“Social” Does Not Mean “Socialist”

“For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing.” — Deuteronomy 10:17-18

I don’t usually post randomly to this blog, but something I saw this morning really riles me up: “social” does not mean “socialist.” “Social justice” refers to doing what is responsible to care for those who have less; “socialism” refers to a political system whereby all resources are controlled and distributed by (usually) a religious-less, elitist group of leaders. The two could not be more distinct, I’m sorry.

Glenn Beck is an anchor for Fox News. How he got the post, I can only imagine, was by being able to persuade people without using logic. His latest antics labeled any and all churches that work towards responsible justice for the poor as “Communist” or “Nazis.” (NB: You can let Glenn Beck himself know that this is wrong at that link, as well.) Want to give someone a bowl of soup? That means you’re a traitor. Want to help someone gain skills to get a job? Traitor. Want to buy someone a meal who’s walking across three counties to get to his kid (as I once did)? Traitor. Want to do absolutely anything for someone who can’t afford everything that you can? Traitor. Want to keep everything you own for yourself? Patriot.

I have one word for that: unbelievable. Calling injustice patriotic is self-destructive, Mr. Beck. Using fear to coerce people into making yourself look popular is self-destructive, Mr. Beck. Thinking that anyone who has nothing because of society deserves to be abandoned by society is not only self-destructive, it’s irrational and as hardened as a piece of flint. You, Mr. Beck, have become unbelievable.

Good thing the Gospel of God in Christ Jesus is believable, instead! Definitely don’t want to follow you, sir.

Inside the Church is healing; outside the Church is greed.
The Church is a welcome wagon; not a money pit.

If you would like to sign the petition to get Glenn to, basically, acknowledge God’s real heart for the poor, please, please, please do that with Bread for The World right here, or with Jim Wallis and Sojourners right here!


P.S. — Props to brother Scot.

Update 3/12/10: Christianity Today just gave a great update on the unified Christian response to Glenn.

3 thoughts on ““Social” Does Not Mean “Socialist”

  1. I have to disagree. In fact the terms as found on many of the church web pages I found was indeed in reference to supporting a political system. If you must align the question to mean that Those who are surrendered to Jesus are somehow supporting injustus then we agree. If the question is aligned to say that a heart transformed by the Love and Grace of our Lord Jesus will be led to charity and to justice then too we agree. But you seem to be saying that Father G-d and His Son Jesus are aligned with the progressive Marxist movement. This we must disagree on. The great apostasy and the coming Son of perdition will look to be rightousness itsself. But I caution there is but self glory or Godly glory and self glorification in its counterfit self appears to be rightousness and goodness and in lign with the Fathers wishes. But it lacks the absolute surrender to the Son with in whom is our rightousness. Many will follow the son of perdition as he maskerades as the bright morning star but beware . The tell is this a spirit of rebellion and self glorification is allways followed by a spirit of fierce self justification. It often appears to look like rightous indignation but it is rebellion. I offer this challange, let us both set aside 30 minutes each morning first thing for one weekto make ourselves available to the throne room of Father and seek for a mear 3.5 hours His direction. Meet back here or at my site or yours and see if asked for revalation knowelage is provided. Perhaps it is I that will. If neither of us is interested in being right in our own eyes then neither of us has anything to lose.Perhaps it is I that will repent to you. Any rightousness , like any love outside of that which is of the Father is counterfit and will lead to darkness and death. Let us both agree to choose life. In love Stephen


  2. Dear Stephen,

    I fully respect your right to disagree, but it seems you’ve missed my point. Part of my point is that God does not automatically align with “the Marxist system” in the first place. By the way, you may want to think about your response again (which is why I haven’t posted it publicly yet), because it infers you’ve already committed to another system, and you want to see where God fits with it — rather than committing to God and wanting to see where he challenges your current system (yes, he does challenge all systems). My point was that God is on no particular government’s side (Joshua 5:13-15), and yet certain people, reacting to a fear of socialism, want to take God’s own words and snippet them out, so they can feel more comfortable. I am definitely not interested in taking over 2000 verses in the Scripture and ignoring them because someone thinks they are communist, or judges God’s intentions based on what he thinks is the “best” man-made government system, just because he has more air time on television. God forbid my level of devotion to him should be based on what other people have decided to do with government and communication systems… abusively, rebelliously, or obediently.

    Do you agree that we ought to let every person be subject to the governing authorities, because there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God? Because if you do not, you are now disagreeing with Romans. The fact is that systems will continue to co-exist, and God does not seem so much interested in getting rid of all but capitalism. He does, however, seem very much interested in what people do with their time, resources, and authority within those systems.

    Am I a Socialist? Absolutely not. But I will not let Socialism, or people’s conception/experience of Socialism, rob the world of the Gospel. That is something I think we can agree on. The question now, though, for you, is how your church will incorporate over 2000 verses that speak about justice and mercy for those who have less than the rest of society, so that your church can experience grace, peace, and love of your neighbor such as you want to know it? That may not take the phrase “social justice” on a website, but I will tell you one thing for certain: a church that deliberately seeks to avoid justice in their community for fear of being “Nazis” is not really a church. And years of “quiet times” could never authorize that behavior, unless God is being silent, too.

    Blessings on you as you seek God’s heart for the outcast, my friend!

    “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a Communist.” -Helder Camara


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