Thursday, September 22, 2011

God's Justice Is Not Social Justice

As a famous American once said, “Words mean things.” Our choice of phrases, terms and descriptions have a set definition that can be substantially changed when we don’t understand the original use, intent or meaning of those phrases, terms and descriptions. And these phrases can be altered to refer to something that is diametrically opposed to what we intend them to be when we blindly accept the definition we have been given. As another famous person said, “He who controls the language, controls the argument.”

It used to be called, the “social gospel”. Salvation was achieved through helping the poor and serving the community. True, that is something that Christians should do, but the message of the gospel in these churches too often left out unpopular concepts such as sin, repentance and Hell. Proponents of this teaching used the motto, “The church needs more deeds and less creeds.” Christianity became a salvation based on doing good, rather than on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Today, that same concept is almost the same, but the term has changed.

At issue here is the term, “Social Justice”. It has been bandied about in our churches just recently as being a part of, or even essential to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some well meaning souls have taken the term, “Social Justice” to refer to the work of the church in helping the poor, feeding the hungry or clothing the naked. To use this term in that way shows a complete lack of understanding of what this term means, how it originated and how it is used today.

In the mid-1800’s in Germany, Karl Marx’s teachings were being debated. The church still had a relatively

conservative influence over German culture. Marx’s teachings were that the money and land of the wealthy belonged to the people and that in order to be ‘just’, these funds and land should be taken from the rich and redistributed amongst all the poor.

The church resisted Marx’s teachings and became a thorn in his side until the day he died. But he had planted the seed of his teachings at a time when the churches in Germany would begin to undergo a radical change to becoming more and more liberal. Less and less of the Bible was taken seriously and more emphasis was placed on the church’s social role.

Prior to World War II, the term, “Social Justice” was adopted by the more liberal churches. Both words were

reflective of Marx’s teachings and were defined as he defined them. The term, ‘social,’ came from Marx’s idea that man exists in one of two different “classes” in society, the poor and the elite. The term ‘justice,’ was, according to Marx, an “economic equality.” This “Social Justice” therefore, could be accomplished in only one way, by redistributing the wealth using the government as the agent of redistribution. [1]

Countries that would not accept or tolerate Marxism remarkably had churches that accepted the innocent sounding term and spread the idea through the people of their congregations. C.S. Lewis railed against “Social Justice” and ascribed to the concept a demonic origin in his book, “The Screwtape Letters.” The more conservative churches understood the true meaning of this concept and whole-heartedly rejected it.

In the United States, the banner of “Social Justice” was taken up by liberal Catholic, Father Coughlin, who used the term to support monetary reforms of redistributing the wealth of the rich to the poor.[2] Coughlin’s radio sermons had a profound effect in America and planted the seed of Marxism, coated with a Christian veneer, into American religion permanently.

Today, sadly there is a resurgence of the use of this term, even in the more conservative Christian churches. For the most part, it’s out of a lack of understanding as to what this term means, but for others, they have bought into the ‘fairness’ of the redistribution of the wealth, Marxist philosophy. Bono-Christianity, as it’s come to be called, named for Bono, the lead singer of the U2 band and a proponent of “Social Justice”, has taken hold of idealistic yet naïve young believers fueled more by the singers’ popularity than any allegiance to his left wing ideology.

One of the leaders of this movement for “Social Justice” in America, Reverend Jim Wallace, founder of the Sojourners and admitted Marxist, has said this, “An affluent church in a world where half of God’s children live on $2.00 a day is an affront to the Gospel. The Bible doesn’t mind prosperity, as long as it is shared. But what the Bible doesn’t like is these tremendous gaps between the top and the bottom.”

Wallace was then asked, ‘So are you then calling for the redistribution of the wealth in society?’ to which he replied, “Absolutely, without any hesitation, that’s what the Gospel is all about.” Wallace’s Social Justice Gospel is solely about redistributing the wealth. Is that the Gospel of the Bible? But it gets worse.

Part of the concept of “Social Justice” that cannot be separated from the rest of its Marxist teachings is “Collective Salvation”. It was originally taught as part of Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s theology. Sin is committed not by the individual, but by the society that surrounds the individual. So in order for salvation to be achieved, it must be done so collectively as a society.

In other words, individuals cannot be saved until and unless all society becomes one in economic equality. Collective Salvation is available to people of all faiths, Islam, Judaism, or Atheism as long as they strive toward a world of “Social Justice” they can be saved. How does one get saved? You are saved by working toward a goal of fair distribution of all assets from those that have, to those that do not.

Candidate Barack Obama illustrated his belief in collective salvation with these words, “My individual salvation is not going to come about without a collective salvation for the country, because our individual salvation depends on collective salvation.” [3]

Collective Salvation places the social justice Jesus in the role of a revolutionary leader revolting against the wealthy establishment on behalf of the poor and under-privileged. The salvation their Jesus offers is one not from sin and Hell but from oppression and inequality. This dual teaching of Social Justice and Collective Salvation is rampant in what are known as Black Liberation Theology churches. In these churches, less is taught on sin, salvation, Hell and consequences than on the equal distribution of material and financial resources produced by a capitalist society.

James Kohn, a Black Liberation Theology leader said in an interview, “There is no contradiction between the Social Justice Movement of Black Power and Civil Rights and the message of Jesus Christ. Now if the power (sic) for in this society, the white people, if they want to become Christians, they have to give up that power. You just don’t say please forgive me now. The only way in which your repentance can be authentic is that you give back what you took, and white people took a lot from black people.”

So even after selling all you have and spreading your wealth around you may or may not be saved. Does the Gospel taught in the New Testament include redistribution of wealth as a step in the plan of salvation? The answer is a resounding “No.”

This liberal Bono-Christianity equates Marxist ideology with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To use the term, “Social Justice”, in any positive meaning in our churches fails to address the intent, the origin and the antithetical nature of this concept to the Gospel. “Social Justice” replaces the Savior Jesus with a savior government. It replaces the plan of Salvation of belief, repentance and obedience with a salvation of equality among all based on socio-economic position and fairness. It places the emphasis not on giving from the heart as Scriptures teach, but on seizing money from the successful and giving it to the unsuccessful.

The “Social Justice/Collective Salvation” taught today is an affront to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is not about helping the poor, healing the sick or comforting the broken hearted. It is about a Marxist redistribution of wealth. It invalidates the work of Christ, His sacrifice and His Word. It promotes a salvation outside of a relationship with Jesus and relies on the work of society as a whole to ‘make things fair’ to guarantee eternity in Heaven for individuals. In short, “Social Justice” is as C.S. Lewis described it, a teaching from the pit of Hell.




No comments:

Post a Comment