In a recent show, Glenn Beck told his listeners to watch out for churches that use the term "social justice," or "economic justice." He thinks that those terms are code words that will lead to the dark tunnel of Communism. While others have taken him to task for denying the very gospel, I take the time to look at the word justice. I have a feeling he does not understand Justice and he fears the word "social." I wonder if he would run away from a Ice Cream Social as a closeted gathering of Marxists?
In reality, there is no social justice, only justice. Justice is the very foundation of God's creation:
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.
Justice is bonded with love. I would say that a church that does not speak about Justice is one where the gospel of Jesus is foreign. All Justice manifests itself in the greater society. If the poor are treated badly in the society, then Justice is the kingdom of God is hidden. Yet the kingdom of God always bursts forward. Justice goes beyond the individual, beyond our culture to the very heart of God. When, in Gen. 1, God pronounces creation good, God performs an act of Justice. Justice is the act of validating existence. To practice justice is to " encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow." Isaiah 1.17
By drawing the word into a partisan debate, Glenn Beck reveals that he has no understanding of the word or the kingdom of God. Justice is beyond both Democrats and Republicans.
When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers. -Proverbs 21:15
By fearing churches that speak out for social justice, Beck fears the gospel.
Ernesto Tinajero is a freelance writer in Spokane, Washington, who earned his master's degree in theology from Fuller Seminary. Visit his blog at beingandfaith.blogspot.com.