Why aren't more Christians involved in social justice? Are we callous and uncaring? We don't think so. We can both learn and do
Ken and Deborah Loyd, in the book An Emergent Manifesto of Hope, p. 272
First, there is the question "What is social justice?" That's probably one of the concepts emergents and others who use it aren't likely to define very well. If you look back a few months, you'll see where in Tony Jones' book "The New Christians", he relates how in one emergent church a woman was wearing a t-shirt saying she was a straight woman for gay rights because her Bible teaches social justice.
Journey doesn't have an "official statement" about homosexuality, but there's obviously enough freedom in the community for Courtney to wear her beliefs on her shirt.
Straight Chrisitians for Gay Rights
(My Bible Teaches Social Justice)
Tony Jones, The New Christians, pp. 198, 197
Perhaps we aren't involved in social justice, because we can see through the rhetoric of social justice, and know what it is--a thin veil behind which leftist policies and politics are pushed.
Social justice seems to be about the legalizing of sexual immorality. It's also seems to be about the enforced silence of those who teach the Bible's stand on such immorality.
Social justice seems to be about punishing some crimes more than others because of perceived "hate" involved, even when unproven (one may almost say 'especially when unproven').
Social justice seems to be about the redistribution of wealth through socialistic economical policies.
Social justice seems to be about scaring people into being "green", despite the evidence against any such thing as global warming.
Social justice seems to be about going into histronics over deaths in war, while either downplaying over even supporting the many more who die in abortion.
I do not believe in social justice. I do, however, believe in justice. And I believe in compassion.
I do not believe that practicing theft through socialism will solve the plight of the poor. To borrow a quote I read in a comic book, "Communism is the equal distribution of poverty". To try to equalize the field (except for a handful of elites at the top who will find reasons to give themselves special privileges, which is one thing that happened in Soviet Russia), will only result in all being poor, and none being really helped. And there is no justice in the rhetoric of class hatred.
I do not believe that justice demands that we recognize and legitimize sexual immorality. If anything, justice and compassion demands that we call these things the sins they are.
I do not believe that justice demands that we cave in to environmental fearmongers, especially when truth of their claims is being questioned, and when there is such an obvious political agenda behind it.
In regards to how we are to care for the poor, there are things taught in the Bible that should be of help in how to properly do so.
It may be strange that Paul tells the Thessalonians to NOT help some among them who had stopped working and were only idling their time waiting for Jesus to return. He says they should get back to their work.
It may seem strange that Paul tells another church to be wary of what widows they should help and support.
It may seem strange that one can see things in Proverbs that don't seem very kind about some kinds of poor people.
It may seem strange that it's in the Bible that we find the phrase "If a man will not work, neither shall he eat".
It may seem strange that we aren't told that the Samaritan who found the guy left for dead didn't return home, find a few likeminded people, and start wandering the highways and byways looking for people left along the road, robbed or otherwise in ill fortune. He helped one man who was on his way, as he was about his own business.
I know that there are things said about helping the needy, I'm not making an exhaustive list here. But I'm saying the issue is more complex than many emergents seem to want to accept.
They also seem to think that because Christians don't do things their way, then they aren't doing them. They likely don't recognize that there are Christians who give when they have the opportunities, whose generosity takes many forms, who do things quietly and with their eyes open.