The Fallacy of Social Justice

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Revmitchell, May 2, 2015.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    .....Getting Our Terms Right

    “My church has a social justice mandate… This is something I support.”

    Sounds nice, but can you tell me what you mean? The usual response I get, thankfully, centers on feeding the poor, helping at a homeless shelter or safe house, assisting the elderly, working with troubled teens, or supporting an orphanage.

    Sorry, that’s not social justice. The dominant social justice concept for the past 150 years has been centered on the sliding slope of Papal-advocated wealth redistribution, and a Marxist version of Collectivism. Feeding the poor and assisting the helpless, from a Christian perspective, isn’t social justice – its Biblical compassion, a generous act of love. Such acts of compassion engage individual lives, and are based on the Christian call of loving others more than self. This is the heart of compassion: An individual sees a need, and operating out of love, reaches to meet that need. Churches too are to function in a similar manner. A need is evident, and moved by compassion, the congregation works to solve the dilemma. Coercion never enters the picture, nor does a political agenda emerge, nor is a call for economic equality heard.

    The Biblical parable of the Good Samaritan demonstrates true compassion (Luke 10). A Jewish man has been beaten, robbed, and left to die on the road. Various people pass him by, including the religiously pious. However, a Samaritan traveler sees the individual, and although the Samaritan is culturally alienated from the beaten man, he recognizes the desperation and individually takes action – dressing his wounds and providing a place of rest and refuge. And the Samaritan pays for it himself without demanding remuneration or compensation, either from the victim, his family or community, or from the government or ruling class.

    However, if the Samaritan were a supporter of the dominant theme in social justice, he would have acted with a different motive for different ends. The Samaritan would have used the occasion to lobby for social transformation.

    The robbers were really victims of an unjust economic system, and had acted in response to the oppression of the ruling class.
    In order to bring justice to this oppressed class, and to steer them back to a caring community, equitable wealth redistribution should take place. The rich must be taxed to fund necessary social programs. A more equitable society is needed.
    Who will pay the victim’s medical bills? The community or the rich.
    This tragic event, the Samaritan would tell us, is a graphic reminder of the class struggle. We are all victims of an unjust economic order. Therefore, we must be the “voice of the voiceless” and advocate for radical social change.
    In the social justice framework there is another agenda that lurks behind the tragic: A political/economic cause is piggybacked and leveraged – the cause of economic equality through wealth redistribution. This isn’t about truly helping the victim; it’s about using the victim.

    Biblical justice, on the other hand, never seeks to dismantle class structures. Evil actions are condemned, but this isn’t specific to a particular social strata. Consider the words of Leviticus 19:15. “You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. But in righteousness you shall judge your neighbor.”

    Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson helps put things into perspective.

    “[Biblical] Justice not only means that nobody is to be picked on because he is poor or favored because he is rich, but that (contrary to the doctrine of ‘social justice’) nobody is to be picked on because he is rich or favored because he is poor.”[32]

    Dr. Hendrickson further elaborates,

    “The fundamental error of today’s ‘social justice’ practitioners is their hostility to economic inequality, per se. Social justice theory fails to distinguish between economic disparities that result from unjust deeds and those that are part of the natural order of things. All Christians oppose unjust deeds… [But] it isn’t necessarily unjust for some people to be richer than others.

    God made us different from each other. We are unequal in aptitude, talent, skill, work ethic, priorities, etc. Inevitably, these differences result in some individuals producing and earning far more wealth than others. To the extent that those in the ‘social justice’ crowd obsess about eliminating economic inequality, they are at war with the nature of the Creator’s creation.

    The Bible doesn’t condemn economic inequality. You can’t read Proverbs without seeing that some people are poor due to their own vices. There is nothing unjust about people reaping what they sow, whether wealth or poverty.

    Jesus himself didn’t condemn economic inequality. Yes, he repeatedly warned about the snares of material wealth; he exploded the comfortable conventionality of the Pharisaical tendency to regard prosperity as a badge of honor and superiority; he commanded compassion toward the poor and suffering. But he also told his disciples, ‘ya have the poor always with you’ (Matthew 26:11), and in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:24-30) he condemned the failure to productively use one’s God-given talents – whether many or few, exceptional or ordinary – by having a lord take money from the one who had the least and give it to him who had the most, thereby increasing economic inequality.

    The Lord’s mission was to redeem us from sin, not to redistribute our property or impose an economic equality on us. In fact, Jesus explicitly declined to undermine property rights or preach economic equality when he told the man who wanted Jesus to tell his brother to share an inheritance with him, ‘Man, who made me a judge or divider over you’ (Luke 12:14).”[33]

    I must confess that it’s easy to fall into the social justice way of thinking. My childhood rant over what I perceived to be injustices showed me, in retrospect, the power of an emotional ideal. Yet if by some twist I had followed up on my self-righteous outburst, and had become a social justice advocate in the true sense of the phrase, a sad irony would have occurred: In the name of “justice,” I would have promoted socially-sanctioned theft.

    Dear Christians, let us act with compassion, be charitable, and pursue true justice; Let us be wise in our actions, clear in our language, and honest in our motives. FC


    http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/forcing-change/010/10-social-justice.htm
     
  2. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
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    Social Injustice seems to be the label given to try to get the church to change its mindset regarding things such as what is a real marriage relationship, how can we take money from the rich by force to spread it to the poor, how making any profit is evil, and how we can avoid being so "Jesus alone saves?"
     
  3. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    ***Icon much too large***
     
    #3 Revmitchell, May 2, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2015

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