Written by Paul J. Bucknell on October, 29, 2018
A Deeper Look Into Social Justice
Social justice theory is confusing—even to the experts. They can’t even agree on a definition of the term! But the measure of support for the movement requires a deeper look.
Concerned with Justice
Those speaking up on social justice causes are applaudable, being concerned for an improved society. Many people don’t care; they can’t think beyond their needs and wants.
However, we need to take extreme care of what we build. Without a sense of the original design and purpose of ethics, laws, society, and judgment—all critical elements of justice—we will produce only temporary, untested, and unhelpful edifices.
New technologies and social organizations require a careful re-examination of ethical parameters to govern their proper advancement. Without detailed analysis, however, our plans will falter but only after hurting many people. I think we can summarize one main goal of social justice to bring about a greater good for all.
A Deeper Purpose
But to be clear, there are no new good ethics. This might sound odd to some, but morals reach deeper than the surface of current opinion, down to the purposes and design of our Creator. His viewpoints, designs, expectations, commands, and guidance become that solid rock upon which Jesus warns us to build at the end of the Sermon on the Mount (Mat 7).
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Mat 7:24 NASB and elsewhere).
The rock refers to those eternal principles established by God.
The Key Points
First, no one can beat God’s sense of justice. Any rules or guidelines extending beyond His judgments become inferior, hurtful, and ultimately evil.
I understand that some will debate this. Social Justice theory has roots closely related to modern secularism and typically embraces the hope for a new social order and ethics, mainly because they are fed up with the current scene.
I’m not speaking about politics and political parties here. I am at the point where if a person does not see the weaknesses in one’s political party, he doesn’t understand much, including his party. However, political parties represent and present various thoughts.
The challenge before us is to observe His established rules and better understand the purpose of those rules and guidelines. We must be cautious about implementing, as much as possible, God’s justice here on earth. Love, peace, joy, and harmony stem from the proper treatment of all individuals because God is love.
Second, the God of justice carefully examines our decisions and judgments in light of His expectations. I hope our judgments match His!
“Before the LORD, for He is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with equity” (Psalms 98:9).
God is the ultimate Judge who scrutinizes our care for others by the rules we set and abide by, individually and corporately (Rom 2:1). We acknowledge grievous abuses. Still, false accusations, self-seeking purposes, and evil impulses deserve equally to be condemned. No class, race, or nationality is protected from His cosmic judgment; all stand equally accountable to King Justice (Rom 2:16).
Lastly, for the oppressed and abused, look to God the Savior. Without God’s grace in Jesus Christ, there is no healing to be found on earth’s shores.
No matter how horrible or unmentionable one’s situation, they do not define your life. Your responses to these offenses shape your future. This is where God’s mercy thrives and the reason Jesus came to seek the poor (Mat 11:5) and sick (Mat 9:12). Bitterness never heals. To increase another’s hatred and spite never is God’s will.
Abuse describes unjust and unwanted treatment. People abused Jesus the most when they killed Him, the Righteous One, on the cross. There cannot be a more unjust situation than what happened when Jesus the Righteous One died for sinners. What happened on the cross was unwanted but necessary to bring help to the needy.
Jesus’ decision not to allow circumstances to embitter Him allowed Him to seek God’s will and accomplish great good during the execution of a heinous crime against Him.
Don’t put your full hope in any earthly movement. Make sure, whether it be social justice or another movement, that it consistently links to God’s eternal principles from which justice gets its power and authority.
Remember, final justice will not occur on earth but only as each individual comes before God’s judgment throne.
Most importantly, follow Jesus Christ. Belief in Him not only brings salvation and hope but a way to personally combat the many difficulties we or others might face.