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Social Justice and the Gospel

Discussion in 'News & Current Events' started by Reformed, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    The linked video is a bit long, so I do not expect anyone to watch it. If you do watch it, I believe it will provide you valuable insight into how Social Justice is infiltrating the Church and what we should do about it.

    The host of this panel discussion asks the following question to the group, "Where do we see Social Justice in society (outside of the church)?" Answer: we see it everywhere. Social Justice, Intersectionality, and Critical Race Theory permeate politics, academia, media, entertainment, and even sports. Why should we be concerned about these things? Answer: because the Social Justice Movement (SJM) has already gained a foothold in the church through vehicles such as MLK50, Revoice, and Living Out. The threat the SJM presents to the church is to the Gospel. The SJM has as its aim to make the Gospel more inclusive by effectively redefining sin. Sin will no longer be anything that is contrary to God's law, it will be anything contrary to what the SJM says it is. This is an issue that Christians cannot remain ignorant of.

     
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  2. GoodTidings

    GoodTidings Active Member

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    Voddie Baucham is featured in an article regarding what he has said about Social Justice and why Christians should not be promoting it: Prominent Pastor: Christians Should Be ‘Ashamed’ to Employ the Term ‘Social Justice’

    From the article:

    Despite the widespread use of the term social justice in Christian circles, Dr. Baucham noted that it doesn’t mean what many believers claim it means. To clarify his personal stance on the subject, he cited a quote from 20th century economist F.A. Hayek:

    “I have come to feel strongly that the greatest service I can still render to my fellow men would be that I could make the speakers and writers among them thoroughly ashamed ever again to employ the term ‘social justice.’”

    Baucham noted that it has become popular for Christians today to declare social justice a “Gospel issue,” or a moral imperative for Christ-followers. Given this, our understanding of the term will determine whether or not we are on the side of righteousness or sin.

    “God demands justice,” Baucham said. “Justice is not optional for the believer. Injustice is sin. Therefore if social justice is truly justice, then disagreement cannot be allowed.”

    He then cited Micah 6:1-8 to support the claim that it is a biblical requirement “to act justly.”

    What is the meaning of social justice?

    Drawing from a general definition of social justice provided by the Oxford English Dictionary and commonly employed by leading schools of sociology, Baucham went on to discuss the meaning of the term. He quoted scholar William H. Young, who describes social justice as “state redistribution of advantages and resources to disadvantaged groups to satisfy their rights to social and economic equality.”

    In other words, social justice is redistributive justice — a material process of leveling the playing field for certain groups that are deemed “disadvantaged.”

    What is the mission of social justice?

    Baucham proceeded to break down the mission of the social justice movement:

    • Identify disadvantaged groups.
    • Assess group outcomes.
    • Assign blame for disparate outcomes (i.e. if a group is experiencing a negative outcome, the next step is to determine who is to blame).
    • Finally, there needs to be a redistribution of power and resources in order to redress the group’s grievances.

    Baucham offered an important qualifier, which is that the disadvantaged group is never to blame for its own problems — the group is perpetually the victim, always to be believed and sympathized with.

    If a disadvantaged group is found to actually be advantaged or dominant in a particular area (Baucham offers the example of black people dominating the NBA, NFL and Olympic running), they deserve it because they are oppressed.

    However, if a non-oppressed group has an advantage (economic, social, educational, etc.), that is an injustice and requires redistribution to deserving disadvantaged groups. Baucham noted that according to social justice ideology, someone could be a self-made man or woman who came from nothing and achieved success in some area, but whether or not that is just has nothing to do with the individual and everything to do with which group he or she belongs to.

    “Inequality equals injustice unless it accrues to the benefit of … an oppressed group,” Baucham said, noting that the term “oppressed group” doesn’t always signify a minority — women, for example, comprise the majority of the population but are given minority status under the social justice mission.
     
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  3. GoodTidings

    GoodTidings Active Member

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    It is a great video and I hope many do watch it.
     
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  4. GoodTidings

    GoodTidings Active Member

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    A lot of younger Christians today define Christianity by Social Justice and not by the Word of God. The Red Letter Movement is really big on this. But so many pastors are now pushing Social Justice. Younger pastors are pushing a secular movement that is rooted in Marxism. Social Justice is an arm of Socialism and it promotes a morality that is contrary to the Bible and does not acknowledge sin.
     
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  5. Adonia

    Adonia Well-Known Member
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    This is socialism/communism, not any type of Christian social justice. We do not have any "right" to social and economic equality, we only have the right to be left alone by the Federal government, to have liberty and freedom so we can achieve as individuals, not as a collective. That is the promise of America.
     
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  6. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    The SJM that we see in the church tries to use nuance that (it thinks) separates itself from the SJM we see in the world. That line of thinking is incredibly naive.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
     
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  7. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I love your distinction here - "Christian social justice".

    I am concerned that the reaction against the social justice movement is sometimes an ambivalence towards social injustices and needs in general. The gospel of Jesus Christ has a result, and that result is love (which includes social justice....Christian social justice). It is more than sharing a knowledge of the gospel but showing others the love of Christ (a product of our salvation, the reason we are saved).
     
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  8. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    The 2018 Statement on Social Justice is a response by some leading pastors and theologians against the threat the SJM presents to Christ's church and the message of the Gospel. It acknowledges that any form of injustice is sin, including sins based on ethnicity and sexual immorality. The panelists in the video in the OP mention this, as well as agreeing that discussions against injustice based on ethnicity can be profitable to the Christian community when they do not attempt to redefine the Gospel or seek "social reconciliation" in any way not prescribed by scripture. This is not acceptable to proponents of SJ in the church. They are not looking for constructive dialog that preserves the authority of scripture and the purity of the Gospel. One only needs to do some research on Revoice, MLK50, and Living Out to understand their agenda. Together for the Gospel and the Gospel Coalition are one step behind the three conferences I mentioned, but not far behind.
     
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  9. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Here is some of what the 2018 Statement on Social Justice states in response to the SJM in the church:

    Imago Dei
    WE AFFIRM that God created every person equally in his own image. As divine image-bearers, all people have inestimable value and dignity before God and deserve honor, respect and protection. Everyone has been created by God and for God.

    WE DENY that God-given roles, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, religion, sex or physical condition or any other property of a person either negates or contributes to that individual’s worth as an image-bearer of God.

    SCRIPTURE: GENESIS 1:26-30; 2:18-22; 9:6; 2 CORINTHIANS 5:17; COLOSSIANS 1:21-22

    Justice

    WE AFFIRM that since he is holy, righteous, and just, God requires those who bear his image to live justly in the world. This includes showing appropriate respect to every person and giving to each one what he or she is due. We affirm that societies must establish laws to correct injustices that have been imposed through cultural prejudice.

    WE DENY that true justice can be culturally defined or that standards of justice that are merely socially constructed can be imposed with the same authority as those that are derived from Scripture. We further deny that Christians can live justly in the world under any principles other than the biblical standard of righteousness. Relativism, socially-constructed standards of truth or morality, and notions of virtue and vice that are constantly in flux cannot result in authentic justice.

    SCRIPTURE: GENESIS 18:19; ISAIAH 61:8; MICAH 6:8; MATTHEW 5:17-19; ROMANS 3:31


    Sin
    WE AFFIRM that all people are connected to Adam both naturally and federally. Therefore, because of original sin everyone is born under the curse of God’s law and all break his commandments through sin. There is no difference in the condition of sinners due to age, ethnicity, or sex. All are depraved in all their faculties and all stand condemned before God’s law. All human relationships, systems, and institutions have been affected by sin.

    WE DENY that, other than the previously stated connection to Adam, any person is morally culpable for another person’s sin. Although families, groups, and nations can sin collectively, and cultures can be predisposed to particular sins, subsequent generations share the collective guilt of their ancestors only if they approve and embrace (or attempt to justify) those sins. Before God each person must repent and confess his or her own sins in order to receive forgiveness. We further deny that one’s ethnicity establishes any necessary connection to any particular sin.

    SCRIPTURE: GENESIS 2:16, 17, 3:12,13-15; PROVERBS 29:18; ISAIAH 25:7, 60:2-3; JEREMIAH 31:27-34; EZEKIEL 18:1-9, 14-18; MATTHEW 23:29-36; ROMANS 1:16-17, 3:23, 5:12, 10:14-17; 1 CORINTHIANS 15:3-11; 2 CORINTHIANS 11:3; GALATIANS 1:6-9; TITUS 1:12, 13; REVELATION 13:8

    Complementarianism
    WE AFFIRM that God created mankind both male and female with inherent biological and personal distinctions between them and that these created differences are good, proper, and beautiful. Though there is no difference between men and women before God’s law or as recipients of his saving grace, we affirm that God has designed men and women with distinct traits and to fulfill distinct roles. These differences are most clearly defined in marriage and the church, but are not irrelevant in other spheres of life. In marriage the husband is to lead, love, and safeguard his wife and the wife is to respect and be submissive to her husband in all things lawful. In the church, qualified men alone are to lead as pastors/elders/bishops and preach to and teach the whole congregation. We further affirm that the image of God is expressed most fully and beautifully in human society when men and women walk in obedience to their God-ordained roles and serve according to their God-given gifts.

    WE DENY that the God-ordained differences in men’s and women’s roles disparage the inherent spiritual worth or value of one over the other, nor do those differences in any way inhibit either men or women from flourishing for the glory of God.

    SCRIPTURE: GENESIS 1:26–28, 2:15-25, 3:1-24; EPHESIANS 5:22-33; 1 CORINTHIANS 11:7-9; 1 TIMOTHY 2:12-14; TITUS 2
     
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  10. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    continued from the previous post...

    Race / Ethnicity

    WE AFFIRM God made all people from one man. Though people often can be distinguished by different ethnicities and nationalities, they are ontological equals before God in both creation and redemption. “Race” is not a biblical category, but rather a social construct that often has been used to classify groups of people in terms of inferiority and superiority. All that is good, honest, just, and beautiful in various ethnic backgrounds and experiences can be celebrated as the fruit of God’s grace. All sinful actions and their results (including evils perpetrated between and upon ethnic groups by others) are to be confessed as sinful, repented of, and repudiated.

    WE DENY that Christians should segregate themselves into racial groups or regard racial identity above, or even equal to, their identity in Christ. We deny that any divisions between people groups (from an unstated attitude of superiority to an overt spirit of resentment) have any legitimate place in the fellowship of the redeemed. We reject any teaching that encourages racial groups to view themselves as privileged oppressors or entitled victims of oppression. While we are to weep with those who weep, we deny that a person’s feelings of offense or oppression necessarily prove that someone else is guilty of sinful behaviors, oppression, or prejudice.

    SCRIPTURE: GENESIS 1:26–28; ACTS 17:24-26; 1 CORINTHIANS 13:4-7; 2 CORINTHIANS 12:16-18

    Racism
    WE AFFIRM that racism is a sin rooted in pride and malice which must be condemned and renounced by all who would honor the image of God in all people. Such racial sin can subtly or overtly manifest itself as racial animosity or racial vainglory. Such sinful prejudice or partiality falls short of God’s revealed will and violates the royal law of love. We affirm that virtually all cultures, including our own, at times contain laws and systems that foster racist attitudes and policies.

    WE DENY that treating people with sinful partiality or prejudice is consistent with biblical Christianity. We deny that only those in positions of power are capable of racism, or that individuals of any particular ethnic groups are incapable of racism. We deny that systemic racism is in any way compatible with the core principles of historic evangelical convictions. We deny that the Bible can be legitimately used to foster or justify partiality, prejudice, or contempt toward other ethnicities. We deny that the contemporary evangelical movement has any deliberate agenda to elevate one ethnic group and subjugate another. And we emphatically deny that lectures on social issues (or activism aimed at reshaping the wider culture) are as vital to the life and health of the church as the preaching of the gospel and the exposition of Scripture. Historically, such things tend to become distractions that inevitably lead to departures from the gospel.

    SCRIPTURE: GENESIS 1:26-27; DEUTERONOMY 10:17; ACTS 10:34; ROMANS 2:11; EPHESIANS 6:9; GALATIANS 3:28; JAMES 2:4
     
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  11. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Is this the statement that many made a great deal out of Albert Mohler not signing?
     
  12. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Yes. I saw a video by Todd Friel that put Mohler's refusal to sign in context. Al Mohler did not disagree with the affirmations and denials of the 2018 Statement on Social Justice, although he gave a wishy-washy reason for not signing it. Friel pointed out that Mohler is dealing with serious issues within the SBC and the SJM's infiltration into some segments of the SBC makes the issue of SJ a hot potato. If Mohler says the wrong thing he could exasperate the situation and make it far worse than it already is. What does Al Mohler actually believe about the SJM in the church? Here is a recent quote from Al Mohler's June 14, 2019 episode of The Briefing:

    "Ideas, as we know, do have consequences. One of the most lamentable consequences, the main consequence of Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality is Identity Politics and Identity Politics can only be rightly described as antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
     
  13. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    Yes it is but it wasn't just that he did not sign it it was also some statements he made that were so nuanced as to appear to be supportive of social justice. Since this years convention and the passing of Resolution #9 he has come out much stronger against it.
     
  14. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    The SJM has already sewn the seeds of disunity in the church. Brethren are looking at each other with suspicion. Some are even calling into question whether those they disagree with are in the faith. Social Justice Warriors (SJW) do not play nice. They are not beyond using guilt and shame to either silence those who disagree with them or to get them to capitulate. Because the Gospel is at stake silence and capitulation is not an option, but neither is callousness and insensitivity. When there is an injustice within the church, the church needs to deal with it biblically. When love and compassion are called for, we need to give both unreservedly. We can do these things without embracing a worldly system that seeks to destroy what Christ has established.
     
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  15. church mouse guy

    church mouse guy Well-Known Member
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    I don't pay much attention to the cultural Marxists, and it could be that they have already won the American culture and that is why they are so critical of what is left of the church in the world, but I find myself wondering if the social justice warriors have anyone amongst them that are pro-life, anti-abortion?

    To me, the cultural Marxists are like the full-belly theologians of the Great Depression of ninety years ago.
     
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  16. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Brother, I think that depends on how far an individual has given themselves over to the SJM. Most falling aways are incremental. What starts as a slow leak eventually winds up in either heresy or apostasy. While those are sad ends, those of us who remain faithful in Christ* need to be unwavering in our dependence on and proclamation of the Gospel. If this reads as though I am being overly dramatic, please forgive me. When the Gospel is being assailed the stakes are high. Our response needs to be as serious as the threat that we face. Make no mistake - the culture will (and already is) push(ing) back hard. We will be maligned, marginalized, and even persecuted but that is nothing compared to what our Lord endured. Those who love the Lord should be able to come together on this issue even while we disagree on other areas of theology.

    *Our faithfulness in Christ is really His faithfulness to us.
     
    #16 Reformed, Jun 15, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
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  17. church mouse guy

    church mouse guy Well-Known Member
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    I think that you are correct that subscription to social justice, or cultural marxism, is incremental. You gave a good answer. Communists and socialists only attack rich countries so this attack inside the SBC led by Russell Moore will go on for many years.
     
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  18. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Here is what Russell Moore had to say on Social Justice and the 2018 Statement on Social Justice (SOSJ):

    "In almost every case, we are not really talking about 'social justice' and we are not even talking about social engagement broadly. We are almost always talking about race," Moore asserted. "I don't even want to concede to the conceit that what we are talking about is a broader issue of social engagement because again, that is almost never the case. Some of the very people who would say this are the people who have talked about, and rightly so, abortion and the systemic public problem of abortion."

    "We don't simply say Jesus can forgive people for abortion, therefore, let's not worry about whether or not the law recognizes an unborn child as a person," Moore added. "They don't do that. What we are really talking about here is an issue of race."

    Moore added that it is "disheartening" to see the Church repeat the same problems of past centuries with the "same talking points."

    If I were to put the best possible construction on Moore's comments I would say that he and the signatories of the SOSJ are talking past each other but that does not seem to be the case. None of the signatories of the SOSJ are denying that ethnic injustice exists. Moore makes it seem as those these men are not aware of America's history, especially the part of history in which a section of American Christianity defended slavery. He believes the SOSJ is a repeat of the talking points of that era. Moore is wrong in his assessment. The men on that panel roundly condemned slavery, just as they condemn ethnic injustice today. Either Moore did not read the statement with a charitable attitude or he is purposefully misrepresenting what these men wrote. The SJM is not just about addressing existing wrongs, it has a definite Leftist agenda. Sometimes people see what they choose to see and vice versa. Russell Moore seems to want to see the SJM as a boogeyman constructed by those who want to perpetuate ethnic injustice. I believe he is on the wrong side of this issue.
     
  19. church mouse guy

    church mouse guy Well-Known Member
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    Race is a political distinction.

    Perhaps in 2020 Moore will go back to Democrat politics.
     
  20. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    One of the signers of this 'Statement on Social Justice & the Gospel' is in the news today (Stephen Bratton, an associate of Voddie Baucham):

    Houston Chronicle
     
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