Social Justice: How Good Intentions Undermine Justice and Gospel

by Mike Ratliff

Not long after Donald Trump took office a stranger began posting hateful messages on my Facebook page in reference to some of my posts. However, most of those messages were pointed towards a friend who was commenting on those posts, not me. It began with me trying to peacefully end the hostility, but then graduated into one of those long, drawn-out sessions I hate with a passion where this fellow kept building straw-men about nearly everything I believe and write about as he gleefully burned them as if to say he was the “real christian” because he was a “social justice warrior” while we were mired in our self-focused religiosity. I got angry (that’s not good).  I then decided to pray about it (that’s good). It was then I realized that I could solve this very easily. I simply asked the fellow to show me from scripture where it backed up what he was saying we were to do what he claimed the Church had been doing wrong for over 2000 years. That made him angry. It was then I blocked him because his real personality came out and his pretensions about being a “real christian” were greatly over-shadowed by some very ugly comments. 🙂  

In any case, just a few weeks ago John MacArthur and his team released a statement dealing with the Social Justice issue and how it relates to the Church.  Here is the link to that. I signed it as soon as I read it. A few days ago a friend on Facebook told me I should go look at a post. It was a sarcastic attack on this statement that portrayed John MacArthur as Hitler and showed him being very upset when certain Christian leaders didn’t sign it. It also portrayed him saying the statement was intended to be ulterior in motive. I commented on that thread that I agreed with the statement and had signed it. I also have thought about this a great deal. I did some research into those who have taken a hostile stance against the statement. Most of them are secular. Those who are “christian” are very liberal, such as Russell Moore and the writers at Patheos. I have noticed that most of the Gospel Coalition are not supporting it either. It’s one thing to not sign it, it’s quite another to decry it and claim that Social Justice is equivalent to the Gospel.

I made a comment on Facebook to some friends after some prayer and much mediation on this that you can tell when something is of God and those who are His and those who are not very easily when it comes to defining the Gospel. Those who attack this statement are wanting to turn the Gospel into something moldable by man. Those who support the statement are bound to how the Word of God defines it.

Lastly, I leave you with some reading to do.  Here is a link to an online PDF written by E. Calvin Beisner.  The title is Social Justice: How Good Intentions Undermine Justice and Gospel

Soli Deo Gloria!

3 thoughts on “Social Justice: How Good Intentions Undermine Justice and Gospel

  1. After thinking about it and praying for guidance, I have found there really isn’t a good definition of Social Justice. Ask 5 people to define it and you’ll get 5 different answers. I also find nothing specific that solidly relates in Scripture. What I do find, however, is a clear COMMAND to take care of the widows and orphans. I include those children that suffer hunger, cold, and abuse. But that responsibility, for the Believer, is a Spiritually led effort, headed up by the Holy Spirit, which makes it not social but rather Spiritual Justice.

    God doesn’t deal in Social things, He deals in the Spiritual. I am most likely attacking somebodies sacred cow with this, but let the chips fall where they may.

    Blessings to all!


  2. Mike, there are Calvinists and there are Calvinists. The late John Stott was very vocal about marrying social involvement with the gospel. It’s a civil war going inside the Reformed orbit.


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