Christians And Social Justice

A number of things that have become causes in the general populace here in America actually stem from teaching found in the Bible. For instance, the Apostle Paul wrote more than once that there is no Jew nor Greek in the Church. Clearly he was not supporting nationalism. He also said that in Christ there is no slave nor freeman—no economic barriers that separate believers. Finally, he also stressed that there is no distinction between men and women when it comes to believing in the good news of the Messiah’s coming.

In truth, Christians should lead the way in such social matters.

Once upon a time, here in America, we did. Christians were at the forefront of providing literacy for all, dealing with sickness and injury, freeing the slaves.

Of course, not all Christians got on board with such causes, but the fact remains—there likely would not be a Harvard, Princeton, or Yale; a Red Cross or a civil rights movement if Christians had not stepped up.

Throughout the Old Testament, God reiterates more than a few times that His heart is for the orphan, the widow, the stranger, the oppressed.

Sometimes God gave a command to the people of Israel to care for those in need: Exodus 22:22 ““You shall not afflict any widow or orphan,” and later Isaiah 1:17: “Learn to do good; / Seek justice, / Reprove the ruthless, / Defend the orphan, / Plead for the widow.”

Sometimes the direction came with a promise: Deuteronomy 14:29 “the alien, the orphan and the widow who are in your town, shall come and eat and be satisfied, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.

Sometimes there was a particular command to make those on the fringe of society welcome in their religious ceremonies: Deuteronomy 16:14 “and you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite and the stranger and the =orphan and the widow who are in your towns.”

Sometimes God gave strict warnings about the judgment He would bring on those who did not treat the needy as they should: Malachi 3:6 ” ‘Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me,’ says the LORD of hosts.”

Jesus lived out those Old Testament instruction. He did not turn away the poor and needy. He fed the hungry and healed the sick. He touched the leper and drove out the evil spirits from the demon possessed. He didn’t make a distinction between needy women or needy men. He came to the Jews, but He included Gentiles who came to Him.

I think the Church today continues to care for the needy in many ways. I know of people serving in pregnancy centers, people who have been involved in prison ministries, others who serve among the urban poor.

But surprisingly, the politics of Christians doesn’t seem to follow suit. I’m thinking here specifically of globalism. I mean, the Church of Jesus Christ, made up of Jews and Greeks, also has Italians and Chinese and Puerto Ricans and Egyptians and Irish and Kenyans and Guatemalans and Brazilians. Why should we care if America is great again? Or great at all?

Don’t get me wrong. I love my country. I’ve lived in a few other countries and visited far more, and I do not see a place I would rather live. America is abundantly blessed—with natural resources, an ideology that has been informed by Scripture, and a people united most by our humanity. It’s a unique place, and I am happy to call the US home. For now.

But my greatest allegiance lies with God who is the Sovereign Lord. His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, according to Psalm 145, and His dominion endures throughout all generations.

As such, it seems logical to me that Christians should be far more globally minded than the average American. We should be far more concerned about the oppressed and the strangers and the widows. It seems to me that those issues should drive our politics, more than those who don’t know God.

In some ways, it seems to me that we who consider ourselves to be conservative, who believe in life for the unborn and that God didn’t make a mistake when He created a Man or a Woman with the gender parts He gave them—it seems to me that we ought to be leading the way when it comes to advocating for the needy, welcoming the stranger. Instead, it seems we have let those who do not believe in God usurp those causes.

What do we stand for? Merit-based immigration? Walls?

Again, I want to be clear. I believe our government should not be so naive or cavalier as to allow terrorists and criminals to move in. It’s not easy to discern who is in need and who wants to take advantage of our open hand.

But I think that’s the principle which should drive our politics. We should want leaders who will treat all people well—rich and poor, natural born and naturalized and strangers.

And by “we” I mean Christians. We should not allow American politics or the American dream or any other factor to override God’s heart for people in need.

Think about it. Ruth—King David’s great grandmother—was a Gentile. And a widow. And Boaz, a kinsman redeemer, came to her aid when she was most in need. What a picture of Jesus Christ.

Should Christ’s Church be less than a living example of His love and care for the orphan and widow, the oppressed and alien?

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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Reblogged this on See, there's this thing called biology… and commented:
    Enjoy this wonderful reblog from Becky. I share her sentiments.

    Like

  2. Amen! Well spoken!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amen. It hurts my heart when I see Christians who are more concerned with patriotism than the things that God puts first. His kingdom is not of this world, and we are to love everyone and care for the needy. And that is a commandment, not a suggestion. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We CANNOT help others unless we help ourselves first. And we can’t help ourselves unless we continue to represent the successful, and united, majority of Christians who gave us Western Civilization. And Western Civilization will NOT survive without a patriotic pride in who we are and the righteousness generated by our outstanding Christian heritage. All else is utopian wishful thinking.

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    • K, thanks for your comment, and I certainly understand your thinking. The problem is, I don’t see these ideas in the Bible.

      Jesus Himself was tired, hungry, and thirsty when He approached the woman at the well. He didn’t wait for the disciples to get back so He could take care of Himself before He preached the gospel.

      The Good Samaritan did what the priest and Levite wouldn’t do: he put himself in potential danger for a stranger, gave of his own hard earned money to provide for his on-going care.

      The widow Jesus commended, gave the last of her money. The one who Elijah stayed with didn’t turn him away because she need to take care of her and her son first.

      Time and again we see sacrificial giving, people crossing national lines to take the gospel to people who haven’t heard. Think of Paul and all the places that he went, the things he gave up, the things he suffered. He didn’t focus first on getting out of jail so he could go on with his preaching. He focused on preaching right where he was at.

      And that’s what American Christians have been known for in the past. Mission organizations have come about because of the desire to be obedient to the great commission. Now, in our days, Christians have become possessive and distrustful.

      I think this “utopian” thinking you mention is actually trust that God will do what He said He would do–Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, the Bible says in Matthew, and all these things will be added to you.

      That’s the reverse of, Seek first all these things, and God’s kingdom and righteousness will be added to you.

      The fact is, God’s ways are not our ways, so Biblical thinking is indeed counter cultural. And it requires dependence on God. But I think that’s precisely what He wants.

      Becky

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A lot of the Alt-RINOs in the ‘Red Pill’ movement have made ‘Social Justice Warrior’ a term of contempt for everybody outside of their ideology. As if fighting for social justice was a negative thing. But logically the opposite of a Social Justice Warrior must favor Egoism and Social Injustice.

    To get around that logical dilemma, the Red Pills mix Evolutionary Psychology pseudoscience in with their theology to make it appear as though social inequalities are natural or of Divine Will.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Which is part of the problem, I think, NW. The theology of those who take this egoism and social injustice approach, is not biblical. They are doing what Paul warned against in Colossians–“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”

      Of course standing for the poor and needy can also be built on philosophy and empty deception. It can feed the idea that some have about earning salvation. It can become a source of pride.

      There really are dangers to the left and right. I think our goal is to stay on the straight and narrow way which God has laid out for us in Scripture.

      Becky

      Like

  6. Well said. Appreciate the great insight.

    Be blessed. God is in a good mood.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. […] Christians And Social Justice (rebeccaluellamiller.wordpress.com): H/T to insanitybytes22. […]

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  8. Reblogged this on storiesbysoph and commented:
    I could not have said this better myself. Such a great post by an understanding mind.

    Liked by 1 person


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