A new ideology has emerged that distorts how Americans—Christians included—understand justice. Its millions of devotees signal their loyalty to the ideology by speaking proudly of their commitment to “social justice.” In fact, in most cases the churches that are espousing social justice do not understand the dangerous worldview at its foundation. However, as they continue to embrace this ideology they will continue to exist as churches but not as true orthodox believing pillars of Truth (1 Timothy 3:15). The manifestation of the “spirit of error or falsehood,” (1 John 4:6) as I referred to in my last article, Understanding the SJM, is evident in these churches as they leave the teachings of the Old and New Testaments, or add ministries that support false ideologies.
These churches touch the surface of this ideology by expressing deep concern, and identification with people of color and how they have been oppressed. To show their supposed love they will say things like: “I feel for my black brothers and sisters who suffer racism.” “I admit that me being white has brought me great privileges, that are not afforded people of color.” “I feel so guilty for being white.“ “We must be more inclusive of all people and admit that we have offended and hurt them.” “I don’t recall ever being racist, but unconsciously I am a racist or I must be a racist.”
Many Christians have only a vague awareness of this ideology and, consequently, don’t see the danger. In the vast majority of these “racially minded” churches, and they are replete here in the Portland, Oregon area, there is little or no effort to discern, securitize, or combat the false claims and arguments of this philosophy that opposes the Truth of who God is and God’s written Word. Clearly, this is a time when true Christ-followers ought to obey Paul’s admonitions to the Corinthian Church and not be swayed by the culture:
“3 We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. 4 We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ” – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NLT
What is Biblical Justice Compared to Media Justice?
18 “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. 19 You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous. 20 Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the LORD your God is giving you” – Deuteronomy 16:18-20 ESV
Justice rendered in the Bible means “righteousness.” Its emphasis is to think and act morally according to a moral standard as expressed in law. In Torah (the first 5 books of the Bible) to act justly was a powerful moral code laid out by Yahweh God. In both the Old and New Testaments there was never a righteous outcome in the court of “public opinion” because there was a great risk of being swayed and deceived when the voice was heard from the masses. Please read closely the wisdom coming from God through Moses in Torah:
“You must not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you are called to testify in a dispute, do not be swayed by the crowd to twist justice” – Exodus 23:2 NLT. Why? Because the majority—the herd—is too often morally wrong!
This is exactly what is taking place under the moniker of the SJM. Especially because the leftist media turns a deaf ear to true judicial justice and the court of public opinion can be skewed at the least and corrupt at the worst. One reason Torah warns about the “mob” is that people tend to act worse in groups than when alone. The herd emboldens people to do bad things they would rarely do if they had no such support. We saw this in operation across America in 2020. One of the saddest facts of the human condition is that most people follow the herd, and nothing explains the success or failure of countries more than does the presence or absence of corruption.
The Founding Fathers of America could have instituted a pure Democracy (majority rule) but chose to establish a Constitutional Republic (elected representatives that deliberate) for a reason. The basis of their decision was Exodus 23:2! We can get a glimpse at what happens when the herd is operative— in what transpired around Christ during His final week on earth. As He entered Jerusalem, the people ushered Him in with great enthusiasm, treating Him as a national hero (Matthew 21:9), but the next week, the same people “all said ‘Crucify Him!’” (Matthew 27:21). Founding Father John Adams used the term “mob rule,” and Benjamin Rush, “mobocracy”—both terms that capture well the problems of a pure democracy: it is an unpredictable way to carry out justice because many times passions, prejudices, and selfishness prevail over reason and deliberation. God’s insight from His ancient Word is profound—don’t you think?
The judicial verdict of a given crime is when Justice is meted out through the legal process, not in the public arena.
“Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly” – Leviticus 19:15 NLT
In the worldview of ideological social justice, authority is conferred not by wisdom, judicial law, and the courts, or due process, but by the experiences of victims. So-called victims, especially if you are identified as a victim group like people of color, women, and members of LGBTQ+, the facts are irrelevant and dismissed by the SJM pontificators. As a result, victims, (usually people in a particular identified marginalized group), are immediately deemed innocent, and the people in authority, usually a police officer, or now white males, are identified as oppressors. These are tried and judged in the venue of social media, or what I call the “Media Justice.” Jurisprudence (the theory or philosophy of law) is thrown out the window or when these incidents go to court and the final verdict exonerates the police officer, for example, the cultural sway of “guilt before innocence” has dominated the mind and soul of our culture. Perhaps we could learn from the wise biblical proverb—
“Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish” – Proverbs 18:13 NLT
Please read Exodus 23:1-3 closely.
1 “You shall not spread a false report (rumor). You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. 2 You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice, 3 nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit” – Exodus 23:1-3 ESV
The role of Judges was crucial in the Bible and it is why, even today, many of the political battles are over who are elected as judges across the land.
Here are four observations from these verses that are germane to all of life but, in particular, the social justice issue.
#1 Almost by definition, rumors are negative and often malicious. People don’t make up “nice” rumors about people.
#2 Great damage is done to an innocent party. Once a person’s good name is lost, it is very hard, if not impossible, to get it back.
#3 The role of the Judge is not to undo society’s ills, but to render justice in the particular case that has come before the court. When judges forsake that role, they actually hurt society, not repair it, because a good society rests first and foremost on justice.
#4 When listing qualifications for and the function of Judges like above in Leviticus 19:15; Exodus 18:21, and here in Ex. 23:1-3, we notice that the character quality of “compassion” is missing. Why? Because first and foremost judgments are to be rendered on what the facts dictate, and not on the feelings of the judge or the political slant of the judges. In America, that is why justice was meant to be rendered according to the Law, or the Constitution, and not according to men. This is why I personally would like judges appointed and elected who are Constitutionalists. The SJM proponents wish to abolish the Constitution, or to progressively make it a “living document” to fit the cultural persuasion. This clearly reflects the Marxist ideology of the SJM, which is to overthrow existing American structural and organizational institutions.
The New Code-Speech
It is becoming increasingly difficult to miss the influence of the SJM—most notably the form of “identity politics” or “political correctness.”
Almost every day we see a story about someone who has been fired, “canceled,” or subjected to a public shaming on social media for having said or done something interpreted as sexist, racist, or homophobic. Sometimes the accusations are warranted. However, increasingly, the accusation is highly interpretive and its reasoning tortuous. It feels sometimes as though any well-intentioned person, even one who values universal liberty and equality, could inadvertently say something that falls foul of the new speech codes with devastating consequences for his/her career and/or reputation.
The following is such a minor example because my job or reputation was not at stake.
The other day I was at ACE Hardware in West Linn, Oregon and I asked for help to load garden soil. When the young gal came to help me load, I simply said “Wow! thank you for the help!” She snapped at me, “You sound surprised—do you think I cannot do this because I am a woman?” With a sincere and startled tone in my voice I looked her straight in the eyes and said, “That never even entered my mind. I have had two shoulder surgeries and it is difficult for me to lift heavy objects so I am really grateful for the help.” She did not say she was sorry, but her facial expression was one of a semi-recognition that I could have possibly been telling her the truth. She walked back into the store without any other acknowledgment. As an aside, ever since that encounter it has been a positive turn-around with her. Every time I see her, I acknowledge her by name, address her with a smile and a sincere greeting. She has warmed up to me and now she calls me by my first name. I love being old and communicating with the younger generation.
This new “code speech” threat without a person understanding what you mean is called unconscious racism. It is confusing and counterintuitive to a culture accustomed to placing human dignity first and, thus, valuing charitable interpretations and tolerance of a wide range of views. At best this has a chilling effect on the culture of free expression, which has served democracies well for more than two centuries as good people self-censor to avoid saying the “wrong” things. At worst, it is a malicious form of bullying and—when institutionalized—a kind of authoritarianism in our midst.
If you are up for the intellectual challenge, (I know many of you are!) I recommend the book Cynical Theories, How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay. It is a scholarly work in which I have to use my Siri dictionary on my computer to define words I have never heard before. It has been tremendously clarifying and insightful and I loved being stretched to learn new words. Also, a really fascinating YouTube conversation of Lindsay being interviewed in New York is titled: The Trojan Horse part one. It is kind of mind boggling!
In observing the astonishing rapid rise of this ideology and the difficulty in understanding it Lindsay writes—
“Critical Race Theory has a very peculiar view of the world—one that even speaks its own language, in a way. Within the English-speaking world, they speak English, but they use everyday words differently from the rest of us. When they speak of “racism,” for example, they are not referring to prejudice on the grounds of race, but rather to , as they define it., a racialized system that permeates all intersections in society yet is largely invisible except to those who experience it or who have been trained in the proper “critical” methods that train them to see it. (These are the people sometimes referred to as being “woke,” meaning awakened, to it.) This technical usage of the word inevitably bewilders people, and, in their confusion, they may go along with things they wouldn’t if they had a common frame of reference to help them understand what is actually meant by the word.” Page 15
What really happened in Ferguson?
An egregious example used to further the SJM agenda was the situation in Ferguson, Missouri. This incident was the catalyst that gave rise to the Black Lives Matter movement. Because Brown was black, he was cast as a victim of wanton police brutality. Because the officer, Darren Wilson, was white, he was cast as a villain even before the facts of the case were known. According to this carefully crafted narrative, Brown innocently approached Wilson’s patrol car with his hands raised, pleading, “Hands up, don’t shoot!” NONE OF THIS WAS TRUE, as a grand jury discovered in acquitting Wilson and according to a later in-depth investigation by the Barack Obama/Eric Holder Department of Justice.
Once again when the megaphones of the leftist press, Hollywood, and the leftist academic elite spewed these racially inflaming lies it was too late. The popular narrative was already well established and continues to be accepted as “truth” by many, many people today. If fact most people do not even know the truth of what really happened in Ferguson because they have believed the lie instead of the truth.
The Ninth Commandment in Exodus 20:16 is:
“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”
Lies cause the greatest evils.
While goodness and compassion may be the most important values in the micro, or personal realm, in the macro, or societal realm, truth is even more important than compassion or kindness. Virtually all the great societal evils—whether African slavery, communism, Nazism, or anti-Semitism—have been based on lies. There were probably some slave traders, Nazis, communists, and anti-Semites who were compassionate to at least some people, but all of them were told and most of them believed, some great lie that made or allowed them to participate in great evil.
• African slavery was made possible in large measure by the lie that blacks were inherently inferior to whites.
• Communist totalitarianism was entirely based on lies, embodied in promised security, health care, and economic success if you swore allegiance to the State because the State was going to usher in a type of utopia with all the necessities one needed.
• The Holocaust would have been impossible without tens of millions of people believing the lie that Jews were sub-human. These lies are still perpetuated today with the re-emergence of anti-Semitism across the globe.
As Dennis Prager says in his excellent commentary of the Book of Exodus,
“There is only so much evil that can be done by individual sadists and sociopaths. In order to murder millions of people, vast numbers of normal, even otherwise decent, people, must believe lies. Mass evil is committed not because a vast number of people seek to be cruel, but because they are fed convincing lies that what is evil is actually good.” Look to page 269 in Exodus, God, Slavery, and Freedom.
The only caveat I would add to Prager’s comment is that people are not innocently deceived or convinced. They are willingly led into deception because “they do not love the Truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:10). Without the moral compass and the willingness to grasp the Truth of Scripture and suppression of one’s moral conscience, people are open to calling good evil and evil good (Isaiah 5:20). We are seeing this on a massive scale today by devoted followers of the SJM and should I dare say even professing Christians. Wow how sobering is this!
Biblical Discernment Is Vital!
The lack of discernment is replaced with an immediate acceptance of the secular voices that are promoting a false worldview, which is foundational in the SJM. When people hear “social justice,” they assume it is no different than “judicial justice.” Of course, justice is a deeply biblical idea as I stated above, but this new ideology is far from biblical. It is, in fact, a comprehensive worldview rooted in Marxist (the ideology that promotes the overthrow of existing structures) and postmodern (based on the premise that there is no moral absolute but relativistic group truths) presuppositions that compete with a biblical worldview (an overarching moral truth rooted in Scripture). Today’s social justice proponents typically deny the Marxist roots as a “hoax concept.” However, a careful examination of social justice and neo-Marxism, (which means incorporating elements of Marxism into newer sociological, psychological, political thoughts and in this case Critical Race Theory), reveals that they are cut from the same ideological cloth.
I have no expectations or allusions that people without the Spirit of God will have the courage to make biblical moral judgements.“But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised (discerned).” – 1 Corinthians 2:14 NASB
However, one positive reality is that there are many good people who do not profess Christ exercising moral discernment. These, in many cases, are more frequent than many church leaders. Some of these morally upright people are in the category of God-Fearing individuals. I wrote two intriguing articles about such people found in the Bible on my blog, daleebel.org, dated: May 11th and 16th 2020 that you will find informative. Clearly some of God’s truths are open for all to obtain and embrace— “For when Gentiles who do not have the Law (the Torah in particular) do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves.” – Romans 2:14 NASB
When church leaders, pastors, and elders disregard biblical discernment, especially when they promote on their websites and from their pulpits, this false ideology of “systemic racism,” without doing their Biblical homework—it is an indictment of them as so-called “spiritual leaders.” Aren’t they meant to protect the flock of God especially from distorting the Truth?
28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears” – Act 20:28-31 NIV
Those of us who have the Spirit of God can discern all things:
“15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is [rightly] judged by no one. 16 For who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:15-16 NKJV.
Friends, aren’t these amazing, sobering and motivational verses?! I must become more biblically insightful.
What can be done when your church espouses the SJM?
Recently, a friend, Ryan Ramona, his Dad Gregg Ramona and I gathered to address our concerns to Westside: A Jesus Church in Portland, Oregon, for posting and recommending Social Justice (SJ) tenets without presenting a Biblical critique. Ryan, who was the initiator of the gathering, observed the distorted, unbalanced and biased dogma of Social Justice being presented while attending Westside. Ryan and his wife were members of Westside, learning and growing in their walk with Christ for over two years. In a matter of months Westside, under the direction of Dom Dominic, embraced the SJM tenets and, like other churches, encouraged their members to read and follow the teachings of the SJM that was referenced online for church members to read.
After thoroughly reading their recommended material promoted on their website, Ryan felt compelled to write a letter to the leadership team and asked them to meet personally. When we met with two of the pastors the dialogue was instructive, gracious, and direct. In our conversation one of the questions I asked them was: where is the Scriptural support and biblical basis of their Social Justice buy-in and the promotion of it on their website? They simply shrugged their shoulders. Pretty sobering wouldn’t you say?
We all ought to follow Ryan’s example and address our biblical concerns to the leadership of a given church if they espouse this ideology without biblical clarity. As I have suggested before, if they do not listen please remember you are the “paying customer”☺ and withdraw from the church, and for sure take your money with you. There are many other Biblically based ministries who are making efforts to transform culture that you can invest in.
Why Social Justice is not Biblical Justice,by Scott David Allen gives us some clarifying statements about Social Justice.
“Ideas have consequences. True ideas, like Biblical justice are essential building blocks for free, prosperous, and flourishing nations. Bad ideas, like ideological social justice, are terribly destructive, rending the social fabric, exacerbating hostility, and ultimately destroying relationships. It is imperative that Christ-followers, who are called to be ministers of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-20), carefully discern the differences between biblical justice and the ideology of social justice. Both use the same word but mean vastly different things by it.” Pages 13&14.
I encourage you to purchase several of his books as soon as possible and begin to educate yourself and others by giving them away to receptive people. I have bought 25 of them and have given them out to people of significant ministries and if the people I gave them to would influence others with this information they could potentially impact over 30,000+ people.
Remember friends — you have more influence than you might imagine.
Defining Additional Terms
Racism is an ideology of intellectual or moral superiority based upon the biological characteristics of race. Racism, therefore, usually leads to discrimination based upon a perceived hierarchy of superior and inferior races.
Defined by the SJM, the term racism refers to the systems of collective social and institutional white power and privilege based on white prejudice. Racism, therefore, is defined as “white racial and cultural discrimination supported by institutional power and authority, used to the advantage of whites and the disadvantage of people of Color.” Racism encompasses economic, political, social, and institutional actions and beliefs that systematize and perpetuate an unequal distribution of privileges, resources, and power between whites and people of Color.
No thoughtful Christian approves of true racism, injustice, or oppression when they objectively see it or experience it. They will stand against it and promote true justice. But by adopting these secular, leftist categories, which are rooted in ideologies explicitly intended to divide people, well-meaning Christians are making divides within Christianity and broader society worse rather than better. However, as I explained above from 1 John 2:19 all divisions are not bad in fact they can reveal who is approved of God and who is not (1 Corinthians 11:19).
Systemic Racism as defined by the SJM Promoters.
The Social Justice Movement defines Systemic Racism as the individual and institutional practices and policies based on the belief that a particular race is superior to another. This often results in depriving certain individuals and groups of civil liberties, rights and other resources, hindering opportunities for social, educational, and political advancement. “Systemic” means it permeates every facet or dimension of all of our systems, and structures. There is no escape from racism under this definition.
The accusations of Systemic Racist’s ideologies in a myriad of institutions across America, essentially go unchallenged by the authorities of these institutions without verifiable and objective facts to prove the claims of racism. Mostly because they are intimidated and fearful of massive kickback from the media and the aggressive SJM warriors who have infiltrated and, in some cases, are paid to seek out so-called injustices (Look to the definition of “problematizing” below). The definition of Social Justice to the SJM means “deconstructing traditional systems and structures deemed to be oppressive and redistributing power and resources from oppressors to the so-called victims in the pursuit of equality of outcomes.”
Problematizing is, as adherents to Social Justice would say, the process of making those oppressions (and other moral failings) visible. The goal of this activity is to replace false consciousness (especially internalized oppression) with critical consciousness (i.e. wokeness) and thus agitate for a social and cultural revolution.
Problematics are ways to find certain aspects of a given company, school, political party, or person, that fall short of the moral agenda of the Social Justice purposes. In particular, problematizes are search dogs that look for and find oppression which they believe is everywhere. Their narrow definition of oppression (so-called marginalization) seeks to find injustice through the grid of systemic power. Is this scary or what? It is like the “brown shirts” in the time of Germany— spying, investigating, and securitizing every move one makes if they are part of a business, institution, or sports franchise.
This is reminiscent of the police state in communist countries but what I would call, “social policing.” This feels, at first impression, to be benign… but it is not. One reason is because our culture, and many Christians, are responding with conformity and accommodation and, therefore, it seems less intrusive. I love the word “resist.” As soon as you resist the “resistance movement,” wow, do you ever get a kick back! You see, the SJM, in their minds, cannot tolerate anyone who does not tolerate their point of view.
The Distinction between Equity and Equality
The concept of equality is significantly important when understanding the language of the SJM. Remember in previous articles I said that the language we use and the language that CRT advocates use is radically different in the definitions of certain terms? It behooves us to be at least familiar with some of these differences.
Here is one case in point.
Where you and I would define equality as the notion of being fair and impartial for anyone, the SJM would rather use the term “equity.” Have you noticed how prolific this term is? There is a reason.
Here is the distinction: While equality means sameness, or fairness in opportunity for each individual, “equity” means giving people special treatment so that outcomes will be equal. The SJM expands their activism and say that organizations and systems do not afford the same resources and accesses for all people. Marginalized people, therefore, must receive special and additional treatment to give them success. The merit of their behaviors and skills is not determined by their abilities or performance but by the SJM’s determination of equal opportunities. Therefore, equity means that an individual needs a different and special treatment (not equal) in order to maintain fairness and accesses.
As defined by the social justice advocates, the meaning of “equity” takes pains to distinguish itself from that of “equality.” Where equality means that citizen A and citizen B are treated equally, equity means adjusting the shares in order to make citizen A and B equal. In that sense, equity is a kind of “social communism” —the intentional redistribution of shares, not for economic reasons, but to correct current historical injustices that are perceived and defined by those who advocate for Social Justice.
Some suggested efforts for you to make:
1. Look up the above verses in your own Bible and mark, underline, or mark up the Scriptures as to how they impact you.
2. Write a shorter version of the what happened in Ferguson and be able to communicate this succinctly in conversations.
3. Marvel with me about the wisdom of God from Torah. Become familiar with these verses and be able to retrieve them when in your conversations with others.
There is and will be an even greater push to get rid of the Electoral College and move to a majority vote. Comment as to why our Founding Fathers’ created a Constitutional Republic.
Become familiar with the terms that I explained above. I’m pretty wordy so reduce them into manageable definitions.
I’m impressed that you read this article!