Starbucks has become over the years a trendsetter in the ever evolving world of social justice, often challenging the socially accepted norms of behavior. Social justice and understanding it’s meaning in today’s world is necessary to navigate successfully through its ever-changing expectations. What exactly is social justice? Social justice is a concept of fair and just relations between the individual and society. This is measured by the explicit and tacit terms for the distribution of wealth, opportunities for personal activity and social privileges. (Wikipedia) The Definition of social justice is a state or doctrine of egalitarianism, which is the doctrine that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities. I find the stark differences between the Bible and the secular view of social justice interesting. The simple way to look at this is that social justice in the secular world has become a “ME” thing, while from a Bible perspective it is about God’s people. The people whom society has pushed to the fringe, unable to speak, defend or care for themselves. I admit this to be a fine line but to me social justice is not about privileges or supposed rights. I take the Christian view….it is about respect, love, and caring for God’s people, as we are commanded. This brings me to an excellent article by Jack Wellman. He shares a series of scripture verses which provide, in my opinion a biblical basis of social justice. I recommend that you go to the link provided at the end of the blog.
I would like to share a few of them from the article with you.
-Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”
Perhaps as we let the “ME” thing define our social justice thing we overlook the obvious. James also gives us reason to examine our actions. James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
–Zechariah 7:9-10 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.”
Mr. Wellman writes that there are lots of areas of neglect in our nation, there is no excuse for the church to be part of it.
-Proverb 31:8-9 “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Please take a moment at the end of this blog to read Mr. Wellman’s comment on the above verse.
-Micah 6:8 “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
We have been told what is good. Why do we not do it?
-Psalm 82:3 “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.”
-Matthew 7:12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
To use a term from another writer the “Social Warriors” have taken over and most often their motivation is a “ME” thing. The above scriptures plainly point to who, what, how we should respond. Allow me to repeat.. “The simple way to look at this is that social justice in the secular world has become a ME thing, while from a Bible perspective it is about God’s people.” This cuts a fine line for there are many opinions. Who are God’s people?
I believe that we are all created by God and God loves all people, thus he is concerned about them, all of them. The term God’s People usually indicates a clear relationship with the Father and Jesus Christ. I will leave the definition of relationship to you. I see here another hijacking of the gospel being interwoven with a social issue and becoming the property of a mob of “social justice warriors.” The biblical view of social justice is not about privileges or supposed rights, it is about respect, love, and caring for God’s people, as we are commanded to do.The “ME’s” of this world won’t get it done. You cannot legislate compassion, you will not right an injustice through the pressure of a “mob” with an agenda. There is a biblical justice that comes from our God, lives in our hearts and needs no agenda to dictate its actions. It is very simple.
“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1st John 3:17-18).
Thanks for coming by this week. Thanks to Jack Wellman for the sharing through his article the other side of “social justice”. Be sure to follow his link listed below.
Life is Good
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.