Social Justice

12Mar10

I was reading through a CNN article today in which an evangelical Christian leader responds to Fox News’ Beck’s instruction to Christians to leave Churches that preach social justice (because apparently Jesus was against social justice?). Anyways, the evangelical Christian leader states that social justice is at the heart of Jesus’ message and says some other stuff and it kind of comes off as a twisted plug for taxes to support the poor and needy. Then Jerry Fallwell Jr jumps in and makes a surprisingly rational statement that it’s the Church’s job to help the helpless, not the government’s.

Frankly, here’s my take on it (and I like to think it’s pretty biblically-based, although I don’t have the Bible-citations handy) (this applies only to people who profess to be Christians)…

  1. The Kingdom of God was the heart of Jesus’ message. Social justice is a part of that, but it certainly isn’t the main part.
  2. The Bible never instructs us to take care of the poor through the government with the exception of maybe Israel back when they were God’s exclusive people.
  3. God does seem to get pissed at nations who ignore and abuse the poor and needy. This includes Israel. I think He sometimes smites them too.
  4. Paying taxes isn’t wrong. The Bible calls us to obey the law of the land even if you don’t agree with it so long as it doesn’t violate Gods’ laws to us. The Bible also calls for us to render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar’s (taxes).
  5. The Bible doesn’t forbid governments to help the poor and needy. If anything, I think it’s encouraged. See point 3.
  6. I promise you, high taxes have never stopped people from allocating their resources where God wants them to allocate their resources, that is our lack of faith/courage. You do with your money what God tells you to do with it and he promises your needs will be taken care of.
    1. “If I pay higher taxes, I won’t be able to help God out.” isn’t an excuse.
    2. You can’t help God out. If God actually needs your help, we’re all effed.
    3. God isn’t lacking money. I doubt it’s your money he’s after at all. I think he wants to see (or wants YOU to see) how much/how little faith in Him you have and/or how much you trust in money to get you by.
  7. If you profess Christianity and you think it’s the Church’s exclusive job to care for the poor, I think it’s good advice that you worry about all of the ways in which the Church fails to care for the poor before you worry what the government is or isn’t doing (and make no mistake the Church is failing to care for the poor, in America, at least). You are a citizen of God’s kingdom first and foremost, and an American second (or third or fourth or last, really doesn’t matter). When the Church’s affairs are in order, then maybe we can all collectively complain about what everyone else is doing. Until then, their judgment is God’s.
  8. No matter how much those damned liberals or those damned conservatives try to screw up America, God is still bigger. He promises that if you are seeking first His kingdom and righteousness, He will make sure you’re taken care of. If you truly believe in God, you have no reason to worry about what other people are doing. And I doubt any of us have any right to judge anyone else, as even the wisest men are fools in God’s sight.

Anyways, have a good week, I’ll be in Missouri on a mission trip. Prayers are appreciated. I’ll probably update you when I get back. Maybe.

Peace,

Craig

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