There is a lot of confusion about the term "social justice" these days, and it is now being promoted in our Christian universities. Social justice is not another name for good works. Social justice is another gospel and has no place in a Christian university or in the heart of any believer.
A while back, I spoke with the student body president at Biola University and asked him what he was doing these days. He responded that he was writing a thesis paper. I asked what it was about. He replied that he was writing about healthcare and why it should be available to everyone.
Then he sheepishly said, "Because I am starting to believe in social justice."
To redefine social justice as just doing good, loving and caring for the marginalized and resolving the injustices of the world is a lie and a deception.
I talked to an assistant pastor of a large inner city church and told him I was concerned that the social justice movement was coming into the churches. He said that he taught social justice and was excited to send me a book on it, called "The Little Book of Biblical Justice" by Chris Marshall.
The book does not redefine social justice as doing good works, it defines social justice as "redistribution." More troubling was that it belittles the need for animal sacrifices in the Old Testament (denying the need for a blood sacrifice) and puts down "retributive justice" in the New Testament (the need for a savior to take the penalty for sin). Instead of retributive justice, (punishment for wrong doing), it advocates for redistributive justice (government redistribution of goods and rewards). In the end the book calls for living in community. As always, as in the case of abortion and homosexual acceptance, liberals have to redefine terms to get others to join them.
Social justice places government in the place of God, who is the provider and problem solver. It replaces the power of "individual redemption" by the blood of Christ with, as Barack Obama puts it, "a collective salvation," redemption of society by an elitist, man-managed society and forced coercion. It is easy to see why God sees social justice as idolatry.
And because it replaces God in society, God hates it. And those that have embraced social justice end up hating Christianity. History shows us that social justice socialist governments that seek to redistribute goods, as in Russia, China, Cuba and in Hitler's Germany, always end up persecuting Christians and Jews. This is because their philosophies are based on atheism and a worship of man (or the earth).
In fact, the only place in the Bible where social justice is found is with the concept of the anti-Christ who will redistribute the world's food and goods through "a mark of the beast," what some think will be a computer chip on the forehead or on the arm, giving everyone "their fair share."
God is not interested in giving everyone a fair share; he wants to bless those that love him. And he wants those that are blessed by him to bless others willingly with love in their heart.
When it comes to the end times, the Bible warns God's people not to be deceived. And social justice is the greatest deception of all, because it tries to mimic what God wants to do in the earth, love and care for people.
Avila, a former board member at Biola University and the Santa Ana Unified School District, is the founder of two non-profit organizations that serve inner city low-income, at-risk children and youth in Orange County, providing biblically based character education, academic tutoring and structured sports instruction.
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