Posts Tagged ‘Jude’

Why “Justice” is Not the Mission of the Church (In the Most Simple Terms Possible) — Pulpit & Pen (Update 9/7/18)

September 6, 2018

Truth 2 Freedom’s blog has drawn my attention to an explanation of “why ‘justice’ is not the mission of the church,” as well as why (plus a link for it) there is a need for the “Dallas Statement on Social Justice.”

At the start, I want to write that I am NOT SAYING that there isn’t a place for social justice.  Of course there is a place for it.

Unchecked Copy BoxMic 6:8He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?
The important distinction that is being pointed out through this post as well as Truth 2 Freedom’s post, and,  most importantly, by Pulpit & Pen’s Dallas Statement on Social Justice is the fact that misplaced “social justice” that is incorrectly interpreted can be used as a weapon against those who follow Biblical Christian faith.
Here is just one example of how someone’s determined view of a “social justice” can, and does, conflict with the view of mercy from a pro-life Biblical Christian’s standpoint.

[ Graphics via pinterest]

For those who may believe that abortion doesn’t have consequences for the would-be mother, read the above graphic!

Copy of post:

Is doing justice a major component of the New Testament Church? Many want to know, and the Dallas Statement on Social Justice answers the question in the negative. Others, who don’t know that conservative evangelicals (including Albert Mohler) universally condemned “Social Justice” a decade ago, are flabbergasted that anyone argues that Social Justice isn’t part and parcel of the church’s mission. For those whose sense of history began this morning, they might be startled to hear another point of view from that presented on the website of The Social Gospel Coalition.

Let me explain this in as few words as is humanly possible. Maybe, just maybe, with the multitudinous volume of words being spent on the subject the forest is getting lost for the trees. So then, maybe fewer words are better.

DEFINITIONS

Justice – “Getting what one is due, what they deserve, or that to which they are entitled.”

Mercy –  “Compassion toward one in a lesser estate, particularly done without obligation, but with empathy.”

IN THE BIBLE

Distributing justice is the role of the government, according to 1 Peter 2 and Romans 13. Spiritual Israel, the church, has neither the responsibility nor the right to dispense justice. However, individual believers may petition the government for the distribution of justice in the giving people what they deserve (whether good or bad). The church does not wield the sword of justice; the magistrate does.

Distributing mercy is the role of Christians individually and corporately (Luke 6:36, Matthew 5:7). However, mercy cannot be demanded. In fact, God Himself gives mercy selectively (Romans 9:15-16). Most mentions of mercy in the Scripture are not a command to give it, but to receive it (Hebrews 4:16).

THAT WHICH IS DESERVED IS JUSTICE

Things under the category of “justice” include punishment for the wicked (Romans 13:4), the full enforcement of all laws or ordinances passed for the governance of a people (1 Peter 2:13), fair balances and measures (Proverbs 11:1), and paying laborers their agreed-upon wage (Romans 4:4). It is the government’s job to ensure that criminals are punished, laws are enforced impartially, and contracts are upheld. It is not the job of the church to settle these matters of criminal law and governance.

THAT WHICH IS NOT DESERVED IS MERCY

Things under the category of “mercy” include caring for the widow and orphan, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and caring for the imprisoned. There is no entitlement to kindness. These are acts of mercy and not justice. No one is entitled to food, healthcare, medicine, clothing, or shelter (that belongs to another person), unless they have earned it by previous agreement. The American government, in particular, has no obligation to provide mercy, but Christians should lead the way in the private sector to provide mercy in the name of Jesus.

THE MOST UNFORTUNATE CONFUSION

The presumption of many of the thought-leaders on the side of evangelical Social Justice is that mercy is actually justice and that people are entitled to kindness. They presume this is the case because, as Marxists or collectivists, they have a hard time telling the difference between rights, entitlements, and charity. Sadly, this confusion has soteriological ramifications. If you do not know the difference between justice and mercy, you will have a hard time understanding the concepts of grace and gratitude.

via Why “Justice” is Not the Mission of the Church (In the Most Simple Terms Possible) — Pulpit & Pen

Hat tip:  Truth 2 Freedom’s blog

*******

Christine’s commentary:

Back in 2008, many who label themselves as “Evangelical Christians” voted for Barack Obama.  The very first reason why I could never have voted for this man was his staunch stance on abortion for any reason.  As I did my homework, the second reason ended up being because of the 38 Reasons Why Obama Is Not a Christian; even though he claimed that he was.

Now, in 2016, a large amount of voters (not all, of course) who call themselves Evangelical Christians voted for Donald J. Trump for President. People may have wondered why then, as well as why Biblically based Christians would stand with him as President today. The vitriol and hatred against the man, against his successful administration, against those that voted for him and against those who continue to support him increases daily. Why is that?

I think that the divide between the “social justices warriors” vs. Christians who hold to the role of the church as “Mercy – “Compassion toward one in a lesser estate, particularly done without obligation, but with empathy” has warped full-on as the great divide.

The book of Jude describes such a divide in much detail.

Here are just a few pertinent verses from Jude:

Jde 1:21
Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

God’s Word in Jude tells us that we are to have compassion upon those lost in sin, and “pulling them out of the fire.”

Jde 1:22
And of some have compassion, making a difference:
Jde 1:23
And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

We are in such a time as this!

I also suggest reading David Guzik’s complete commentary on the book of Jude. Readers who take the time to read it will gain so much more knowledge of the truth!

Now, with all of the previous commentary and links read, I’d like to share a copy of the Statement On Social Justice found at Pulpit and Pen.org

Excerpt:

The statement’s introduction begins:

In view of questionable sociological, psychological, and political theories presently permeating our culture and making inroads into Christ’s church, we wish to clarify certain key Christian doctrines and ethical principles prescribed in God’s Word. Clarity on these issues will fortify believers and churches to withstand an onslaught of dangerous and false teachings that threaten the gospel, misrepresent Scripture, and lead people away from the grace of God in Jesus Christ.

Specifically, we are deeply concerned that values borrowed from secular culture are currently undermining Scripture in the areas of race and ethnicity, manhood and womanhood, and human sexuality. The Bible’s teaching on each of these subjects is being challenged under the broad and somewhat nebulous rubric of concern for “social justice.” If the doctrines of God’s Word are not uncompromisingly reasserted and defended at these points, there is every reason to anticipate that these dangerous ideas and corrupted moral values will spread their influence into other realms of biblical doctrines and principles.

We submit these affirmations and denials for public consideration, not with any pretense of ecclesiastical authority, but with an urgency that is mixed with deep joy and sincere sorrow. The rapidity with which these deadly ideas have spread from the culture at large into churches and Christian organizations—including some that are evangelical and Reformed—necessitates the issuing of this statement now…

The statement goes on to read (in part):

WE AFFIRM that the Bible is God’s Word, breathed out by him. It is inerrant, infallible, and the final authority for determining what is true (what we must believe) and what is right (how we must live). All truth claims and ethical standards must be tested by God’s final Word, which is Scripture alone.

WE DENY that Christian belief, character, or conduct can be dictated by any other authority, and we deny that the postmodern ideologies derived from intersectionality, radical feminism, and critical race theory are consistent with biblical teaching. We further deny that competency to teach on any biblical issue comes from any qualification for spiritual people other than clear understanding and simple communication of what is revealed in Scripture.

WE AFFIRM that God created every person equally in his own image. As divine image-bearers, all people have inestimable value and dignity before God and deserve honor, respect and protection. Everyone has been created by God and for God.

WE DENY that God-given roles, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, religion, sex or physical condition or any other property of a person either negates or contributes to that individual’s worth as an image-bearer of God.

SCRIPTURE: GENESIS 1:26-302:18-229:62 CORINTHIANS 5:17COLOSSIANS 1:21-22

WE AFFIRM that since he is holy, righteous, and just, God requires those who bear his image to live justly in the world. This includes showing appropriate respect to every person and giving to each one what he or she is due. We affirm that societies must establish laws to correct injustices that have been imposed through cultural prejudice.

WE DENY that true justice can be culturally defined or that standards of justice that are merely socially constructed can be imposed with the same authority as those that are derived from Scripture. We further deny that Christians can live justly in the world under any principles other than the biblical standard of righteousness. Relativism, socially-constructed standards of truth or morality, and notions of virtue and vice that are constantly in flux cannot result in authentic justice.

*******
This is, my dear readers, the book of Jude in action here and now – in the year of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ in 2018!
David Guzik concludes in his commentary on Jude:

c. Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy: As God is faithful, we won’t have to slink shamefacedly into the presence of God. We can be presented before Him with exceeding joy.

d. Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever: This all reminds us of God’s wisdom, glory, and power. Jude isn’t trying to say that we can or should give these things to God. When we acknowledge and declare the truth about God, it glorifies Him. We aren’t giving God more majesty or power than He had before; we are just recognizing and declaring it.

i. Both now and forever: This could also be translated “unto all the ages.” This is “as complete a statement of eternity as can be made in human language.” (Robertson) Our victory, our triumph in God, is forever.

ii. There is serious deception in the world and often among those called Christians. There are enemies of the gospel who have infiltrated the church. Yet despite the greatness of the threat, God is greater still. He wins, and if we will only stay with Him, we are guaranteed victory also.

iii. Jude is a book full of warning, but it closes with supreme confidence in God. Dangerous times should make us trust in a mighty God.

Amen!

Hat tips to all links.

*******

Update 9/7/18

There is an additional discussion going on over at IB’s blog regarding this topic. See: Justice Is Not the Mission of the Church?

The fact that Albert Mohler was included on the “social justice proponents” list, brought some questions up at that blog. I then clicked on the link in my original post where Albert Mohler was listed as a proponent. But then, I found a Youtube video where (in 2011) Albert Mohler debated Jim Wallis. Within the comments below the video, we read:

The Henry Center for Theological Understanding, in its Trinity Debates forum, is pleased to provide a public venue for addressing this question by hosting two prominent voices from competing perspectives. Jim Wallis will answer “Yes” and R. Albert Mohler will answer “No.”

So, the question is did Albert Mohler change his position sometime after that debate? This needs to be investigated further and I invite readers to share their findings (if so led) in the comment section.

Thanks,
Christine

Why True Conviction in Christian Faith is Detested

March 6, 2017

A friend of mine (screen name “L”) recently wrote about churches drifting away (or, in some cases deliberately doing so) from the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, this is often true. What’s more, it is happening at a greater rate in this generation than ever before!

Our family left two churches over the years because we found that the pastor was drifting away from excellent Bible teaching. In one case, the pastor started to follow another pastor’s way of teaching and this caused errors (one was huge!) in the direction that he started taking the church.

2Ti 4:3

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;

2Ti 4:4

and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

I suggest reading my post entitled Syncretism Stew. An author by the name of Marsha West has created a list of denominations that have drifted their congregations away from what the disciples originally called, “The Way.”

Today, one of the most “admired” ideas is the human philosophical combination of many religions under the guise of labeling it in a term called COEXIST.

I have seen many of these stickers on the bumpers of cars here in California. It is a very nice sentiment and would be nice if sincerely followed. However, each of those religions disagrees with the teachings of the others. Therefore, each religion thinks that all the others are wrong! This is an example of where human philosophical efforts often fail. If a person doesn’t agree with all of the other religions listed on that banner, then you are often labeled as “bigoted,” “phobic” (including all the phobias being spouted around today), “crazy” or even “evil”!

Why?

Because behind the banner of “can’t we all just get along” is the premise that the claim of exclusivity of being saved by grace through Jesus Christ is bad news…rather than the Good News of salvation.

We see today how Christian faith is attacked by non-believers (often relentlessly) and the Jewish faith (which is the root of Christianity) is also highly disparaged.

Why?

Because the proponents of philosophy of religion precludes any true believer in Christ from having true conviction in their faith and replaces it with the demand for syncretism.

So, how are we supposed to know who is correct in such matters?

Good question!

That is where serious studying of the Bible comes in!

There are too many Christians who only rely on the words of others, rather than examining the Word of God and the Living Word – Jesus Christ – for themselves.

There is a verse in 2 Timothy (which is utilized by the AWANA programs for children) that tells us to “study to show thyself approved unto God – rightly dividing the word of truth.”

2Ti 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

What’s more is that we need to be diligent about it! There are so many tools that can be used to help us in our studies. I think that the commentaries of past biblical scholars (like Matthew Henry) are very helpful! Also, using a concordance in order to understand the meaning of the Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic words in the Bible helps to prevent error in private study and interpretation. For example, the word “fear” in the Bible can mean either dread of something or someone, or it can mean reverence (usually reverence for God). This is only one example. Proper context is essential in Bible study.

The book of Jude informs us that we are to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”

Jude also warns us about the syncretism stew of those who would do things to gain advantage, follow after their own lusts, and be mockers:

Jde 1:16

These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.

Jde 1:17

But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Jde 1:18

how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.

Jde 1:19

These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.

Jude 1:19 informs us that those who do not have the Spirit (meaning the Holy Spirit of God who indwells us when we repent of our sins and ask for forgiveness at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ and then through faith, ask Him to dwell in our hearts in the form of the Holy Spirit as saved individuals) are people who are sensual persons who cause divisions. Again, this is an example of the syncretism stew that people can willingly enter, or ignorantly enter into because of their lack of knowledge about the way, the truth and the life of Jesus Christ.

Bible study is crucial, but the fellowship with other Christians in a Bible based non-denominational church is also important. If the church is Bible based, then it is less likely to fall into the syncretism stew types of errors.

The longer I study the Bible, the more I learn.  However, this side of heaven one has “never arrived” regarding the wisdom and knowledge of God.   The Bible is a miraculous book and once saved, we are forever being sanctified through the grace and mercy afforded to us by Jesus Christ.


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