The Christian Message vs Social Justice

TheCrossby Patricia L. Dickson   9/7/14
The events in Ferguson, Missouri have propelled several issues afflicting the black community to the forefront. In most inner cities, it is common to find a church on every corner, which leads me to wonder what the pastors in these communities are teaching the people.

Rev. Fred D. Robinson  wrote a scathing article entitled What God is screaming in Ferguson, Missouri.  He made no bones about preaching Social Justice over the biblical teaching of repentance of individual sins and salvation. He feels that churches should address social justice and structural racism.  He blasted a fellow white Christian and preacher for wanting prayer and calm in the wake of the riots and unrest in Ferguson instead of lamenting what he called the modern-day lynching by law enforcement of innocent black bodies.

When did churches begin to replace the Christian message of forgiveness, repentance and holy living with Social Justice? How can any pastor preach about society’s ills while ignoring such individual sins as fornication, abortion, murder, laziness and theft (just to name a few)? Is society not made up of individuals? How can society be fixed without first changing the individual? The main topic of Rev. Robinson’s article focused on his objection to a white pastor’s call for more racially diverse congregations as a solution to what the author calls a racial cauldron in Ferguson:

I get tired of that one. His unrelenting insistence reminded me — in the most stark terms — of James Baldwin’s prophetic quip: “Racial progress in America is measured by how fast I become white.”

Simply having diverse congregations without addressing the weightier matters of social justice and structural racism is not better church practice. It is possibly subterfuge.

It ignores the fact that we have to do more than call sinners to repentance, we have to call societies, systems and structures to repentance as well.

The author compared the push for more multiracial churches to a quote from Dr. John Kinney, a professor of theology at Virginia Union:

“When white supremacy adopts diversity, it seeks to either cleanse you, contain you, co-opt you or convert you.”

Nowhere in the article did Rev. Robinson, a so-called pastor, quote any scriptures from the bible. The bible teaches that Christians are one race:

2 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God’s] own [d]purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Pastors are supposed to preach love and forgiveness, not hate and grievances. There is no place for racism and divisiveness in the church (from anyone). The church is where men and women go to learn of God’s love for them and receive His forgiveness. The Bible does not say that preachers are to call societies, systems and structures to repentance. It does teach that pastors are to call men and women to repentance. Whereas the Christian message teaches that individuals are sinful, Social Justice places blame and responsibility on society.

 Romans 3:23

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”

1 John 1:9

“If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].”

Anyone that claims to be a pastor and refuses to preach individual sin and salvation has abandoned God’s calling. Assuming that God called him or her to begin with. Preaching victimhood is also against biblical teachings. Christians are not victims. Pastors should preach uplifting sermons taken straight out of the Bible. An individual may walk into church a victim; however he or she should walk out a victor.

Philippians 4:13

I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who [g]infuses inner strength into me; I am [h]self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].

Romans 8:31

What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?]

“If God is for us, who [can be] against us” includes the supposedly structural racism that Rev. Robinson is so concerned about. Years ago I had an older black Christian female friend who would constantly speak about her faith in God, however; she would also lament about how racist whites were oppressing and holding back black Americans. One day I asked her if white people were more powerful than God. She was speechless. Rev. Robinson would have one to believe that God is screaming because of racism and inequality. However, the bible tells us that man’s sin is what grieves God. Our sin grieved God so much that He sent His son Jesus to die and pay the price for it.

If black pastors are preaching Social Justice in place of the Christian message taken straight from the Bible, there is no wonder the black community is in so much disarray. If the black church fails to teach against the sin of fornication, there is no wonder 70% of black babies are born to single mothers. If black churches are teaching black Americans that there is structural and institutional racism instead of telling them that God is on his or her side, there is no wonder that there is so much anger and destruction. The continual destruction of the black family is a sign that black pastors need to put down the sociology books and pick up the bible.

PatriciaDicksonPatricia Dickson blogs at Patricia’s Corner.
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19 Responses to The Christian Message vs Social Justice

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Clearly, Jeremiah Wright is in the mainstream of urban black Christian preaching. I would add that the “one race” aspect has long been a problem in many sects. The Baptists split into northern and southern wings over slavery, a split that remains to this day, and there were other such religious splits as well (even if those don’t seem to have held up after chattel slavery was finally ended). But somewhere along the line, many blacks began to use Jesse the Jetstream (whose moral preaching on abortion and other matters was altered when he placed politics above the Bible) as their savior (though still giving lip service to Jesus, I presume).

  2. The entire problem with these so-called churches is spiritual. When the scripture refers to Christians being a holy race, it means a spiritual race, all bought (purchased) by the blood of Jesus. Every Christian is part of the body of Christ which is the church. In other words, there is no need for separate places of worship divided by skin color. In addition, if this pastor was truly a Christian pastor, he would not be promoting hate and division.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      What’s needed is people to point this out in public. Even a liberal pastor might be embarrassed to have the fraudulence of his Christianity exposed.

      • That was the purpose of my article-to expose and embarrass the likes of Robinson. Many black pastors feel that it is okay to say these things while they are hidden behind the four walls of their church or on a Liberal site like CNN. Remember how embarrassed Obama was when Rev Wright was exposed? Obama pretended like he had never heard Wright say the hate filled ridiculous tripe. He then tried to distance himself from his pastor and mentor.

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Patricia is my long-lost sister…or at the very least she thinks like I do (and I wish I could write as well). “Social Justice” has long been a pet-peeve of mine.

    On the thread underneath this article at American Thinker someone asked astutely what “Social Justice” was. And another person said “Whatever they want it to mean.” And that somewhat gets to the heart of the truth.

    But a humungous unstated truth implicit in “Social Justice” is that the state is to act in the guise of God to do away with all injustices (as defined by the Left) – thus the carte blanche element. Personal morality takes a back seat to collective morality. And collective morality, as is always the case, leads not to a higher morality but to a situation where it’s always about someone else, never one’s own conduct. Collective morality bleeds away responsibility.

    Aside from the ability of “Social Justice” to erode and water-down personal morality, it gets worse. For Christians and Jews to take on the cause of “Social Justice” is nothing less than to deny the Jewish and Christian God. It is to deny the core Christian truth, “We are in this world but we are not of it.” Trying to create heaven on earth is not our job. And such a job, even besides the problems inherent in collectivizing morality, is to cut out the foundations of the belief in the first place. Who needs God if the government can solve all moral problems?

    And it never can. “Social Justice” measures justice and the good not according to eternal right-and-wrong moral issues but lowers its sights to mere economic issues. The evil is not to be lazy, lecherous, thieving, or a liar. It’s to be poor. And what a bizarrely strange viewpoint, especially considering that poverty has often been a Christian virtue. It’s moral or spiritual poverty that is the real harm.

    Unless, of course, you don’t believe any of that Christian or Jewish stuff. And I admit, I’m not sure that I believe all of it either. But if I did, I would not think that this world was the be-all end-all of our existence. Nor would I suppose that the individual was of little importance in terms of morality and that it instead was a function of the state.

    And yet there you have it. Millions of Christians and Jews who claim to be Christian or Jewish are nothing but liars. No wonder the bible says “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way.” Ya think?

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I have defined Social Gospel (which is sort of the Catholic version of Social Justice) as Marxism with a Christian veneer. I think that covers the situation well enough.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Indeed, that does cover it, if the opened-ended term “social justice” can be covered at all.

        I insist that it can be understood by understanding that “social justice” means that if there is a poor person somewhere (all things being measured through the lens of material wealth) then a “social injustice” can be said to occur — with no eye whatsoever in regards to judging whether some individual is just lazy, engaged in criminal behavior, is a serial philanderer, etc.

        Under the terms of “social justice” it’s not the individual who is to blame, it’s all of “society.” Thus we see the clear Marxist derivation of “social justice” even if Catholics and other Christians do not, let alone the Jews. Playing “useful idiot” to Marxists is not the place these people should be.

        And if there is no God and if there is no personal moral and responsible element to the individual, then a heavy-handed statist approach makes sense. With the individual considered no more than a cog in society, government plays god and is the determinant factor in shaping human behavior, the individual having been excused in doing so. And if there is no higher judgment than government, then government may do all.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Robinson would have one to believe that God is screaming because of racism and inequality.

      I would submit that trying to have a reasoned discussion with types such as the good reverend would be about as fruitful as trying to have a reasoned discussion with the Ayatolah Khomeni. And one could at least understand that Khomeni did not live in the USA.

      This goes much deeper than religion. Religion is merely the platform such scoundrels use to deceive the gullible. Where is his "Christian" message?

      Does anyone really believe Robinson could ever be satisfied or that his rage could ever be sated until he could put his foot on some white man's neck? Listen to what the man is saying. He wants nothing to do with "white" society, which makes living in the USA a bit difficult.

      Do not ever doubt that racism lies beneath much of what passes for Leftist politics in this country. The Soviets knew this and did their best to stir up racial strife for decades.

      Bastards like the "reverend" Robinson must be called what they are.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        It’s always important to remember that racism underlies a lot of race-baiting. (A lot of it is simply demagoguery.) Leftism is all about hating some opposing group. For Robinson, that group is white Americans.

  4. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    I get tired of that one. His unrelenting insistence reminded me — in the most stark terms — of James Baldwin’s prophetic quip: “Racial progress in America is measured by how fast I become white.”

    Simply having diverse congregations without addressing the weightier matters of social justice and structural racism is not better church practice. It is possibly subterfuge.

    It ignores the fact that we have to do more than call sinners to repentance, we have to call societies, systems and structures to repentance as well.

    More race-baiting grievance mongering by a con man, the likes of whom have infected a large part of the the black Christian community. Frankfurt School type Marxists have burrowed deep into our society. SSDD.

  5. Misanthropette says:

    When Catholic cardinals suggest that it’s OK for sodomites to run a parade dedicated to Saint Patrick, who converted the pagan Irish to Christianity, not homosexuality, then it’s time to correct the cardinals about the gospels. But, Catholics aren’t allowed any say in correcting anyone in that clergy, because the Catholic clergy believes itself to be above God’s laws.

    Jesus told the apostles to go out and convert people. How does one convert sinners when they’re told it’s OK to continue to sin? I agree with this post. Christianity teaches individuals that they are sinners, they must repent and amend themselves through the grace of God.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I gather Cardinal Dolan has received a good bit of criticism for surrendering moral authority to political correctness. Accepting that there will be some homosexuals in the parade is one thing (after all, some of the priests probably will be); but allowing them to organize as a group of people who explicitly and openly reject the church’s teaching is another.

  6. David Ray says:

    The categories are simple.
    Jews, Gentiles, and Church of God.

    As usual, a spot on article from a former Army NCO.

  7. I received the following insightful email:

    ” I have spent many years in prison ministry, during that time I have had the opportunity to worship with blacks, whites, Latinos, Asians. I have noticed that very few Asians have a history of religious training prior to serving a prison term. Most all Latinos have a Catholic background; majorities of whites have a religious background ranging from Catholic to Pentecostal. Well over 90% of blacks have a solid religious background. I have found that the Asians and the whites are by far the hardest to reach for Christ with in the prison walls. I have blacks extremely receptive to God’s word.

    There is one occurring story I hear over and over from blacks that accept Christ as their Lord and Savior in prison, that story is one of oppression with in the black churches in which they were brought up. I have been told so many times by black men, some old and some young that they were taught early in church to distrust the white man, to hate the white man, and to see the white man as his oppressor.

    There is a shortage of black men involved in prison ministry, so many black men have come to me and ask, why is it that all the Christian volunteers are older white men? Older white men retire earlier and have more time to dedicate to a demanding ministry such as prison ministry, but there are also enough strong Christian black men that they should have a larger presence amongst the volunteers. So I have gone into black churches to recruit black men for prison ministry. I have found that many black pastors run their congregations with an iron hand and are not interested in their membership becoming involved in something that is so white.

    Their lack of support for a ministry that preaches individual responsibility, that is ecumenical, and strictly follows the Bible says volumes about and brings a wall of truth to what so many black men behind the walls have told me over the years. All they learned in the formative years going to church with mama was hatred for the white man, as one young man told as he was crying and hugging me after accepting Christ, “I’m so glad you old white guys are not the devil, I’m been told all my life that all any white person ever wanted was to exploit and enslave me.”

    Your article rings true, many black ministers can not afford to give up the social justice teaching and rely on the Bible, if they did their congregations would expose them for the charlatans that they are. They will lose their prestige in the community and their funds coming from liberal politicians would dry up.”

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Very interesting. One might note that Christians are supposed to help minister to the needs of prisoners (of course, in Roman times such prisoners were often simply victims of corrupt authority), and this would seem to be an ideal field for social justice if its adherent really meant what they say. But then, when are liberals ever sincere in their claimed beliefs?

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Patricia, so far my experience with “black” churches has been mostly positive. Although I have been told in the past confidentially by pastors that having a white person in the congregation is often frowned upon, such pastors that I know didn’t let that bother them. I fear such pastors may be in the minority.

      Certainly there is nothing wrong with a black pastor focusing on the wreckage wrought by black liberal culture, as is the implicit (but not overtly state) mission of one good black pastor whom I know. The black pastor I’m referring to has a very B.T. Washington approach to what ails the black man: honest work and responsible behavior.

      These things, of course, apply to all people of whatever race. But it just so happens that the black race has been deeply wounded by welfare and the grievance policies of the Left (including those pastors who actually preach Marxism, not Christianity). In England, for example, it’s been mostly white people who have been turned into moral vegetables.

      And as I had stated elsewhere, one of the impediments to fixing this stuff is that the truth itself has been boxed into a corner by political correctness and the disease of Leftism. To point out that there is a racist attitude being instilled by many in the black community is a verboten topic, especially for white people. Its’s okay (maybe) for black people to point this out. But such is the extent that prejudice has become mainstream — colorblindness having long been forgotten as a goal — that if a white person points this out, he is worse than a scoundrel.

      And you help make plain that the issues involve transcend race…or should. Maybe you can give us cowardly white folk a little backbone by your example. We certainly need it. The condescending attitudes that whites give to blacks — what Bush called “the soft bigotry of low expectations” — is a very active and caustic ingredient. The “nice” that so many white people engage in is anything but.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        There is at least one good black pastor in Louisville, Kevin Cosby, who was denounced as a “traitor” for allowing Anne Northup to appear at his church. He responded with an op-ed suggesting that many liberals seem to think this is still the 1960s, which led me to come up with the concept of “Rip Van Winkle liberals”.

  8. Timothy Lane says:

    Larry Provost has an article today (available at reviewing Distortion by Chelsea Vicari, which discusses the liberal infiltration of modern churches.

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