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Saturday, October 31, 2020

"The Lord is a God of Social Justice." Is This a Biblically True Statement?


The Lord is a God of social justice. That’s the message in many churches and synagogues in America and the West today. However, here’s the problem: 

The Bible doesn’t actually say that. It says (in Isaiah 30:18), “The Lord is a God of justice.” You’ll find a lot of references to justice in the Bible. But you’ll never find it preceded by the word “social.” 

You might be thinking, “What’s the difference? Isn’t God the God of justice and social justice?” Well, not if He’s consistent. You see, God cannot be the God of justice and social justice because "social justice" as defined by a particular political movement in our culture today, is not just. 

Justice is getting what you deserve without favor. Social justice is getting what you don’t deserve because you are favored.

Justice is blind. Social justice is not. 

Let's say a man robs a store. Justice demands but one thing: that he be tried in a court of justice, and, if he is found guilty, punished.

That is not how social justice works. Social justice doesn’t only ask if the person is guilty. It asks: 

What about his economic condition: Is he poor or wealthy? 

What about his upbringing: What kind of childhood did he have? 

What about his race or ethnicity: Is he a member of a group that has been historically oppressed? 

Justice demands that everyone be equal under the law. Social justice demands that everyone be equal. Period. Economically, socially, and in every other possible way. 

Justice asks, “Who did it?” 

Social justice asks, “Why did he do it?” 

Lost in all these social justice considerations is the individual’s own responsibility for what he did. That’s why social justice advocates have abandoned the term “justice.” They deem justice alone as unfair. And sometimes it is. 

A man who was beaten by his father and abandoned by his mother is more likely to commit a violent crime than a man raised in a loving home. However, those facts cannot and should not determine his innocence or guilt. Why? Because justice is, first and foremost, about truth: Is the person guilty or innocent of the crime? 

None of us is omniscient. We don’t know why people do what they do. After all, the vast majority of people raised in abusive homes do not commit violent crimes. Nor do the vast majority of people who are members of an historically oppressed group. 

Being a victim, however that is defined, is no excuse for hurting other people. And what about those who are hurt—the victims of those crimes? Shouldn’t they, and other law-abiding citizens, be society’s first consideration? Social justice advocates say no. 

They say we need social justice to even things out. And that means favoring the have-nots over the haves—the poor over the rich, the female over the male, and the brown or black over the white. The Bible does not see the world this way. In fact, it speaks against it in very explicit terms.

Here’s a law in the Book of Exodus 23:2-3: “Do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd, and do not show favoritism to a poor person in a lawsuit.”

Here’s one in Leviticus 19:15: “Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great but judge your neighbor justly.”

Moses, the greatest lawgiver in history, declares in Deuteronomy 16:20: “Follow justice and justice alone.” And the New Testament declares in the Book of Romans 2:11: “God shows no partiality.” 

None of this means that there is no place for compassion in a system of justice. Of course, there is. The Bible is preoccupied with the protection of the widow, the orphan, and unfortunate. But compassion follows justice. It doesn’t precede it. Also, justice, in and of itself, is compassionate.

First, to the victims of crime and to their loved ones. And second, to the criminal: How can you become a better human being if you don’t first recognize that you’ve done something wrong? That’s why any time we put an adjective before the word “justice,” we no longer have justice. Economic justice, racial justice, environmental justice—any form of “social” justice which seeks to “correct” actual justice—undermines justice. 

So, then, if social justice is not a biblical concept, why do so many churches and synagogues promote it? Because many Christians and Jews no longer regard biblical principles as binding. Because it’s a lot easier to dispense compassion than hold people to a biblical standard. And because certain political ideologies have superseded the Bible in many houses of worship—and these certain political ideologies, as a guiding principle, holds that the weak are good and the powerful are bad.

That’s why the great battle of our time is between Judeo-Christian values and anti-Christ values done in Jesus name. The former is rooted in justice; the latter is not.

Monday, October 5, 2020

We All Have Unclean Hands

Jesus said to them,  “Hear me, all of you, and understand: There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him...Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled? ( Thus he declared all foods clean.).....What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” - Mark 7:14-23 (ESV)

Jesus was exposing how the religious leaders of the time were putting man made rules as more important than God’s will as revealed in the Scriptures. Jesus and his disciples were handling many sick people at this time because people from all of the region were bring Jesus people that needed healed. They would have been touching many “unclean” people.

Jesus was teaching people unwashed hands cannot defile you or make you unexceptable to God. Nothing from the outside makes us unclean before God

It is the heart of humans that producers all manner of evil and wickedness an unclean ness. 

Jeremiah 17:9 the heart is deceitful above all things  and desperately sick

Where do we start in order to understanding what is broken in our world. How do we diagnose what is wrecked in ourselves and our culture? 

We always start inside the scripture and we work our way out. In the Scriptures we have the doctrine of sin and Jesus is just unpacked it for us. 

It’s not about what’s out there. It’s about what’s inside our heart. 

Every nation, tribe, people group, political party, institution, organization and man made system is populated by broken people who have sinful hearts were every form of sin comes from as defined by God in His Word.  

Even the best laid man made plans and philosophies are tainted by the sinful hearts of humans. This is the major difference between how fallen humans view the world and how the gospel explains the world. 

The new buzz words in our culture today are systematic or structural. These words are used to craft a certain political cultural narrative. We don’t wanna start out from sociology books. We start from within the scripture and work out. 

Sin is systematic in every individual human heart therefore because we are all sinners we carry sin into every social space. The closest social space we have is marriage. The husband and wife each bring their own sin into it and they have to deal with it. Every social space from a home to a nation is filled with sinful people that sin. These sins infect and pervade these social spaces. Some people want to emphasize one sin over another. Some people want to redefine sin in order to justify sin. The gospel tells us that the human condition is not just about one sin but the virus of Sin that produces every other individual sin. This is the doctrine of Sin. 

The wisdoms of the world try to tell us humanity is basically good. If so why do we have so many laws? The gospel of the kingdom of God tell us that humanity is not basically good. The law exposes this truth.

It’s not about political social structures were humanity is defined as basically good and these social structures that people live in are the bad things. 

No, the Bible tells us that these social structures are a wreck because people occupy these social structures and people bring sin into them and sin corrupts. Worldly political ideologies systems blame other worldly political ideologies for the brokenness and suffering of humanity and each system doesn’t want to take responsibility for the brokenness but the Bible says no way. The gospel says each individual is responsible for the brokenness. We are the sinners. Our hearts need to be fixed. Laws can’t fix the sinful human heart. 

Its not about deconstructing one human made social structure and replacing it with another human made social structure. It’s not one worldly political ideology social structure overthrowing another worldly political ideologies social structure that brings about effecting lasting change. 

The way the culture is changed is about the hearts of individuals being changed from the inside out. That’s the gospel. Evil is bond up in the heart. It’s not about the oppressor verses the oppressed. Why because the oppressed are just a wicked as the oppressors. They both suffer from the same condition, Sin.

That’s why the gospel is the only cure. It’s not a man made natural cure. It’s our Creator supernatural cure in the person and work of Jesus Christ. 

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, - Ephesians 1:7 .

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