I had a conversation with a liberal, Christian co-worker of mine and the conversation soon veered to the topic of immigration. When I stressed the importance of the law, he quoted Jesus’ ‘greatest Commandment.’ I reminded him that he actually hadn’t quoted the greatest. He looked at me as if I were a heretic, and yet, according to Jesus himself, the greatest Commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest Commandment (Matthew 22:37-38).” He didn’t seem to understand that Jesus cares more about obedience and submission, than a fashionable social justice platform.
While God cares about the oppressed, social justice activism is only about emotional satisfaction or dissatisfaction, not genuine service. The method of activism takes to the streets to march or places hashtags on social media to flaunt one’s disapproval. When I’ve debated someone with progressive views, the conversation is a prolonged amplification of emotionally charged talking points used to guilt and manipulate the interlocutor. However, in Matthew 6, Jesus reminds us to “beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them.” Perhaps Jesus was talking about the Jewish virtue-signalers of his day.
Christian Millennials are exceptionally vulnerable to this high passion cult, but they miss the absence of God deep in the ideology. With a religion geared towards the oppressed, it’s understandable that they seek a solution in social justice as it’s purported to be the primary mechanism of dealing with the issues of oppression and injustice, but It was made to be void of God. The movement believes it can solve the world’s problems without God. Structural, systemic changes must be made, never personal or spiritual ones.
What’s worse is that there must be a root cause of the chaos and injustice; someone has to be blamed. In terms of U.S. social justice, my observations are that they want us to believe that the white man (or woman) is solely responsible for societal ill in the U.S. As a Hispanic man and a Christian, I find this troubling. Everything in me revolts at the thought of degrading an entire race in the bloodthirsty quest to blame all the ills of the world onto one group.
To the Christian, the roots of our sin problem lies in Genesis with Adam and Eve.
There will always be a degree of injustice & suffering. Our only redemption is through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and the coming of the new kingdom. Social Justice has turned into a religion of its own. This religion has a beginning, a middle and an end (one that they’ve written), and which claims to have all the answers to the most difficult questions of life.
As a Christian we cannot serve two masters. We must identify with an ideology that is coherent to what our beliefs mandate. Social justice draws us to passion and systemic change, which is always dangerous. A society that has created Jim Crow laws, slavery, Nazism, Communism, etc., cannot be relied upon to come up with a better solution than the Word of God. Are we now supposed to drop our Gospel belief for a societal one?
Social justice is subjective, and it needs to be treated that way. The Gospel does not lead to social justice; they are inherently different and result in different outcomes. One relies on God, the other relies on the fallibility of humans. Therefore let all our responses be based on His standard, and not on gaining twitter followers by conforming to the ways of the world. We are meant to be in the world, not of the world and social media is the perfect platform to stand out while we follow Christ.
Societies come and go and are ever changing, however the Gospel never does. We need to make a choice of which ideology we want to follow. The Gospel calls for a total dedication to God through Christ. Let’s hope that one day our society will realize that humanity needs a Savior that is greater than the number of hashtags we can create.