“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:16-17).
“Social justice.” We’ve all heard the term. Many Christians, and most especially the younger generation, believe that Jesus’ primary call to His followers it to “rectify injustice wherever it occurs” — redistributing wealth from the rich to the poor through taxation, fighting “climate change”, ending human trafficking, advocating for international child labor laws and “fair-trade” economic practices.
But does this kind of social justice comport with the Bible’s teaching about true justice in a fallen world? Does it distract from or diminish the saving gospel of Jesus Christ? And how should Christians “learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow” and be gospel-centered?
Cal Beisner, founder of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, joins us this weekend on The Christian Worldview to talk about the “the sad and unintended consequences” of social justice, and how biblical Christians “need to understand the nature of, and difference between, justice and grace.”
NOTE: Cal Beisner has written an insightful 28-page booklet on this topic entitled Social Justice: How Good Intentions Undermine Justice and Gospel. Click here to receive a copy (or copies) for your donation of any amount to The Christian Worldview.
Christian Social Justice: “Life is Just not Fair!”
by John Wheaton, J.D.
Life is just not fair.
Is it fair that Tiger Woods makes millions for playing a game of leisure while the average person struggles to pay the bills working 50-60 hours a week? Even worse, is it fair that some people are born into extreme wealth and freedom while others must live and often die in dire poverty or under severe oppression? No, life is not fair; unfairness is inherent in the human condition. But life can and should be just. When human acts or omissions are at the heart of these inequities and suffering, then social injustices have occurred. Unfortunately, these injustices shame and scar our world every day. This begs the question: What should a Christian do about it?
In matters of social concern, the biblical Christian should know God’s heart well. God has a special interest in the welfare of those at the lowest end of the social ladder: widows, orphans, legal aliens, and others who are oppressed or disadvantaged in society (Jeremiah 7:5-7). Recognizing this, modern Christians must lead the world in striving for social justice by clearly 1) defining “social justice”, 2) determining key biblical principles of social justice, and 3) developing a strong position on state-sponsored social action especially as it relates to addressing the major social problems of the early 21st century. Read more