Social Justice or Oppression?
Social Justice can be defined as ‘justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.’ Or fair and just relations between the individual and society. These are obviously definitions from the world or ‘society’s point of view. But what does God say about it and are some people being given justice or more oppression?
“individuality gives way to the struggle for social justice”
I copied that from the internet but is that a true statement? It depends on your worldview. Many missionaries, and ministries are involved in doing things that we call social justice or justice works. I had never heard of any of these terms growing up in the church. We just called it ‘doing what Jesus said to do.’ I never was the that felt ‘called’ to that as my main ministry, but I also knew we were suppose to do certain things Jesus and even the Old Testament commanded us to. So are we seeing justice served in society or are there some people being more oppressed?
I realize I may be just stirring the pot, but I think it’s critical we understand who is giving justice and who is receiving. Today more people get some sort of government assistance. Firs,t I am not at all against that for those who need it and use it for the right purposes. Social Security was intended to be like a retirement account where workers deposited money so they could receive an income when they reached retirement age. Likewise many become disabled and there simply aren’t enough resources in private sector, so many turn to the government for assistance.
In God’s Word there are many examples of what God expects in what the Bible calls justice or what we might call social justice. In Deuteronomy 10:18 it says, “ God executes justice for the orphans (fatherless) and widow and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.” There are many verses like Isaiah 1:17 that tell us God wants us to take care of widows and orphans, including I think widowers and single moms with kids to raise.
In the last 10 or so years I have heard many in society crying out for social justice for certain groups but they are not really doing anything for them. What they really want is to get them enrolled in more government programs and they never try to help them get a job or teach any life skills. Again, this is not ever the case in all but many situations. The problem seems to get worse and after this last election I have heard more people say that they voted a certain way because ‘we need to help people’. I don’t see one political party doing more than the other to actually help people rise above the situation.
Political parties, and government are not the answer. Socialism and Communism that are being thrown in our faces certainly are not. Socialism has already proven to be a failure. The church is the only answer. Churches need to get back to doing what the early church did. Pray, fellowship, and the word (Apostles teachings). Further, when we do feed the poor or help the helpless we are blessed. In Luke 4:18 Jesus is reading from Isaiah 61 and says “the Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, He has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim deliverance to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, and setting the captives free.” The church is called to be doing all of these things, not just a few. Some can’t go but their money and other donations help to carry out God’s word. Matthew 11:5 also tells us that the gospel was preached to the poor.This passage was in response to John the Baptist’s question as to whether Jesus was the one they were looking for.
You see it’s preaching the gospel of the kingdom that sets the church apart from the government or any other group that renders help to the helpless. We need to bring the gospel of the kingdom to all we encounter especially those without hope. If we just give them a bowl of soup, and never mention Jesus or pray for them then we are to helping them in the fullest way. It takes all people who call themselves believers to do just that. We are called to be salt and light so we have to step it up and bring the gospel as we help the helpless. Neither political party can do what Jesus can!
Let’s pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help us as individuals and families and then as disciples of Jesus to do all we can and not let the government or some other non profit who may or may not genuinely care do our part. Oppression can only end when the Kingdom of God advances and is preached with signs, wonders, miracles, blind eyes open, lame walking, etc.
We will never 100 percent wipe out poverty or injustice until Jesus has set up His kingdom on the earth in the days soon to come. That is why we the true believers and disciples of Christ must not shrink back from doing our part in obeying the gospel. I pray the Spirit of The Lord will guide each of us in proclaiming the gospel to all for that is God’s brand of Justice and is the only real justice.