The year 2020 has unraveled the simmering spiritual unrest that have been plaguing America for many years. With the brutal killing of George Floyd, the call to destroy systemic racism has reached its fever pitch. Some Black Americans reacted with protests and riots. Many white Americans seemed to have surrendered to the rhetoric of systemic racism and white privilege. Even Hollywood actors have joined in the open repentance campaign of acknowledging their white guilt. What is more disturbing is that this worldview, which stems from Critical Race Theory rooted in Cultural Marxism, is redefining the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is no longer about what our Lord Jesus has done on the cross to end the bondage of sin. The Gospel is now being relegated as a tool to liberate the racially oppressed group from the hegemonic powers. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has now fused with the gospel of social justice.
“Is there anything wrong with pursuing social justice?”, one may ask. A well-meaning, often very compassionate, Christian brother or sister finds it offensive or incomprehensible that there could be any other response but support for the social justice movement. To be clear, pursuing righteousness is the duty of all who proclaim to be disciples of Christ. But pursuing social justice as defined by our fallen world has the danger of deepening sin within the culture of the self-proclaimed oppressed group and consequently causing them to drift farther away from receiving Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
I want to try to explore the meaning of biblical justice to elucidate the difference in what the Bible says about justice and to make the case for evangelism as the most biblical Christian response to the current wave of social upheaval.
In the Old Testament, the most commonly used Hebrew word for justice is “mishpat“. Mishpat in the OT refers to the faithful application of the Law laid out in the Torah:
“Mishpat implies the whole determination and consequence of juxtaposed good and evil. It contains the establishment of law, the interpretation of ordinance, the pronouncement of verdict, and the legal foundation of the authority to execute sentence. The Judeo-Christian tradition accepts this as emanating from God. It is at the seat of the divine throne that rights are determined.”
In this definition, the Marxist notion of equity (equal outcomes between people groups) is completely absent. Biblical justice focuses on God as the sovereign ruler who sets His law and order. Biblical justice is established by faithful obedience to His law. This law is wonderfully summarized by our Lord, Jesus Christ:
“Jesus replied: “‘Love [agapeseis] the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love [agapeiseis] your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophet hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-39).
God’s law is completely embodied by the person of Jesus Christ whose sacrificial love was poured out on the cross to pay for our transgression against God’s commandment to love Him first and foremost and to love others as the image bearers of God. When we violate this law of love, or sin, there is consequence to be paid (“For the wages of sin is death”, Romans 6:23). The only way to bring about restoration into this fallen world is to pursue the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ:
“But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith.” (Romans 3:21-25).
Our pursuit of God’s justice centers around the commandmant to love God and others. The consequence of violation of this law is no less than death. The solution is to receive salvation by our faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ and live our lives in faithful obedience to God. The end goal of the pursuit of biblical justice is the restoration of relationship with and worship of our one true God.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Sae Kang