Thoughts on Social Justice - Part 2

  • Even if we were grant that the modern church in America has been too focused on converting sinners to Christianity's message and not focused enough on living out Christianity's message, does it follow that there is no error in the opposite direction?
  • Matthew 26:11 makes it abundantly clear that if it comes down to a decision between justice and the person of Jesus, Jesus wins.
  • If social justice is a necessary part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as many contemporary authors suggest, why is there not a stronger emphasis in the New Testament commanding the church to take on Roman inequity, slavery, totalitarianism and injustice?
  • I have a hard time believing that the church is the presence of the Millenial Kingdom in the world, and the Millenial Kingdom is a place where the leopard will lie down with the goat (Isaiah 11:6), when a large part of most pastors' week is spent dealing with conflict between church members.
  • An entirely future kingdom is perfectly compatible with a heart for justice in the world today. The fact that things cannot be what they will be does not mean that they should not be what they should be.
  • In most of the OT passages in which God judges the Jews for injustice, their active acts of doing injustice against the poor were in God's sights (defrauding and exploiting the poor) , not just the fact that the poor existed in their society (see Leviticus 19, Isaiah 1, Jeremiah 22, Amos 5:7-15; Micah 6:8-12) . God's problem wasn't that the poor existed in the same society as the Jews. His problem was when the Jewish people took advantage of the poor to make themselves rich.
  • I have no problem affirming that the Church consists of "aliens and strangers" (1 Peter 2:11) in the world who are called to be "ambassadors" of a coming King and kingdom (2 Corinthians 5:20). The result is the same: we should reflect God's agenda and priorities to a watching world, including God's heart for true justice. But we don't have to monkey with hermeneutics about the Kingdom or the gospel to get to the same place.
  • Whatever Jesus meant by being salt and light (Matthew 5:13); whatever Peter meant by "Be holy" (1 Peter 1:16); whatever Paul meant by "conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ" (Philippians 1:27), it had to be more than just actions or behavior. Well-behaving people killed Jesus, Peter, and Paul.