Posted by: Terry | July 30, 2010

Establish justice, not throw stones

If Christians spent as much time, energy, and money living a life of love, and proclaiming the salvation of Christ, as they do complaining and arguing about politics they would see more of the changes they claim to desire.

It is easier to condemn “godless leaders” and blame Democrats and Republicans than it is to live a life of love and spread the Gospel. It is easier to protest and march against abortion than it is to simplify adoption and make it affordable. It is easier to legislate against gay marriage than it is to reach out to homosexuals in love and invite them into our churches. It is easier to overlook the poor and needy if we rename social responsibility as “redistribution of wealth.”

I wonder what this fanaticized “godly nation” would be like? Would we punish in our courts those who broke the Ten Commandments? They tried that in Scotland in the 1600’s with disastrous results.

How would this “Godly nation” deal with the poor and the oppressed,?Would it continue the veneration of the pursuit of wealth? How would they deal with the prevalent attitude of “I got mine, now you figure out how to get yours.”

Glenn Beck says that justice is a perversion of the Gospel, that sounds a lot like what Amos was condemning -  “you have turned justice into poison” (Amos 6.12) I think Jim Wallis got it right, “"Yesterday, he (Beck) went further and he said social justice is a perversion of the gospel. … I’m saying it’s at the heart of the gospel."

The message of the Bible is that judgment is the province of God, he will judge and he will make all right. Ours is always to live and demonstrate what living for God is like.

Amos wrote to a people at a time when Israel was much like we are today. His message was to “Seek good, not evil… Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate.” (Amos 5.14-15)

For the most part I have withdrawn from the political debate, seeing wisdom in another admonition of Amos, “He who is prudent will keep silent in such a time, for it is an evil time.” (Amos 5.13) Debate that is sport or simply has the goal of winning argument does little to improve the world, and I am too easily drawn in to that. Better I think to influence as I can my world, and show compassion as I can to those around me.

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Responses

  1. Keep hitting those keys my friend.
    Thank you for the message and the reminder.

  2. Friedrich Hayek said the term social justice was a term without meaning–akin to saying “moral stone”.

    I think Wallis is very similar to Beck. Both portray themselves as prophets (though both would deny that assertion); and both invent villains and incite populist outrage against them, for example:

    “For three decades, we have experienced a social engineered inequality that is really a sin – of biblical proportions. We have indeed seen class warfare, but this war has been waged by the wealthy and their political allies against the poor and the middle class.” – Jim Wallis, Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street (2010)

    Wallis, like Beck eschews political labels and both portray themselves as centrist–nonsense in both cases.

    Beck’s positions are conservative Libertarian and Wallis’s are Green Party (with a tinge of Liberation Theology a la Reverend Wright and Father Pfleger.


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