Beliefs Doctrine & Practice Ethics Faith Government & Politics Leaders & Institutions Opinion Politics Social Issues

Battle lines form over social justice: Is it gospel or heresy?

(RNS) — An old question has recently found new energy among Christians.

“What does the gospel have to do with justice, particularly social justice?”

Justice has been a frequent topic these days — in the face of a stream of cellphone videos capturing instances of police brutality, conflict over the presence and future of Confederate monuments and racially charged responses to the nation’s changing demographics.

Christians, both as people of faith and citizens of this country, have pondered what to do in this current social climate. They have called for Christians to join or start movements for change as an explicit expression of discipleship and obedience to the prayer that God’s will would be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).

And they have called for the church to make amends for the racial divisions of the past and present.

Others take a different view.

Where some see calls for biblical justice, they see heresy.

This week a group of Christians published “The Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel,” a response to what they call “questionable sociological, psychological, and political theories presently permeating our culture and making inroads into Christ’s church.”

The statement comes just after a short blog series posted by well-known Christian preacher and teacher John MacArthur, warning of the dangers of social justice.

MacArthur calls social justice a distraction from the gospel.

“Evangelicalism’s newfound obsession with the notion of ‘social justice’ is a significant shift — and I’m convinced it’s a shift that is moving many people (including some key evangelical leaders) off message, and onto a trajectory that many other movements and denominations have taken before, always with spiritually disastrous results,” he wrote.

MacArthur is one of the initial signatories of The Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel, which echoes his blog posts.

While Christians from many traditions, races and ethnicities have displayed a concern for social justice, it is a topic that particularly concerns black and brown folks. We have endured a long history of race-based discrimination that did not simply disappear after the March on Washington, the passage of the Civil Rights Act or the election of the nation’s first black president.

The Rev. Pamela Lightsey, center, leads advocates from the Black Lives Matter movement as they disrupt proceedings of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. The demonstrators marched into the plenary session chanting slogans and gathered around the central Communion table. Photo by Maile Bradfield, courtesy of UMNS

Statements that dismiss social justice send a message that the ongoing marginalization many minorities still experience and struggle against is of no concern to their fellow Christians.

Or to God.

Or to the Bible — despite ample scriptural evidence that demonstrates God’s concern for the poor and the powerless and anger toward those who create oppressive conditions (Amos 5:24, Micah 6:8, Psalm 103:6, Isaiah 10:1, Luke 1:52-53, Luke 4:18).

Although much about this statement needs discussion, I will highlight one section in particular.

It reads: “We affirm that some cultures operate on assumptions that are inherently better than those of other cultures because of the biblical truths that inform those worldviews that have produced these distinct assumptions.”

The best word to describe the assertion above is “ethnocentric.”

Who gets to decide which cultures and which assumptions are closer to biblical truth? For most of American history, white Christians have claimed that privilege. That privilege is now being challenged.

I’m tempted to refute the recent statement on the gospel and social justice point-by-point — showing how it falls short of the Bible’s call for justice. But I think our time would be better spent on other pursuits. There’s too much work to be done — work that will be delayed by endless debates.

Here’s my advice.

Many of the people who authored and signed this statement have large ministries and platforms.

Avoid them.

Find other authors, preachers and teachers from whom you can learn. People like Austin Channing Brown or the podcasters and bloggers at Truth’s Table or The Witness, where I am a contributor. Or read Howard Thurman, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Bryan Stevenson, James Baldwin or the other writers who have explored issues of justice.

If the supporters of statements that dismiss social justice as a distraction from the gospel headline a major conference, state your concerns to the organizers. If nothing changes, then don’t go.

If they do an interview on a podcast, find another episode to listen to. If they write more blogs to state their case, share other ones instead.

Statements like these are a distraction. They siphon off energy and attention that could be used to create new organizations and initiatives that help bring about justice and equality.

Instead of writing a rebuttal to the statement on social justice, why not write a proposal for a new scholarship to help underrepresented groups go to college and stay out of debt? Why not donate money to support ministries run by and geared toward racial and ethnic minorities? Why not research a cause and find out how you can get involved?

Refusing to give more attention to the people who oppose social justice is not a statement on their standing with God. This does not mean they are not sincerely attempting to follow Christ. It does not mean that they have not said helpful things on other topics in the past.

It simply means that in this case, they have made statements so troublesome that we must register our objections in visible ways.

Christians should never give up hope that people can change. Yet going back and forth, especially online, about social justice with those who see it as a dangerous intrusion into the church often does not alter anyone’s opinions and may lead to more frustration.

In the end, I think more people will be persuaded to change their minds about social justice by looking at the fruit of the people who engage in it rather than by arguing on social media about the validity of doing so.

Jemar Tisby. Photo courtesy Acorn Studio

Half a century after the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, it’s easy for people to claim that they would have been among the protesters and marchers and those who risked it all for the cause of justice. Well, the struggle for civil rights never ended. Now is your chance to get involved for love of God and love of neighbor.

(Jemar Tisby is president of the black Christian collective The Witness and author of the forthcoming book “The Color of Compromise: The Truth About the American Church’s Complicity in Racism.” The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of Religion News Service.)

About the author

Jemar Tisby

144 Comments

Click here to post a comment

  • “Statements like these are a distraction. They siphon off energy and attention that could be used to create new organizations and initiatives that help bring about justice and equality.”

    I completely agree with this. The definition of “social justice” in the statement is also rather narrow. It seems to me that Jesus was all about “social justice”. He reached out to those on the margins of the society of the day – the sick, the poor, those shunned by the elite class.

    Shouldn’t we be doing the same thing in our time instead of making statements of belief?

  • Plato has an interesting discussion of justice in Phaedo, where he portrays Socrates as asking whether concepts like justice, truth, goodness, etc. are real, or exist only in our imaginations. He argues that the soul must have existed in another realm, the world of Ideas or Forms, because we claim to know what justice and truth are, in spite of the fact that they don’t actually exist anywhere. All we really have are examples of what one person or group considers justice, which another group disagrees with.
    I think this is also a question we might ask about so-called “gospel justice.” How do we abstract from all the teachings and stories of the canonical gospels one definition or description of what justice is? Many people will opt immediately for Matthew 25, although its contents probably don’t go back to Jesus himself. Others will cite the Lukan parables, which don’t match up very well with the contents of Matthew 25. Others prefer an ambiguous notion of love or “unconditional love,” which sound Christlike, but lead to a wide variety of possible understandings. Many people simply cherry-pick the verses that coincide with their beliefs and ignore the rest. (Not many folks consider themselves deserving of eternal fire for not having visited prisoners on a regular basis.)
    Maybe gospel justice is something we do, not something we define. Maybe it’s not a phrase we use to beat each other with, either.

  • The Great Commission tells Christ’s followers to make disciples, baptizing and teaching all that He has taught. He taught about the Kingdom of God, not the Kingdom of Man. He called us to serve Him and help bring others to salvation. He did not tell his followers to follow the lead of the Roman culture (as we do in America if we align with the secular culture and its myriad social causes, some of which are ungodly), or attempt to change that culture to be more just and equal. Dr. MacArthur and the other signatories are right: the social gospel is a distraction from the central mission of the church.

    It is level at the foot of the cross and all men and women, regardless of their race or ethnicity, are equal in God’s eyes. We must treat each other with respect and dignity and fairness. But once we throw away the central core of personal salvation and fellowship, we end up trying to force societal change with all the energy that should be used to minister to the suffering and pain of fellow believers and taking the gospel to those who are lost.

  • “Maybe gospel justice is something we do”

    Very, very good point!! Maybe it doesn’t make any difference which one of the various options for “gospel justice” a person chooses. Maybe what matters is that a person choose one and then actually do something about it. For all that Jesus taught and preached, his teaching and preaching is only remembered because he actually did something.

  • Well, had Jesus not said “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20) but rather had said something like “Go therefore and create new organizations and initiatives that help bring about justice and equality, doing so in the name of social justice, and fairness, and your favorite political platform, disregarding anything that I have commanded you that is inconvenient to doing so.” you would be in good shape.

    The first leads Christians to evangelize others who, following what they are taught, to the extent possible bring about justice and equality as part of a comprehensive worldview.

    The second leads to things like abortion, euthanasia, and son in the name of “justice and equality” when in fact, stripped of any moral content, they promote injustice and inequality.

  • Plato evidently believed that any confusion about moral values could be resolved by the “philosopher king”. This is the role that institutional Christianity claiming divine guidance has been playing for the last many centuries. The results speak for themselves.

  • No, Christianity is not a substitute for the “philosopher king”.

    Divine guidance is not the same thing as philosophy, and revelation is altogether different than sitting a log thinking big thoughts.

  • The big problem with social justice activism is that it diverts people’s time, energy, and money, and money, and money that should be going to the Godly Leaders.

  • The Platonic dialogue of Phædo is really aimed at discussing the immortality of the soul, and the “Cyclical” or “Opposites” Argument argues that Forms are eternal and unchanging, and as the soul always brings life, then it must not die, and is necessarily “imperishable”, while the “Theory of Recollection” argues that since we are born possessing non-empirical knowledge (e.g. The Form of Equality), the soul existed before birth with that knowledge.

    We need not abstract from the Gospels, or rely on a pagan, to define justice.

    The Old Testament provides grist for the natural law mill.

    Justice is rendering to each and to all what belongs to them. The prudent person acts to accomplish that according to right reason.

    “The Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel” merely states what should be obvious: you cannot violate the laws of God and claim to seeking justice and equality.

  • The big problem with social justice activism is that as often as not it leads to bad consequences and contravenes revelation and the natural law.

  • Mmmm…I think the philosopher king was in The Republic. Phaedo didn’t have much use for kings, although he portrays Socrates as saying that philosophy is the highest aim of the soul in this world and will be fulfilled in the next.

  • You are right; it was the Republic. I was thinking in terms of the broad thrust of Plato’s thinking.
    In the early dialogues, he is exploring his theory that moral values have an objective existence that is completely independent of human reality. The issue that was never fully resolved was the exact connection between the Forms and real human activity.

  • This is what we do nowdays, isn’t it? We take a position and defend it. We just talk past each other, defending our position, never actually listening to what the other person said.

  • This article deals with two Christian positions.

    Yes, Plato discusses the concept of the philosopher king in Book VI of “The Republic”.

    And in support of the idea that philosophers are the best rulers Plato fashions the “Ship of State” metaphor.

    As it turns out it doesn’t actually work.

    The Ayatollah Khomeini was inspired by the Platonic vision of the philosopher king while in Qum in the 1920s when he read Plato’s Republic. As we can all attest it worked …. less than swell.

    Karl Popper saw Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin as the logical consequence of Plato’s philosopher kings, with their “idealism” and “social engineering”.

    Of course the article discusses two CHRISTIAN viewpoints, the author attacking the other viewpoint expressed here:

    https://statementonsocialjustice.com/

    Neither position is illuminated by Plato, or Aristotle, or Socrates.

  • Well said, Plmiller. By the way, look at the second photo in the article. See the Rev. Pamela Lightsey there, leading some Black Lives Matter activists as they “disrupt proceedings of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore.” This bullying and intimidation game was/is THEIR idea of “social justice.”.

    But you can see from their T-Shirts, that something IS wrong. You can tell by visiting the BLM site and reading their so-called “Principles”, that something IS wrong. You can tell from the dead & injured white, black, brown, male, and female law enforcement officers who are forever a part of BLM’s history, that something IS wrong.

    Finally, you can tell from their disrupting Christian proceedings like street bullies, and even cutting off access to the Communion table, that something IS real wrong with that whole gang — and very wrong with Rev. Lightsey too. That’s honestly “the Roman culture” at work. That mess is not the Gospel, and not even social justice.
    https://statementonsocialjustice.com/

  • By the way, I’ve just visited the BLM site, and I see there’s been a whole lotta sanitizing and sugarcoating. For example, under the new quickie “What We Believe”, (formerly “Principles”, featuring a big ton of sharply leftist essays) they now don’t mention the word “Police” at all. Nor is there any mention of “Reparations” (that’s where you white people were supposed to give black people like me lots of FREE MONEY every year because I’m the descendant of slaves.) Or some other provocative topics.

    All those mile-long eyebrow-raising essays from the Alt-ALT leftists, just aren’t there anymore. Instead you have soundbites designed to sugarcoat. But even now you can still get a good taste — “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement…” — and a few other tell-tale snippets.

    All I’m saying is, please pay attention to “questionable sociological, psychological, and political theories presently permeating our culture and making inroads into Christ’s church.” Don’t just buy what marchers are selling merely because THEY call their favorite cause “social justice.”

  • It’s always good to mark our sarcasm as such, because (unbelievably) some people will take a statement like you make here as actually true and agree with it at face value, no?

  • I have to agree with Jemar. Wherever this theme of asking Christians to disconnect social justice from gospel or ministry is heard, TURN IT OFF. If it comes from particular preachers or authors, AVOID THEM. Listen to, read, or attend SOMETHING ELSE.

    We have to understand that this comes from sources which otherwise peddle: 1) Science is questionable. 2) Public school is bad. 3) If you are not rich, you are not trying and less than worthy. Prosperity is evidence of God’s favor. 4) The deregulated free market will provide you all the health insurance your family needs. 5) Humans cannot cause climate change, God put fossil fuels in the earth for your use. 5) Income taxation is theft but sales taxes are not. If you favor progressive income taxation for funding the public sector, you are covetous. 6) Collective bargaining is evil except when corporations do it as industry associations. 7) God wants America to put up border walls. 8) Women are to be in submission to men. 9) We do not need anti-discrimination laws. 10) If even one person casts an illegitimate vote, every other voter was disenfranchised.

    Seriously, religious calls to disregard and de-emphasize social justice are nothing but the Chamber of Commerce gang capturing various pulpits. Don’t ever settle for preachers like that.

  • You cannot minister to the suffering and pain of fellow believers while pretending that the suffering and pain of everyone else is inconsequential and of no concern to the so-called believers——unless those you are fellowshipping with happen have been rendered spiritually and morally dead. Your second paragraph includes a middle sentence which is actually true, unfortunately sandwiched between two other sentences which seek to deny and nullify it.

  • I ran across a wonderful short treatise on propaganda mid-August by a man with a long career in advertising:

    http://stiltonsplace.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2018-08-15T00:01:00-05:00&max-results=3

    First, let’s make something bad sound good. How about “circus peanuts” – those bizarre, chalky foam candies that are shaped like a giant peanut, but colored orange, and flavored with banana? They’re horrible, right? But what if we told you – truthfully – that they’re “more fun than the Barnum & Bailey circus,” “99% natural,” “super for quick energy,” “a great choice for healthy eaters,” and “may aid in weight loss?” But what are the facts behind those implications?

    • They’re more fun than the circus because that circus has gone out of business.

    • They’re 99% natural because they’re 99% sugar…and 1% toxic chemicals from Hell.

    • “Super for quick energy” translates to giving you a blood sugar “spike,” which you’ll soon crash from.

    • “A great choice for healthy eaters” because unhealthy eaters – or diabetics – could be killed outright by these suckers.

    • “May aid in weight loss,” or may not. Because “may” is a magic weasel word.

    Turning good to bad without lying is just as easy. If Trump invented a cure for cancer, here’s what the media might say:

    • Trump drug to put thousands of specialists out of work.

    • Social Security in financial turmoil as Trump drug causes millions to live longer than expected.

    • Trump drug was tested on adorable animals who could have gone to petting zoos.

    • Despite praise, Trump drug still does nothing to curb gun violence.

    .

  • Can anyone tell me… what good is someone like “Bob Arnzen” to Gospel values? Exactly what does this smelly curmudgeon contribute to the planet?

  • When “social justice” involves violence, the destruction of property and storefronts and clashes with police it is called anarchy. That is the way of man, not Christ.

  • All social justice teaching in scripture refers to the covenant community and its interpersonal relations. There are qualified statements for visitors. Who, incidentally, wouldn’t even be in Israel unless joining them as a believer was an interest. And that makes sense. The Kingdom of God, as expressed in the Church, and the kingdom of darkness, represented by the world, are fundamentally different at their core. So, yes, Christians should treat others Christians as true brothers and sisters. However, the social justice movement often uphold sinful life styles and acts as if there is no distinction, as if God is calling for their glory to be recognized. Whereas, apart from repentance, nothing could be farther from the truth.

  • This doesn’t have to be hard. The gospel is the goal and social justice is a fruit. Think of a wagon wheel and ask, what is the hub? The gospel is the hub and social justice is a spoke. I think it was Keller who said people shouldn’t be able to easily tell what kind of church we are — we care about doctrine so much people think we’re a conservative church, we worship so passionately that people think we’re a charismatic church, and that we’re so engaged in social justice that people think we’re a liberal church. The gospel changes everything.

  • Yes, the “social justice movement” often peddles sinful acts as “justice”, “love”, or some other high-sounding cover-up for the reality, which is exactly the point the statement the author attacks makes.

  • James’s letter to the scattered tribes of Israel is an excellent treatise on Christian responsibility to humanity and gives a good way of balancing active social justice and a spoken gospel.

  • Actually there is NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ALLEGED KINGDOM OF GOD AND THE “WORLD”.

    theabuse and molestation scandals, the deflections and coverups, the wealth of the churches, the political influence of the churches, the ominionis. Of the churches, the wars of the churches, the prosperity gospel,and on and on and on and on and on and on…

    Argue otherwise.

  • I certainly hope that everyone understands the BobWorld is questionable rather than infallible.

    Science questions itself. Your type of religion exempts itself from questioning, just the same as you do.

  • “contravenes revelation”…

    What claims is “revelation”. And the only bad consequences are that fundelibangelists religion of whatever sort loses its hold onrational people.

  • I certainly hope that everyone understands that I support my conclusions with urls and citations when pushed, while Ben just opines, and opines, and opines.

    Science only questions itself when scientists run it.

    When ideologues like yourself try to access it, it becomes scientism and facts be damned, just what you do.

  • Calling people with religious beliefs names only works when you’re among your own double-think kind at JoeMyGod.com.

  • We must treat each other respect and dignity and fairness…

    …Contravenes just about everything you write on these pages. As well as the opinions expressed by the fundelibangelists, the hyper conservatives and the dominionists.

    “Believe what I tell you to believe or I’ll hurt you”— power, money, and dominion— is the only gospel to which these people ascribe to.

  • You just made the prime social justice statement “We must treat each other with respect and dignity and fairness.” THAT is what the social justice movement is about.

    So which comes first? How can you bring people to “personal salvation” if you treat them with NO respect, afford them NO dignity and treat them unfairly?

  • ‘Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus answered, ‘Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?’ Pilate replied, ‘I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?’ Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.’ Pilate asked him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.’“ – John 18:33-37

    Next.

  • For an example of “Do what I tell you to do or I’ll hurt you”, see Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 584 U.S. (2018), and its recent follow-on.

  • That’s a straw man argument: a person who treated another with disrespect and unfairly is unlikely to be sharing the good news of salvation. Those who persecute, those who hate are not the evangelists or the believers sharing the gospel. The very act of sharing the gospel indicates a concern and respect for them; we do not testify and share with those we consider subhuman or of little worth. Also, we do not ultimately bring people to salvation; we bring them to the message, or the message to them. Effectively God saves.

  • “You just made the prime social justice statement ‘We must treat each other with respect and dignity and fairness.’ THAT is what the social justice movement is about.”

    Apparently not since your first reaction when the owner of Masterpiece Bakery was again dragged into a battle was exclaiming your hope that he would finally be put of business, your oft-stated belief that the state should dragoon faith-based medical facilities and personnel into providing and performing abortions, and the rest of your atheist agenda.

    I think what it is fair to say is the social justice movement is all about TALKING about treating each other with respect and dignity and fairness.

    Treating others not so much.

  • You minister to people, not to their suffering and pain. They have lived their own lives, with or apart from God, and you cannot live in their skin or experience what they have gone through. There is a gulf for the unbeliever, between them, their pain, and their joys and God. God’s grace bridges that gulf through salvation. He does not remove pain necessarily, or guarantee unending joy, but He ministers to it through His Spirit.

    And one of the central tenets of social justice movements is identity politics. Grouping people, measuring their credibility/worth/weight by intersectionality, is directly in opposition to the level ground at the cross. Christianity is not a focus group for us to tell how hard we have had it or how many people have treated us badly. The Samaritan, the Gentile, the Secarii assassin, the slave, the adulterer, the thief, the homosexual, the gossip, the free, the rich, the poor, the aristocrat, the peasant all are equal: all are sinners in need of a savior. To focus on their rank or position undercuts the open invitation of Christ and the wonderful grace which the Savior will bring to each of them to heal pain, bring hope, mend brokenness, open fellowship, change hearts and soften edges of hate and envy and resentment.

  • Perhaps what you take as disrespect is my unwillingness to say that certain things are sins, and wrong, and destructive. I would be most demonstrably unfair if I did not call a thing what it is when that will destroy a person who embraces it. As we have discussed before, the power and the money and the full weight of our secular society is pressed against Christians rather than the other way around.

  • Of course there is a difference between the two. The Kingdom of God is internal, here and not yet, based in humility and helplessness against the enemy, valuing humility and seeking righteousness. The Kingdom of man is external, mostly not yet, based in pride, and power, valuing authority and seeking the chimera of perfect justice.

    As for the litany of failures and evils by those professing to be believers, it is a familiar story and one that neither ennobles the church nor destroys its basic strength and mission. The Church is the bride of Christ, with dress often tattered and stained. But Jesus, the bridegroom, loves her all the same and does not abandon her, even when His will is working unseen.

  • Pretty much – I mean if you follow what Jesus actually preached and how he acted, one would lean towards a social justice perspective.

  • Your laundry list of issues represents perfectly the focus and mindset of the social justice movement. Inherent in it is a disdain for Christian beliefs and an attitude that questioning liberal, secular orthodoxy (e.g., AGW is proven and all who disagree are flat earthers) does not indicate independent, rational thought and analysis but rather the crass and corrupt thinking of a despised business class. Those attitudes and beliefs render it impossible for gospel-centered believers to be yoked with the SJW class in any cooperative effort. The mainstream, dying denominations are the natural allies and instigators of SJ programs and have substituted a works-righteousness philosophy (with a gloss of Bible quotes, usually headed with Amos, to justify their efforts) for a grace/salvation/regeneration/sanctification thrust. For evangelicals and others, the world, the flesh and our enemy, the devil, are what deceive and destroy; for SJW mainliners, conservatives, capitalists and the orthodox are the deceivers and destroyers.

  • I’ll compliment you on your vocabulary and apparent theological background while disagreeing (politely, I hope) on some basics. 1) Ministry which attempts to hold itself up on a plane which is apart from and blind to other realities on the ground is not ministry. It is a performance occupation, a career path like acting or the music business—–something one seeks to get paid for as long as one can draw an audience and “get away with it”—as honest older performers sometimes say about themselves. 2) Ministry must be trustworthy to tell people the best-known truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth on all secular subjects. There is no virtue in insisting in people’s faces that every word of the Bible is true while snowing them (or aligning with those who are snowing them) on economics, science, environment, civics, and human rights. 3) You have a nice list in your last two lines. There was never a time in several hundred years of early American history when white people could pass that off as “ministry” to black slaves WITHOUT those white people being obviously and actively involved in ending the slavery. Some things are just too fraudulent to be “sold” and Christ should not be dragged into that kind of mud.

  • But not protesters who commit acts of murder after rallies. Those are “very fine people” according to your Cheeto skinned leader.

  • It is my understanding that McArthur’s position is to confront the methods–not the overarching goals–of the current social justice movement. I don’t think anyone is seriously debating that racial and other societal injustices are not serious issues (they are). And we can all agree that steps should be taken to address those issues. I believe, however, that there is a good faith disagreement among Christians regarding what methods should be deployed to engage those issues. Some methods embraced by the secular-driven social justice movement serve to diminish rather than advance the Gospel.

    Unsound ideologies (and, by extension, methodologies) undergirding the secular-driven social justice movement should not inform the church’s approach. I believe that is one of McArthur’s concerns. Some include:

    – the idea that a group (caucasians) are to be judged by, and repent of, sins committed by individuals in that group. This is a position that is disastrous practically (in addition to violating a number of Biblical principles). Here is a good article discussing the dangers of that idea: http://kuyperian.com/no-longer-participate-racial-reconciliation-services.

    – embracing violence and bullying tactics in furtherance of social justice (e.g., BLM and Antifa)

    – that a hyper-focus on racial issues often aggravates racial tension rather than encourages reconciliation

    The author appears to attack McArthur’s character–and therefore dismisses McArthur’s position altogether–on grounds that McArthur does
    not acknowledge societal injustice, that McArthur is an ethnocentrist that does not care about people of color. Tisby encourages us to shun
    McArthur (and others like him) without providing good reasons. He does not support his serious and socially charged indictment that McArthur and others like him are “ethnocentric”. Nor does he demonstrate how McArthur’s concerns with the current social justice movement are unwarranted.

  • So you don’t support “The Statement on Social Justice & the Gospel”. Or did you just not bother to read it?

  • You are right in one sense, which is sad because your honest part of your statement gets lost by the ridiculous part.

    Social justice activism must be tempered with sound science and rational thought otherwise it can lead to wasting money and some bad consequences. The literature is full of examples. Buying and installing electric water pumps in areas without access to electricity! Ignoring the cultural and ethnic traditions of a country to bring American ‘values” (including Christianity) creating chaos and helping no one.

  • The content of the article is on two Christian views of social justice:

    “Statements like these are a distraction. They siphon off energy and attention that could be used to create new organizations and initiatives that help bring about justice and equality.”

    While sound science and rational are considerations in other contexts, they’re not relevant to the article.

    The equation of “American ‘values”” with Christianity demonstrates how whatever you say gets lost by the ridiculous part.

  • It was the entire point of your reference.

    That is the current party line for conservatives. Largely to pretend there is some equivalence of their current wholesale embrace of white supremacists by alleging similar behavior by liberals.

  • There is a difference between the current understanding of social justice and what Jesus promoted. Jesus offered mercy to all sinners, whether they were victims (the poor, downtrodden) or the victimizers (Zaccheaus). He did not preach, like the current movement, that those with more are necessarily guilty of crimes against those who have less. I don’t believe Jesus promoted the idea that it is “just” for all members all to make amends/to help another group for certain sins, regardless of whether the individual was in fact guilty of that sin.

    We can all agree that those with more (especially Christians) should help in every way possible those with less. There is key distinction of why this should be done between Christianity and the current social justice culture. Christian action to help the downtrodden should be compelled out of a love for Christ. Secular action is often compelled by class guilt. I’ve seen material by this author suggesting action based on the more secular worldview.

  • # of people killed by ANTIFA still zero.
    # of people killed by white supremacists since 2001: 70+ and counting.

    So why is it that ANTIFA gets brought up every time White Supremacists act badly? Hmmmmm

  • Not directed at you specifically, but why is it that all of the people who claim to be against this so-called secular culture end up supporting the most irreligious of behaviors in the White House?

  • However, the social justice movement often uphold sinful life styles…

    Excuse me, sire, but what do you think these could be?

  • First of all, you should know that the BLM movement eschews violence.

    I don’t think anyone is seriously debating that racial and other societal injustices are not serious issues (they are).

    That would be nice if it were the case, but it’s not. Plenty of people out there really don’t believe that race is an issue anymore; there’s a reason why the phrase “I don’t see race” became a common trope. And that’s not even counting the people who actively and intentionally promote white supremacy.

    the idea that a group (caucasians) are to be judged by, and repent of,
    sins committed by individuals in that group. This is a position that is
    disastrous practically (in addition to violating a number of Biblical
    principles).

    Seriously? You think this is any different than the notion that all people are sinners by virtue of being descendants of Adam (aka the concept of Original Sin)?

  • Regarding BLM violence, it it does not matter what the movement formally does or does not endorse. What matters is that individuals attched to BLM have comitted violent acts in statistically significant numbers

  • Regading whether racial injustices exist, good point–people do make the argument that racism no longer exists. In my experience, however, that position is in the overwhelming minority. The point I was attempting to make is that the author is accusing McArthur of something he is not guilty of (ethnocentrism, minimizing racial injustices). That is disgusting. McArthur was deeply involved in the civil rights movement in Mississippi.

    Regarding Adam and guilt by association, it is my understanding that Adam’s sin was the vehicle by which sin entered the world, not the reason we deserve judgment. If his sin is attributed to man, then how can Jesus, fully and God, be spotless to take on our sin?

  • Hey, Jemar Tisby! FYII (For Your Insult to the Intelligence): “The best word to describe [The Statement XIII on Culture] is [NOT] ‘ethnocentric'”! You know how to read, don’t you? Well, read again!

    “WE AFFIRM that some cultures operate on assumptions that are inherently better than those of other cultures because of the biblical truths that inform those worldviews that have produced these distinct assumptions. Those elements of a given culture that reflect divine revelation should be celebrated and promoted. But the various cultures out of which we have been called all have features that are worldly and sinful—and therefore those sinful features should be repudiated for the honor of Christ. We affirm that whatever evil influences to which we have been subjected via our culture can be—and must be—overcome through conversion and the training of both mind and heart through biblical truth.

    “WE DENY that individuals and sub-groups in any culture are unable, by God’s grace, to rise above whatever moral defects or spiritual deficiencies have been engendered or encouraged by their respective cultures.”

  • Wrong! “The Christ was all about “you becoming a born-from-above, fired-up and die-hard follower of THE Christ Jesus of the gospels, epistles and revelation, by enduring the cross that you carry in your life of faith in response to the ransoming Fatherly love of God through the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of His own beloved Son, Jesus, the Messiah of Israel and the savior of the rest of the world.”

  • James was never a born-from-above, fired-up and die-hard follower of THE Christ Jesus of the gospels, epistles and revelation! He was an operative of The Early Church Wolves I mean Fathers. They put his anti-gospel in The Unholy Bible.

  • Wrong! “Jesus was all about” you becoming a born-from-above, fired-up and die-hard follower of THE Christ Jesus of the gospels, epistles and revelation, by enduring the cross that you carry in your life of faith in response to the ransoming Fatherly love of God through the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of His own beloved Son, Jesus, the Messiah of Israel and the savior of the rest of the world.

  • It most certainly is not impossible for gospel centered believers to be yoked with what you call the SJW class unless the gospel centered believers insist on denying everything but what they can find in the Bible. When church folks, because of their ministers or their Bibles, automatically speak against all the socialized benefits they are actually receiving in America from the century-long efforts of lefties WHILE RECEIVING AND ENJOYING THOSE BENEFITS, the rest of us blow the whistle.

    You will demean me for creating a “laundry” list as though this is insignificant like laundry, but that’s not exactly the case. Tell me that neither you nor any of your family members ever went to public schools, ever connected to public utilities, ever had an insured bank account, ever worked at a place where labor law, workers’ comp and unemployment insurance were in operation, ever collected Social Security, ever were insured in old age by Medicare, ever saw Child Protective Services rescue a child, ever traveled in regulated aviation, ever purchased government-supervised car or house insurance, ever purchased inspected food. THEN we can have a better conversation.

    The political left created all of that and more——usually against objections from the political right led by the so-called Bible fundamentalists. Real Social Justice Warriors of the past knocked themselves out for 100 years to be sure that what griping Christians now take for granted would be available to make everyone’s life better and safer.

    I’m aware that Political Evangelicalism has devolved to not much more than Sodom yelling, racism against Blacks and Browns, and Trump worship these days, but the job of us other Christians is to call foul on that narrow focus wherever it arises or is spoken. You see, religion is really whatever people say it is. You say the pursuit of social justice is not to be part of it. Others of us take issue with that. You think the Bible is the proven authority for your view because nothing not in it is worthy of consideration. Others of us are never going to accept that kidnapping of Jesus.

  • Are you sure?

    Funny his ministry was to the poor, the marginalised, his miracles of healing, exorcising demons, and feeding the many done for free, many of his lessons against social ills, his advice to the rich man seeking to life a good life very much giving away possessions to those who have none a very poignant lesson against the upper class

    Oh and he was condemned to the cross via Pilate by conservatives amongst the religious – the Pharisees and scribes – who disapproved his healings on the sabbath, his disciples not going ritualistic on cleaning their hands, hypocrites who tried to trap Jesus with their words over taxes.

    People who see religion as their right to superiority over others, over “lessers,” are sowing injustice. Those lessers, as Jesus taught, who were condemned by higher society, go first, and the first go last

    Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. That means those who endure, those who make themselves small, those who acknowledge their sins.

    Not those who lord it over others. Maybe you should re-read the Gospel, remembering the adage, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

  • “Are you sure?”

    Yes.

    “Funny his ministry was to the poor, the marginalised, his miracles of healing, exorcising demons, and feeding the many done for free, many of his lessons against social ills, his advice to the rich man seeking to life a good life very much giving away possessions to those who have none a very poignant lesson against the upper class”

    No, nada on “social ills”.

    Yes, his focus was on the next life – the permanent one – and riches get in the way of that focus.

    “Oh and he was condemned to the cross via Pilate by conservatives amongst the religious – the Pharisees and scribes – who disapproved his healings on the sabbath, his disciples not going ritualistic on cleaning their hands, hypocrites who tried to trap Jesus with their words over taxes.”

    That is certainly the script of the advocates of the social gospel. They do run into the problem that the Pharisees were not exactly conservatives, as their successors in modern Judaism which is rooted in the Pharisees demonstrated.

    “People who see religion as their right to superiority over others, over ‘lessers,’ are sowing injustice. Those lessers, as Jesus taught, who were condemned by higher society, go first, and the first go last”

    That certainly is your script. Those pesky traditional Christians do get in the way of what you want to do, and it is fun to pretend they’re the Pharisees and you’re the meek.

    The only problem: it is hogwash.

    “Maybe you should re-read the Gospel, remembering the adage, ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same.’”

    Maybe you should reread the Gospel, starting with “my Kingdom is not of this world”.

    Look for all the speeches decrying the Roman oppression, high taxes, failure to provide adequate welfare, lack of healthcare, and so on.

    If you find any, post them.

  • Apparently you do not understand the meaning of the word “mercy”.

    Mercy is the will to have compassion for, and, if possible, to alleviate another’s misfortune.

    Because the greatest misfortune is the loss of eternal life, mercy never involves endorsing sin, violating the natural law or God’s law, or forgiving the unrepentant.

    Everyone understands that the parent with an alcoholic child who drives to the liquor store for supplies is a bad parent.

    Philip Roth in “Portnoy’s Complaint” describes the spurious version of mercy put forth by one segment of Christianity, calling that non-scriptural Jesus the “Pansy of Palestine”, walking about with “peace”, “love”, and “be cool” on his lips.

    That happens to have zero correspondence with the Gospels.

  • Thank you for making it clear what you’re advocating is a political movement into which you drop the words “Christian”, “Bible”, and what not to justify your particular platform.

  • I am rather sure you can’t support “all of the people who claim to be against this so-called secular culture”.

    You may be able to support “some”.

  • Yeah thats what mercy is.

    Gospel is full of it (i just read it).

    Your prior opinion, and what you just said, implies you have little of it, and cant relate the then to now and see the same things happening (and im sure Jesus would have to say lots about health care and you whinging about your taxes…)

    But you keep on your merciless bent. And when you end up in purgatory remember what you just said about mercy.

    I won’t waste further oxygen on you

  • I do not believe you can support “the BLM movement eschews violence”.

    You can make that case now better than you could months ago since BLM cleaned up its website and removed the incendiary material that up until then hallmarked it.

    But the same folks are there, and they have not changed their views.

  • Smells like cultural Marxism. Perhaps you would do better to actually write the point-by-point refutation based on the Bible? You are promoting schism and division of the Body of Christ through activism rather than doing anything to promote unity.

    There is no place for racism in the body of Christ.

  • The phrase “implies you have little of it” in the face of your inability to support your version of it rings quite hollow.

    You have a script, period.

    You misdefine mercy, period.

  • The second table of the 10 Commandments is sufficient, summed up by Christ as loving your neighbor as yourself.

  • Thus wrote Mahatma Gandhi: “No reform is possible unless some of the educated and the rich voluntarily accept the status of the poor, travel third, refuse to enjoy the amenities denied to the poor and, instead of taking avoidable hardships, discourtesies and injustice as a matter of course, fight for their removal”.

  • Your hatred of traditional believers makes discussion difficult but allow me to make a few points.
    1. Living in a country and being part of social programs and laws woven into that country are inescapable are are not evidences of hypocrisy.
    2. Along with very worthwhile programs supported by liberal SJW’s (and many believers) comes some very destructive and ungodly works: abortion, homosexual marriage, transgenderism, compulsory indoctrination of children in secular ideologies in education, suppression of free speech and freedom of religious expression, etc. Being yoked with the secular SJW weakens or eliminates the ability to speak out against these evils.
    3. There is inherent in your hatred a simplification of the world (liberals have brought good to the world and conservative Christians bring material wants and needs, and earthly security. “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?”

  • “Mercy is the will to have compassion for, and, if possible, to alleviate another’s misfortune.”

    No, that’s not it at all.

    Your misunderstanding of this fundamental Biblical concept goes a huge way towards explaining your stream of mistaken comments, here and elsewhere.

  • He also loved his beer, translated the New Testament into German so that it might be read by all, allowed priests to marry, preferred flatulence to oxygen, enjoyed being bossed around by Katharina, and raising 3 sons, 2 daughters and 4 adopted orphaned nephews and nieces with her.

  • Tisby says, ““We affirm that some cultures operate on assumptions that are inherently better than those of other cultures because of the biblical truths that inform those worldviews that have produced these distinct assumptions.” The best word to describe the assertion above is “ethnocentric.”

    Really? Isn’t Western culture (not ethnicity… culture rooted in ideas) why this wonderfully diverse sea of ethnic peoples is striving to come to countries shaped by a Christian worldview?

  • I wish you were not jumping so quickly to the “hatred” word. I am an old straight guy, married 47 years to one woman, raised in church, raised a son in church including a commitment to all 13 years of K-12 evangelical Christian school in the seventies and eighties. I have been in a lot of church and churches. I wanted Evangelicals to be the “good guys” of American society, and once thought they were. BUT, over the past several decades they have gone increasingly crazy, now to the point of thinking Donald Trump, a liar on every subject, is their hero and role model for their children.

    It is not acceptable for us to have church people in such a sweat over the gays that they willingly tear down everything good in collective society and give all political power to the already wealthy. The duping of the church folks is a phenomenal con and most of the people in the churches of both Russia and America neither know nor care what they are giving away, to whom, or why. As surely as the sun shines, their grandchildren are going to regret this era.

  • Jemar Tisby IS the racist, not The Statement’s signers? Interesting reversed thought-experiment there. Deserving an upvote from me.

  • The dupe of the social justice types that are willing to hand society over to any group that can adopt an aggrieved pose is a phenomenal con, and you and your friends have fallen for it hook, line, and sinker.

  • FYII (For Your Insult to the Intelligence):

    After living together with Hermann Kallenbach for two years, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who signed “Sinly yours, Upper House” in letters to him, had this pet name for the guy – “My dear Lower House”! Stranger still, he called his wife, Kasturba, “Meek Cow”! Moreover, he’d rather see his eldest son Harilal die than drink alcohol! Better yet, he just disowned his own flesh & blood! But that’s not all, Gandhi’s “praise of poverty and suffering” would’ve meant that “India’s salvation consists of … [its] railways, telegraphs, hospitals, lawyers, doctors, and such like hav[ing] all to go”! And oh by the way, he called the natives of Africa “Raw Kaffir” deserving to pass their lives only in “indolence and nakedness”! And, so much for pacifism, he wanted Indians to have the “opportunity of a thorough training for actual warfare”; and covered up the Gandhians’ assassination of the American engineer, William Francis Doherty! And by nonviolence Gandhi meant inviting “Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini” to take possession of England, that “beautiful island with its many beautiful buildings”! Most twistedly sinister of all, Gandhi respected Adolf Hitler as a “Dear Friend” with only 1 regret: “The Jews should have willingly offered themselves to the butcher’s knife; they should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs”!

    Source: Jo Rodriguez, “10 Curious Controversies about Mahatma Gandhi”, ListVerse, October 31, 2014.

  • Jas 1:18 In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

  • The Trouble with Jemar Tisby.

    Here it is. And all you need to know.

    “The establishment has called for an outright BLACKlist of those who drafted or signed the statement. … [And so, one such member] Jemar Tisby … encourages a BLACKout and boycott of the signers of Dallas Statement. … Coming next (and we are already seeing it) is ridicule. In the next week, you’ll see mockery and making fun that you can’t believe. And after that will come the stake. But, fight the power … ”

    Source: Pulpit & Pen, September 7, 2018, “Jemar Tisby Calls for Boycott Against Dallas Statement Signers”.

  • “They do run into the problem that the Pharisees were not exactly conservatives” You beat me to it on that one. If ever there was a biblical equivalent of smug elitists playing in the swamp with the establishment overlords and mocking the “basket of deplorables” “clinging to their guns and religion,” and making stuff up (aka “exploring other interpretations”) in order to deal with the “modern world” and then prioritizing it over God’s word itself all the while playing political manipulation games among the rabble that they pretend to champion but privately despise, it was the 1st century Sadducees and Pharisees, respectively.

  • Oh yeah? So who’s this “he”, exactly, then? It’s “The Father of Lights [that] brought us forth by the word of truth” (James 1:17-18), innit. “Patros Ton Lights”?! Even if “light” (though never “lights”, plural) is a biblical word, who even dared to talk like that back then, when addressing the God & Father of our Lord and Savior exactly and succinctly in a certain way? The Christ Jesus? Nope. His 1st apostles & disciples? Nope.

    Well, guess who. Gnostics! Yup, yup, yup.

    In The Ancient Church: Its History, Doctrine, Worship, and Constitution traced for the First Three Hundred Years, Chapter III, The Heresies of the Apostolic Age, 1859 (reprinted by BiblioLife in 2008), William Dool Killen explains:

    “The Gnostics alleged that the present world owes neither its origin nor its arrangement to the Supreme God. They maintained that its constituent parts have been always in existence; and that, as the great Father of Lights would have been contaminated by contact with corrupt matter, the visible frame of things was fashioned, without His knowledge, by an inferior Intelligence. … The apostle [Paul], therefore, felt it necessary to enter his protest against all such cosmogonies.”

    Source: (1) Michael Bertiaux, The Voudon Gnostic Workbook: Expanded Edition, Weiser Books, 2007. (2) Ecclesia Gnostica, “Evening Prayer”. (3) “Manichaean Ritual Practice at Ancient Kellis” in J. van (Johannes) Oort, Jacob Albert van den Berg, In Search of Truth. Augustine, Manichaeism and Other Gnosticism: Studies for Johannes Van Oort at Sixty, Brill, 2011.

  • Article summary: unsupported ad hominem attack on McArthur advanced in order to shut down debate on the topic. Great tactic…only if you don’t have a good argument

  • Jas 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings.
    Jas 2:1 My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ?

  • Don’t you playdumb with me, Boss! For the contention here is not that James’ Propaganda doesn’t sound Christian; but that Anti-Christ’s stuffs (Gnosticism, Paganism, Ritualism, Judaism, Legalism) have infiltrated The Unholy Bible because of it, like:

    (1) “The Father of Lights [Patros ton Photohn] … brought us forth by the word of truth” (James 1:17-18).

    (2) “The one who looks intently into the perfect law, that of freedom [parakypsas eis nomon teleion ton teeseleutherias], and continues in it [kai parameinas], not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:25).

    (3) “If anyone thinks himself to be religious [threeskos = carefully observant of religious restrictions], [let] this man’s religion [threeskeia = worship of the gods as expressed in ritual acts] [be] pure and undefiled [kathara kai amiantos = ceremonially clean and free from contamination] religion” (James 1:26-27).

    (4) “It is the law that you must keep royal [basilikon = regal, befitting a king and in the service of royalty]” (James 2:8).

    (5) “A man is by works justified [ex erghon dikaioutai]” (James 2:24).

    Time’s up and it’s a …

    Ggggooooaaaallll !!!!

    HpO 2:0 Jim

  • Just to clarify:
    — Jesus urged the rich man to give away his wealth because wealth was his idol, not because He felt wealth was evil and poverty good. He did not tell Zaccheus to surrender his wealth, or the Centurion, or Nicodemus. Wealth was, he taught, a temptation.
    — He ministered to whoever came across His path, rich and poor. He sought out those who would really listen, and those were most frequently found among the downtrodden, not because they were people he was trying to liberate from earthly cares, woes and oppression. He did not assert “Roman white male privilege” as a rallying cry.
    — The Pharisees were His enemies because they made man’s laws (their add ons to God’s teachings) into God’s laws (kind of like SJW’s do)
    — Who, exactly, among believers is “lording it over others?” Because some Christians do not throw in with the social justice folks eager to join the crusades of the secular society’s Kingdom of Man agenda, they are lording it over others? I don’t see where you are finding this.
    — I do remember the adage. And when I look at the many heresies and false teachings besetting the Church, I see that it has always been such, from the very beginning, when Judaizers (again, trying to add to the simplicity of the gospel with their own man-made requirements for believers) tried to drag their agendas into the new faith and make it a requirement. History repeats itself.

  • Of course in the minds of those who see the works through the distorted lens of Critical Race Theory, it is impossible to be a racist if you are a minority. Theirs is a world of social struggle and the minority is always the victim, and is justified in attacking this they accuse of racism. To give this up would be to give up their victimhood and the ability all their woes in life on the patriarchal, misogynistic, greedy, white male. It’s quite sad—they wrap themselves in the very chains of the racism they say they hate.

  • The Trouble with Jemar Tisby: Part 2

    “Jemar Tisby [is] a race baiter that writes for the Reformed African American Network, … decrying racial integration in churches, particularly among blacks and whites … and decrying any efforts of racial reconciliation … Saying, ‘Black Christians long for spaces where they can be proud, black, and free’ … somehow, in Tisby’s worldview, pride has become a virtuous endeavor. This, however, is far from a biblical worldview. Scripture over and over condemns pride as something God hates, and if Tisby believes that racial segregation within the Bride of Christ for the sake of ‘pride’ is congruous for the Christian’s life and the Church, his priorities are way off. … Negative discrimination and segregation [are what] Tisby … is pushing. Both are racist to the core.”

    Source: Pulpit & Pen, August 23, 2017, “Race Baiter, Jemar Tisby, Wants Less Racial Integration in Churches”.

  • I think we’ve lost Jemar Tisby for good. (Or rather for the bad.) A much better Black thinker than Jemar Tisby that we still have, is this guy here, I would say.

    James Ellis III, “A Critique of Cone’s Black Liberation Theology”, Day 1: A Ministry of the The Alliance for Christian Media, July 9, 2011.

  • “I’m tempted to refute the recent statement on the gospel and social justice point-by-point — showing how it falls short of the Bible’s call for justice. ”
    Jemar,
    If you are so certainly clear that this statement is so wrong that you advise your readers to ‘avoid’ ministries like those of John MacArthur, it should be central to your priority list.
    Right now, this is a growing division among evangelical groups and will probably form the fault-line along which several denominations will split.
    Don’t take the easy route and hide behind vague assertions that you can “show how the statement falls short of the Bible’s call for justice”.
    Be a Godly man and do it. Define your terms (what do YOU mean by ‘the Bible’s call for justice’). Give us scripture to support your view so we can follow along with your exegesis. Tell us what you think is wrong with each point so that correction may happen from either side.
    What a follower of Christ should NOT do is keep their discernment to themselves and allow professing brothers and sisters to walk off what your perceive as an unjust cliff.
    No one grows in an echo chamber. Do what the Bible commands of you and ‘give a defense of your faith’.
    All else is simply your mouth moving without words.

  • It’s Sunday, the Lord’s day. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. I will reply to your comments tomorrow or the next day.

  • It’s Sunday, the Lord’s day. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. I will reply to your comments tomorrow or soon after.

  • It’s Sunday, the Lord’s day. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. I will respond tomorrow or the next day.

  • Back to the discussion. As for Trump, I have said, in many forums, and I repeat: Trump is not a “hero and role model” for our children. We make a distinction, which is legitimate, between his personal history and current style (contentious, combative, etc.) and his actual policies, which have benefitted our nation and its workers. I could list a litany of good things he has done, alongside times I wish he had avoided quarrels or chosen a clearer way of expressing his ideas.

    I don’t know what you are referring to when you say that evangelicals have been going crazy over decades. You mention wealth and gays: so let’s deal with those topics.

    Evangelicals are not the party of the wealthy. The whole quarrel of Trump supporters with the Republican establishment centers on stagnant wages, replacing American workers with lower paid immigrants (many illegal, or beneficiaries of bloated H1 A and B visas), entering trade deals that off-shore work that US workers should be doing and pursuing profits without regard to our national interest in a prosperous blue collar worker class. That is fully in alignment with evangelical values and that is one of several reasons they support Trump. There is no giving of power being given to the wealthy by evangelicals: that power was jointly given to the Kochs, the Gates, the Schmidt’s by both Democrats and the globalist GOP leaders against what blue collar workers have wanted for a long time.

    Gays. Evangelicals have never thought homosexuality was ok, as it goes against the clear teaching of Scripture. But the evolution of gay rights, its ascendancy in a secular, liberal culture and its home in the Democratic party have pushed the church to respond and reiterate its beliefs. If that is what you mean by “a sweat over the gays,” then I would suggest we are commanded to “contend for the faith” and not be silent when the wrong is promoted and the right demeaned.

    One final point. You refer to “collective society.” I hope that is not a reference to the kind of collective society inherent in Communist ideological descriptions. Democracy values the individual and that means that while we have common interests and voluntary group action, we will resist authoritarian rule by the federal government.

  • Gee, I thought personal attacks like this were unwelcome on this blog, since they indicate an inability to deal with issues without just calling names.

  • 1) White Evangelicals (self-described born again) elected Donald Trump. In Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, where about 12,500,000 votes were cast, White Evangelicals alone provided Trump votes which were more than 25 times the narrow margin by which he won those states and thus the electoral college. Had the White Evangelical support for him been a mere 75% instead of 81%, he would not be president.

    I often hear apologies to the effect that church people do not wish to take responsibility for the ridiculous tone and thousands of untrue statements emanating from this president. Hogwash. Born again church people caused and own the entirety of Trumpism. No other demographic heard what he had to say on all subjects and supported him at 81%. None. Church people did not elect him in spite of who he was. They elected him BECAUSE of who he was,….the wealth, the shtick, the arrogance, the lying, the life-long womanizing, the birther slams on Obama, the knives he stuck in Hillary, the whole package. You could not have and did not elect Walker, Santorum, Cruz, Pence or any of the other Christian-oriented candidates who spoke a more measured truth. The church wanted bigmouth and badmouth, and they responded fantastically to Bannon’s stated campaign strategy of “bring out the hate”.

    2) Sorry to break the news to you that Evangelicals are, in fact, the party of the wealthy.
    I was a 29-year-old church guy who woke up sadly astonished when people from my tribe dumped Sunday School teaching Jimmy Carter for Hollywood Reagan. There was only one real reason for that—–a promise of high-end tax cuts. People were led to believe then, as now, that high-end tax cuts create living-wage jobs. The only problem is that they actually don’t. The fortunes of the working class peaked in 1979 and would be a whale of a lot worse than they are except for trillions of dollars of unsustainable deficit spending. THIS time, you guys settled for a president who promised to show you his tax returns (when the audit was over), but never did so. The Trump con which has been put over on the tax issue, is beyond belief and will do as much damage to working people going forward as Reaganism already did to them in the past. A doubling.

  • “Secular action is often compelled by class guilt.” While not clear if the writer means the guilt of the privileged or otherwise, he is quite confused. Social Justice has next to nothing to do with the privileged. It a movement by the Have-Nots. Delray McKesson, of Black Lives Matter, is hardly motivated by his guilt – but by the lack of a personal feeling of guilt by his oppressors.
    Zaccheaus was at best a rascal. Sure he gouged the taxpayers but no more so than Edward “Blackbeard” Teach the Pirate, who virtually invented worker’s compensation for on the job injuries for his shipmates. But both were amateurs compared to megachurch televangelists and their private jets who gouge the gullible

  • I think it is time for this interchange to end. We have wandered some distance from the topic and that is not good. Additionally, your scorn and despising of evangelicals (who,faced with an incredibly corrupt and monstrous choice in the other candidate, voted for someone they thought would protect them and their families) indicates that you have a long laundry list of resentments that goes back many years. Further interchange would likely stir up additional hatred and that is not a good thing to do.

  • Is it hateful to assert adulterers are lost and sinful, thieves lost and sinful, as well as the greedy, etc. Name calling (such as calling someone a hypocrite) as a substitute for reasoned discussion is a refuge for those who do not want to debate issues. You can insult my class all you want (Christian, conservative, Midwesterner, etc.) and we can argue the merits of your case. Call me a jackass and you are surrendering to the personal attacks that characterize too many blogs.

  • I would rather be your friend, yet we do have entirely different ideas of what is “monstrous”. Our kids and grandkids will sort out what happened eventually. When they do, I hope they can still identify and recognize “whatsoever things” that are actually true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report (Philippians 4:8). Right now, the church is in a deep muddle, losing all such discernment year by year, decade by decade. Mr. Putin and Mr. Trump are remarkable evidences of this on-going spiritual catastrophe among the once-upon-a-time believers.

  • Your judgmental name-calling (“adulterers”, “thieves”, “the greedy”, etc) proves my point. You’re a hypocrite, hiding behind your sanctimonious self-righteous BS. A “Christian” jackass. There is no reason to be found among such hypocrites.

    You openly condemn an entire class of people — gay people, among others — and then whine when someone turns around and throws it back at you.

  • Privilege is relative. You probably have more than me (thus, I am a “Have-Not” in relation you). My point was, just because you have more than me does not mean you are necessarily guilty, or that I have some valid claim to emotionally blackmail you into making amends. That would be revolting. It is insanity for entire groups, irrespective of individual guilt, to be shamed into action. It creates an anarchist victim culture whereby everyone has a valid claim against someone else more privileged than them (except Jeff Bezos). .

  • My language may be offensive to anyone who is guilty of those sins but I do not exempt myself from moral failures; I am a sinner saved by grace, nothing more.

    “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, not the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” I Cor. 6

    I guess if my words fairly represent what St. Paul had to say, I am in good company.

  • Yes, in appropriate company among the other sick jackasses and swindlers.

    I don’t share your beliefs.

  • A source I trusted referred me to the RAAN podcasts (now The Witness) a few years ago where Jemar Tisby was one of the hosts. Those were thoughtful and engaging, but now he’s leaving the orthodox Christian witness in favor of racial separation and pride while still wearing a religious veneer, very sad.

  • I hear you and like what you wrote. But there already was something gone awry with him back in RAAN, according to Pulpit & Pen, August 23, 2017, “Race Baiter, Jemar Tisby, Wants Less Racial Integration in Churches”.

  • Well way to not bother to explain what MacAuthur’s definition of social justice is and the context the statement is in.

    “””It reads: “We affirm that some cultures operate on assumptions that are inherently better than those of other cultures because of the biblical truths that inform those worldviews that have produced these distinct assumptions.”

    The best word to describe the assertion above is “ethnocentric.”””

    No, if “ethnocentric” was the best word, they would have used it. All they’re saying is that Christianity is what informs us that nazism is wrong.

    Your propensity for judgmentalism blinds you.

    “””I’m tempted to refute the recent statement on the gospel and social justice point-by-point — showing how it falls short of the Bible’s call for justice. But I think our time would be better spent on other pursuits. “”””

    So you won’t address the content? That’s poor leadership and discussion, honestly if nothing else. But then you have the audacity to write it off with the following?:

    “”””Here’s my advice.

    Many of the people who authored and signed this statement have large ministries and platforms.

    Avoid them.””””

    Says the news pundit, book author, and leader of his own religious community. How ‘log in your own eye’ can you get?

  • The best word to describe the assertion above is “ethnocentric.”

    You’re being awfully polite here…

2019 NewsMatch Campaign: This Story Can't Wait! Donate.

ADVERTISEMENTs