Is social justice a valid concept?

Discussion in 'Questions?' started by Botolph, Jan 1, 2021.

  1. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Social Justice

    Justice is a consistent theme of the gospel. We affirm that God is Just. We affirm that he implores us to Do Justice. Justice and Justification are not to be understood as opposed to the righteousness of God, but inexorably part of the Justice of God.

    Social Justice may well be understood as a fair suck of the saveloy or in more formal terms the equitable distribution of resources and opportunity.

    As such I do not regard Social Justice as a modern error.

    The thing I would regard as a modern error is more accurately described as Social Gospel, where Jesus is affirmed for his political relevance, politics informs theology, and sociology replaces theology.
     
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  2. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    "Justice" and "social justice" have nothing to do with one another. They are different terms, with different histories.

    You may not regard it as an error, but you can't escape the fact that it is modern. I challenge you to find it in any handbook of moral theology literally prior to the year 1950. It literally didn't exist as a term prior to that. Feel free to see books from the 1850s, or the 1650s, or 1350s, 850s, 350s, or 150s AD. Open up Justin Martyr's philosophic treatises from the 180s AD, and then ask yourself if he'd understand the concept of 'social justice'. We both know, that he wouldn't.

    "Social justice" is a new concept fabricated whole cloth. It is as recent and modern as "communism", and in fact the one was originated by the other.
     
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  3. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    "For the poor you always have with you," Jesus said (John 12:8). Notice that Jesus didn't say, "For if you allow the poor to always be with you, you will have failed in my mandate to equalize everyone."
    In Matthew 10:34, Jesus' words are recorded: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword."
    Jesus did not come to bring us nirvana, or heaven on earth. He did not come to bring about equitable outcomes in everyone's lives. Jesus didn't redeem us so we would gather and count all the world's cherries and then make sure every person's cherry bowl contains the same number; life is not at all a bowl of cherries!

    As Christians, we are called to demonstrate love and compassion, and one way we do that is through giving. Each person, as an individual, must listen to God and discern what to give, not out of compulsion, but willingly and cheerfully.
    "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give." (Matt. 10:8). These are some of the ways we are called to demonstrate God's love and compassion. But Jesus never called upon His disciples to create equality.

    Social justice must not be confused with a spirit of giving. Those who promote social justice, like it or not, desire that society place firm controls upon the "distribution of resources and opportunity." Do not be deceived: there will be no cheerful giving under their scheme, for no one will have an option. What people have will be taken from them by a governing body, ostensibly for the good of all. And who will decide what is good for society? Who will decide when goods are distributed equitably enough and opportunities are equitably shared? Who will get to choose which people benefit and which ones don't? You can rest assured that Christianity will get the dirty end of the stick. And people who make the choices will always enrich themselves at everyone's expense.

    Social justice is all about temporal existence. It is devoid of the Gospel elements of God's grace and Jesus' redemptive act.
    "He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal." (John 12:25).
    The heart of the Gospel is about our relationship with God, not our supply of funds or of fulfilling opportunities. It's about taking up our crosses and following Jesus, not forcing everyone to 'be nice.' It's about spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ crucified, buried, and risen from the dead, not about 'spreading the wealth.'

    "Social justice" would attempt to ensure that everyone gets what is fairly due to them. God's justice says, if we all got what we have fairly due to us, we'd all be in hell! I don't want justice, I want mercy! No human being has anything "coming to him" in terms of wealth, goods, or opportunities. Only by God's grace do we get anything that's truly good and worthwhile.

    Where does the current concept of social justice come from? Consider what one leading proponent said:
    “The emancipation of labour demands the promotion of the instruments of labour to the common property of society and the cooperative regulation of the total labour with a fair distribution of proceeds of labour.”​
    The same man also said this:
    "Thus heaven I've forfeited,
    I know it full well.
    My soul, once true to God,
    Is chosen to hell."​
    Have you figured out who said these things? It was Karl Marx.
     
  4. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    The ultimate attitude behind your statements seems to be "Am I my Brother's keeper? ", with the tacit anwer of "No!".

    "For the poor you always have with you," is a quote from the Old testament.

    If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth. Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee. Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto. For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land. Deut.:15:7-11.

    So what Jesus said was actually a command to do exactly what you have suggested you have no obligation to do.

    "For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land." is the full quote of what Jesus implied and if you take the inspiration of scripture seriously this is a statement made by Jesus himself in Deuteronomy, many generations before, and you are contradicting HIM.
    .
     
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  5. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    My post fully supported generous, willing giving to the poor. It opposed a system of societal control or of governance which plays "Robin Hood" and turns willing giving into a compulsory situation.
     
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  6. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I agree that taxation is not the same as generosity, but tax evasion is theft and condemned in scripture.
    .
     
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  7. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
    but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?​

    Have you figured out where that comes from?
     
  8. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member Typist Anglican

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    Alright folks I’ve had to clean up some of the posts of personal references. Please try to keep the discussion centered on the issues, and avoid making it personal against the other guy, which is after all against the Forums terms.
     
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  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    As Christians, we are called to demonstrate love and compassion, and one way we do that is through giving. Each person, as an individual, must listen to God and discern what to give, not out of compulsion, but willingly and cheerfully.
    "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give." (Matt. 10:8). These are some of the ways we are called to demonstrate God's love and compassion. But Jesus never called upon His disciples to create equality.
    Social justice must not be confused with a spirit of giving....

    (I quote myself for the benefit of any who couldn't find it.)

    Micah 6. I have some partiality for the KJV:
    Mic 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
    If we back up to Chapter 2, we see the type of wrongs which God was 'calling out' as reprehensible.
    Mic 2:1 Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand.
    Mic 2:2 And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.


    Doing justly or fairly, loving mercy, and having godly humility all are traits from the heart (the inner man). Whereas the regular temple sacrifices were outward shows which tended to become divorced from inward devotion and love. That's what prompted God to say, I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings (Hosea 6:6). Implicit in the two greatest commandments (love God, love thy neighbor) is a call for action that derives from the inner transformation wrought by the Holy Spirit in the believer's life. The love of God moves each of us (individuals filled with God's life) to act on behalf of those who have needs. Each of us is called individually by God to respond in love, just as each of us had to respond as individuals to God's call to repentance and faith. Just as the body or group of believers cannot mandate salvation for whomever it wills, the body of believers cannot mandate a heart-based love response among a group. It is a matter between each Christian and his God.

    That said, a body of believers can voluntarily work together toward some agreed-upon good, such as feeding the homeless in one's community or sending an offering somewhere, etc. But once again, I stress that it is a voluntary commitment undertaken by individuals; if some within a local church feel unable or unwilling to contribute to a specific work, no one is going to force them to contribute; for all we know, God may have directed those individuals to provide different help to different people, and only God can judge whether they are being obedient to His coordinating influence.

    As I've stated before, though, individual responses of love and mercy are not at all the same as the 'social justice' movement, because the latter necessarily involves society as a body, creating some mandates or requirements, in furtherance of allegedly 'just' goals chosen, not by God nor by the believers per se, but by a society made up of more unbelievers than believers!

    Now, what about the situation where a body of believers decide to join with a body of unbelievers to effect some 'greater good'? What if all these people get together and vote to have the secular government collect funds from everyone (willing or no) and to dispense them as the elected officials see fit? Are the believers still 'giving' their money away, even though there now is a legal requirement to send it in? How 'cheerful' is their giving? Is it from the heart, in love? Or do we not have a tendency to send the money grudgingly, with complaint for the extremity of the tax bill? It's human nature at work. The joyful honor of being used by God to bless others has been supplanted by the grinding duty to pay taxes, not knowing whether the money is being used wisely for the benefit of the most needy. Perhaps a large portion is lining the pockets of some bureaucrats. Perhaps it is paying Planned Parenthood to perform abortions on our behalf. Perhaps it is paying for arms to be delivered to some war-torn country. How can we be giving out of love when payment is required?


    I'd like to tell a story about myself. In the late '80s, the state where I lived was considering a tax increase for the purpose of increasing welfare benefits. I wrote a letter to the local tv station (an ABC affiliate) in which I stated my opinion that it would be far better if Christians would step up and meet the additional needs of those needy people. Instead of making everyone pay an obligation, givers would be blessed. Recipients would experience the love of God and would be attracted toward Christ and the church. Money would probably be spent more wisely and with less overhead, too. Well, I was quite surprised when that tv station called me on the phone and invited me to their studio to film my statement for airing on the evening news! I prayed then, and still hope today, that the Lord used my words to touch some hearts and make a difference for His Kingdom. Social justice? NO. Love in action? YES.

    If every human being were led by the Spirit, God's perfect love and wisdom would coordinate all our efforts and we would have an optimal level of fairness and justice in this world. But we don't live under a universal theocracy. The sinful nature of unredeemed man acts as an absolute preventative against achieving a level of justice that even begins to approach what we would call a 'just world.' And that's before we factor in the influence of Satan's deceptions! Face it: goodness and godliness cannot be mandated in this world. Any attempts men have made in the past to mandate goodness or to create a perfect, just society have failed miserably; if anything, such efforts have made things worse by creating opportunities for despotism. Maybe that's why God never told any of His people to attempt to create heaven on earth. Instead, He tells each one of us to love Him, to love one another, and to pray that His will might be done on earth as it is in heaven.
     
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  10. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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  11. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Botolph, you favor acting in a just manner. I favor acting in a just manner, too. Perhaps we are not so far apart?

    Yet I oppose the concept of "social justice." I distinguish "just actions" from "social justice." And I found something that articulates the difference more clearly than I have. I hope this explanation helps. :) https://everything-voluntary.com/social-justice
     
  12. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I have never suggested that we are. The definitions being thrown around for social justice are essentially not deep enough. Karl Marx, is perhaps one of the most misunderstood writers of his time. His theory of the control of productive resources as a way to understand much of history however is not without merit. That does not make me a Marxist (and in truth I most certainly am not). Equitable does not mean everyone gets the same, but rather that it is fair in some realistic sense. None the less there are questions to be asked. A Nurse in the country earns perhaps $40,000,000 pa, whilst some people are getting paid $3,000,000,000 to play football. I am not convinced that is equitable. Indeed of late I notice people speaking in this country of football being an essential industry. (please!) We are now allow to have 35 people in our Church (so long as we all wear masks and do sing hymns ....), but we can cram 80,000 screaming fans into a football stadium, no worries. I guess that is testimony the fearsome power of prayer.

    Our First Nations People comprise 3% of our population, and 30% of our prison population. The call to do justly, calls us to ask the questions as to why they are significantly over represented, and to support actions that seek to resolve these issues. That may mean more infrastructure in terms of Education, Health, and Employment in areas where First Nations people live. One the one hand that is called social justice, and on the other hand it is called common sense. Our Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in custody in 1991, was supposed to bring about systemic change. Since that date there have been 434 Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, and sadly very few investigations, and even fewer prosecutions, and even fewer convictions.

    Matthew 25:34-40
    Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”​

    Fundamentally ignoring this, shrugging it off and suggesting that they commit more crimes, is neither constructive or helpful. And it is not a left wing agenda, it is just something that the left has taken from us and made there own and pretended that we have no part of it, where as it is heartland Christianity.

    The Five Marks of Mission:

    The mission of the Church is the mission of Christ
    1. To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
    2. To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
    3. To respond to human need by loving service
    4. To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation
    5. To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth
     
  13. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    No it didn't.
     
  14. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Ah! But it is how we follow up that prayer, that God's will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. There is only a tacit implication that God's will is done in heaven completely voluntarily. In fact we are told that a war was fought and the element that exercised their supposed freedom to oppose God's will in heaven were cast out forceably. We may assume therefore that God's will is done in heaven simply because God wills it to be so. Not primarily because it is populated only with those who are obedient to God's will, though of course, logically, it is.

    Now if God's will is to be done on earth, in a similar manner to the way it is in heaven, then there must be a certain ammount of compulsion involved. This compulsion, I would suggest would be seen in righteous government upon earth by the existing 'powers that be'. Thus taxation and social support come under the remit of earthly, righteous government, and conversely the failure to tax rightly and support socially would be a feature of corrupt and unredeemed government, unconformed to God's will.

    These unconformed, unredeemed governments are what we as individual Christians struggle against, not just flesh and blood individuals. Eph.6:10-13.

    Interestingly the greek word used to describe 'powers' used by Paul in this important passage encompasses BOTH spiritual entities AND authorities such as the Roman Senate, the Jewish Priesthood and local magistrates and officials. So he is not just saying that the entities we struggle with and bring our Gospel message of reconciliation and reform to, are entirely spiritual only in nature. These 'spirits' are indeed embodied in earthly organisations, governments, multinational organisations, (such as Facebook and Google etc.), and political and religious ideologies such as unbridled capitalism and despotic communism.

    WE are engaged in a war which requires us putting on and equipping ourselves with the whole panoply of God.
    .
     
  15. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Well, the English language can be challenging, especially when words and phrases change their significance over time. It is possible that you and I each attribute different characteristics to "social justice." In order to standardize understanding, it may benefit us to adopt a definition that meets the most current, modern criteria for the term. I propose the following as a neutral, unbiased, reasonably comprehensive assessment and definition: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/social-justice.asp What do you you think of it?

    Unfortunately, as long as people value football entertainment highly enough to justify high profits and correspondingly high player salaries, the situation will not change. There is a limited supply of people who are willing to undergo the physical training and engage in the hazardous rigors of football, but a relatively large number of people are willing to become trained as nurses and engage in that profession; by the principles of supply and demand, the respective salaries are actually equitable and will continue to be equitable until such time as people's priorities and behaviors change. Could we force change by, say, raising tenfold the nurses' pay? Yes, but not without unintended consequences; for one, there might soon be an overabundance of trained nurses (more than needed), most of whom will have entered the field not out of compassion for the sick but out of greed. In other words, when we start tinkering with such things, we often create more problems than we solve.

    Yes, we have some similarly dunderheaded decision-makers in our country, too.

    I don't have a problem with you and your fellow citizens advocating for improvement in this matter. In actuality, though, I perceive this as more of a spiritual problem than anything else. First, we see a lack of love toward the First Nations people. Second, we see a lack of love in those same people. The solution, to be lasting, must lie in changed hearts among all those who do not have the love of God living in them. First Nations people, if born again and taught Christian precepts, will be far less likely to commit offenses against others that land them in prison. Other people, if they are Christians who 'walk the walk,' will voluntarily find ways to demonstrate God's love to the aboriginals (individuals providing individuals with a meal, a job, encouragement, kindness, etc.). The alternative would be to create mandates on unredeemed people, which will not address the root problem (a 'heart' problem!) and will create resentment on both sides; we've seen this happen over here between Caucasians and African-Americans.

    I am not certain whether I agree with all five being (specifically) missions of the Church, but the question that comes to mind is: what is the source of this list? Is it a statement of mission from an Anglican group in particular?

    Thank you, Botolph. It's nice that we can have a civilized, non-abrasive conversation. :tiphat:
     
  16. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    https://anglicancommunion.org/mission/marks-of-mission.aspx

    Sorry for not providing a source. This has been a published position of the Anglican Communion since 1984, though the ideas have history before that time. I had no idea that we were not all playing off this card.

    There is a superficiality in the statement that is jarring, even though I am sure you did not intend it to be so. Whilst the is a glaring disparity in the distribution of resources, access to education, medicine, employment, then there will be a festering sore. We can't go on ignoring these issues and presuming that if we were all Christian it would not happen. The death of George Floyd in the US last year sparked international protests. Now these protests were not all the same, however there was a common thread. The failure in some sense of the recognition of the need for dignity food and shelter of each one of us, is part of that problem. From the perspective of those in our tradition of faith is the acknowledge fully the meaning of Genesis 1:26-27,

    Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’ So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.​

    Now I choose not to be entirely naïve about this. The secular far left seems believe that we resolve this by throwing money at this will fix it. It will take money, of course, however it will take a great deal more than money. The many millions of dollars thrown at these projects with little result are a testimony to the problem.

    George Floyd's whispered words 'I can't breath' were heard everywhere around the world in the hearts of people who get that. There is a, or perhaps more properly there are many, systemic problems that feed these issues.

    ‘My soul magnifies the Lord,
    and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
    for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
    Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
    for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
    His mercy is for those who fear him
    from generation to generation.
    He has shown strength with his arm;
    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
    He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
    and lifted up the lowly;
    he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and sent the rich away empty.
    He has helped his servant Israel,
    in remembrance of his mercy,
    according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
    to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’​

    This passage is from Luke 1, (I don't pretend you don't know that). My point is that when we read it (sing or chant it in non covid times) it has meaning and depth. What I have come to understand is that it sounds very different in the ears and hearts of the poor, the marginalised, and those for whom the benefits of a civilised society are minimalised. Imagine for a moment that you are a refugee in some desolate refugee camp - how would you hear these words now?

    I believe one of the great strengths of the Anglican Tradition is the importance we see in the Incarnation. The word became flesh and tabernacled in our midst. We can't pretend that the Gospel is just spiritual, because the Incarnation tells us that matter matters. Of course we deeply also understand that matter is not the only thing that matters.

    I would perhaps sit mare happily with

    social justice
    noun
    justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.
    "individuality gives way to the struggle for social justice"​

    And I find the discussion in the Wikipedia article a lot more in tune with what I am trying to say, and probably why I did not want it cast aside as simply a modern error.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_justice


    I do not want to reduce the Gospel to a social and political cause, however I do believe it should shape our attitudes to social and political causes.
     
  17. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    In the world's pain and sin, Christ lives his life of utter self giving, identifying with those experiencing rejection, loss and pain.
    Identified with Christ, his Church is to serve those who suffer and those on the margins of society. Besides raising up those ground down by poverty, absolute or relative, the Church must speak out prophetically, challenging the status quo. The Church is to work for the transformation of the systems and stuctures that oppress and degrade people.

    When faced with gross injustices the Church must speak out, confronting those in power. Called to side with the victims, the Church cannot advocate that oppressor and oppressed be reconciled, until oppression stops. Only when justice is established can there be a settled peace. Therefore the Church's first task is to agitate for justice, rather than urge for an immediate end to protest and contention; to call for peace when justice is withheld, is to collude with and assist injustice. Luke 12:51.

    I will stretch out my hand
    against the inhabitants of the land,”
    declares the LORD.
    “For from the least to the greatest of them,
    everyone is greedy for unjust gain;
    and from prophet to priest,
    everyone deals falsely.
    They have healed the wound of my people lightly,
    saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
    when there is no peace.
    Were they ashamed when they committed abomination?
    No, they were not at all ashamed;
    they did not know how to blush
    . Jer.6:12b-15.

    I would suggest that it would be profoundly mistaken of religious folks in the USA, UK, Australia or any other country, to wrongly assume that God felt this way only about his people in the nation of Israel and only long, long ago.

    God still gives this warning to governments of nations on earth, and those with legislative power who refuse to use it righteously, and those who vote for them and support cruel, greedy, poverty producing policies, even TODAY.

    It is right therefore for Christians to be involved in politics, not primarily as politicians, but primarily as Christians with a mandate from God to reform politics and clean it up, to the glory of God. Something Trump had only very partially done as promised and unfortunately added quite a few injustices along the way in his disastrous term of office. To be fair, you can't expect such an obvious sinner to be all that successful in making government more righteous though. Still sinners are all God has to work with, but reforming sinners will be more effective in doing God's will than would be confirmed and ongoing ones like the outgoing one.
    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2021
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  18. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

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    So why hadn't Christians stepped up to the plate before the State considered tax increases? Making them unnecessary.
    Perhaps they had but there wasn't enough Christians or money to help the beneficiaries so the state decided to increase taxes to help them. Maybe the state wanted to show the beneficiaries God's Love in action.
    If the state didn't increase taxes did Christians then "step up" and help these people?
     
  19. Moses

    Moses Member

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    From the 1928 American BCP:
    If by social justice, one means a system where the law is no respecter of persons, and the powerful and the lowly are judged by the same standards, it's a decidedly Christian concept; and one that Christians slowly spread throughout the hierarchical pagan world.

    As others mentioned above, though, language is slippery, and many people use the term social justice to mean things that are decidedly unjust and unchristian. So like with any political buzzword, saying you are in favor of it without qualification is an invitation to misunderstanding.
     
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  20. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I think certain major principles apply here.

    (1) The state is not always the best judge of how to spend taxpayers money because it is made up of human beings who are often sinful and stupid.
    (2) The state is supposed to be beneficial to the people it taxes and serves. It is supposed to be for the people and be comprised from the people. The people therefore have a responsibility not to be sinful or stupid, otherwise there can be no righteous, sensible people in governments.
    (3) The state is always as much in need of redemption and reform as is the individual.
    (4) Poverty can only be ameliorated, not completely eradicated, though justice can see to it that extreme poverty is met with aid from those who have excess, if necessary by fair taxation and equitable redistribution.
    .
     
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