Last year, 2020, Scott David Allen published an eye-opening and insightful book on the cultural Marxist subversion of Christian churches and institutions and Christian understanding of justice. Theologian Wayne Grudem called, Why Social Justice Is Not Biblical Justice, a truth-filled “warning about the deeply anti-Christian ideas behind much of the modern ‘social justice’ movement.”
Baptist pastor Tom Ascol, president of Foundation Ministries, wrote that “The modern social justice movement is a Trojan Horse that is being welcomed into many evangelical camps with the kind of fanfare that would make the citizens of Troy blush. Under the pretense of loving one’s neighbor and pursuing justice, ideologies that are contrary to the way of Christ are being employed to set agendas for and shape the consciences of evangelicals. Because biblical words are being used, what the Bible means by those words is assumed and that [false] assumption is wreaking havoc on sound Christian thinking and healthy Christian living.”
The subtitle of Allen’s book is “An Urgent Appeal to Fellow Christians in a Time of Social Crisis. Allen generally distinguishes this dangerous and heretical counterfeit of biblical justice as “ideological social justice.” It is called Neo-Marxist social justice or just cultural Marxism by others. Ideological social justice is a comprehensive worldview intended to replace genuine Christianity. There is no doubt that it is closely associated with Marxist ideology and strategies for subversion of Western civilization and Christianity. The Marxists realized early in the 20thCentury that Christianity was the main obstacle to Marxist ideological and political dominance.
Allen and others have pointed out the prominent use of language manipulation in advancing ideological social justice. He quotes John Stonestreet of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview on this: “It’s no good having the same vocabulary if we’re using different dictionaries.” Much of this also reminds us of the statist language manipulation in George Orwell’s book 1984, with terms like “Newspeak” and a “Ministry of Truth” that is really a ministry of lies and coercion. Most recently, ideological social justice advocates always mention equality, diversity, and inclusion as goals, but the meaning of these terms is quite different from the Christian and traditional understanding of justice.
The use of the word “equity” by social justice warriors does not mean equal opportunity as traditionally conceived. Social justice equity demands equal outcome, which is an injustice that leads to rapid social and economic collapse. False ideologies and deceitful worldviews bring bitter fruit. We can already see that our culture is increasingly marked by enmity, hostility, suspicion, entitlement, endless grievances, rioting, looting, violence, and public and social disorder. Jesus said, “By their fruit, you will recognize them.”—Matthew 7:16.
Biblical equality means that God created all humans in his own image, and although diverse in many ways, they should be treated with equal, indeed sacred, dignity. It does not mean we are entitled to equal outcomes in life or rebellion against God.
One of the great errors of the new social justice ideology is that it conflates disparities or differences in life outcomes with injustice and oppression. Hence we have cynical leftist community organizers, poorly edified media, and opportunistic politicians making unwarranted or vastly exaggerated claims of systemic racism, injustice, and white supremacy. The fruits have so far been an exploding ignorance of reality and shameful doctrines of division and hatred that are fast leading toward totalitarian government.
The neo-Marxist distortion of the concept of equity is leading to chaos in education, business, and government. It has lately been most prominent in law enforcement. Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute gives one of myriad examples. African Americans comprise less than 25 percent of New York City’s population, but they account for half of pedestrian police stops. Neo-Marxist activists and compliant media and politicians claim this is proof of systemic police racism. Actually, the police activity is crime driven, but the media drumbeat is racism and white supremacy. The Hoover Institute’s Thomas Sowell wrote a comprehensive account of this issue in 2017: Discrimination and Disparities. Sowell is a highly esteemed African American economist and scholar, but the social justice warriors do not listen to him. Their creed is power by whatever lies and means.
Neo-Marxist social justice also wraps diversity in the same equal-outcome robes, but allows no diversity of opinion or thought. Judging from nature, God obviously loves diversity. But diversity without unity is not a strength. Genuine unity is not something that can be coerced by shaming, bullying, or bayonets. Neo-Marxist diversity actually oppresses different ideas, including genuine Christianity and political conservatism. It strongly insists on uniformity in thought and speech. At a 2019 Netroots Nation Conference, black female Michigan Congressional Representative Ayanna Pressley demonstrated her opinion on intellectual diversity and free speech within her neo-Marxist social justice community:
“We don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be a brown voice. We don’t need black faces that don’t want to be a black voice. We don’t need Muslims that don’t want to be a Muslim voice. We don’t need queers that don’t want to be a queer voice.”
Ideological social justice has become the enemy of free speech and intellectual, political, and religious freedom.
Cultural Marxist “diversity” is just Newspeak for anti-Christian, anti-white, anti-Western, and anti-conservative discrimination. It groups people into victim and oppressor groups no matter what their character. It despises “ableism” or recognition of genuine merit. It is not victimless. It is anti-anyone who does not tow the new social justice party line. It is an active instrument of harmful discrimination against any who are not included in the approved victim groups or dare to disagree with their definition of diversity. Those non-victims who do not virtue signal their approval of diversity ideology loud, long, and hard enough are likely to come under the wrath of ideological social justice lords.
The new social justice concern with “inclusiveness” is also hypocritical, because they actively engage in excluding anyone who is deemed a member of an “oppressor group” or disagrees with them or their methods. They are proponents of critical race theory, which holds oppressor groups (whites, capitalists, Christians, conservatives, etc.) as inherently irredeemable and has popularized the distorted ideology of systemic racism, which is the central drumbeat of presidential press conferences in 2021. They do encourage confessions of white supremacy to avoid harassment or bullying. Readers should also read White Guilt (2006) and Shame (2015) by Shelby Steele to understand how misguided social justice ideas have destroyed the promise of the Civil Rights era and polarized the nation.
Scott Allen asks us: “Will we go along with the warped and distorted social justice morality, or will we have the courage to speak out on real injustices where they exist, such as abortion, black-on-black violence, or female gendercide? Will we adopt the distorted moral priorities (and blinders) of ideological social justice, or will we allow the Bible to guide us on matters of justice and morality.”
Specifically, Allen asks if we will adhere to biblical sexual morality or compromise with the sexual revolution? Will we commit to end the grievous injustice of abortion or remain silent and ambivalent? Will we ignore injustices perpetrated by members of victim groups, or will we judge impartially as Scripture demands? Will we speak out for victims of justice regardless of skin color, ethnicity, stage of life, or sex? Will all lives matter or only those from self-defined victim groups?
“God’s character in his revealed Word defines the difference between good and evil. His law is authoritative on matters of morality, particularly the Ten Commandments. Our commitment must be to his law and not to societal moral norms; no matter how popular they are or how high a price we may have to pay for violating those norms.”
It should be obvious that “cancel culture” is unforgiveness culture.
In E. Calvin Beisner’s pamphlet on Social Justice versus Biblical Justice, he reminds us of four criteria for biblical justice. First is impartiality. “You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small as well as the great, you shall not be afraid of any man’s presence, for the judgment is God’s” (Deuteronomy 1: 16-17). Second, justice requires fairness—rendering each person their due (Romans 13:7). This concept includes whether an act is intentional, negligent, or purely accidental. Note this is EACH person or party. Punishing groups or descendents would not be just. Third, justice requires proportionality. The severity or lenience of the punishment must fit the infraction. The fourth is conformity with the standard of God’s law. Of course, there is also the Golden Rule of Matthew 7:12: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
There are a couple of paragraphs in Scott Allen’s book that reflected an incomplete knowledge of pre-Civil War slavery and Reconstruction, but I strongly recommend it. The need is urgent.
We have reached the point where an unbiblical and destructive Marxist worldview on social justice dominates several Federal government institutions, and has also captured most of academia, the news media, and entertainment culture. It now has naïve acceptance in many Christian denominations and is making astonishing inroads even in evangelical churches. Yet it is disturbingly unbiblical. America and Christians especially have a great need for discernment and courage.
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Scott David Allen
Warns of Counterfeit Social Justice