Just say, for a moment, that we were to take Glenn Beck’s counsel seriously and flee any church or parish that promoted the idea of “social justice” or “economic justice.” We’d probably have to close down 90 percent of the African American churches in this country!
You’ve likely caught wind of this controversy already. Beck, the fiery and often humorous conservative talk show host on the FOX News network, told his radio and TV audiences last week that the terms are code for “communism” and “Nazism.” He advised:
I beg you, look for the words “social justice” or “economic justice” on your church website. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words.
Just to be clear, he added:
Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!
Not surprisingly, Beck’s comments have stirred the ire of many Christian groups, especially those that believe working for social justice is essential to proclaiming the gospel. Our good friends over at Sojourners, led by founder Jim Wallis, have taken the lead in calling out Mr. Beck on his comments.
We know Beck’s words are all part of the theater of political punditry and ratings, designed to excite those who agree and rile up those who don’t, so we doubt any minds are going to be changed either way in this debate. At the very least, though, Beck provides a great opportunity for folks to go back to the Scriptures and find out for themselves what God has to say about this scary notion of “social justice.” A few places to start: Amos 5:22-24, Luke 4:18-19, Luke 7:22, Matthew 12:15-21.
Feel free to add your own favorite “justice” verses below.