Madison Christian Church

Devotional for Jan. 14, 2018

I am
attempting to be less cynical.  In an
article my brother sent to me which Cindy and I read for our devotional this
morning, Max Lucado said, “I will refuse to be cynical…the tool of the lazy
thinker.”  I hated that line!  My first temptation was to be cynical about
it.

One thing I have been cynical about is the concept of “social justice”.  I have been this way for a number of years and a number of reasons.  Usually it has been promoted by liberal – exceedingly liberal – people with an axe to grind against those who have worked hard and made good, disciplined decisions to get where they are.  Social justice has been championed in such a way that it promotes enabling people who have been either lazy or irresponsible (putting in nicely).  Social justice has been advocated by people passionately seeking “justice” for living, irresponsible people, and yet they could not care less about true justice for the UNBORN!!! Many in the social justice movement are using this phrase to promote a very liberal political agenda and see the poor and disenfranchised as pawns for their own personal power…such “compassion” is disingenuous to put it mildly.  Social justice has been promoted by some Christians in such a way as to teach that if we just feed the hungry and give free stuff to everyone that we will be saved by our good works.  And, many of them believe God is going to save anyone and everyone regardless of what they do with Jesus.

There are some who see racism where it isn’t!  They invent it and see it everywhere and use that card to justify anger toward people not of their race (which ironically is racism).  Some dismiss the hard work and determination of those who are doing well as a certain kind of privilege.  They do this in a way to promote anger and resentment.  That’s not only wrong in many cases, it is downright “unjust” from those claiming to seek “justice”.  The irony is thick!

Due to
those realities and others, I have been very cynical about social justice.  But I am trying to be careful not to throw
out the proverbial baby with the bathwater. 
After all, I think Max is correct in saying that cynicism is the tool of
the lazy thinker.

So, I
want to think this through from a better and more Biblical perspective.  Why? 
Because God DOES care about justice. 
I’ve corresponded with a preacher friend of mine who shared similar
struggles but has come out of that cynical way of thinking.  He and I have talked about the fact that as
Christians we should be seeking not “social justice” but “Biblical justice” (if
any adjective needs to be attached to it). 

In Luke
4:16-19, Jesus read Isaiah’s rebuke of unjust economic structures, unjust
domination, unjust violence and unjust exclusion from community.  Jesus then claimed that the passage He read
was fulfilled in Him.

God wants
us to care for individuals and groups who are oppressed.  I do not believe He wants us to enable
irresponsible people to continue to be irresponsible.  But just because some are that way, it does
not mean I am therefore free to ignore the working poor or those who are unable
to work.  Pray that as a church we can
help people in the truest sense of the word and create a community at MCC where
they know they will be loved and cared for and also taught the truth of
Scripture.  I believe God will bless us
in striving and seeking to balance these things.