Recently Dr. Andrew Jackson posted some comments by Mark Byron on theology and its resulting social implications. Mark claimed that in some areas the Democrats were closer to biblical teaching, while on others the Republicans were. This got me thinking about some of the confused theology used to support political positions, and in particular the confusion in the “Social Justice” wing of Christianity.
Jesus said “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Matt. 22:37 – 40
Our duty is to love God and love our neighbors.
Scripture addresses our obligations to the poor, the widowed, our parents, and our neighbors. In the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30 – 37) Jesus goes into some detail about who is a “neighbor” to the man who was robbed. In it he asked who was the neighbor of the man who had been robbed? The answer was “The one who showed mercy towards him.” Jesus replied “Go and do the same.”
Please note that just as we can’t be saved by someone else’s faith in God (“God has no Grandchildren” – David du Plessis) we also can’t fulfill the Commandment to “love your neighbor” by pawning that duty off to someone else. This is an individual obligation and not an obligation of “society” or even worse “government”
The Good Samaritan paid the costs to help the injured stranger himself. What if instead he erected a toll on the road and forced everyone who traveled that road to pay part of the expenses for the injured man, plus the Samaritan’s salary for running the toll booth? Would this fulfill the Commandment?
Unfortunately those in the “social justice” wing of Christianity all too often forget that Jesus taught his followers to care for the poor, the widowed, their parents, and their neighbors, but never instructed them to take the funds for this by force from everyone against their will. When someone calls for government to be in the business of doing what we should be doing, they forget that the only way that government gets the money for all of these “good” things they want government to do is by taking it by force from everyone.
This twisting of scripture and Jesus teachings has multiple ill effects. It is bad for the “social justice” Christian because he is asking someone else (government) to do what Jesus called on his followers to do (not someone else). It is bad for the government because it forces the government to take more by force from the governed to give to those who are specially favored. This delegitimizes government and weakens its moral authority even in the areas government should be involved in. It is bad for the governed since it causes them to either resent government or to engage in the politics of envy. Lastly it is bad for the recipient of the governmental benefits since they come to consider the benefits to be a “right” rather than a gift given because of the giver’s belief that this is what God wanted them to do.
Mark wrote “you can see areas where the Democrats are stronger and areas where the Republicans are stronger”
The Democrats want a big government and those in the “Social Justice” wing of Christianity give them cover to claim this is “right” and “moral” when it really is a total twisting of what Jesus taught.
This is not to say the Republicans are without sin in this regard, but this sort of thinking is much more entrenched in the Democrat party than the Republicans.
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© Copyright 2013, Ray Rayburn