In the coming articles I hope to clarify the meanings of the many terms associated with the SJM as well as provide biblical responses and clarifications of how we are to guard against this false ideology. Thank you for reading them and, as a reminder, you might not be assimilating this information for you only but perhaps also for your children, grandchildren, a friend or relative. Please feel free past these articles on to others or, better yet, write up your own take and send them to people in your sphere of influence.
To be honest with you, recently, I have had some self-doubt about how I have been critiquing the organized Church and modern Christendom. I do not want to be a person who only stands against what is wrong rather than supporting what is good and right. However, it is becoming apparent, at least here in the Northwest, that many churches are compromising with the culture and also not standing on the Word of God with regard to this particular ideology and other subjects related to it. Issues like gender, sexual orientation, and abortion. There is clearly an overemphasis on an unbiblical type of love at the expense of biblical Truth. Like Brock, our second oldest grandson has said to me on various occasions, “we can, and we are loving people to hell.” I love the Church, the true “called-out ones” (Matthew 16:18) of God, and my intentions are to help guard the flock (the Church) of God from ideological and biblical errors which are on the rise and will only be heightened in the days before Christ’s return. Look to Act 20:28. Therefore, not only am I affirming the salvation that we hold so close to our hearts, minds, and actions, but also to “contend” — that is to defend —the rich Word of God (Jude 3).
Understanding the Spirit of Error
Before I address the SJM I will clarify the passages below from the Apostle John
18 “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not [really] of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but [they went out,] so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.” – 1 John 2:18-20 NASB
This is the first occurrence of the term “antichrist.” Its usage is found only in John’s epistles (4:3; 2 John 7). Here it refers to the coming final world ruler energized by Satan who will seek to replace and oppose the true Christ. While this first “antichrist” refers to a particular person prophesied in Scripture, the next reference is plural, “antichrists,” and refers to many individuals who have been influencing Christianity over the years by propagating lies with regard to the purity of the Word of God and distorting the Truth. The term also refers to a principle of evil, incarnated in men, who have and are in varying degrees, opposed to the things of God as revealed in Scripture.
It is so interesting to me today as I hear, over and over again, only the reference to “Jesus,” in many of these “social justice evangelical churches” (SJEC). I hear the word “Jesus,” repeatedly, but do not hear much about “The Lord Jesus Christ,” and I seldom ever hear His complete title and Name said together—“The Lord Jesus Christ.” used in the same sentence. Even less, is their teaching on the biblical importance of His full title and name. I think this is telling, because the emphasis becomes our salvation only and not the complete mission and description of the Christ we worship.
The word “Jesus” is from the Greek word meaning, “Jehovah is salvation,” which describes His work of saving us from sin and how we have become the beneficiaries of His gracious forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7) and reconciliation to God through His death on the cross (Romans 5:16; 2 Corinthians 5:18). “Christ” means the “Messiah or “Anointed One”(John 1:41) revealing His past fulfilled prophecies (Isaiah 53) and revealing His future prophetic fulfillments (Matthew 24) as He carries out His Father’s ultimate will on earth (1 Corinthians 15:24). “Lord” references His rule as Master and King and therefore our allegiance and submission through repentance (Matthew 4:17&19) and following Him in obedience (Matthew 7:21). Understanding His Messiahship leads us to carry out His mission to proclaim and advance His Kingdom (Matthew 4:17&23). If we only emphasize “Jesus” and not the realities of His Messiahship and Lordship, we have at the very foundation of our Faith an incomplete gospel!
Notice in verse 2:19 of 1 John, the characteristic of false teachers and/or deceivers—they depart from those who are faithful, they arise from within the church and lead people away from the pure doctrine of the complete Word of God and, therefore, from the true Church of Jesus Christ. Those who are genuinely “born again” or “born from above” (John 3:8) endure in faith and fellowship with the Truth (1 Corinthians 11:19; 2 Timothy 2:12). The ultimate test of true Christianity is endurance (Matthew 13:13; Hebrew 3:14). The departure of people from the Truth and the church is their unmasking.
What does Social Justice as a movement mean?
Social Justice refers to specific theoretical perspectives that recognize that society is stratified (i.e. divided and unequal) in significant and far reaching ways along social group lines that include race, class, gender, sexuality and ability. Social Justice believes and assumes that inequities are deeply embedded in the fabric of society (i.e., as structural), and actively seeks to change this.
The outcomes of the Social Justice Movement are the deconstructing of traditional systems (mostly here in America) and therefore American traditions, and structures deemed to be oppressive. One of the primary objectives is the activism to redistribute power and resources from oppressors to their victims in the pursuit of equality of outcomes.
Social Justice espouses Critical Race Theory. In a sense CRT is the engine that drives the SJM. It is the internal mechanism of the purposeful activism associated with the SJM and therefore I will take time to define it more thoroughly.
What does Critical Race Theory mean?
Critical race theory (CRT) is a scholarly and political approach to examining race that leads to a consequential analysis and profound understanding of racism. For clarification racism is an ideology of intellectual or moral superiority based on biological characteristics of race. Moreover, racism typically entails a willingness to discriminate based upon a perceived hierarchy of superior and inferior races. CRT argues, as a starting point, that the center of all of American social life is fundamentally constructed in race and, therefore, racist. As a result, the economic, political, and historical relationships and arrangements that we have to institutions and social processes are all race based. CRT also argues that, as a whole, this idea has been purposefully ignored, subdued and marginalized in both the dominant and public discourse and that there are serious repercussions that arise from this structural blindness. One of the most important tenets of CRT is the assertion that race is socially constructed, it is not biological, yet it denotes how power is used and appropriated in society.
Here are four salient points about CRT
#1 CRT is centrally concerned with power in which it holds a higher regard than truth because truth has been defined and derived by those who are the oppressors.
#2 It distinguishes itself from traditional civil rights for all people and instead favors identity politics in the radical sense which promotes antagonism between the different races, genders, sexes and economic inequities.
#3 It is not interested in progress but in revolution.
#4 It calls into question the very foundations of the Liberal, Constitutional Republic and Democratic order including principles of equality, enlightenment rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law. It is anti-Western and in the narrower context anti-American.
The overarching end game for both the SJM and CRT is POWER and who yields the power!
Jesus, the Christ, recognized the influence of those in power and how they exercised their rule influenced others. In the passage below He casts the Gentile rulers in a derogatory light— “Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them” – Matthew 20:25.
I cannot over state this point—the ultimate goal of CRT or the SJM is POWER, not just segmented or isolated power, but full cultural influence and domination—Does my concern sound extreme? It is not!
“When the [uncompromisingly] righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked man rules, the people groan and sigh” – Proverbs 29:2 Amplified.
The Lord Yahweh God understood the importance of having righteous people in authority because as the leadership goes so goes a nation or city. Isaiah 1:26 bears this out. The city of Jerusalem, during the millennial kingdom (Christ’s reign for a 1,000 years on earth as revealed in Revelation 20:1-6) will go as the judges and lawyers (counselors) exercise their authority with righteousness.
“Then I will give you good judges again and wise counselors (lawyers) like you used to have. Then Jerusalem will again be called the home of Justice and the Faithful City” – Isaiah 1:26 NLT
We also know that our God does not operate in the spiritual realm only as He attests that some day the LORD Jesus Christ will rule literally here on earth with wisdom and Truth.
“For the time is coming,” says the LORD, “when I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line. He will be a King who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right throughout the land” – Jeremiah 23:5 NLT
For the most part modern Christendom does not address the importance of who is in power because we have relegated our Christianity to our private and personal lives. However, EVERY ONE of us are touched by people in power, in control and in authority. Not only are we influenced personally but judicial laws are passed by people in government which shape the moral compass of a nation. Take, for example Roe vs. Wade or the sanctioning of Gay marriage.
Power is clearly the ultimate determiner in any discipline in this life. Obviously, this list could be endless but think about just a few of these:
• Whoever selects the curriculum of a school dictates the intellectual and moral information being placed in the minds of youth and children.
• Who determines the direction of the football or basketball team? The coach.
• In a Church who wields the power of what is being taught? Either the pastor, pastoral team, or elder team—those who are in power.
• Many politicians want to be in office because of the power and the influence they can exercise over others or because they desire to change the direction of a nation for good or …not-so-good. Of course, many corrupt politicians understand they can also become rich. But there are many righteous politicians who are looking out for the good of the nation.
Two strategies as they pertain to the justice issue.
When addressing the SJM it is important to understand that there are two different narratives in operation to bring about justice. I have identified them as: The Oppressive Strategy and the Transformative Strategy. Scott David Allen in his book, Why Social Justice is not Biblical Justice,clarifies these approaches (by different names ) in some detail. (Look to pages 144-163).
The Oppressive Strategy
This particular strategy defines the foundational ideology of the SJM, which propounds that existing American social, cultural, and economic institutions are so corrupted by racism and oppression that there is no possibility for reform. The only answer is to tear down, root out the branch to make for a new order. The end game is revolution! The oppressive narrative flows out of the presuppositions (assumed truths and assumptions) of ideological social justice. It is without question the dominant race narrative in America today. It originates from the likes of radical leftists Saul Alinsky, W.E.B. Du Bois, Malcom X, and James Cone.
Contemporary popularizers include Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility, Barbara Applebaum, author of Being White, Being Good, Louis Farrakhan, political activist and leader of the Nation of Islam, and Black Lives Matter communist founders Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors, to name just a few.
The SJM also espouses that oppressed victims and their allies must unite in an intersectional (many factors of diversity like being both transgender and a woman at the same time) coalition to unmask, deconstruct, and ultimately, overthrow oppressive power structures. More often than not, social justice champions are seeking not a peaceful social transformation that begins inwardly with humble repentance and the regeneration of sinful hearts and minds. They desire, instead, revolution patterned after the French, Russian, and Chinese revolutions.
The old, often Jewish and Christian, ideas and traditions of Western civilization need to be destroyed to make way for the new. Some of the manifestations of this revolutionary strategy are the destructive demonstrations in America which we have seen in 2020, the kneeling during the national anthem, shouting down conservative speakers on college campuses, along with breaking-in and stealing from businesses and the tearing down our American statues. All of this will continue to accelerate as the SJM gains more inroads and as leftist politicians continue to be elected to power.
It is rooted in victimology and systematic racism which promotes transformation through agitation, disruption, and eventually aggressive overthrow of American and American Institutions. Significantly, these were the tactics used by socialists and communists in the overthrow of governments in Venezuela, Russia, and Germany. It first flies under the seemingly benign banner of Social Justice, systemic racism, and wokeism. Wokeism is the notion of “getting woke” or “being awakened” to the racial and social injustice in our culture.
It is appropriate that I define wokeism here in more detail.
Wokeism is the notion of “getting woke” or “being awakened” to the racial and social injustice in our culture—not just awareness and acknowledgement of isolated incidents, but awareness from a position of understanding systemic and institutional racism. The notion of getting woke encapsulates the first stage of becoming an accomplice in addressing the system of racism. ”White accomplices should strive to be woke enough not to call themselves woke and instead strive to embody this state by building with people of color… Be in a perpetual state of learning and be woke enough to know you are never woke enough. Knowledge is a necessary but not sufficient component of being anti-racist. You have to put your knowledge to use in order to eradicate the problems of racial injustice.” I have taken some of this definition from James Lindsay’s website, New Discourses.
I could have labeled this strategy as The Revolutionary Strategy. Why? Because the answer that ideological social justice gives is just that—Revolution. This is a cultural revolution and in a cultural revolution the people pulling the strings will come for everyone. That is exactly what is happening today—just about every institution is being persuaded, and now being forced, to accept this ideology as real and if you disagree you become the marginalized, or the group who are bigots (ones who are intolerant of other people’s opinions).
I am really not surprised by the secular culture to comply, but when it willfully happens in our so-called evangelical churches it is simply injurious.
The Transformative Strategy
While the oppressive, revolutionary strategy dominates our racial discourse today, another narrative exists that doesn’t get nearly as much attention. Far fewer people are aware of its broad outline or prominent advocates. The main reason for this is that this narrative does not have the megaphones of the leftist Media, Hollywood and the Leftist Academic Elites. This strategy affirms the goodness of America’s founding principles and seeks to preserve them while continually improving our systems and institutions to more perfectly reflect these principles.
Like the Oppressive Strategy the Transformative Strategy has deep roots in the black community. Historically, forms of it were championed by people like Frederick Douglas, Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, Jackie Robinson, and Jesse Owens. It is perhaps more perfectly expressed in Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous, “I Have a Dream” speech.
Today, its most fervent advocates are black. They include Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, economist Thomas Sowell, conservative author Shelby Steele, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, radio personality Larry Elder, cultural critic Candice Owens, and entertainer Kanye West, to name a few.
Here are six of the Transformative Strategy’s core beliefs:
#1 Personal choice and responsibility is emphasized.
#2 The biggest challenges facing the black community are:
A. The devastation of black families because of out-of-wedlock births and the fatherless alienated young black men.
B. Abortion—since the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court ruling, 19 million black babies have been aborted.
C. Educational systems where many young black people are trapped in failing democratic run schools.
#3 The devastation of the black family is largely attributable to the rise of the modern welfare state.
#4 America has a tragic history of racial oppression and slavery. Yet the founding principles in the Declaration of Independence (all men are created equal…) has led to the eradication of slavery and to significant progress in racial equality. Today, America is one of the least racist countries in the world and a land of opportunity for all people , which is why immigrants continue to flock here, including many with black and brown skin.
#5 Historically, racism in America was perpetuated primarily by those on the political left. The Democratic Party defended slavery, started the Civil War, opposed Reconstruction, founded the Ku Klux Klan, imposed segregation, perpetrated lynching, and fought against the civil rights acts of the 1950s and ‘60’s.
#6 #BlackLivesMatter is a racial, neo-Marxist revolutionary organization that exists to exacerbate racial tensions as a means of fomenting social, cultural, and economic revolution.
Preparing to defend with biblical responses
One of the great temptations for Christians in regard to the SJM is to remain neutral, or in many cases simply not pay attention to what is taking place. To agree with the surface statement “Black Lives Matter” is simply not enough. Of course black lives matter, but so do all the other skin colors. We must go below the broad generalizations and understand the intentions of these movements and organizations. I have noticed that for many good Christian people who are rightfully occupied with making a living, caring for their families, and contributing to society, these issues are not on their radar. However, as I am seeing more kids drift from the Faith and being aggressively indoctrinated, the true Christian community is waking up and beginning to take measures to stand for righteousness. By equipping their children, and themselves, and beginning to take action to place themselves and their families in the best place spiritually and physically, these believers are starting to make a difference. So, let’s pick it up a notch or two and be more proactive and prepared before the onslaught hits us (and in many ways it already has)!
Some actions to consider
1. Study and learn from available correct resources like: The End of Racism by Dinesh D’Souza. If you read the first 3 chapters only you will have succeeded. The book that I have referenced: Why Social Justice is not Biblical Justice, By Scott David Allen. Pay your kids or grandkids to read three chapters of the book and sit down with them for 1-2 hours and discuss the contents, questions and observations they have after reading the material. The book, Cynical Theories by James Lindsay is very academic but extremely helpful. Listen to PragerU. Every family ought to listen to the variety of subjects he addresses.
2. Summarize in a short paragraph what the SJM means and communicate out loud to someone else what it means.
3. Explain what CRT is and also describe its meaning out loud to a person in your sphere of influence.
4. Become familiar with the Scriptures that I referenced above. Also explain why power is so important and how it is meant to be exercised from what the Bible says.
5. Explain the oppressive strategy.
6. Explain the transformative strategy.
7. Turn your intellectual awareness into speaking up to people in your sphere of influence. You will find the harvest is ripe for planting, sowing, and reaping especially in the uneducated and indoctrinated Christian community. You can and do have an influence. Go for it!