Dr. Albert Mohler offers this discussion of the Glenn Beck/Social Justice controversy that has been stirring lately.
Mohler’s argument is that the church’s main message should be Christ’s victory over sin which, if it is truly followed, has social justice implications.
Mohler is right and his comments are refreshing and greatly needed. Mohler keeps the entire Christ of the Bible at the core of Christianity, whereas many elevate certain aspects of living like Christ (i.e. nonviolence, self-sacrifice and care for the oppressed) to the same level as actual belief in Jesus. This in turn rips the heart out the heart of the Good News of Christ, not because Christian’s shouldn’t act like Christ (we should!) but because the Gospel is not merely acting like Christ and making the world a better place. Instead, the Gospel is that our former enemy, God, has taken on our punishment for our rebellion against Him through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. By placing our hope in Christ’s death and resurrection we have victory over death in this age and the one to come. From this new hope our hearts are changed and we show compassion towards our neighbors by manifesting the Kingdom of God on earth.
While I share the appall that many have toward Beck’s comments, it would be dishonest to not at least acknowledge that a lot of people who wear the “social justice” label have more in common with non-Christian and anti-Christian ideologies (particularly political ones) than that of Jesus himself. This is where Mohler’s commentary is helpful- there is no Gospel in social justice apart from Christ.
For an even better (but theologically sound) approach to the understanding of Christ and social justice I suggest John Perkins.