Repost: Biblical Justice vs. Social Justice | Voddie Baucham

YouTube Transcript

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amen all right well
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let’s uh let’s get started here it’s been very interesting trying to put
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this session together particularly because as you uh just heard i have a book coming out
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on this topic so trying to deal with this in in one session i’ve yeah okay all right
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but we need to deal with this question of of social justice and uh biblical justice and really this
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this this concept that has become um so common and so familiar among us and
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still is often not very well understood
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nobel prize winning economist friedrich hayek once said i have come to feel strongly
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that the greatest service i can still render to my fellow men would be that i could make the speakers and
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writers among them thoroughly ashamed ever again to employ the term
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social justice
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and i could not agree more with that sentiment i think it’s a term that we
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need to avoid to any and every
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degree that we can and i think it’s a term that we
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don’t get um one of my all-time favorite
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uh movie characters is enygo montoya
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and if you don’t know who he is you might need to go reevaluate your
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faith and watch the princess bride
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but diego montoya has this famous line you keep on using that word
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i do not think it means what you think it means
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and i think for many christians that’s true when it comes to the idea of social justice we we
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keep on using that word but i i don’t think it means what we think it means
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and and most people who use it they mean well but we need to understand that the term
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social justice the concept of social justice is a concept that has a very specific
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and well-defined meaning and my desire and my intent here is not
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to build a straw man and say you know he here’s what social justice means and pour my
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own meaning into it no what i intend to do is to allow those who have defined
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this term to do so for themselves
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so when i’m talking about social justice i’m not talking about a version of it that i’m
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presenting i’m not talking about a version of it that i want to sort of you know narrowly define and as negative
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a way as i possibly can i want us to understand this term and
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this concept from the perspective of those who have developed it and who
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have written thousands upon thousands upon thousands of pages
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and articles and books on the topic it’s a well defined
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concept and what is the meaning of this matter it matters because god demands justice
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it matters because injustice is sin and if social justice is truly justice
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then anything that does not align with it is sin
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and this is why the term is incredibly problematic and this is why so many of us fall prey
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to it because we know that god demands justice amen micah chapter six
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verses one through eight hear what the lord says arise plead your case before the
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mountains and let the hills hear your voice hear you mountains the indictment
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of the lord and your enduring foundations of the earth for the lord has an indictment against
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his people and he will contend with israel o my people what have i done
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to you how have i wearied you answer me for i brought you up from the land of
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egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery and i set before you moses aaron and
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miriam oh my people remember what bala king of moab devised
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and what balaam the son of baar answered him and what happened from shateem to gilgal
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that you may know the righteous acts of the lord
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with what shall we come before the lord and bow or with what shall i come before the
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lord and by my bow myself before god on high shall i come before him with burnt offerings with calves
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a year old will the lord be pleased with thousands of rams with ten thousands of rivers of oil
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shall i give my firstborn for my transgression the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul
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he has told you o man what is good and what does the lord require of you
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but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your
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god justice is not optional god
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demands justice from his people and so it is imperative
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that we understand what justice is because injustice is sin amen
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so it’s imperative that we be clear about this and that’s why as people sort of throw out this
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terminology and this ideology of social justice it’s important for us to understand what
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it is because if social justice is justice and injustice is sin then we
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must be about the business of social justice but what
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does social justice mean kevin deyoung wrote social justice is a
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nebulous term unassailable to some and arousing suspicion
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in others and i understand what what he means by that in terms of the way we use the
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term in common parlance however as i’ve said before
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the concept of social justice is very clear and completely and
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utterly unambiguous we know exactly what it means
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oxford dictionary of the english language social justice it’s a noun
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chiefly politics and philosophy justice at the level of a society or state
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as regards the possession of wealth commodities opportunities and
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privileges and it says see distributive justice
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again this is not me this is the oxford dictionary of the english language
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and it says social justice is distributive justice
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it’s distributive justice and specifically in politics and philosophy
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it’s justice at the level of a society or a state as regards possession of wealth
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commodities opportunities and privileges that’s what social justice
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means that’s not what i say social justice means that’s what the oxford dictionary of the english
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language says social justice means i’m not building a straw man
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there’s a lot of academic literature that lays out and defines social justice
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william young academic social science and social justice he writes
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while often an amorphous term social justice has evolved to generally mean state redistribution of advantages
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and resources to disadvantaged groups to satisfy their rights
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and social and economic equality
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social justice is state redistribution that’s what
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social justice means state redistribution it is not a
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heart issue from a biblical perspective justice is a heart issue
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and a law of god issue amen it is a heart issue and a law of god
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issue if the law of god says this and you do that it is unjust
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if the law of god says this and your heart goes toward that it is unjust
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social justice by definition is not a heart issue it’s a state issue
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and it’s about state redistribution and redistribution again advantages and resources
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disadvantaged groups social justice is not about individuals
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it’s about groups it’s another very important distinction it’s not about
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individuals it’s about groups and outcomes for groups
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in teaching for diversity and social justice by the way these uh are these these books and and
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academic papers that i’m referencing um these are and if any of you are have
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gotten a degree specifically in education um that’s probably the area where
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these things would be most common or in what’s commonly referred to as the grievance studies um if you’re doing
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ethnic studies african american studies chicano studies feminist studies queer studies gay and lesbian studies
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you know all of these yes you can get a degree in all these things by the way um if you’re doing any of these then then
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then these these books these papers these articles they’re they’re mainstays
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in those disciplines and also in political science if you will um so teaching for diversity and social
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justice an analysis of how power privilege and
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depression impact our experience of our social identities
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let me just run back over that sentence and again this is academia
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so social justice is an analysis of how power privilege and oppression
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impact our experience of our social identities
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not the reality of our social identities but the experience of our social
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identities what you will find by the way is that in many of these academic disciplines
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there’s there’s not much academia at all
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in fact i’ll give you a prime example of this the seminal paper on white privilege
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is peggy mcintosh’s paper of 1989 that she published um white privilege unpacking the
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invisible knapsack right and the the idea um
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was put forth long before macintosh but that’s the article that that really
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everybody goes to and refers to when they’re talking about the concept of white privilege
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there’s not a single footnote in her paper
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there’s not one source in her paper
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it is purely observational that’s all that’s all
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and it’s the foundation for the academic understanding today of the concept
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of white privilege so again an analysis of how power
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privilege and depression impact our experience of our social identities
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full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to
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meet their needs to meet the needs of whom groups
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social justice includes a vision of society in which the distribution of resources is equitable
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now there’s a difference between equality and equity we’ll talk about that and all members of a space community
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or institution or society are physically and psychologically safe and secure
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again these are academic sources okay i’m not defining social justice
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i’m allowing these sources themselves to define social justice here’s a
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warning a stark warning about social justice
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this is from new discourses which i’d recommend to you highly
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social justice by the way this is a little bit lengthy but i think worth
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it social justice is the ultimate trojan horse term where it seems to mean one good thing
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as most people understand it social justice a more fair and equal society but actually means
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something else that something else is very specific and most people if they knew what they were encountering
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would be unlikely to accept it the idea advertised by the phrase social
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justice doesn’t match the ideology and worldview bearing the seemingly identical name
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it continues social justice means something more specific it means critical social justice and i
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believe i i told you yesterday about that term critical social justice um and this term is used
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this term critical social justice is not just used by opponents of social justice um robyn
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d’angelo if you know anything about social justice you know that name robert niegelo most famous for
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her book white fragility but also in her book with sensoi her book is everybody equal which
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is used in a lot of schools of education um they make it clear that they are referring to critical
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social justice and they use that terminology because they want to connect their understanding to critical theory and
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critical race theory and intersectionality so they use critical social justice in
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order to be clear that they are referring to social justice as it relates to the literature to the
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long-standing academic literature about social justice
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this is in fact an ideology that very aggressively pursues the social cultural
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institutional and political installation and enforcement of a very specific and
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radical understanding of social justice as derived from various critical theories
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and their specific analyses of socially constructed dynamics
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of systems of power as such they do not necessarily seek to achieve
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social justice in the broad sense or the sense that many people would assume
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of the term instead they seek to empower and enforce their particular worldview
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that revolves around one narrow and authoritarian interpretation of the concept
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you keep on using that term i do not think it means what you think
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it means and this is why hayek says
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he wishes he could use all of his energies and efforts to make the writers and speakers
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that he could influence ashamed to use the term
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social justice all right what about the mission of social justice
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part of us understanding the difference between justice writ large
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um and and social justice this concept of social justice
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uh is to understand that what what the mission of social justice
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is because our mission of justice as christians for example
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as christians if if we’re following what the bible requires of us injustice what is our mission
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our mission is to align ourselves with the law of god amen that that’s our mission in justice
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is to see to it that things align with what thus saith the lord um that’s
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that’s not that’s not the mission of social justice um in fact in order to understand the
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mission of social justice you have to understand um a couple of concepts
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and when you understand these concepts when you understand that they’re talking about critical theory
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and critical race theory and intersectionality um and when you understand the roots of
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these concepts then you then you discover something very interesting as it relates to
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biblical justice and how social justice is inherently
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incompatible with biblical justice for example um the idea of critical social justice
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the idea of critical theory critical race theory intersectionality
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these terms uh are part of a very long line of ideas and ideology
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we go back for example to karl marx and marx’s concept of conflict theory
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and conflict theory from marx basically was his way of explaining
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um sociology and the relationships between people and marx really saw at bottom uh
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the the root of relationships between people as a conflict over limited resources
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so the whole idea of the bourgeois and the proletariat the whole idea of the haves and the
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have-nots this whole idea of marxism versus capitalism right
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it’s rooted and grounded in conflict theory later on the frankfurt school develops
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this idea and we and we get to to to critical theory
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which again the critical part of critical social justice
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this comes to us by way of a guy by the name of antonio gramsci gramsci was an italian marxist and
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gramsci is part of a he’s part of this bridge gramsci looks at for example i mean
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marxism was supposed to spread uh by way of revolution
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right the revolution was supposed to come and we see the bolshevik revolution but we don’t see revolutions after that
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we don’t we don’t see the proletariat uprising all around the world overthrowing capitalism what’s
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wrong and so gramsci um this italian marxist who you know is in prison in his prison
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notebooks he’s thinking through this whole idea obviously there’s something that is keeping people from
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seeing how evil capitalism is and they’re not overthrowing capitalism and gramsci comes up with this idea of
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of hegemony hegemony is this this concept of
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there’s a there’s a ruling group in in a culture and in society and they
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establish the rules of the game and they establish the rules of the game
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in order to benefit themselves and those like them and to oppress
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all other groups of individuals this power structure this power struggle
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oppressors and depressed based upon what groups you belong to
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we see the whole idea being really brought forth and manifested in critical theory through the frankfurt school
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and eventually through the institutions and even studies and things like this
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now what does all of that have to do with this idea of social justice well when you get into the literature
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here’s what you discover that the hegemony today if you look for
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example at america generally we think about the oppressor oppressed paradigm
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this very marxist paradigm this this paradigm that says you divide
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all the world and all reality into oppressors and the oppressed
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and for most people if you say okay well in america if you’re thinking in those terms oppressor and oppressed
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who would the oppressor be
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right somebody say rich people somebody say white people okay um that that’s that’s that’s part
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of it but according to critical social justice
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the the hegemony in america the oppressor class in america
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is white male heterosexual cisgendered able-bodied
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native-born christian
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now there’s several others that make the list right and most people have heard of white
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privilege and you heard a male privilege in fact macintosh in her paper on white privilege
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she’s coming at this from uh the the feminist studies perspective and
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dealing with male privilege and equating male privilege with white privilege okay so most people heard of white
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privilege and male privilege but they haven’t heard of christian privilege and you may think i’m a christian
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privilege that’s of course that’s something that you’re making up no um absolutely not
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in the literature and readings for diversity and social justice for example christian privilege is identified
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as a major source of oppression and western culture in general and in
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american culture in particular christian privilege is as evil as white
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privilege christianity is the oppressor
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so if christianity is the oppressor
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and social justice is about alleviating the
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oppression then social justice has to be
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opposed to what christianity
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it’s absolutely necessary for social justice to be opposed to
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christianity but chris because christianity in this culture
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is a major and for some people the major means of oppression
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okay all right let’s continue to look here at
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the the mission of social justice this is from joe fagan as i see it social justice
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requires resource equity now equity and equality
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different things remember we talked about so equality has to do with people being viewed
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equally and treated equally under the law okay that’s equality that’s not
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equity equity is about outcomes
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equity is about outcomes equality says regardless of who you are
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regardless of where you come from regardless of the color of your skin regardless of any of those things you
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are viewed the same under the law and you are given the same opportunities
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that’s equality social justice is not about equality social justice is about
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equity so equality would say we are going to you know we we’re going
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to have uh entrance exams and we’re going to take the best students
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equity says you know we looked at our entrance exams
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and when we look at our entrance exams we end up with a less than representative
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group of individuals that’s not equity so we have to continue
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to add factors until we end up with
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equity not equality
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and so both harvard and yale for example right now are being sued
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because of their admission policies why
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because those admission policies discriminate against asians
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because the ivy leagues are noticing that they have too many asians
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that’s where equity gets you
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that’s where equity gets you so as i see it social justice requires
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resource equity fairness and respect for diversity as well as the eradication
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of existing forms of social oppression by the way christianity is an existing form of social oppression
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social justice entails a redistribution of resources from those who have unjustly gained them
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to those who justly deserve them and it also means creating and ensuring the processes of
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truly democratic participation in decision making it seems clear that only a decisive
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redistribution of resources and decision-making power can ensure social justice and authentic
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democracy you keep on using that word
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i do not think it means what you think it means
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so what is this mission first identify
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disadvantaged groups there’s a there’s a there’s a holy
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trinity of social justice diversity equity and inclusion it’s the
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holy trinity of social justice diversity equity and inclusion diversity has to do with
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identifying these disparate groups um and they continue to multiply
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i mean it makes sense that these groups would multiply especially when there are advantages
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that you know advantages to to be gained by belonging to these particular
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groups equity we’ve already talked about right equity has to do with
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outcomes and then inclusion is the way that we
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pursue the inclusion of all of the diverse groups and whatever the thing is that we’re doing so first
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identification of disadvantaged groups and by the way if white
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male heterosexual cisgendered able-bodied native-born uh christian so on and so forth if this
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is the hegemony if this is the oppressor um then
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then who who are the oppressed if white is oppressor non-white is the
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oppressed male is the oppressor non-male is the oppressed
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heterosexual is the oppressor non-heterosexual is the oppressed cisgendered is the oppressor
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non-cisgendered is the oppressed you follow and so on and so on and so on
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okay so what diversity does is diversity looks at all of these
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identifies as many of these groups as possible and says okay
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our goal is to have the inclusion of as many of these groups as we
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possibly can by the way this is where intersectionality comes in because intersectionality um is really
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the idea that you multiply oppression to the degree that you multiply
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participation in oppressed groups so if if a black man
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is oppressed a black female is doubly oppressed because she has two
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intersections of oppression well if she’s a black female
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transgender now she adds a third intersection of oppression if she’s
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black female transgendered not able-bodied
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do you see so here’s here’s here’s where intersections come in
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where this gets interesting is that intersectionality is of great
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benefit to those pursuing the holy trinity of diversity equity and inclusion
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here’s why i can either try to find one member of 10 15
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20 groups
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or i can get multiple points in one fell swoop
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by getting somebody who’s a member of multiple groups
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i’ll leave you to your imagination with that one
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so first identify these disadvantaged groups secondly
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assess group outcomes group outcomes thirdly
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assign blame for disparate outcomes if we see disparate outcomes we have to
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assign blame and then finally
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redistribu uh redistribute power and resources to redress those
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grievances that’s the mission of social
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justice that is that is not the mission of biblical justice
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that is antithetical to the to the mission of of biblical justice
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what are the top social justice issues i’m just going to give you a few examples here
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social work today they had an article several years ago identifying the top social justice
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issues number one celebrating diversity number two child welfare welfare
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number three health care reform number four poverty and economic injustice and number five affordable housing those
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were the top five issues maryville university had their own list number one climate change or climate
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justice have you noticed that used to be global warming now it’s not global
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warming it’s climate change and now we’ve moved
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from global warming to climate change to now climate justice
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now climate justice is a form of social justice social justice has to do with
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redistribution what does climate justice have to do with
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redistribution on a global level
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so number one climate justice number two racial equity racial equity not equality equity
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equity has to do with outcomes number three lgbtq plus rights
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and number four affordable health care we see affordable health care again yeshiva university what does yeshiva
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university’s list look like number one justice two healthcare three
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refugee crisis four racial justice five income gaps
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six gun violence seven hunger and food insecurity
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and eight equity beginning to see a pattern here
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education for justice this is a long list we’ll just end with
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that with their list again for most christians and when most christians get sucked into the social
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justice movement they usually think about one area and one area alone and they think about think about race
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you think about race as christians we love the brethren as christians we don’t we
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don’t racism is ugly to us it’s evil to us so when somebody says there’s issues here related to race and
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justice we go where where point me in the right direction and let’s go to war
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and the social justice movement comes and it sounds innocuous right social
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justice racial justice and bam here we go
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and we’re on board having no idea that the social justice movement is like
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a train with multiple box cars there’s an engine driving the train the
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engine driving the train is critical theory critical race theory intersectionality that’s the engine
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driving the train and then right behind it comes
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racial justice right and as christians we’re like no we’re
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we’re one in christ there’s no room for racism and so we jump on you know because we see that
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boxcar and then right behind that boxcar is the lgbtqai plus boxcar
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and then right behind that boxcar is the climate justice box car right behind that and then there’s all these box cars and
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many christians think that they can jump onto the racial justice boxcar and not be
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attached to all those other box cars and you can’t
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you can’t anyway we won’t go through the list well yes we
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will education for social justice here’s their list
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consumerism death penalty education genocide homelessness human trafficking immigration
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intergenerational justice land grabbing mental health natural disasters racial justice
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restorative justice sexual abuse crisis in the church terrorism u.s elections water
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climate change hunger migration
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signs of the times economic justice inequality torture gender equality interfaith
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u.s poverty war health care
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sustainable development refugees human rights liberation theology global poverty
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uh integral ecology and and racism
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and it goes on and on and on
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in other words everything is a social justice issue why because social justice
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is about redistribution until you see equity which means anywhere
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that there’s not equity not equality but equity anywhere where there’s not equity there
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is injustice so you go to any area and anything covet
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19 for example covet 19 we look at cover 19 deaths and
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we see black people minorities
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disproportionately dying from covenant
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social justice there it is inequity inequity
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we see it it’s there it’s what we know we know that that is racial injustice
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how do we know [Music] we know because the numbers
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aren’t equal and anytime the numbers aren’t equal the answer is injustice
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because in a just world every disease would kill people
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in perfect accordance with their demographic representation
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never mind that nothing else in nature works like that
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amen there’s nowhere in the natural universe where you see an exact representation
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percentage-wise of anything period full stop it doesn’t exist
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for example firstborns have an advantage over second borns and
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third borns and so and so it’s it’s it’s not equitable
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it’s not equitable does that mean that there is inherent
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injustice in birth order
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so here’s another thing when we and and
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i’ll sort of bring this to a close one of the big differences
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is the way that the social justice movement
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gets to its conclusions and it has to get to its conclusions uh by force
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and we say this and we’re like you know
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straw man red hairy you’re making that up no
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first of all that is that is a logical extension of this argument right
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but secondly i don’t have to make it up do you know the name ibram x kindy if you know the literature at all
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on this then you know the name ibra mex kindy if you don’t know his name you probably know the title of his book
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how to be an anti-racist now his book how to be an anti-racist is being used
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um you know in in government agencies in universities fortune 500 companies um probably the
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two most popular books that people are using for diversity training are robin d’angelo’s white fragility and
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ibra makes kindie’s uh how to be an anti-racist okay
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and if you don’t know his name and you don’t know his book you you certainly know his ideas because
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they are everywhere in fact they’re beyond everywhere they’re airware okay um there are christian
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organizations and christian ministries now who are using ibrahmix kindy’s book how
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to be an anti-racist it is pure critical race theory it is critical theory critical race theory
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intersectionality on steroids it is antithetical to biblical thinking biblical theology biblical ideology
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and it is being used in churches all over this country and ministries all over this country in
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diversity training
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ibrahim x-kindy proposed an amendment to the constitution
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an anti-racist amendment to the constitution
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listen this is again remember this is the guy by the way he makes between 20 and forty thousand dollars
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an hour for his presentations at twenty to forty thousand dollars
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an hour fortune 500 companies are falling all over themselves to book this
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man to come and speak to them on diversity training
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and here’s his proposal to fix the original sin of racism
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can we just pause right there many have said and i have said i call it
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the cult of anti-racism it is a religion
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it is a religion they have their own doctrine they have their own saints they had their own
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canon have their own priests theologians
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and kindie’s one of the theologians of this movement but notice this is an amendment to the constitution and it
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starts with to fix the original sin of racism
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there’s a book by the title america’s original sin
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by jim wallace the founder of sojourners jim wallace is arguing that racism is
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america’s original sin by the way the 1619 project you’ve probably heard of this right this pulitzer prize-winning
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horrible piece of history the 1619 project what is the 1619 project all about the
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1619 project is about moving the founding of america or our understanding of the founding of america
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from 1776 to 1619 because if the founding of america is 1776
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then it’s founded on some documents and ideas that are pretty good but if the founding
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is seen as 1619 when the first slaves came
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to america then
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america is rooted and grounded in the original sin of slavery and racism that’s what the
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1619 project is all about at bottom
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getting away from the idea that america is based on what america says america is based on
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to fix the original sin of racism americans should pass an anti-racist amendment to the u.s constitution
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that enshrines two anti-racist principles one racial inequity is evidence of
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racist policy and two the different racial groups are equals
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the amendment would make unconstitutional racial racial inequity over a certain
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threshold be unconstitutional if you have racial inequity and again equity is
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about outcomes right if you have outcomes that are disparate over a specific threshold it would make
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it unconstitutional as well as racist ideas by public officials
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with racist ideas and public officials clearly defined it would establish and permanently fund
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the department of anti-racism comprised of formerly trained experts
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on racism and no political appointees who wants to take a guess at who’s going to formally train the experts
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the doa would be responsible for pre-clearing all local state and federal
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public policies to ensure they won’t yield inequity monitor those policies
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investigate private racist policies when racial inequity surfaces
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and monitor public officials for expressions of racist ideas the doa would be empowered with
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disciplinary tools to wield over and against policymakers and public officials who do not
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voluntarily change their racist policy and ideas
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this has nothing to do with the heart it has everything to do with politics
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and power this is antithetical to biblical justice
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in every way imaginable
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and and here’s what you need to know again i’ll go back to what i said
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earlier church has a big bull’s-eye on her
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as the source of these inequities
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is the root of these inequities
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listen to this from milton friedman
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another economist a society that puts equality
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in the sense of equality of outcomes ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor
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freedom the use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom and the force introduced for good
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purposes will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests
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this is not how we in the body of christ function we are not about gaining political power
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in order to force people to do justice
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we are about the proclamation of the gospel recognizing that true justice
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must and can only come from hearts transformed through the person and work
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of jesus christ
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our greatest political desire is freedom to proclaim the gospel in the marketplace of ideas
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amen but guess what critical social justice will ultimately
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not tolerate proclaiming the gospel in the marketplace of ideas
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because it is a source and a means
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of oppression
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you keep on using that word
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i do not think it means what you think it means
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we must pursue justice injustice is sin
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and what i’ve come to discover is that the difference between social justice and biblical justice it
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we’ve been going at it the wrong way we’ve been trying to look at it we’ve been trying to say you know
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here’s here’s here’s what the bible would say you know is required to do justice here
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and here’s what the here’s what social justice was saying is required to do justice here and what i’ve discovered is that the
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difference is not in our application of justice i mean there are differences there the
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difference is in how we define injustice
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the bible would define injustice
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as that that which that which fails to comply with to comport with to to rise
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to the level of the law of god
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that’s how the bible would define injustice in in my relationship to another and my
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relationship to you know the state and my relationship my family injustice would would come down to the law of god
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and whether or not i was submitting to the law of god in
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this circumstance that’s not how social justice defines
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injustice social justice defines injustice as anything that produces or allows
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an inequitable outcome so for example the parable of the
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talents would be injustice
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in fact god would be unjust
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because there’s things that he hasn’t done equitably he blessed me with more melanin than
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most
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that’s inequitable
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are you taller than most people and equitable
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more intelligent inequitable
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you see what i’m getting at the world the way god designed it
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would not qualify as socially just
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because it’s filled with inequity
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do we want everybody to be the same height do we want everybody to have the same amount of melanin
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same level of intelligence the same kind of intelligence
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i mean do we do we want do we want that
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no but that’s at bottom what critical social justice is pursuing
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through diversity equity and inclusion
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no we want justice
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but what we mean by that is thy kingdom come thy will be done
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on earth as it is in heaven that’s the justice we want
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let’s pray
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father we thank you again for this this time that you’ve given us
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for these moments that you’ve given us for this opportunity
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to set our minds on these issues grant by your grace that we would be
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good stewards of what you’ve given to the end
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that we might honor christ in whose name we pray amen

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Romans 10:9 that if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart, one believes resulting in righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in him will not be disappointed.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, and is rich to all who call on him. 13 For, “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”