Back in high school, being part of the cool crowd seemed to be what mattered. The popular pack was usually comprised of football players and cheerleaders and others who were attractive, athletic, or both. In fact, a social hierarchy developed as a result. Those elevated to top status were small in number but had the loudest voices and significant influence in the class culture.
As kids, much of our behavior was determined by where we fit in that social hierarchy. Our behavior was a result of our status roles. We often did things simply because the kids we hung with suggested or modeled them.
As we grow and mature into adults, we should eventually develop our own reasons for doing what we do. Those reasons become convictions. The dictionary defines conviction as a firmly held belief or opinion, but conviction is much more than that. In addition to your beliefs, your convictions include your values, commitments, and motivations. A belief is something you’ll argue about, but a conviction is something you’ll die for. Convictions determine your conduct. They motivate you to take a stand.
Convictions not rooted in Biblical truth and Biblical justice are misguided. Many adults today have strong convictions about minor issues, like football or politics. At the same time, they have weak convictions about major issues, like what is right and what is wrong.
God demands justice. Therefore, if social justice is justice, and justice is sin, then we must be about the business of social justice. This is why we need to understand what is meant by social justice. We keep on using that phrase, but I don’t think it means what you think it means.
- The Oxford Dictionary of the English language defines social justice as justice at the level of a society or state as regards to the possession of wealth, commodities, opportunities, and privileges. See distributive justice.
- The Honorable William H. Young, an academic social sciencientist and author, defines social justice as the redistribution of resources and advantages to the disadvantaged to achieve social and economic equality.
By definition, social justice is not a heart issue, it’s a state issue. Social justice is redistributive justice by the state.
From a Biblical perspective, justice is a heart issue and a law of God issue. If the law of God says this and you do that, then it is unjust. If the law of God says this and your heart goes toward that, then it is unjust.
This is why we need to live out Mark 12:30-31. I mean, have you ever spent hours seriously pondering and working out specifically what it means for you to intentionally pursue loving God with your whole being in the tiny part of the world where He has placed you, and loving your neighbor as yourself, especially needy ones and perhaps even an “enemy.” We shouldn’t be paralyzed by God’s commandments, but they should form our fundamental approach to life. He means for each of us to seriously ask how in the world we are to obey them and put in the rigorous effort of prayerfully discerning what obedience might specifically mean for us. The only way to view justice as a heart issue is to live out these commands because “There is no commandment greater than these.“
Condoleeza Rice, an American diplomat, political scientist, civil servant, and professor who served as the first female African-American secretary of state and the first woman to serve as National Security Advisor, recently stated on The View:
My parents never thought I would never grow up in a world without prejudice, but they also told me that’s somebody else’s problem, not yours. You’re going to overcome it, and you’re going to be anything you want to be.
That’s the message we ought to be sending to kids.
One of the worries that I have about the way we’re talking about race is that it either seems so big that somehow white people now have to feel guilty about everything that happened in the past. I don’t think that’s very productive. Or, black people have to feel disempowered by race.
I would like black kids to be completely empowered to know that they are beautiful in their blackness, but in order to do that, I don’t have to make white kids feel bad for being white.
Somehow this is a conversation that has gone in the wrong direction.– Condoleezza Rice
Milton Friedman, an American economist and statistician who received the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, said:
A society that puts equality … in the sense of equality of outcomes … ahead of freedom, will end up with neither equality nor freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom. And the force, introduced for good purposes, will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests.– Milton Friedman
Social justice is divisive. It should be rejected not because it demands justice for those who have been unjustly treated, but because it poses a threat to republican self-government by corroding patriotic ties and demanding special treatment rather than equality under the law.
There is discrimination in America, and we have to deal with the legacy of past discrimination. However, the current approach is not reasonable because it pits Americans against each other.
It’s time to change the conversation from social justice to Bibilcal justice. Where are the men and women who have the convictions, with God helping them, to “take the hill” for Biblical justice? Our minds, hearts, lives, and neighborhoods are at stake.