Why Do You Equate Biblical Social Justice With the Welfare State Coercion?
March 12, 2010
Jim Wallis and his colleagues make a classic error. They confuse the word social with state. When the Bible recommends charity shown by families, the Wallis brigade says, "See? The Bible teaches welfare state coercion. It really mean taxes. It did not say this explicitly, but that's what it really means. Trust us."
When the Bible recommends giving money to the church to help members of another church (I Cor. 9), Wallis says something like this: "The New Testament says voter blocs should elect politicians who will pass laws taking money from other groups of citizens and give it to the winners of the last election. It's so clear in the New Testament!"
Wallis has been making a very good living teaching this for three decades. Book royalties, speaking engagements, salary: the money rolls in, all in the name of justice rolling down.
Glenn Beck has recommended to church members that they resign their membership if the pastor preaches the welfare state in the name of Jesus. I am not a Mormon, as Beck is, but I heartily concur with his recommendation. Jim Wallis, who is the Protestant evangelical world's spokesmen for welfare state Christianity, objects to Beck's recommendation. This comes as no surprise.
In a March 10 article on the Sojourners website, he wrote this.
Glenn Beck says Christians should leave churches that use the word "social justice." He says social justice is a code word for communism and Nazism.
If Beck says this, he is exaggerating. "Social justice" is a code phrase for Fabian socialism and the welfare state. Communism and Nazism are dead ideologies. They are no threat to anyone's liberty. In contrast, Fabian socialism and the welfare state are alive and well everywhere in the West.
But since the Catholic Church, the Black Churches, the Mainline Protestant churches, and more and more Evangelical and Pentecostal churches including Hispanic and Asian-American congregations all consider social justice central to biblical faith, Glenn Beck is telling all those Christians to leave their churches.
That is exactly what he is doing. I heartily concur. Get out now. Do not pay your tithes to a congregation whose pulpit is occupied by a defender of Fabian socialism and the welfare state.
Of course, Christians may disagree about what social justice means in our current political context -- and that conversation is an important one -- but the Bible is clear: from the Mosaic law of Jubilee, to the Hebrew prophets, to Jesus Christ, social justice is an integral part of God's plan for humanity.
There is no "of course" about it. The jubilee year required no such thing. It required that land owned by the heirs of the families that had committed genocide against the Canaanites under God's command to Joshua were to receive their share of the land every 50th year. Wallis never mentions the legal connection between genocide and the jubilee year. I have covered this issue in my commentary on Leviticus. Leviticus 25 is the chapter on the jubilee year.http://www.garynorth.com/leviticus-v3.pdf
Note: "The jubilee year" is a code phrase for Fabian socialists who have infiltrated the churches over the last four decades. They use the phrase to confuse Christians who do not understand the Mosaic laws defending private property.
Beck says Christians should leave their social justice churches, so I say Christians should leave Glenn Beck. I don't know if Beck is just strange, just trying to be controversial, or just trying to make money.
This is from a man who has lived for decades on money donated by people who preach the opposite of what Beck teaches. They also live on the donations of others. (By the way, I never received a salary or book royalties for my work for the Institute for Christian Economics, 1975-2001, when it shut down. I worked at least 30 hours a week to keep the doors open. I did this so that no one could accurately accuse me of cashing in on my work on Christian economics.)
But in any case, what he has said attacks the very heart of our Christian faith, and Christians should no longer watch his show. His show should now be in the same category as Howard Stern. Stern practices pornography and Beck denies the central teachings of Jesus and the Bible. So Christians should stop watching the Glenn Beck show and pray for him and Howard Stern.
Wallis has never been long on logic, but this is so ridiculous that it makes him look really stupid. When you deliberately confuse God-fearing laymen into believing that the jubilee year is a defense of coercive wealth-redistribution by modern secular states, rather than a law governing inheritance in Mosaic Israel before the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities, and also before Rome ended the independence of the land of Israel in 70 A.D., you will eventually say stupid things.
Beck also said that if his church was about "social justice" he would report his church to the church authorities. What authorities? Church bodies as diverse in their theology as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Association of Evangelicals have explicitly endorsed social justice as a biblical imperative.
Good point, Jim! Christians should get out of denominations that hold such doctrines. As for the National Association of Evangelicals, it has no authority ecclesiastically. It speaks for itself, not for local congregations. No one pays much any attention to it, precisely because it toys with the idea that the Bible promotes the welfare state.
So here's an idea: how about reporting ourselves to Glenn Beck as church members and pastors who practice and preach social justice.
Since Sojourners' mission is "to articulate the biblical call to social justice," I'll be the first to turn myself in. And I invite you to join me in turning yourself in to Glenn Beck as a Christian who believes in social justice. Let's send him thousands of names.
I am not sure why he thinks that Beck wants to hear from a few hundred left-wing activists on the issue of Fabian socialism, but it's a free country.
For a detailed discussion of the the welfare state dressed in the language of social justice, read F. A. Hayek's book, The Mirage of Social Justice (University of Chicago Press, 1976). Large sections are posted here. Hayek won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1974.