Should Christians be Social Justice Warriors?

Should Christians be Social Justice Warriors (SJWs)? The question may sound like a no-brainer. Of course Christians should be SJWs! Taking care of the poor and promoting equality are Christian pastimes, right? After all, didn't Jesus preach social justice?

It is true that the Bible shows a great deal of concern for the poor, widowed, orphaned and foreigner. This should not be overlooked. If a person regularly reads the Bible they will be regularly reminded that they have a duty to bring love and justice to their fellow humans. But the Bible's view of social justice and the SJW view of social justice are incompatible. Here's why:

SJWs reject the concept of sin and believe that humans are by nature good:

This is a key SJW belief. Since SJWs believe that humans are basically good they are inclined to place the blame of evil and injustice upon societal issues rather than individuals. SJWs insist that power structures cause oppression and oppression leads to civil strife. With this mindset, the SJW can view the criminal as a victim.Those with a Biblical mindset see crime as a result of sinful hearts which create selfish desires.

The people around Jesus were eager to blame their problems on social injustices, but Jesus never took the bait. Jesus never pointed an accusing finger to Roman structural injustices or inequality. During Jesus' ministry the Roman governor of Israel, Pontius Pilate, executed a group of Galilean Jews at the temple where he mixed their blood with the blood of the daily sacrifice. Jesus' comment on this sacrilegious atrocity is revealing. Jesus could have taken this event as an opportunity to speak against the pagan injustices of the ruling class which caused suffering among the Jews, but instead Jesus says something shocking to his audience: "Repent, or you too will perish." (Luke 13:3)

The Bible always takes our pointing fingers and turns them toward ourselves. Had Jesus been an actual SJW he would have stoked the hatred that the Jews had for the Romans and would likely have gained many more followers. SJWs can never get to the heart of societal evils because they refuse to believe that these evils stem from the human heart.

Like Jesus, the earliest Christians never blamed an unjust culture for their problems. The epistles could've been filled with all kinds of social commentary lamenting the great injustices and inequality prevalent throughout the Roman Empire, but there is none of that. Yet, the early church accomplished the SJW dream. The early church was diverse, containing many women and slaves, and even people of privilege. The church also included many cultures as it spread into Asia, Africa and Europe. The beginning of the church is marked by a multi-cultural influx at Pentecost as recorded in the book of Acts. Acts also records how the apostles preached to Greeks, Samaritans and an Ethiopian. All of this was accomplished by the gospel, not by social activism.

SJWs sow seeds of resentment which encourage hate:

The SJW mindset seeks to level the societal playing field. An increasingly diverse American landscape has caused SJWs to see inequality in nearly everything. The idea is that certain groups are privileged and have an unfair head start and this in turn creates an unfair and an unjust society. The onus is on the privileged to "check their privilege." Most SJWs come from a place of privilege and likely feel great shame for having privilege while others do not. They check their privilege as a form of penance and expect others to follow suit.

SJWs will also work hard to convince various groups that they are victims. This gives the SJWs political power and it creates incredible resentment from special interest groups toward those that SJWs label as privileged. The result is to divide various groups of people along racial, gender, ethnic, and religious lines. This creates resentment and the resentment creates hate. Those who are told to "check their privilege" will also become resentful and hateful over the fact that they are being labeled as oppressors and privileged. The hate that SJWs stoke never ends. Someone will always be perceived as having more privilege and in this way the SJW advocates for a continual cycle of resentment and hate.

While the SJW may think that they are fighting for a noble cause they area actually creating a dysfunctional society. The SJW tells the "oppressed" that everyone hates them and this leads them to hate the "oppressors," while the "oppressors" are told that they deserve to be hated. What sort of people will this create?

SJWs promote an entitlement mentality:

Biblical justice is objective, seated in God's perfection. When humans compare themselves to God's high standards we find that we fall short. We're all equally condemned. We are entitled to nothing and we deserve nothing. God does not owe us. For the rich who have been touched by God's grace the proper response is thankfulness and gratitude which will naturally express itself in charity. For the poor who have been touched by God's grace the proper response is to rejoice in one's heavenly reward and to look to the Heavenly Father for daily bread.

The social justice of an SJW is subjective, seated in the individual. With no ultimate standard for morality or justice SJWs are inclined to compare themselves to each other. This causes an entitlement mentality. The rich become proud and arrogant while the poor become jealous and miserable. Injustice becomes synonymous for "not having what my neighbor has." SJWs encourage people to compare themselves to their neighbor while Biblical justice encourages people to compare themselves with God. The former creates resentment, self-promotion and strife while the latter creates humility, repentance and graciousness.

SJWs seek government involvement:

Some have rightly described SJWs as cultural Marxists. While Marxism dealt with economic inequality, the worldview that SJWs share with Marxism is strikingly similar. If the privileged will not relent then the oppressed must rise up and enforce equality with the heavy-hand of government. Marxism is a failed ideology that has caused more misery, death and economic ruin than any other ideology in the history of human existence.

SJWs might point to the communal nature of the early church to support their social agenda. This community of equality and charity took place in the context of the church and not the government. Jesus and his apostles looked to gospel as the root of social change, never the government.

The solution to the human condition is spiritual and as a result any atheistic-Marxist utopian vision is destined to fail. The SJW can never succeed because they are unable to diagnose or heal the condition of the human heart. They seek legislative solutions through the government. The law will only harden hearts. The gospel is what breaks them.

SJWs seek a worldly solution:

Jesus' beatitudes are a famous set of statements both inside and outside of Christian circles. He calls the poor, persecuted and the hated "blessed." Later in his ministry Jesus describes a poor widow and the poor beggar Lazarus as blessed. Jesus' words to the rich are not very comforting. He says that it is difficult for the rich to get into heaven. For Jesus, spiritual blessings trump earthly blessings. Worldly wealth is to be scorned if it chokes out spiritual riches. The SJW cannot understand this.

When a person follows Christ their focus is heavenward. This sounds backwards to an SJW and they will think that a heavenward focus will detract from taking care of the poor, the earth, etc. This is not true. C.S. Lewis once wrote: "If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this."

A heavenward focus gives us the proper orientation. Imagine trying to walk across a large snow-covered field. On the other side of the field is a light. You keep your eyes fixed on the light and walk until you reach it. The more you focus on the light the straighter your path will be. As soon as you take your focus off the light you veer off course. If a person travels across the same field but their focus is on their feet rather than the light then they wander aimlessly. The tracks will wind all over the field and the light will never be reached. SJWs seek the light of social justice but they are focused on their feet.

Jesus takes social justice to the next level:

Let's keep our focus on the cross where the greatest injustice occurred. Let's keep our eyes focus on Jesus, the true innocent victim, tortured and terrorized by those desperate to cling to their privilege. Let's keep our eyes focused on Jesus' love, a love so great and so selfless that he didn't just seek justice for others; rather, he sought injustice for himself for the sake of others - others who deserved only punishment. Let it sink in: Jesus sacrificed himself for the unjust. "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8). Jesus does all of this and then gives his followers the most difficult command ever: "Love one another as I have loved you." In the end, Christ doesn't want us to be just. He wants us to be unjust. Unjust by showing love to others who do not deserve it.

The Christian Post