Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Christ-less Social Justice

There has been a lot of talk in recent months on Adventist websites like Spectrum and Adventist Today about “social justice”. Unfortunately many Christians have bought into the idea of social justice that is being delivered through Progressive political partisans. What they proclaim is a Christ-less social justice it is in fact Marxism also known as socialism.

We are living in a time when political Progressives are attempting to bring together science and religion and government. The science is derived from what is often called environmental justice which includes the idea that humanity is causing global warming and the more definable problem of pollution. But since most western countries have made great improvements in regards to pollution the global warming/climate change hysteria has largely taken over the pollution concerns.

What happens to the true believer in man made global warming, especially when it can be seen that pursuing the issue of global warming will also help instill their socialist political views upon nations. To fight global warming is to fight for socialism. To fight for environmental justice is to fight against capitalism. To destroy capitalism is to destroy the economic growth of nations which would in effect decrease the greenhouse gases which they feel are causing global warming. They reason how can one be a religious person, how can one be a good Christian if one does not accept these principles, socialism, global warming, environment and social and economic justice?

The following is from Socialist Equality Party Statement of Principles under the heading the Crisis of Capitalism:

6. Capitalism, and the imperialist system that develops upon its economic foundations, is the main cause of human poverty, exploitation, violence and suffering in the modern world…

7. The gigantic scale of the existing productive forces and the extraordinary advances in technology are more than sufficient not only to abolish poverty but also to guarantee every human being on the planet a high standard of living…

9. The irreconcilable conflict between the profit system and the very survival of humanity finds, in a literal sense, its most noxious expression in the crisis of global warming and the natural environment. The cause of this crisis lies not, as is falsely claimed by the bourgeois media, with population growth. Nor is it the result of science and technology – whose development is critical to the advance of human civilization – but, rather, with their misuse by an irrational and obsolete economic order…

10. The solution to the spreading economic crisis and the deteriorating social position of the working class lies not in the reform of capitalism, for it is beyond reform. The crisis is of a systemic and historical character. As feudalism gave way to capitalism, capitalism must give way to socialism...

When you read through the Socialist statement of principles you can quickly see most of the things that people talk about as social, economic and environmental justice are covered as being problems of Capitalism. For instance today we are hearing about the law in Arizona designed to curb illegal immigration. The idea of borders according to the socialist is again part of the effect of Capitalism:

The source of the contradiction between what is and what should be is a global economic system based on private ownership of the means of production, and the irrational division of the world into rival nation-states. (from statement 7 above).

All ills it seems to the socialist are rooted in the United States of America’s Capitalist traditions.

12. The Socialist Equality Party unequivocally condemns the “War on Terror” as a fraudulent pretext for the use of military violence by the American corporate and financial elite in pursuit of its global ambitions.

13. The SEP demands the immediate withdrawal of all US military forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, and calls for an end to threats against Iran and other countries, which, for one or another reason, are seen by the White House and Pentagon as obstacles to US imperialism’s global interests…

33. An essential precondition for the forging of this unity is the unconditional defense of the democratic rights of immigrants living in the United States. The Socialist Equality Party stands for the unconditional right of workers of every country to live and work where they choose. We call for full democratic and citizenship rights for all immigrants, including the 12 million or more now classified as undocumented or “illegal.”…

There is no doubt that socialism is on the rise in the United States, Newsweek magazine after Obama’s election produced a cover and the article “we are all socialists now” . The question you might ask is do you see a real difference between the political Progressives, the Liberal Democrats and the ideas of the socialists. They all use the term democracy or democratic rights but honestly with their ideology as expressed above what does democracy mean. Illegal aliens should have democratic rights and there should be no borders and if in democracy I can vote to take away your property since property is equated to imperialism and capitalism and the destruction of the world, what does citizenship even mean.

Ron Osborn a frequent contributor to Spectrum Magazine online says:

“Against the assumptions of laissez-faire capitalism—which posits a world of unlimited human needs, individualism, and competitive rivalry for scarce resources—Jesus declares that we are stewards rather than owners of property, that God’s creation is abundant and our earthly needs limited, and that God’s liberation of Israel from slavery is normative for how we should treat the poor among us.” (The Christ of the Fifth Way: Recovering the Politics of Jesus, Part III: Kingdom Come

Apparently in his mind a steward can’t be an owner, but as we know from other New Testament reference that is not true, compare the parable of the buried treasure.

David Larson produced an article entitled: Capitalism: What Were Its Moral Strengths and Weaknesses? Part 1

“In capitalism, entrepreneurs pay producers as little as possible and charge consumers as much as they can. Over time, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Eventually, neither can afford to buy or sell and the economy “crashes and burns.”

From a capitalist point of view, this is a good thing. Like forest fires that consume the dead and weak, recessions and depressions eliminate sick businesses that should have disappeared much earlier. But these economic downturns also burn people.”

Actually a recent report showed that the rich get poorer and the poor get richer, as Money reported in 2006:

“The evidence is in a new Fed study of family finances, the latest in a triennial series. It shows modest but clear signs of incomes converging rather than diverging. Between 2001 and 2004 (the most recent year for which data are available), incomes of the poorest 20 percent of families increased while incomes of the richest 20 percent fell. Basically, the poorest families' share of total incomes grew, and the richest families' share shrank. Incomes became just a little less unequal.”

In fact through most of the 20th century the poor were getting richer and moving into the middle class rather than the middle class moving into the poor. Most of us don’t need statistics to realize the truth in the above statement as we can remember what we grew up with, how our childhood homes compare to what we live in today. Of course if socialism gets its way the statement the rich get richer and the poor get poorer will actually be true. The rich of course will be those of the ruling socialist government class and the poor being everyone else. (see also the article: An economist looks at the numbers The Myth of the Declining Middle Class Stephen Rose Ph.D, June 9, 2008 )

A wonderfully titled blog article, “The rich get richer, the poor get richer, the New York Times gets outraged”:

Look out world: the rich are getting richer by helping the poor get richer. The New York Times warns us that “Big Banks Draw Profits From Microloans to Poor.”…

But profits aren’t made on anyone’s backs. They are made by creating value and are a sign of mutual gain. Nike profits by making great shoes. profits by running a quality online bookstore. McDonald’s profits by serving delicious food to anyone willing to spend a few bucks. They all profit by making us better off (otherwise we would patronize their competitors). Well, microloan companies profit by providing the poor with a service they desperately need at prices they willingly pay.

It is not a real surprise that the overall emphasis of political liberals/Progressives at Spectrum magazine…since it has been going on for years. But you have to realize that that political view they are using when dealing with the news of the day. Thus they support social justice even though they don’t define it and they refuse to believe that it has anything to do with socialism/Marxism. Their religion is heavily influenced by their politics so they were very opposed to the Christianity of the conservatives and highly supported of the Christian political mix of the liberal democrats AKA political Progressives. (see Obamas Faith based programs pushing global warming climate change, green issues )

This is what we see today, a Christ-less social justice, a Christ-less socialism. Socialism has lead to two of the most destructive movements of the 20th century, Communism and Nazism. Yet the basis, the socialist ideals are still being retained and now our fellow Adventists have begun to accept those ideals, the same ideals as we see in the Socialist Principles linked above. Only now clothed in the garments of Christianity because while socialism has never worked, even the socialist democracies of Europe our rapidly failing, the true believers feel that if only they are in charge the ideals will succeed. Yet these Christians are actually supporting the Christ-less socialist of the Progressive movement and Christ-less social justice and Christ-less socialism are the same thing and they cannot produce the freedom that is man’s God given right. The right which through most of history governments have trampled. Yet strangely now those born under those freedoms stand against them and embrace the belief that government will solve the problems of this world.

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