BLOG: “Christ-Like Strength” in a Social Justice World

Written by Melissa H. Stautman, LMT

As our church goes through the book of 1 Corinthians, Paul instructs us on avoiding division in the church. He deals with sexual immorality, idolatry, etc. Today we have a new threat that is creeping into our more liberal churches and could potentially trickle down into our most steadfast churches.

According to reformed church leaders and speakers at the recent Sovereign Nations 2019 G3 Pre-Conference: Social Justice & The Gospel, “social justice,” as is defined in our current secular society, is a divisive intrusion into the peace and unity of God’s universal church.

Speaker Josh Buice stated that intersectionality is “walking toward a new religion.” Intersectionality is the term used to identify how many minorities and/or oppressed groups you belong to. It is a given in secular society’s “social justice” terminology that whites and white males (especially) are always at the top of the oppressor group. The more minority groups that you can identify with, the more oppressed you are. Even if you don’t feel oppressed at all.

Social Justice” cannot happen unless the oppressor admits his/her “privilege” and pays continual penance for their ancestors and themselves to the members of minority groups. “Privilege” is always a derogatory term used for those in the “oppressor” class; labeling even the poorest-rags-to-riches person as having, without exception, gained their success illegitimately and always at the expense of a minority group.

The crazy thing is, that if you are a member of a minority group, raised in wealth, like one of the Obama daughters, you would not be considered privileged because being a female and a black person puts you in two minority groups. In this scenario a dirt-poor, malnourished, uneducated, never-left-Appalachia-white-boy would be considered “privileged” and an “oppressor” to the Obama daughters.

The acceptance of this kind of thinking is called being “woke”, or awakened, to a new kind of social justice thinking. If you deny this omnipresent oppressor/victim scenario, or refuse to repent for being the oppressor, you will necessarily be labeled as having “white fragility”; and that’s not a compliment.

Speaker Voddie Baucham calls “social justice” a nebulous term that is really more about “distributive justice.” Baucham also states that secular social justice advocates will always “assign blames for disparate outcomes of the victim group” to the oppressor group. In other words, there are groups of people that get a total pass on personal responsibility just because they can identify with groups that have high intersectionality. In these cases, the goal of social justice is to redistribute resources and power from those who supposedly gained power unjustly to those who are seen as deserving more power.

In the final Q&A panel with all the speakers, Baucham identifies “social justice” as a new form of white supremacy that patronizes black people by affirming that whites are always going to be on top and blacks are still less than. There is never an end game for the social justice activist. There will never be a reversal of power. As a black man himself, he heartily refuses to accept this terminology as any form of justice.

Christians caught unaware of these new terminologies may find themselves agreeing with its advocates merely because they don’t see the broader implications. Who wouldn’t want there to be justice in society? After all, isn’t God all about justice? He even killed His Son to satisfy justice. Injustice is a sin and always outside of God’s order. 

Using the term “social justice” or it’s evolving ideologies today is seen by secular folks as a statement of their moral high ground. It literally can shut a conversation down. Speaker Phil Johnson talked at length about virtue signaling. This is a way of telling others that you care more than they do about a particular topic. It can include dogmatic rhetoric, outrage, and “hashtag activism.” It is the height of hypocritical moral posturing for the advocates of social justice.  Johnson tells us that intersectionality rejects the providence of God and is a contest among the “woker than thou.” It insists on penance over repentance.

The prolific writer and theologian James White spoke with brilliance on how secular social justice is antithetical to the gospel. He stated, “There is no forgiveness in social justice!”  Colossians 1:14 tells us that believers (from every tribe and nation[1]) are literally transferred into the kingdom of God as new citizens, and our bond of unity is in redemption and forgiveness of sins [not in groups]. Colossians 2:14 tells us our “record of debt [on earth]” is legally canceled; nailed to the cross and He openly puts to shame those who shame us. Colossians 3:14 tells us that love binds believers together in “perfect harmony.”

2 Corinthians 5:16-20
16From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

A Christian must adopt a message of reconciliation not division. Therefore, any message, like social justice, that seeks to propagate envy, covertness and legalism between people groups sets itself against God’s law. Any ideology that believes individual prosperity is the ultimate goal in life is sowing seeds of idolatry and negates the doctrine of suffering. This idolatry necessarily becomes its own false gospel; telling others that they must be on-board or they are not worthy of salvation. Social justice advocates might call my response to social justice “white fragility,” but I call it “Christ-like strength.”

Each speaker’s full video will be released soon. Please check back on this post or click the link in the second paragraph and contact the event sponsors.

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    [1] John 24:46-47