Social Justice – Part One
Article Source: LetUsReason.org
[The false teachings and doctrines behind the concept of "social justice" as taught by many false teachers and pulpit whores in North America is of special concern to me. I witness daily its crippling and enslaving effect upon the hearts and minds of both progressive/liberal "Christians" and the Black community in Richmond, VA and the greater Richmond Area, including the counties of Hanover and Henrico. The following article is part one of a two-part article.]
When we come to the topic of social justice it can be understood by what ones definition of social justice is. Some may not be aware of its true meaning and are using the term, applying it in a general manner. Many assume Social justice” is the same as “Christian charity” but it is NOT.
The Bible has a lot to say on the matter of helping the needy. But there is a large difference between helping those who are down and out and those who just want a handout to live. The Bible says: “If a mans does not work he shall not eat” (2 Thess. 3:10). What if he can’t find a job, is it our duty to feed, and care for his family? It depends on the situation.
This is one of those areas many churches are weak on, it’s what we call body ministry. I have seen a lot of it over the years. My wife and I participated in it by helping both those outside and inside the church. We used to go to the streets and in our small way feed and clothe those who lived there; these were certainly people that needed help. But you can meet all their physical needs and neglect the spiritual. So we made sure the gospel was priority, and that our motivation was from God. After a few years of doing this ministry the River of life Mission was established in Honolulu and we began to help in that endeavor as it was more sufficient means to minister. We no longer do this; today, the situation has become more severe and there is always room to help in this type of ministry.
The phrase “social justice,” is understood as helping the needy. But by whom and why? The goal of “Social justice” is to cure the unfairness that has taken place, to bring about economic equality. The majority believe the wealth should be collected by the government and evenly distributed to members of society that are poor. Some will say social justice sounds like communism. It does; because it is; and the United Nation’s has adopted this Marxist/ socialist philosophy.
“26 November 2007 �” Recognizing the need to promote efforts to tackle issues such as poverty, exclusion and unemployment, the United Nations General Assembly has decided to observe 20 February annually �” starting in 2009 �” as the World Day of Social Justice … Governments meeting at that Summit pledged to make poverty eradication, the goal of full employment and the fostering of social integration overriding objectives of development” (UN declares 20 February as World Day of Social Justice).
When it is presented this way it sounds so noble and compassionate and caring, but there is far more to this than the actual media statement.
“Originally a Catholic term, first used about 1840 for a new kind of virtue (or habit) necessary for post-agrarian societies, the term has been bent by secular “progressive” thinkers to mean uniform state distribution of society’s advantages and disadvantages. Social justice is really the capacity to organize with others to accomplish ends that benefit the whole community. If people are to live free of state control, they must possess this new virtue of cooperation and association. This is one of the great skills of Americans and, ultimately, the best defense against statism.” (“Social Justice: Not What You Think It Is”, Published on December 29, 2009 by Michael Novak)
However the concept goes further back in history: “The first known usage of the term is by an Italian priest, Luigi Taparelli D’Azeglio, who wrote a book about the need for recovering the ancient virtue of what had been called “general justice” in Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, but in a new contemporary form.[ See Luigi Taparelli D'Azeglio, S.J., Theoretical Treatise on Natural Right Based on Fact (1840-1843).] He gave it the term “social justice.” The term was given prominence by Antonio Rosmini-Serbati in La Costitutione Secondo la Giustizia Sociale in 1848.” (Hayek, Law, Legislation and Liberty, Vol. 2: The Mirage of Social Justice, p. 176. The Heritage Foundation)
Many equate this with Christianity as it was originally taught. So we need to look at this from a Biblical viewpoint for at least two main reasons. First: many promoters have brought in the Bible and Jesus’ teachings to validate this practice. They claim he was teaching socialism. Second: The United States’ governmental system, while not perfect, was founded on Biblical principles and the overarching theme was to give freedom and self-governance to individuals, not government control over the minute aspects of our lives, especially on our finances. This was different than every other government existing at the time.
One of the main framers of our constitution stated: “To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it” (Thomas Jefferson, letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6, 1816).
I don’t like politics but this where the promotion begins and is now finding its way into the church. It involves a philosophy that is antithetical to Christianity. We need to look at this concept in History, Philosophy, Logic (Critical Thinking), and most importantly the Bible, which becomes the final and authoritative answer for Christians. Those who engage in promoting Social Justice inside the church are attributing Jesus’ statements as an endorsement of a Communist philosophy/ideology. It was Karl Marx’s idea to redistribute the wealth, not Jesus’!
For now, this appears to have more to do with politics than religion, but the church (and other religions) are not exempt. A fundamental transformation of America is taking place. This must involve religion, i.e. Christianity as well as politics for it to succeed. As religious values decline other systems are trying to replace it. Secular humanism, socialism, new ageism are on the rise.
The government is promoting i.e. social justice. The idea of social justice makes one feel better about themselves. This is based on the ideology of everyone being intrinsically good and are willing to give their fair share to help others in need no matter what the circumstance.
This pseudo humanistic movement of bringing fairness is more ideological than altruistic. Altruism is defined as: unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Instead, the worldview behind Social Justice is based on an ideology: “the integrated assertions, theories and aims that constitute a socio-political program.”
Convincing people with a platform of platitudes that this is the right thing to do for everyone, as the goal is a utopian type society. But it will never be reached by human efforts no matter how noble or earnest they may be in them. They want the world to be perfect without Christ and take the credit for making it happen. Don’t be fooled by the secular-humanists who are embedded in the ministry and leadership within your church, they are not for Christ but for their own peace of mind to relieve themselves of guilt and to continue in a self-deception that replaces a genuine relationship with God for a religion of works (thinking they can replace the blood-atonement of Christ’s death with a way to earn their way into heaven).
Social justice is being presented to the church as one’s Christian duty. This comes from the United Nation’s plan to have world governance, to forge a fair and just world economy.
We may be familiar with the social gospel, where social activism is changed into the gospel. This social gospel requires us to do something beneficial for the people such as to feed them or clothe them before we can speak them about the gospel that saves them from sin. The social gospel was a stepping stone from the new trend of social justice, both distort the meaning and effect of the gospel. They have salvation come from society by the good we do, such as feeding the hungry helping the homeless. Certainly we do not negate doing these things, but let’s be clear – they are not the gospel or part of it.
The genuine gospel of Jesus Christ is about an individual saying “yes” to Jesus Christ’s requirement to follow Him and receive salvation. It is about the forgiveness of sin based upon the repentance of sins and the complete and absolute surrender of your heart, mind, and soul to Jesus Christ. It has nothing to do with social justice as it is promoted or practiced. Most use the word in connecting it to their platform to further their agenda. They don’t believe the gospel is focused on the message Jesus gave to forgive sin. Like the cults, they assign a different meaning to the words, and they add to it; works.
In a free country and those who live in a free enterprise system we keep what we earn. People work hard to have what they own. Is it fair to take from those who work their goods to support those who do not work (not those who cannot work because of a situation they cannot control). Its one thing to take care of those who are unable, the Bible makes it clear we are to do this. “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
The Bible calls this charity and it is done by an individual’s choice. This is when the Lord leads or we choose whom we want to give to, how much and when. When government legislates law, it is far different in application, there is no individual choice, it is about the collective; it is law, like taxes.
Social justice that would be implemented by the government is more accurately defined as wealth redistribution. This is done by seizing the wealth of the rich (identified as greedy) and given to the poor (the oppressed), using government agencies for the redistribution. This is the liberal / Democrat’s social justice agenda. The redistribution of wealth is actually confiscation using the law under the pretense of helping the poor. How can this be any different than socialism or communism?
Who would have thought the government would one day partner with religion to accomplish its goals, but this is what the faith-based initiative program is about (more on this later). When government becomes involved with the church it advances interfaith cooperation to accomplish its goals. To the church the gospel of Jesus Christ is to be the top priority, if it is reversed the gospel will rarely be presented because social justice is always the focus.
As Paul Proctor writes,“The social gospel and its increasingly popular “social justice” campaign is not an acceptable substitute for preaching repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Its promoters all too often set aside the vertical, spiritual and eternal issues of sin, rebellion, obedience, holiness and reverence toward God in order to redirect the focus toward more horizontal, physical and temporal values. In the end, the flesh is, for a time, fed and comforted, but the souls of sinners are left abandoned to biblical ignorance because disobedient do-gooders have spiritually sidetracked the Church and its mission” (News with Views, January 6, 2010).
The government promotion of social justice brings humanism into the church and by its nature ends up promoting interfaith co-operation (like Rick Warren’s peace plan). Social justice is the long arm of socialism reaching into the church. It has been connected to liberation theology that gained access to the churches in Central America. If the pastors are unaware and see this as a good thing the church in America will be corrupted from within. There are schools and churches that are already teaching social justice (please check your own). We may have never thought of it in this manner but not only New agers, but socialists, Marxists have found their way into Christian universities and our pulpits, their common ground is socialism.
A Brief History
Walter Rauschenbusch (1861-1918), grew up in a German Lutheran immigrant family in New York. He studied theology at the University of Rochester. In 1902 he was appointed professor of church history at Rochester Theological Seminary. In 1907, Rauschenbusch met with the leaders of Fabian socialism in England. Rauschenbusch and his Fabian protégé Rev. Harry Ward helped establish the Federal Council of Churches (FCC) in 1908.
He is known as the “Father of the Social Gospel Movement,” which sought to rectify economic and social injustice. Writings include Christianity and the Social Crisis (1907), Christianizing the Social Order (1912), The Social Principles of Jesus (1916), and A Theology for the Social Gospel (1917).
Rauschenbusch introduced Jesus “not as one who would come to save sinners from their sins but as one who had a ‘social passion’ for society”.(Edgar C Bundy, Collectivism in the Churches: A Documented Account of the Political Activities of the Federal, National, and World Councils of Churches, (Wheaton, Illinois: Church League of America, 1957), p. 97.). He and his comrades established the “Brotherhood of the Kingdom”, which unified like-minded church leaders under a common socialist quest for an earthly “Kingdom of God.”
Rev. Harry Ward was one of the cofounders of the ACLU. He claimed to be a Methodist and was later found to be a Communist who used the church to spread a Marxist socialism. Rev. Ward, through his Soviet connections and influential positions, would become the main source of Communist infiltration into the FCC (later renamed NCC, National Council of Churches), and Christian seminaries. Naive and unsuspecting pastors, and congregations who would care to help the poor and needy were deceived by his ideologies.
One cannot follow Jesus and be part of Socialism/Communism, they are antithetical to each other.
The following is an excerpt from the Congressional Record Hearing Before The Committee on Un-American Activities:
House of Representatives, 83rd Congress, First Session, July 7 and 8, and July 13 and 14, 1953, p. 2266:
Kunzig: asks Johnson to comment on Harry Ward’s influence.
Johnson: “Yes, I have. Dr. Harry F. Ward, for many years, has been the chief architect for Communist infiltration and subversion in the religious field”.
(According to this Congressional Report, Harry Ward also taught “Christian ethics” at Union Theological Seminary, presided over the Federal Council of Churches, chaired the American Civil Liberties Union, and worked with the Y.M.C.A., Y.W.C.A. and the Inter-church World Movement).
Pages 2201 and 2202:
Johnson: “The Methodist Federation for Social Service or the Methodist Federation for Social Action, headed by the Rev. Harry F. Ward, whom I have already identified as a Party member, was invaluable to the Communist Party… because through it the Party was able to get contacts with thousands of ministers all over the country.”
“…quite a few ministers, for example, participated in the united front known as the American League Against War and Fascism…. In fact, they were so deeply involved through Harry F. Ward that they became the spokesmen — the advocates, the builders, and the leaders of this most important Communist front that engaged in everything from simple assault on a government to espionage, sabotage and the overthrow of the Government….”
One of the communist goals of the Communist Party USA 1963 # 27: “Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity, which does not need a “religious crutch.”
Now we can understand better what has been taking place in the churches which have chosen to embrace a secular-humanistic social action and to discard or ignore Biblical doctrine and the genuine salvation gospel of Jesus Christ. This moves from being gospel-centered in a Biblical manner to a Marxist religion of works. The Emergent church, liberal mainline denominations, and many Methodist and Baptist assemblies have already accepted this.
This kind of foreign intrusive system will ruin the church that is to operate by grace. It’s not about obedience to a law but being motivated by love that makes giving and help genuine. Love will always be associated with a freedom to choose whom to give to, and when. If it is legislated as law it becomes no different than being taxed, and we all know how we like taxes. If people want to pay for more social programs, nothing is stopping them now. They can contribute by paying more than their fair share of taxes. But they don’t, instead they want everyone to do it equally, by legislation. They don’t find people to help on their own but want everyone to do it together, through government.
In the Bible the Apostle Paul addresses giving to help those in need: “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing” (1 Cor. 13:3). The love he speaks is from ones own heart, a willingness to give, without any reciprocal reward. Social law is just the opposite, you give because it is required. This is governmental power over the people, rather than of the people (politically) and (spiritually) allowing the Spirit of the Lord to rule to bring freedom.
The requirement of involuntary redistribution of individuals’ wealth to others by the state goes against the Bible and the Constitution of America. When man is required to care for the welfare of others by law his own freedom of choice is controlled. Jesus said to serve him, it is our choice how we will pursue this call. If we allow others to make the decisions for us, then we are not being directly involved.
Jefferson wrote:”…shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government” (Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801).
Examples of this ideology entering the church are numerous, and not to be ignored.
At Willowcreek- Sojourners: Political Advocacy and Faith
Adam Taylor, Mary Nelson and Juanita Irizarry, WCCC Guest Teachers
Room: Blue Sky 2
Join us as we explore the biblical basis for political advocacy. We will be looking at social justice issues both systemically and structurally. The first class will include practical “How To’s” on political advocacy both locally and nationally. The second two classes will explore how we as individuals can create systemic change through our voice & advocacy as well as through direct community & economic involvement. You will learn the biblical basis for political advocacy. You will become aware of systemic and structural issues related to social injustice and will leave with a beginning-level knowledge of how to advocate on a local and national level.
-For the Health of the Nation �” National Association of Evangelicals
-The Great Awakening , by Jim Wallis
-God’s Politics, by Jim Wallis (HarperSanFrancisco)
-http://www.sojo.net Source: (willowcreek website Acessed 6/1/2010)
Jim Wallis is the main promoter of social justice within the church, he is also an admitted socialist. Wallis is the spiritual advisor to the president and was next to Obama when he signed an executive order to create the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, which appointed 25 diverse religious and secular leaders to a new advisory board. (Also on the presidents advisory board is Richard Stearns, President, World Vision; Dr. William J. Shaw, President, National Baptist Convention; Dr. Frank S. Page, President emeritus, Southern Baptist Convention; Father Larry J. Snyder, President, Catholic Charities USA; Judith N. Vredenburgh, President and Chief Executive Officer, Big Brothers / Big Sisters of America).
Roman Catholics have long been involved in social justice programs:
“In 1996, a new organization, Scholars for Social Justice, was formed by Reverend John H. Miller, C.S.C., S.T.D., then Director of the Catholic Central Union of America, and Professor Raphael T. Waters, Ph.D. While the Scholars plan and execute their programs for social justice and related matters of social morality in accord with the Natural Moral Law and the Papal Magisterium, they act as a distinct entity in association with the other section of the Catholic Central Union of America, each according to his lights.
Some of the general themes of the past conferences, all in the pursuit of truth and justice, have been:
Justice for Freedom; Justice in the Political Order; Justice in Development
Eugenics; Freedom for Justice; Injustice in the Professions; Justice in Education
You are invited to join the growing number of Catholics, loyal to the Pope, who dedicate their scholarly efforts and expertise to the pursuit of the apostolate of scholarship for the development of our culture, the common good, and the economic and political welfare…”(Catholic centreal verein of America).
“World Alliance of Reformed Churches -Confession- Reformed Christians believe in the sovereignty of God over the whole created order. The search for economic justice and ecological integrity is not just an ethical or moral imperative. Global economic injustice and environmental devastation challenge our integrity as followers of Jesus Christ” (Source: Council of reformed Churches). [emphasis added]
Another religious organization which promotes the Marxist agenda of social justice is Odyssey Networks, the nation’s largest multi-faith coalition dedicated to promoting tolerance, peace and social justice through the production and distribution of media. Their website lists over 60 faith groups and organizations which are affiliated with a social justice program.
ARLINGTON, Va. �” The ninth annual gathering of Ecumenical Advocacy Days opened with an enthusiastic show of support for faith-based social justice work.
If you want to know where people stand, watch and see if they join in with the trends of the world. Steve Shultz of the Elijah List website relates in one of his dreams, “Recently the Lord told me, “Societal justice is one of the ‘keys in His Kingdom’. I believe that I heard God speak as accurately as I’ve ever heard Him.”
Benjamin Creme is the founder of the Share International Foundation, an organization dedicated to spreading the doctrines of Theosophy and other New Age ideas. He has stated (as a spokesman for Maitreya, the false new age Christ), what Maitreya’s platform is:
Benjamin Creme has also stated:
Social justice is the platform for the new age false Christ. I have been saying for over 10 years that this is a spiritual Communism … Sharing then becomes our self salvation and replaces the salvation that can only come through Jesus Christ. Beware of the socialism of the new world governance that is now forming involves both politics and religion .
Karl Marx believed he had the solution:
“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions”.(Karl Marx, Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right)
He believed he had the answer to mankind’s unhappiness; first, rid the world of religion and replace it with his social justice program.
Marx writes in a poem his feelings toward God, “I wish to avenge myself against the One who rules above.” Marx was an avowed atheist yet he acknowledged there was One above who rules … It is this One he lifted his fist to in defiance.
In his poem “Invocation of One in Despair” he writes: “So a god has snatched from me my all. In the curse and rack of destiny. All his worlds are gone beyond recall! Nothing but revenge is left to me! I shall build my throne high overhead, Cold, tremendous shall its summit be. For its bulwark — superstitious dread. For its Marshall — blackest agony.”
The words “I shall build my throne high overhead” echoes the sentiment of Lucifer boasting: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God” (Isaiah 14:13). Marx had a familiarity with the Bible and chose to oppose the God of Israel by introducing a new ideological system to enslave (not free) the masses by governmental rule.
His poem “Human Pride” exhibits delusions of his own self-exaltation, “With disdain I will throw my gauntlet full in the face of the world, And see the collapse of this pygmy giant whose fall will not stifle my ardor. Then will I wander godlike and victorious through the ruins of the world And, giving my words an active force, I will feel equal to the Creator.”
Marx does not sound like an atheist to call himself equal to the creator, at least not in the normal sense. He admits he had only ruination in mind, like a type of the antichrist he was to destroy, to bring about his solution. So why do so many look to his philosophy as the cure to societies ills? Marx advocated the abolition of capitalism and all private profit, even using the means of violent revolution when necessary. We have seen the fruit of his philosophy. Far more people were killed from the communist system[s] in this last century than all the religions combined. Over one hundred and fifty million were killed from the Nineteenth century until today under these “Benevolent Dictators” whose “better way” to bring their utopian society only brought death and oppression.
Progressive liberals, democratic socialists and communists all want the government to take goods and money from those who have an abundance and transfer to those who do not have to create economic equality �” not just here in America but worldwide.
But “Social justice” is not about the fair distribution of goods to the those in need, it is a product of Marxism and was used in Central America through the vehicle of Liberation theology. Most think social justice is like Robin Hood, but he took from the king who was robbing the people by their being overtaxed and gave it to the people who were poor. It had nothing to do with the wealthy abusing the poor to become wealthy on the backs of their workers. The key in this story was being overtaxed.
Hayak: “Government has no resources of its very own. The only way government can give one person money is to first take it from another person. Doing so represents the forcible using of one person, through the tax code, to serve the purposes of another. That is a form of immorality akin to slavery. After all, a working definition of slavery is precisely that: the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another”. (The Road to Serfdom, p.14).
Socialism is an economy controlled by the government – the redistribution of wealth. Socialism equals collectivism, which limits or eliminates personal liberty (depending how oppressive the government is), and our basic freedoms of conscience and religion are always the first to go. In America these are the liberties mentioned in the Bill of Rights. In other words the constitution in America recognizes that these rights are from God, not man or government. As a Republic she is made in contra-distinction to socialism and is incompatible with this system. We have a government by the people and for the people; you could say the foundation is built from the bottom up. Socialism works through an all-powerful state government; therefore the people must give up their freedom and control for this to work.
To introduce social justice into this system is to mix oil with water -social justice is socialism. Marxists see private owned property as capitalism, those that have oppressed the poor to gain it, they do not believe there is any fairness in the free market system. Instead of lifting the lower earners to a higher level which would give them freedom, they do they opposite and make the higher earners lower thus taking both to the lowest level which is poverty, this is the economic equality which one can see in the socialist countries throughout the world. They are given no opportunity to improve their situation but only find happiness in the equality they share with everyone else. Misery loves company. The miserable leftists cannot feel good unless everyone is as miserable as they are.
Someone accurately described social justice in this manner: What if in school you got an ‘A’ on your test and someone else got an ‘F’. I took your ‘A’ and portioned it out to the one who got and ‘F’ so they can get a ‘C’, which then changed your ‘A’ to a ‘C’ along with them.
You both are equal; that’s the basic premise behind social justice.
This ideology affects everyone’s freedom to grow and expand and lowers the bar for all.
“Individualism, in contrast to socialism and all other forms of totalitarianism, is based on the respect of Christianity for the individual man and the belief that it is desirable that men should be free to develop their own individual gifts and bents. This philosophy, first fully developed during the Renaissance, grew and spread into what we know as Western civilization. The general direction of social development was one of freeing the individual from the ties which bound him in feudal society”. (Hayak, The Road to Serfdom, p.42).
(To Be Continued with Part Two – Social Justice and the Bible)
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Let Us Reason Ministries
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