Sunday, March 14, 2010

Avoid "Social Justice Churches"

So, I suppose Moses, David, Amos, Micah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jesus and James would not be welcome at Glenn Beck's church, wherever that is, if it exists. 

Amazing commentary.  No wonder we have stalemate on so many policies in this nation.

Clearly, the words of scripture, read in every church including Beck's, deal with social and economic justice, the concerns of laboring people and a very real commitment to equity and to standing with the poor.  Possibly, a branch of American Christianity now has decided to abandon this central part of the tradition and message of our faith.  Such a heretical decision does not remove the truth from the Bible, but only from exposure to congregants who aren't allowed to hear the whole story for themselves. This one is really hard for me to understand.

Glenn Beck Urges Listeners to Leave Churches That Preach Social Justice

On his daily radio and television shows last week, Fox News personality Glenn Beck set out to convince his audience that "social justice," the term many Christian churches use to describe their efforts to address poverty and human rights, is a "code word" for communism and Nazism. Beck urged Christians to discuss the term with their priests and to leave their churches if leaders would not reconsider their emphasis on social justice.

"I'm begging you, your right to religion and freedom to exercise religion and read all of the passages of the Bible as you want to read them and as your church wants to preach them . . . are going to come under the ropes in the next year. If it lasts that long it will be the next year. I beg you, look for the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice' on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!"

To read more and listen to the audio click here.


Chris said...

I have always been uncomfortable with the term even before Glen Beck. The reason is, it involves income and even property redistribution. Giving to the poor should be voluntary, not at the point of a gun. What good is it if not voluntary?

Greece is a great example of "social justice." Look what's happening to that country now.

Social Justice is code for extreme left-wing politices.

Larry James said...

So, Chris, how do you regard the Sabbatical and Jubilee laws of the Hebrew Bible or the practices of the first church that formed in Jerusalem regarding possessions, property, wealth and wealth redistribution?

Chris said...

I would regard the Sabbath years and Jubilee years highly if I had lived in that day, because they were commanded by God. The Sabbath years were not observed though which resulted in the nation being sent into captivity for 70 years to make up for the 490 years they did not observe them. If they did not observe the 7 year deal, I don't suppose they observed the 50 year deal. They were all tied together.

The New Testament experiment was neither commanded by Christ or any of his apostles. It lasted only a short while before it failed. Human nature proving then, as it has since, that any such society is doomed from the start.

Dr. Kenneth Hunter, former professor of economics in American University said:

The so-called communism in Acts, to the extent it might be called that, was a communism of distribution, not of production. The means of production were still owned and retained by the individual. In my opinion, there is no fallacy of modern collectivism that has deceived more people than the glib catch-phrase, "from each according to his ability; to each according to his need." The fallacy is that in the collectivist society, the individual has absolutely nothing whatever to say either about his ability or his need. All vital decisions are made for him by the Party through the endless inefficiency and red tape of its infinite bureaucracy.

Jerry said...

Painting with such a broad brush is always dangerous, and Beck really missed on this one. Although he sometimes makes valid points, this is not one of those times. Although their may be a few priests or pastors that have radical, communist views, to say that all who advocate social justice are radical or commies is ridiculous, just as say since ... there are some crazies in broadcast journalism then all are crazies. :) We likely will have some problems due to the few radicals in the clergy, but the paucity of mainline churches who do advocate social justice will also cause problems, maybe more.
Another thought on the topic of social justice is this: many people do not have opportunities, and others just flat do not know how to manage their money. Congress does not set a good example with rampant, run-a-way deficits. I saw today that the SS Administration will start calling the $2.5 T IOU's owed from the Feds for money borrowed from the SS Adm since the mid-60's.
Now, yesterday Tricia and I went to a Dave Ramsey "Living Debt Free" seminar with our youngest daughter and her boyfriend. It was fantastic; good for young and old. It was at the Potter's house. My point is that one role in social justice that churches can play is teaching people how to manage the resources they do have, and Ramsey's methods are a terrific starting point. As a matter of fact, Congress could stand to attend his Sessions! But social justice is not just taking from others via taxation to give to the needy, but is also teaching individuals and families how to be good stewards of what they do have.
Also, see my post today on FB regarding the article written by N. Kristoff about work being done by Americans in Uganda to upgrade the lives of those people They are applying good old fashion Yankee ingenuity, hard work, and sound principles of capitalism to transform the lives of many people in Uganda. Social justice? I think so! And, it is not a handout, but providing opportunities for those individuals to use their talents to better themselves. It is amazing what people can do when given the opportunity. And part of what these Americans are doing is teaching them to save and manage the money they are now making! And they are making vastly more than they ever made before but had no skills to manage it, so they are now receiving that training as well.
So my point is, for true social justice we need to provide both opportunities AND the skills to be good stewards. Just my thoughts.

Jerry said...

Since you likely do not check your FB, I am giving the link below to Kristoff's article. It is a good one.

belinda said...

Larry, i have asked the same questions before . . .

Anonymous said...

After listening to Mr Beck's comments in their entirety it would appear that the government's definition of Social Justice and the Churchs' definition of Social Justice differ significantly.
God wants us to give aid and comfort to those who are in give according to our means as dictated by our heart and in love for our fellow man.
The government's idea of Social Justice appears to take from those (via taxes or wealth re-distribution plans)regardless of what your Christian duty tells you. A gift that is taken from the 'giver' is not a gift at all; it is outright theft and bears no resemblance to the giving that Christ taught.
Has big government now usurped the authority of God in order to improve on His commandment to Love your neighbor as yourself?

Folks may twist and distort Mr. Beck's comments all they want but the truth should be evident once you understand that there is a huge chasm between God's plan and man's edict.