried out by a judge. The job of the judge is to assess guilt and sentence the guilty to punishment. It is not to create equity and fairness. This indicates more of the leavening of the religious left, an escape from reason and basic Biblical understanding. This is how Judas thought of justice, and why he betrayed Christ.
What social justice advocates miss is that the greatest example of an “unequal power relationship”, as you referred to it, is the government against the people. Almost all the genocide and monstrous evil has come from governmental tyranny and tribalism; not greedy capitalists, or rich people against the poor. And much of that from trying to force equity and social justice on the people. All the communist/fascist revolutions were about social justice. (Just read the list of demands of the German National Socialist party). Redefining the term of social justice does not change its actual meaning and disastrous result. To pretend to redefine, or Christianize this term is a very dangerous game. The only way for governments to correct the perceived “injustices” of wealth is to establish an even greater, and more oppressive, power (which is also run by the wealthy and powerful people) as a tyrannical ruling body picking winners and losers. This is what the left, the democrats are all about. (And yet perhaps half of the supposedly Christian Wheaton professors, captivated by this delusion, voted for Obama the syndicalist). The history of the 20th century, for those who care to see it, is of the absolute failure of every form of communism, socialism, social justice, collectivism, community-ism, corporatism, syndicalism, and fascism. Everything the social justice warriors talk about, and you just mentioned in your e-mail, is all of the same spirit, and of the same ilk. It is exactly what Winston Churchill characterized it as: ” socialism is a philosophy of failure, a creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy” -the gospel of Judas. He goes on “…it’s inherent virtue is in the equal sharing of misery.”
There is no actual difference between what the Wheaton professors and activist students espouse, and what Judas hoped for and what Marx proposed. The Christianization of social justice is like a vain hope that one can convert a demon. Just because a Wheaton professor espouses it, or a supposed Christian utters it, smiley face or not, doesn’t make it right.
If they are so concerned about the poor why do these professors and advocates not talk about capitalism? Or are they only concerned about the poor in the way that Judas was? -Or perhaps in the way that the democrats exploit the poor for their own political gain. What else are all these new pastors pumped out by Wheaton college year by year going to care about without this Sisyphean task of eradicating extreme poverty from the world? What else are they going to raise money for in order to support their careers and build their pretty churches? (But I have no problem with pretty churches, or wealth, because I am not a social justice warrior or a hypocrite in this manner). The dirty little secret is that in the end it is always about the money.
The reason we have much of the poverty in the world is because of the unequal distribution of capitalism. Liberty, free markets, and capitalism are the things that raise the poor out of poverty. Social justice and free markets cannot coexist as they are antithetical to each other. To redefine either one causes it to no longer means what it means. This is the death of reason and sanity! -which is a perfect fit for the post-modern, irrational, world of the religious left. The poor are held in bondage by the tyrannical mindset of social justice. But these professors never talk about these things do they? Why? The church we attend never talks about these things do they? Why? It is because their gospel has become corrupted by the leaven of the cultural left. They have lost their collective minds. They have become unmoored from reality, from reason, and from the scriptures.
Christians are always fooled by the good intentions espoused by the social justice warriors. But regardless of the good intentions, which is all the left ever talks about and never the utter failure of their policies, the end result is always tyranny in one form or another. The success or failure of their policies is of little consequence as long as good feelings are felt and their guilt is assuaged. The fact that we have redistributed $18,000,000,000,000+ in wealth to the poor since 1967 with the great “war on poverty” without any decrease in the number of poor is a glaring example of the failure of social justice. And yet the guilty cry continues to go out for even more help and the Christians fall for this simplistic argument. They then, think the Bible promotes it, vote for democrats, lose the culture, and abdicate their true responsibility for charity to the government which performs its charity by stealing in the form of tax dollars at gunpoint and redistributing it to whomever will continue to vote for them. This is the true definition of social justice, and the foundational lie that the Democratic Party has been built on. While the Republican Party, Wheaton college professors, and much of the Christian church go along with, remain ignorant of, or actively advance this lie by redefining it. We mustn’t be fooled by Satan’s redefinition of words. He loves to play the game ” did God really say?…”
Social justice is a long standing heresy of the Christian church. It never really goes away because it is Satan’s favorite and most effective way to manipulate God’s church. It provides a Sisyphean task for the church to involve itself with rather than preaching the true gospel and advancing the kingdom of God. As I said previously, it is in fact the gospel according to Judas and was his primary motivation for betraying Christ. There is a reason why he holds the chilling name “the son of perdition”, and whom Jesus called “a devil”. Misguided petty criminals are not called “devils”. It is the primary argument that Satan makes against God. God is unfair because he does not correct the social injustices of the world. When Jesus did not seem to recognize it either, according to Judas, he scolds him “the poor you will have with you always but you will not always have Me”. This undoubtedly humiliated and infuriated Judas because he wasn’t stealing the money in order to an enrich himself, but rather to carry out social justice which Jesus didn’t seem to understand. The only way to get Jesus to listen was to betray him. Then, thought Judas, Jesus will step up, do the right thing, and bring about the social justice for the poor and oppressed Jews. But this was never God’s plan.
There is so so so much more. The truth is very deep and difficult to swallow. Lies are shallow and easy to get down. The easy solution? Vote for democrats, because they feign to care, and then “give back” more to the “Christian”-social-justice-industrial-complex so we can feel good about ourselves, support the church, and feel that we are “making a difference”. It’s the new Christian way! We’re going to win the world for Christ, and end poverty, and oppression, and hatred, and meanness, and unpleasantness, and negativity, and judgmental conservatives, and liberty minded Republicans, and war, and guns, and alcoholism, and bring peace to the whole world and make “moderate” Muslims love us! All by caring (“love” and sharing (“justice”. -Right!? The prophet says “no!” The Revelation of John says “no!” Jesus says “no!” -judgment begins with the house of God (1 Peter 4:17). Many in the Church hear only what they wish to hear, as they read from their New Living Translation only what they wish to read. There are far too many of such Christians in Wheaton college, and as they seek to fit in and be culturally relevant they are unwittingly becoming culturally irrelevant. This is how “evangelism is damaged” as this is the ultimate goal of our enemies on the left but the church does not even recognize who its enemies are. It’s a bloody shame.
For some reason I wish to quote from Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” -“But you and I we’ve been through that and this is not our fate / So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late” I hope something that I wrote in this long response would make you think again, search the scriptures, and search for the truth. It will set you free.
I do thank you for taking the time and having the courage to write,