Last Thursday Glenn Beck started a little firestorm over the topic of “social justice” and the Church. MSNBC hammered him…
First off, I have trouble listening to Rev. Jim Wallis talk about justice when he has no regard for the plight of the unborn. His “gospel” is good news for the trees on the planet but bad news for the smallest most vulnerable people on the planet. But putting that aside, he does what any marginally Biblically literate person could do, he lays out a watertight case showing that the Bible speaks volumes about justice and God’s heart for the poor. However, Wallis refuses to acknowledge that much of what passes as “social justice” is rooted in politics, humanism and the rejection of Jesus as the Savior of the World.
But he does do a good job of making Glenn Beck look like an idiot. Beck says “social justice” has become a code word. Here are those controversial comments;
I beg you, look for the words ’social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words…. Am I advising people to leave their church? Yes! If I am going to Jeremiah Wright’s church,” he said, referring to the incendiary black pastor who led the church attended by the Obama family members when they lived in Chicago. “If you have a priest that is pushing social justice, go find another parish. Go alert your bishop and tell them, ‘Excuse me, are you down with this whole social justice thing?’ If it’s my church, I’m alerting the church authorities: ‘Excuse me, what’s this social justice thing?’ And if they say, ‘yeah, we’re all in that social justice thing’–I’m in the wrong place.”
“Social justice was the rallying cry–economic justice and social justice–the rallying cry on both the communist front and the fascist front.” … “Nowhere does Jesus say, Hey, if somebody asks for your shirt, give your coat to the government and have the government give them a pair of slacks.”
I wouldn’t say the term “social justice” is a code word and I disagree that each time it is used that it is a veiled Communism or Fascism. I do think however social justice is a thoroughly Biblical theme that has been undeniably hijacked by humanists who reject the revelation of Jesus Christ as THE answer to what ails the poor of the world. It’s unfortunate (for Beck) that he dove head first into this seemingly lacking a broader understanding of what he was getting himself into – theologically, Biblically, and historically.
Listening to these clips of him speaking on this topic makes me think he’s not aware the debate and controversy these past 125 years over the notion of a “social gospel” – something which has divided mainline and evangelical churches for a century. As you can see in the video he set himself up for a major smack down. I saw that coming a mile away.
Fire away at me for saying this but I view Glenn Beck as an emerging prophetic voice to a nation – he is the loudest voice right now pointing this nation back to its Christian Foundations – and yes I am aware he is a Mormon. God can speak through donkeys. And right now the MSM wants us to think he’s an ass.
It’s not true that every church that uses the term “social justice” is speaking in code. However, it IS true those who have no tolerance for how the Bible says justice will come to the earth have hi-jacked the term. And, in my view, it is true that many evangelicals are falling fast into a false justice movement that is taking root in the earth. In my view, Beck is on to something, although it appears to me that he’s not fully aware of what he stumbled onto.
At the End of the Age a counterfeit justice movement will emerge that will set the poor up to receive the anti-Christ (Rev. 13:16-17). Stuart Greaves writes;
…a false justice movement is emerging in the earth that will seek to serve the poor, but will end up seducing them with lies and leading them to eternal ruin. Multitudes of the poor of the earth will bend the knee before a demonized man… the very movement that claims to be motivated by compassion to serve and liberate the poor is, in fact, preparing them to be swept up into the harlot religion and receive the Anti-Christ…
In that article (sited below), Greaves differentiates the false justice movement with the Christ-Centered Justice Movement. Greaves says:
Pursuing social action outside the context of the apostolic gospel is opening up the door to preaching a false version of Jesus, a Jesus who is nothing more than a sympathetic humanitarian with a gospel of social reformation.
The basis of the false justice movement will be in humanism and in the rejection of Jesus Christ but it will appear compassionate. To quote an important book from a couple decades ago – there is a beautiful side of evil —and that is how many will be deceived – counterfeits are masked as the real thing. The stage is set for that and Beck, though hardly an articulate spokesman on the topic of the false justice movement, has, for better or worse, stumbled onto it. Regarding Jesus (as the One who returns to bring true justice to the earth), the Bible says righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. The false justice movement rejects righteousness – they “pursue social activism at the expense of holiness of heart.” (Greaves)