If you don’t know, this is a post that helps you the reader to become more acquainted with where I – the author of this site – stand on various topics and theological points. Keep reading to see where I stand on today’s topic.
This particular topic, Social Justice, has garnered quite a bit of attention in recent years and I ask that you as the reader read the following in its entirety before jumping to any conclusions in order to avoid reading things out of context. Thank you.
I will be providing a bit more information in this positional post but still aim to keep the descriptions short, draw things back to where I stand, and provide additional resources to you if you wish to understand further. My positions are found under the 1st three headings and the final provides additional sources of information to educate yourself on this society-impacting topic.
Intro & Overview
Historically, Christians have been at the center of many social reforms and peaceful justice-seeking in the world. Such endeavors arose alongside the work to preach the Gospel and bring the message to people around the world. We did it because we cared for those we were reaching out to as we aimed to represent Christ.
Today, social justice is a rather hot-button topic. When I first came into contact with the term, I saw it dealing with issues like racial discrimination (racism) as well as other wrongs in society. Social justice was all about justice as it connected to social ills in society.
Justice is the right thing to seek out. God is justice and, being joined to Him through Christ, will make us want to see what is right done.
The problem comes with social justice (today) having become more than what I had first thought years ago. While it does aim to deal with racism, it does it entirely on its own terms. Social justice today has become twisted as part of a greater Marxist movement or Cultural Marxism. It effectively seeks to redistribute results in society to reach what it considers “equal”–namely equity. It is also from this ideology that we see the talk of privilege come from (privilege vs. intersectionality)–which includes very Gnostic ways of looking at race relations (an entire topic in and of itself).
Despite the anti-God nature at its core, this ideology has been seeping into the Church and has resulted in a divide between those who are submitting themselves to the Marxist ideology and those who will not. Of course, there are also those caught between the formed sides and have imbibed at least some of the prevailing terminology. Many of these people are conscientious and are simply wanting to do what is right.
What the social justice movement now espouses and what scriptural Christianity stands for in the gospel are not one and the same thing. Therefore, seeking social justice cannot be conflated with preaching the gospel. One is filled with God’s good light and the other is entirely worldly–even going to the point of redefining various key terms (a rather cult-like behavior). The social justice message and the Christian gospel are different gospels.
Even so, seeking justice is related to Christianity. This I will not deny. (Though we should seek it out peacefully–not in rebellion.) If I stand and say that all are one in Christ, then this is going to have profound implications across culture, race, ethnicity, national identity, subculture, etc. At His feet, there is no division. We should be united in our call to Christ and united in the call to proclaim Christ.
A Big Picture View
To put this all another way, let us use imagery. This umbrella image depicts how I see the reality of social justice as it is now.
Inclusion and diversity are both in quotes as they are defined independently from what is common. In other words, CRT has its own definitions for these (and, arguably, others). I know that there are other terms I could add to the diagram but you should be able to see how I’ve come to see Cultural Marxism in Social Justice from this.
While I depict the Cultural Marxism umbrella as bigger than the Other umbrella, this is simply because I see it as prevailing. In reality, the two sub-umbrellas underneath the Social Justice umbrella are regularly in flux. In recent history, I have seen a lot more push-back on the Cultural Marxism (CM) umbrella; however, with those under Other often making use of terms in similar ways to CM, it can be practically speaking difficult to tell where the line is between these two umbrellas.
I would place myself under the Other umbrella though I also distance myself more strongly from much of the CM terminology.
Since I effectively highlighted inclusion and diversity, these are words I will still use to describe my position however my angle of viewing them is different from those of CM. Diversity is not something directly sought but is the positive and welcome result of being inclusive. We are all of us image-bearers of God whether we each submit to Him or not. There is an inclusiveness in this. As a Christian, I should seek out, befriend, give the gospel to, and live my life alongside my fellow human beings regardless of their distinctions.
One of the elements of the CM ideology that I find most troubling is the Gnostic element as it is said that only those of minorities or those experiencing intersectionality (member of multiple “minorities” / oppressed groups) have any right to comment on oppression because of their experiences. It is for the rest of us, namely “whites,” to simply be quiet, listen, and accept claims that we are forever racist no matter what we do or say. Experience is king therefore you cannot use logic to discuss or refute. If you do, you are proving your racism. I cannot stand with such a blatantly discriminatory ideology–a claim that those of this Cultural Marxism say is impossible as the “oppressed” cannot be racist in their view.
A Summary regarding the social justice umbrella and me:
So after all that, here are key points I want to emphasize as to where I stand/see things:
- Justice is the right thing to seek and especially right for Christians to want to seek and approve of.
- Racism/discrimination of any group of people is wrong.
- Seeking “social justice”, or anything for that matter, at the cost of the gospel is wrong. We should always be pointing to Christ as Christians in all that we do. (regardless of what we call our activity)
- We should never be turning to atheistic principles to solve society’s issues. We have what we need to impact others in Christ. Christ consistently served and helped others all while pointing them to God while He did.
- “Social justice” as a term has become rather tainted despite how good the words themselves sound. As such, I would prefer the term “social righteousness.” With that said, I can and do find common ground with those who insist on this terminology.
- I fully recognize that there are those individuals & sects out there under the banner of “social justice” who are truly and only seeking rightful justice for the wronged. They often use the term divorced of Marxism. This muddies the waters and is another reason I distance myself from using it to represent myself or the truth.
- As Christians, we should be focused on social righteousness rather than the tainted social justice of today. This includes being willing to sit down and listen and work with even those of different views to resolve injustice and issues that arise.
- Critical Theory (CT)/Critical Race Theory (CRT) is often combined with postmodernism today. It becomes anti-science as it redefines truth and treats it in a relative fashion and part of the hegemony (quite pessimistic about being able to find things objective, if at all; everything gets back to power). Logic itself is treated as an enemy because experience is treated as the source of truth in the postmodernist CRT way of thinking. I’d expect at least some adherents to act like science is still alive despite this view being against it–another point of muddying the waters.
- CT/CRT within postmodernism and the cultural marxist mindset lacks real forgiveness. It lacks true redemption.
- Much of what is pointed to as racism as of this writing is either not at all racism or is a relabeling of what is classism at the core.
Cultural Marxism (Critical Theory as applied to culture)
This is an issue of great concern involving this topic of social justice as this Marxist view has very much become a part of the movements of social justice advocates.
Note: again, this is not to say that there aren’t those who have associated themselves with the current wave of social justice who are merely trying to seek true justice.
Marxism–of any kind–is antithetical to the ways of God.
If you are interested in learning more on the topic of Cultural Marxism, I would recommend listening to Voddie Baucham who has multiple materials–including videos on the subject.
Here’s an example from YouTube (where you can find many others as well): (37:20)
The above gives more of a lengthy definition but the next get more specifically into Cultural Marxism on the topic. (1:05:45)
The term itself is composed of words that in themselves sound good but in reality, are not used in that light.
However, there are those who will side themselves with the Social Justice movements but draw a line somewhere (part of what I was getting at with my earlier Note). The following video digs into that: (28:30)
If you wish to see more material on this topic, there is even more on YouTube (YT) and elsewhere by leaders such as John MacArthur.
Added 2.25.2021 – This next one is particularly great and useful. Of course, its thoroughness makes it on the long side (3 hrs 29 minutes). It is from the Just Thinking podcast. These brothers in the faith have the topic spot-on. You can also find it on YouTube.
Note: I do these posts not because I think I’m somehow superior in my views or anything absurd like that but out of a desire to be up-front and honest with my readers as to where I stand. Otherwise, you’d be left to figure things out by reading between the lines and/or guessing.