Too many well intentioned Christians have been manipulated and bullied into believing that they are not doing enough for the poor of society.
While on one hand this may be true, there are two considerations that every Christian needs to realize in their own life. The first is that it is a good and godly consideration to recognize that we should be concerned for the poor and to care for them. The second is that every Christian faced with an opportunity to reach out to the poor should be well informed those particular issues that face the poor and down trodden of society.
“Do you know what you are talking about?”
While Christians ought to be concerned for the plight of the poor, they need to know exactly what that means in going about helping the poor. This includes a study of economics and philosophy amongst other disciplines. For, without knowing it, a well intentioned Christian could be pouring gasoline instead of water onto the fire. Making the situation worse than it already is should not be the goal or outcome.
The Social Justice Warrior
The “Social Gospel” was a big hit in the 1960’s and continues to be a thorn in the American Church’s side. The phrase “Social Justice” is an emotionally charged phrase that could make one be ‘on board’ with it simply because they do not want to seen as ‘unjust.’ Such rhetoric has been used in order to get more people to accept collective society–democratic or not. Quickly, the problem with collectivism is it is based on humanism. As Francis Schaeffer has frequently repeated, whenever you hear humanism think, ‘Man is the measure of all things.’ Humanism should not be in the same category as humanitarianism or the humanities. They are all extremely different. Man, being the measure, is at the core of collectivism. But, due to the emotional appeal of ‘helping one another’, it is gaining a very strong foothold in the United States and even in the Church.
“Collectivism has gained so much attention because of the ambiguity and feeds off the fat of the ill informed.”
I was one of those ‘good hearted’ Christians who took in the manipulative propaganda hook, line, and sinker. I knew there was some stuff that was off, but I didn’t have a response. I didn’t know economics. I didn’t understand philosophy, nor gave it the place of preeminence it deserves. Once I began to study the various schools of thought regarding helping the poor did I see the harm of my thinking. My good heartedness was doing more ill than good.
I came home from college one summer with a black shirt that had Micah 6:8 on it…as well as the phrase Social Justice plastered all over it. My dad, with a concerned look and nervous voice, asked me what I thought social justice was. I was caught dead in my tracks for a moment because I didn’t even know how to define it! The phrase sounded good, right? Come on, whoever is not for social justice must obviously be for social injustice. That clearly goes against what the scripture teaches.
I have studied and have come out on the other side. I believe that if most people would study the effects and implications of most social programs, they too would see the where the true plight lies. What are those two considerations? 1. Christians are to care for the poor and oppressed. 2. They need to be informed on the solutions to those issues and look at the long term, not just the short term effects of the help being offered.
For Further Discussion:
The First Libertarian Presidential Candidate discusses Justice Versus Social Justice