Confronting Injustice Without Compromising Truth

 

BreakPoint Daily

Confronting Injustice Without Compromising Truth

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Michael Agapito’s recent book review at ChristianityToday.com vividly illustrates one of the challenges Christians face when trying to apply their faith to issues of injustice. After praising much about Thaddeus Williams’ new book Confronting Injustice Without Compromising Truth, in particular his commitment to not diminish or dismiss Biblical mandates for Christians to work toward justice and to rightly prioritize social justice efforts in light of the salvation message, Agapito offers a lukewarm review. His concern, even after admitting Williams’ book explicitly states otherwise, is that “some will use it as an excuse to remain overtly comfortable with the status quo.”

In other words, even raising (and much less) answering questions (as Williams’ book brilliantly does) about the way social justice is defined and pursued today is to be guilty of enabling the detractors, even if you clearly and repeatedly state otherwise (as Williams’ book brilliantly does). This kind of critique of those who want to be sure their efforts align with Scripture is unhelpful and far too common…

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Devotional Thought for Today – 12/11-2020

Psalm 78 - Springer Road Church of Christ

ESV and RVR 1960

INFORMING THE NEXT GENERATION


CONTEXT (v. 1-31) :  v. 1–8 The introduction to Ps. 78 explains that it is a “parable” (v. 2) intended to exhort the Israelites to not be like their forefathers (v. 8).  In v.5–8 The psalmist describes how God (Ps 78:5) demanded that Israel not only recount His laws and instructions, but also remember the good and bad parts of their history. The Israelites should teach God’s laws and Israel’s history so that each new generation would know not to go astray (v. 8).  Verses 9–16 This section is the first of two thematic overviews in Psa 78 (see vv. 32–41). This section summarizes Israel’s interaction with God during the exodus (Exod 6–12) and then in the wilderness (Exod 14–40Num 11–25).  Here in v.17–20 Israel’s main fault in the episode recalled here was their demand for meat (see Num 11:4–6); however, the psalmist implies that Israel complained against God on a regular basis (compare Exod 16–17Num 11Psa 78:19–20).  In v.21–25 In this section, the psalmist focuses on God’s anger and His provision of manna to Israel. He implies that, although God was furious with Israel, He did not stop providing food for them. This section may be a stylized review of the wilderness journey of Israel, contrasting the reality of God’s continual provision of manna (Exod 16:35) with Israel’s general disloyalty to God.  Finally in v.26–31 The psalmist now switches from focusing on the manna to the quail (see Num 11:31–34). He recounts the incident in which God gave Israel meat to eat but also struck them with a plague. – Faithlife Study Bible


When I was a kid growing up WWII and the Korean War’s were still fresh on the minds on most Americans. Viet Nam was just not really underway in strength and patriotism was abundant. 

I remember sitting for hours listening to some of my neighbors describing both the horrors (concentration camps, artillery bombardments, etc.) and glory (comradery, victory over evil, etc.) that they experienced.  I know in some cases, Mrs. S who was in a concentration camp, Mr. T who was with Patton and liberated said camp(s) talking about the war was quite difficult but they did so so my generation would never repeat the lessons of the past. 

This Plasm, sets out to do the same thing. V.4 We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. 

We all know Israel’s history with God. It is a history wrought with FAILURE. Failure to obey the one true God of Heaven and Earth,  the great I AM.  The Psalmist is making it clear I/we will not hide those past failure from the next generation otherwise we condemn them to the same mistakes we and our forefathers have made. He implores them to remember the Highs and Lows of their past, leaving nothing out. 

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines History as: An account of facts, particularly of facts respecting nations or states; a narration of events in the social justice

order in which they happened, with their causes and effects.

Yet there are many today in America (and other countries) that wish to rewrite history, ( Change the facts) using  names like social justice as a smoke screen for historical revisionism which is a fancy way of saying I/we see history as this so it must be a fact. The would have us believe the Pilgrims came only for profit, that all who fought for the South in the War Between the States were Slave owning racist and so many more lies.  I hope you can see the danger in that, I encourage you to:

    1. Pray for those who would re-write history
    2. Parents, Monitor you children’s school assignments for misinformation  
    3. Encourage Everyone you know to, Inform the Next Generation of our Nations’ True History. n If we love to tell the story of our redeemer we should love to tell the story of the nation he has Graced us with. 

Verse 4. Commentary –  We will not hide from their children, etc. Thou must not only praise God thyself, but endeavour to transmit the memorial of his goodness to posterity. Children are their parent’s heirs; it were unnatural for a father, before he dies, to bury up his treasure in the earth where his children should not find or enjoy it; now the mercies of God are not the least part of a good man’s treasure, nor the least of his children’s inheritance, being both helps to their faith, matter for their praise, and spurs to their obedience. “Our fathers have told us what works thou didst in their days, how thou didst drive out the heathen” etc., Ps 44:1-2; from this they ground their confidence, Ps 44:4, “Thou art my King, O God; command deliverances for Jacob, ” and excite their thankfulness, Ps 44:8, “In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever.” Indeed, as children are their parents heirs, so they become in justice liable to pay their parents’ debts: now the great debt which the saint at death stands charged with, is that which he owes to God for his mercies, and, therefore, it is but reason he should tie his posterity to the payment thereof. Thus mayest thou be praising God in heaven and earth at the same time. – William Gurnall.

 

Defining Social Justice & Cultural Marxism; Dr. Voddie Baucham

Cultural Marxism, Racism, Social Justice, Godless Politics, Godless Ideologies, Godless Media, Godless Universities (Seminaries and Other Schools), Etc., by Dr. Voddie Baucham

 


Related Resources:

The Bible’s Answer To Racism (The Table of Nations: Are There Many Races, or One?) by Dr. Voddie Baucham (Free MP3)

Are there many races, or just one? What role does or belief about Darwinian evolution play in our understanding of race? Is Darwinian evolution inherently racist? These are just a few of the questions addressed in this message.
Racism has a variety of root causes. However, none of these causes is more sinister than the misuse of Genesis. Not only does a proper understanding of this text disprove racist assertions made by some biblical exegetes, it also cuts straight to the heart of the Darwinian brand of racism that gave rise to such atrocities as the Holocaust. Though there are many ethnicities, this message argues that all human beings actually form a single race.

Evolution and Racism by Ken Ham (Free MP3)

Ken Ham is president of Answers in Genesis and cofounder of the 70,000-square-foot Creation Museum. This daily, 90-second audio program is also broadcast on over 500 radio stations.

 

 

When There Are No More Volunteers

BreakPoint Daily

When There Are No More Volunteers

How the Church Can Love God by Loving Others
JOHN STONESTREET WITH BROOKE BORIAK

According to the National Fire Protection Association, the number of volunteer firefighters across the country has been steadily in decline, with a drop of over 132,000 volunteers in just the last four years. Many volunteer fire departments, especially in rural communities, are struggling to meet the demands of their districts.

Even more alarming, the most drastic demographic decline of volunteers is young people. In fact, over 50 percent of current volunteers across the country are over the age of 40. The widespread decrease in volunteering among young people threatens EMS services, pregnancy resource centers, shelters, and non-profits —from the Red Cross to retirement homes.

In other words, a live and pressing question we face as Americans is this: Will younger citizens be prepared, not to mention willing, to step in and maintain so many of the things we take for granted as Americans who rely on volunteers?

Several federal, state, and local government entities have seen the problem and are experimenting with programs that will incentivize young people to volunteer—from high school and college credit, to scholarships, to tax rebates. Pennsylvania has even proposed a program to forgive up to $16,000 in student loans for those who volunteer for four years as a first-responder.

While these sound like good ideas, and we should applaud innovative efforts, government solutions don’t always work out as advertised, and we can’t fix what are ultimately cultural and spiritual problems through political means.

Culturally speaking, ours is a far more mobile society than previous generations, but volunteerism and community engagement are rooted in a sense of ownership for a community. Simply put, it’s hard to foster ownership of a time and place among those always on the move.

Culturally and spiritually speaking, we are all susceptible in this world to the hyper-individualism that marks our age. All of us, but especially young people, are drawn today toward either the pursuit of social media celebrity-status, or personal happiness as our definition of “the good life.”

What we get instead, as we’ve said before on BreakPoint, is increasing anxiety, loneliness, and depression, especially among young people. The “Joker” film is just the latest to picture what can happen to those who lose all social ties and abandon any sense of social responsibility.

Not only is the decline of the volunteer ethic physically dangerous to the health of citizens in communities with no EMS providers to answer a call, it’s dangerous to the health of our young people if they don’t hear that they’re needed and that their life matters to their local community—wherever that is. That’s because volunteering protects the health of those providing care, as well as those being cared for.

Here, of course, is where the church comes in—or should come in. We can create a sense of community and belonging, instilling civic virtue, helping people experience the truth that no man is an island unto himself, and that our faith, though personal, is certainly not private.

Think about it. God has revealed Himself as a community—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Relationships aren’t merely something God does. It’s Who He is. Made in His image, we too are made for community. In other words, there’s simply no loving God without loving our neighbor.

So, here we have this place where a cultural need and a theological truth intersect. How might the church respond? What opportunities can we create, or can we join, that will draw young people into the life of the church for the good of the world?

And who knows, that young person we place at a soup kitchen today might be answering our 9-1-1 call tomorrow.

My thoughts: Volunteering is great and I encourage everyone to do so; just know that with the ever increasing call for “Socialism” on college campuses and even in High School class rooms across America; I think it prudent to be warned about the need for social activism, that is volunteering at a young age, without indoctrination attached. Equally concerning is the push withing evangelical circles for “Social Justice” which to has had it’s own agenda unfortunately apart from the biblical mandate to love and take care of our brothers in Christ first. – Mike

I Was There…

I Was There...

A dear friend, Pastor Fred’s article shows that the “new” social justice movement may not be so new after all. He clearly points out that Scripture is not open to man’s individual interpretation for it is Scripture Alone that interprets (or explains) scripture not mankind’s emotions. – Mike

 | MARCH 29, 2019

I was there. I experienced liberal theology’s social gospel and social justice ideas more than 45 years ago. It was at the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. (PCUS; Southern Presbyterians) Synod meeting in Charlotte, NC, in 1973. The speakers and attendees said things that sounded biblical at first, things like “the church is the body of Christ … we are the example of Christ to the world … Christ in us must be lived out in the world through social justice.” Many desired that the PCUS unite with the liberal UPCUSA, the Northern Presbyterians. They rightly argued for equal “civil rights” but also for backing liberation theology in El Salvador, the Black Panther Movement in America, and Angela Davis, etc. Little did I know at the time that the Northern Presbyterians already had funneled some defense funds to the Black Panthers’ and Angela Davis’ trials. Their idea of becoming a Christian was like Rudolf Bultmann’s “Christ” experience of enlightenment against all forms of prejudice and bigotry against others. To him, believing the facts of Christ’s death and resurrection were optional. To him, believing in Christ was to have a crisis of “enlightenment” or “awakening” over racial and cultural prejudices (the “Christ” experience) to emulate Christ to the world.

I had studied liberal theology at Reformed Theological Seminary (M. Div. ’74), but now these views had real faces on them. Some argued for women elders, gay marriage, and social justice reparations. I was quite taken aback that those who professed to hold to the Westminster Confession of Faith held these views. I asked myself: “How can we be united together with Christ if we have such views?” The PCA was just beginning to form at that time, and part of its reason for forming was a reaction to this liberal form of social justice. Now I am astonished to see some “conservative” Presbyterians adopting such views.

I saw another face of liberalism in 1977 when I returned to the Baptist fold. I met with the Alabama (SBC) official involved in recommending pastors to churches. He asked me why I went to RTS instead of an SBC seminary like Southern. I told him that I was an inerrantist and felt Southern Seminary was too liberal. He then said, “Then, there is no place in the SBC for you if you cannot fully support all the programs.” This was the covert liberalism of the SBC at that time which opposed biblical inerrantists. Of course, by God’s grace, Dr. Al Mohler was used of God to expose and remove liberal theology from SBTS in the 1990’s…for which I thank the Lord. It is no secret now that liberal theology had led to unbiblical social justice ideas at SBTS.

In 1988, I met another face of liberalism in a TCU doctoral seminar required for my PhD. This was a highly respected professor among liberals from the Disciples of Christ (Christian). He was a very nice man and cordial to me. After reviewing various hermeneutical approaches to the New Testament, however, he advocated “reader-response criticism.” His particular hermeneutical approach had elements of Rudolf Bultmann’s existential “Christ” experience and Karl Barth’s idea of finding “truth” in the Scriptures only when we “experience” God’s Word. To Barth, the Bible contained truth, but it only became true when the individual experienced something upon hearing the Bible. As one reads the text of the Bible, the reader has a response to its words, and that response is its meaning. This subjective experience with the Bible, then, becomes the actual “truth” to live by. Reader Response Criticism cares not for the historical biblical texts’ truthfulness. Truth is what you “feel” while reading the “story” in the text. What is “true” to me may not be “true” to you. But if you do not agree with my “truth” about social justice issues, then you are sinning. Starting to sound familiar?

So, you can imagine my horror when I discovered that some speakers and writers in the current Social Justice Movement have begun to sound like my past experiences with liberal, modernist and post-modernist views. My problem with today’s “conservative” social justice writers and speakers is that they exhibit the same faults in biblical hermeneutics and exegesis as did the liberals I encountered in the past.

For instance, they both use the Parable of the Good Samaritan to justify the churches’ responsibility to administer social justice to the poor and oppressed (Luke 10:25-37). The only problem is that the text explains that Jesus was defining “who is my neighbor” to an individual, a Jewish lawyer. Jesus’ answer was the picture of a Samaritan individual who providentially comes upon a robbed and beaten Jew (racial and religious taboos). A Jewish priest and a Levite already had passed him by. So, the Samaritan goes out of his way and uses his own money to take care of him at an inn … one person to one person. Our Lord concluded ironically that the Jew was the Samaritan’s neighbor; and he loved him as himself. He told the lawyer to go and do likewise. Surely this was offensive to the lawyer, giving him the example of a good Samaritan for him to emulate! This is certainly a call for individuals to keep the second great commandment to other needy individuals whose path they cross.

But, according to grammatical-historical-theological hermeneutics, does this parable teach that the local church as the body of Christ is called to organize its efforts to relieve the distressed and oppressed of society and the world? No, it does not. We must be careful of making historical narratives the foundation for sound doctrine. Christ spoke to a particular lawyer (an unbeliever, by the way) about how to gain eternal life by loving your neighbor and keeping the Law. The lawyer, seeking to justify himself, asked, “and who is my neighbor?” So, Jesus answered a particular man who was not yet a believer, and told him that this lawyer’s neighbor was anyone he providentially encountered in distress and oppression, even of another race and religion. Jesus was convicting him of his violation of God’s Law and need of repentance. This is about a real man who needed to know who was his neighbor to fulfill the commandment “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Since the lawyer was not a church being instructed by Jesus, the only thing we can rightly apply from this parable is that God holds all men accountable to His Law to love the people they encounter, especially those in trial and have the ability to help. It certainly has implications for the racial differences between the Jew and the Samaritan, but it is not a doctrine of Social Justice to the organized church to seek out the oppressed and to take care of them and to fulfill their physical and social needs. Nor did Jesus call the Jewish lawyer to make reparations to all Samaritans because he hated them as a class. There is no such command or example of the church doing so in the NT. The parable is a call for the Christian to help others in need as their neighbors whom God has providentially brought into their path, regardless of race or creed. We must love our neighbor as we would wish to be loved.

For proponents of Social Justice to use the Scriptures sloppily for their “reader-response” applications makes no headway with those whom they are either trying to reach or to criticize. A recent article was a travesty of biblical interpretation. It misused Zacchaeus’ benevolent giving to the poor and biblical restitutions to particular individuals whom he cheated, to bring guilt upon “white Baptists” as a class to provide reparations to the black community (black Baptists?). This article unbiblically calls “white Baptists” to view modern-day apostles and prophets of social justice at the same level of authority to the biblical prophets and apostles. That is staggering and absurd. Scripture alone is the Word of God for our conscience today. Scripture alone is the authority for any kind of “good works” we are called to do. Scripture alone defines what is the mission of the church for today, not “reader-response” feelings which are not based upon biblical hermeneutics and applications.

What may seem to be a “logical consequence” of the Scripture you read may be so affected by one’s own feelings and tradition that you have moved yourself, and desire to move others, beyond the authority and sufficiency of Scripture alone. This error reaches the level of an unfettered subjective allegorical interpretation of Scripture. If our Social Justice brothers sincerely wish to engage other Bible believers with their applications of Scripture, they need to remind themselves that the Reformation’s “formal principle” was Sola Scriptura, the Bible’s final authority and sufficiency for all matters of faith and practice, not new revelations of new “prophets” of the “reader-response” mind!

I was there. I saw the zeal. I saw the consequences you can see today in liberal Presbyterianism, Methodism, Episcopalianism, and some Baptists. Now, again I see biblical language behind “reader-response” ideas pre-conditioned around one’s experiences and environment, casting aside the evangelical and reformed hermeneutics that brought us out of Dark Ages and into the light of biblical authority and sufficiency. Every time in history that professing Christians have messed with the final and unique authority and sufficiency of Scripture alone over the conscience of man, they have been led down paths like universal salvation, justification by faith plus works, state churches, authoritative ecclesiastical pronouncements over the local church’s authority, racial and ethnic hatred, divisions, slanders, gossip, self-righteous condescension, and new divisive categories of who is “an enemy of the gospel.”

When will some of the “new” theologians of the Social Justice movement ask themselves: “Is this really what the Scripture says in the text? … Is my logical extension within the bounds of Scripture Alone?” And when will they answer those who challenge their conclusions with the biblical hermeneutic and exegesis which was the unifying power of the Reformation and the foundation of historical Baptists?

I hope to see you in Louisville, Kentucky, on May 14-16, as we seek to examine and sort out the heart of the gospel and the mission of the church in these new (but really old) challenges.

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2019 NATIONAL FOUNDERS CONFERENCE

  Louisville, Kentucky

Gospel Privilege and Global Missions

| March 28, 2019

“The true privilege for American Christians, and all Christians, is not found in the pigmentation of our skin, but the eternal state of our souls.”

We are called to share the Good News to those who have not heard it, that is the mandate set forth by Christ Jesus Himself to all Christians. Whether that be in your own home, neighborhood, city, or a unreached people group in a foreign land. The “News” and our focus must remain Christ and Him Crucified. – Mike

I remember well a particularly telling luncheon at T4G. A young pastor, wielding his MDiv and an internship at a solid Baptist church, sat across the table from my friend, Brooks Buser. Brooks had just returned from spending over 13 years suffering loss for the unsurpassable honor of planting a church among the Yembi Yembi.¹ Brooks is an American-born male of European descent, though he grew up in the Iteri tribe in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. His father, Brad Buser, had spent 20 years planting a church among that formerly cannibalistic unreached people group.

Upon hearing that Brooks had gone to an unreached people group, planted a church, and translated the New Testament, the young pastor clamored for a chance to ask Brooks the most important questions a gospel minister could ask in that moment: “What is your view of white privilege and the social justice movement and how they inform the Great Commission?” Brooks kindly told him that this is not an issue he dealt with on the mission field. He encouraged the young pastor to consider our gospel privilege. We have the good news and the word of God in our language. There are 3100+ people groups who do not know this news. Brooks pointed out that this should be our great concern. With complete sincerity, the young pastor responded, “You are not woke.”

Continued at Source: Gospel Privilege and Global Missions

¹ I have added this link for you to netter understand Brooks and Nina Buser’s story.

 

 

The Problem Isn’t the Great Commission

The Problem Isn’t the Great Commission

 | MARCH 13, 2019

This is another thought provoking article about the modern social justice movement in evangelical circles. I have posted the opening and closing sentences you will have to go to the source (which I highly encourage) for the rest) – Mike

Anthony Bradley has been a loud voice in the social justice movement among reformed and evangelical Christians in America. He actually helped awaken me to the threat of this movement to the gospel….

…The problem isn’t with the great commission. The problem is with those whose cultural agendas have so shaped their perspectives that they fail to appreciate the significance of what it means to make disciples of all nations.

Source: The Problem isn’t TGC

 

Justice in Society

 | SEPTEMBER 27, 2018

With the recent discussions about social justice on social media and blogs, I submit that the dispute is not about whether Christians should seek justice in society but what kind of justice they should seek. While there may be a historic Fundamentalist impulse which says that Christians should simply preach the gospel and pray for the conversion of souls, ignoring the injustices that take place in society, I am not aware of anyone in this current discussion who is advocating that view. The question at hand is “What constitutes biblical justice in society?” Here are some of the Bible’s categories of justice in society…

Continued at Source: Justice in Society

Social Injustice and the Gospel

Scripture says earthly governments are ordained by God to administer justice, and believers are to be subject to their authority. The civil magistrate is “a minister of God to you for good . . . an a...

Continued at Source: Social Injustice and the Gospel

by John MacArthur Monday, August 13, 2018

God Hates Injustice – Tim Challies

The God who loves what is good must not love what is evil. He must not even be ambivalent toward what is evil, what is harmful, what is destructive. He must hate it. The God of the Bible reveals himself as a God of love. But he also reveals himself as a God who hates. We have been looking at verses where the Bible employs words like “hate,” “abomination,” and “detestable,” and have seen that God hates idolatry and God hates sexual immorality. Today we turn our attention to this: God hates injustice…(more)

Source: God Hates Injustice – Tim Challies