I wanted to share this short article with my readers. Written by my daughter, Jess, on her Anchor for the Soul Facebook page, it is a concise and easily understood essay on Social Justice and the inherent incompatibility of this system with biblical Christianity. I hope it is helpful! —
What is social justice? It’s a term that is thrown around a lot but rarely defined. Isn’t justice a good thing? Isn’t it a Biblical concept?
Social Justice is not.
Justice, according to the dictionary, is “the impartial administration and maintenance of what is just.” It involves righteousness, impartiality, and morality. The dictionary describes social justice as “justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.” It’s a term that originated with Karl Marx. Justice is objective and pursues what is right according to the absolute standard of Truth as revealed in Scripture. Social justice is subjective and pursues what is right in the eyes of the society.
There are many professed Christians claiming that social justice is what the church is called to pursue and many even argue that it’s what Jesus preached during His ministry on earth. Let me explain to you why they’re very wrong and why the true church should have absolutely nothing to do with social justice.
Inequality in this world, whether real or perceived, is a byproduct of sin. It will always exist as long as we live in a fallen world- a world that is largely populated by people who are the children of the devil and at enmity with God. (John 8:44, 1 John 3:10, James 4:4) We will never solve the problem of racism, inequality, disadvantage, or exploitation within our society because we will never solve the problem of sin in the hearts of mankind. Only God can do that through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And because we can’t expect the entire world (or even most of it) to be saved, we cannot expect the world to change for the better. (Matthew 7:14, Romans 9:27, Matthew 22:14) There will never be an absence of inequality and injustice because there will never be an absence of sin.
IT’S FOCUS IS ON THIS LIFE INSTEAD OF ETERNAL LIFE
Social justice deals with the affairs of this life. It seeks a resolution for people’s earthly needs – food, money, opportunity, equality. I’m not saying the church should turn a blind eye to the legitimate needs of the less fortunate. We should each seek opportunities to be generous with our money and time and meet the needs of those around us. But what good does it do to make their life here on earth more comfortable on their way to hell? What good is physical bread if we don’t give them the bread of life? (John 6:26-40) The Gospel MUST be central in anything that we do to help people. And any attempt at justice from the world’s systems will never include that.
IT CREATES VICTIMS INSTEAD OF SINNERS
Social justice says you’re a victim. “I am the way that I am because of what happened to me.” You do not have to take responsibility for your actions. You didn’t have a choice. It’s the fault of your parents, your church, the institutions, the societal constructs, your lack of privilege or opportunity. But the Bible says we are all sinners. Bad things happen to us because we live in a fallen world. Our sinful choices are a result of our sinful hearts, not the things in our past. We are at fault. And when you remove the foundation of sinful and fallen man then you remove the need for the gospel.
JESUS DID NOT BRING JUSTICE TO AN UNJUST WORLD
Jesus lived in a time when injustice was prevalent. There were privileged slave owners, men, rich people, and rulers. There were disadvantaged slaves, women, poor people, and outcasts. If you can find one instance where Jesus spoke out against the injustice of His time, I will listen. He said, “the poor you will always have with you.” (Matthew 26:11) His message was the gospel and the gospel alone. He brought the gospel to the disadvantaged and He gave them hope for eternity, not a fix for their earthly problems. The writers of the New Testament gave instructions on godly living as a slave and a slave owner, a woman and a man, a poor person and a rich person. There were no instructions on how to rid the world of those unjust social constructs.
IT PERVERTS TRUE JUSTICE
There may be a few legitimate causes lumped under the umbrella of social justice but there are many that actually contradict the Word of God. Others are notably absent such as justice for the unborn, the Jewish community, women in the Muslim faith, the outcasts in Hindu countries, the oppressed in China, the factory workers paid cents an hour all over Asia. The poorest and most disadvantaged person in America may be one of the wealthiest in another country. Since social justice claims that someone is owed what another has for the sake of equality and morality, does that also apply to those outside the walls of our country? Social justice picks and chooses what is “just” and ends up with something far from it.
IT UNDERMINES THE CROSS
Not only does social justice take away the foundation of sinful man, it removes the requirement for holiness. Christians are applauded when they feed the poor, help the oppressed, aid the homeless, or provide opportunities for the disadvantaged. That’s what commendable Christianity looks like these days. All love. Is loving others part of the Christian life? Absolutely. Do we help those God places in our path? Absolutely, as I’ve said before. But that’s not all. We pick up our cross and die to ourselves. We’re required to battle the sin in our own hearts- the love of the world, the desires of the flesh and eyes, and the pride of life. (1 John 2:16) This aspect of the Christian life is non-existent among most of the “social justice” touting Christians.
All of mankind was created equal in value. God does not show favoritism but welcomes all who fear Him and seek HIS righteousness. (Acts 10:34) There is no division in the Kingdom of God (Galatians 3:28) and as His children, we should treat all we meet with love and without favoritism. We should seek justice and love mercy. But true justice – not social justice. It goes so much deeper than this and there’s so much more I could talk about. It’s my hope that this gives you a succinct picture of why social justice is so dangerous within the church and how it threatens to crumble the very foundation of the Gospel.