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Jesus and social justice

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Flavio, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. I believe this is going to be the subject of my next lesson: social justice.

    'Social justice' is too difficult for 12 y.o. kids, I believe the title is going to be 'rich and poor'. Any other suggestions?

    There are countless Bible verses on this and Jesus was a strong defender of social justice, of course, but many questions remain controversial. Was Jesus rich? Are Christians allowed to have money? Is poverty a virtue? And how do you interpret this:

    Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Mark 10:21)
     
  2. Why can't you teach of God's wonderful love and care over those who are obedient. Psa 23, Psa 1
     
  3. Kids today are extremely materialistic and the biblical episode of the Rich Young Ruler has never been truer.

    May God help me, I believe this is an important subject but I have many doubts and I don't want to sound 'socialist'.
     
  4. I have come to despise the term "social justice" because it connotes a desire and even an imperative to legislate by force an equality of life that cannot be accomplished without lowering the standard of living for everyone, even the poor.
    I think what you mean is social fairness, looking out for our fellow man. The Bible is clear that this is the Christian's duty. A socialist wants this done by force of government edict irregardless of the damage done to economic viability. Tax the rich 100% rates and you will cease to have the rich and therefore nothing left to transfer or share with the lower classes, in effect lowering the standard of living of every class.
    So you are right, you don't want to be teaching socialism because the Bible does not teach that. There are a lot of verses which deal with money and stewardship. Some of the main concepts I know of are:
    -Having money is not wrong, the love of money is wrong.
    1 John 2:15-17
    1 Timothy 6:10
    Hebrews 13:5
    Ecclesiastes 5:10

    -Be a good steward of what has been entrusted to you.
    1 Corinthians 4:2
    Luke 12:42-44

    -You can't love God and money.
    Matthew 6:24
    Matthew 6:19-21

    -Be a good worker, work like you are working for the Lord.
    Acts 20:35
    Colossians 3:23

    -If you are faithful with the little, you will be given more.
    Luke 16:10
    Proverbs 11:24
    Luke 12:42-46
    Matthew 25:20-21

    -If you squander what little you have, no one will trust you with much.
    Luke 16:11
    Matthew 25:18, 24-30

    -If you have the ability to help someone who needs it, you should.
    1 Timothy 5:8
    Proverbs 3:27
    1 John 3:16-18
    1 Peter 4:10

    -Don't concern yourself with your own desires, concern yourself with what others may need.
    1 Timothy 6:17-19
    Matthew 6:31-33
    1 Corinthians 10:24

     
    SueJLove, Major, KingJ and 2 others say Amen and like this.
  5. Yes the Rich Young Ruler is very relevant. Jesus did not ask or tell Peter or any of the disciples to sell everything they owned, give it away and follow Me. Just this rich guy. It portrays this ruler's love of money which he needed to overcome. Jesus knows the heart and whether you would be willing to give up the things of this world for Him. This is a good lesson for 12 year olds. The idea of "Where is your love?". What drives you? That sort of thing.
    God bless.
     
    Major and Flavio say Amen and like this.
  6. God's not into social justice:

    2 Thessalonians 3:10 (KJV)
    For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. ​
     
    Major and Flavio say Amen and like this.
  7. I think social justice is a loaded concept. At least that is what modern society turned it into. It has a strong political background to it as well. Bible does teach many things on how to take care of poor, widows and so on. We see old mosaic law filled with concepts like sabbath year. It is all designed so that poor people are not oppressed more and more. In NT, book of James talks about it as well
    For Sunday class, it might be wise not to bring in what world perceives as social justice and try to explain from biblical perspective. Because Bible does not support social justice as perceived by the world. Instead, simply instruct the kids on what Bible tells about treating poor people or people in need. That is what we try to do with my daughter. We try to explain how there are underprivileged children all over the world who don't have even a single toy. Then she herself realizes the need for charity. Then we tell her what Bible tells about that.
     
    Flavio likes this.
  8. The world : Society organised outside the will of God .
    True justice is founded upon the principle of righteous judgment.
    Not on the Godless vain and wicked assertions of human rights or the subjective opinions as to what is equal.
    Social justice sound all very good but is it not a cloak that denies God,Gods way and Gods will?
    For if we are talking about 'poverty' and by social 'justice' it is implied it is inherently unjust .Then that denies the Word of God.
    For poverty has its root and cause that cannot be assuaged by law. For instance "A little folding of the arms a little sleep and poverty will come like an armed man"
    And it can be reasonably argued that a poverty in spirit cannot be assauged either by riches .
    and there is a direct proportion I would think between poverty of spirit and any other poverty.
    It is also the justification for envy and for coveting your neighbours goods which Gods word says is idolitory.
    Some justify stealing from the so called rich to give to the so called poor .With the projection that the 'poor' will become like the 'rich'.
    But in truth if the rich become poor you will not get rich poor people all will have become beggars save the ones who justified such things who will be found to be "carrying the bag"
    Judas complained about the woman who "broke the alibaster box full of precious ointment" and annointed the Lord with it . About a years wages it has been said.And all the disciples who should have known better all murmured their agreement. Save one.
    Who said "he did not say this because he loved the poor but because he carried the bag" he was a thief and in the end sold the truth for 30 pieces of silver.
    So called equal rights has very little to do with the truth.
    Before God all men are of one blood.
    Deny God and you will have strife one between the other.
    Deny God and believe in evolution and you have justified or uphold racism for that is the natural consequence of such reasoning.
    To see things from Gods perspective consider slavery.
    Paul teaches if you are a slave and in Christ then you are free and serve your master as unto the Lord.
    If you are master in Christ then you are a slave and should treat your slaves accordingly.
    The world says injustice!!! and will march and protest against it.
    Is slavery wrong? Yes.
    But Gods ways are not mans ways and his thoughts are higher than ours.
    God works from the inside out .Man works on the outside and thinks he will change the inside. he will not does not nor has.
    Preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and live i and you will suffer tribulation by the world .
    Preach social justice and you will not have much of a problem with the world and it will love you.

    Jesus was poor and his family was poor .For when they took Jesus to the temple to be circumcised they could only offer turtle doves .
    "Not many of you are rich ...." said Paul and while there is no virtue in poverty if you want to be a real Christian if your looking to be rich as the world counts riches you will not be a real christian for long.
    Paul said having nothing I make many rich.
    Yet in Christ he possesed all things.
    When "He who was rich became poor that we through His poverty might be made rich" If people think he is talkign about the wolrds riches or teach it they are very gravely mistaken.

    in Christ
    gerald
     
    Flavio likes this.
  9. #9 JohnC, Feb 22, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
    I would be very careful of social justice.....

    Notice that what Jesus was teaching was not social justice - but rather aligning yourself with God and His ways....

    It's very important to realize that God's true Justice and Equity far exceeds everything we can mete out here on earth... and we are not to attempt to act as a proxy for God.. We are to be charitable, loving, and helpful - but we also are not to worry about that which we have no control over.... Jesus never taught that Society has a legal claim against you to be charitable or do good because you are a Christian - but rather that Love means you will want to help those around you... Social justice infers that those "Who have not" own a legal claim against those "Who Have" whether or not they actually merit that claim or not...

    For example - only God can make one truly whole again and fully "restore"... Today - all we can do is punitive equity - removing from A to give to B or substituting money for the loss... Jesus showed that God can actually fully restore what was lost - return the arm or eye that was destroyed... Return the life that was lost... Forgive the sin that was at the root of the pain....

    Jesus' answer to the crowds after feeding the 5,000 also belies that Social Justice was never Jesus goal.... John 6:26 ..... "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled (Literally foddered as in livestock or glutted)"... Jesus had compassion upon these people and took action to do a charitable act which they had not earned or had claim to...

    But - the other thing we have to be really careful about is the question of "You are whole... Now what?" - which is the opposite of social justice.... What happens to the beggar who has his legs restored or the blind man who is given his sight... What happened to the person made whole? The parents of the girl raised from the dead? It honestly never says whether the fellow went on to get a normal job, get married, lived a normal life, etc.... What the bible says is that they are now made whole and you can infer that they are no longer prevented from pursuing such.... The bible makes no statement either way about what they did with the great gift granted them....

    Thanks
     
    Flavio likes this.
  10. Amen to that!

    I will just call it 'rich and poor', then.

    I'll mention the Rich Young Ruler and several Bible quotes on this subject (there are many, esp. Proverbs). I will not mention politics and socialism.
     
  11. That sounds like a good topic...

    It would be a great opportunity to teach that we should be gracious, merciful, and charitiable because one has been more gracious and charitable towards us.... For example - the parable of the ten thousand talents.... "Paying it forward" not only because it makes you feel good, but because WE have received payment on a debt we cannot pay....

    I think on the topic of rich and poor - you also can't help but touch the widow's mite and the parable of the rich man and lazarus... teaching that just because you are poor does not mean God does not love or care about you... and that just because you are wealthy and prosperous does not mean that God favors you highly....

    Then last - take a trip on over to Revelation 18:11-13 where we see an ordered list of the things man values - gold and silver at the top... Souls of men valued somewhere below dirt.. Then compare this to Jesus teachings... What do the angels in heaven rejoice over? Gold and silver? No - the souls of men saved... and what is Heaven's dirt? The only thing it's good for is to pave roads and build walls? Gold, silver, and precious stones......

    Thanks
     
  12. The rich young ruler would be a great teaching, as it shows us that the true "treasure" that is eternal is not the stuff we posses in this life, but the treasure of wisdom and understanding that comes from being obedient to God. The Apostles left everything behind to follow the Lord as they saw, and heard words of Wisdom like no other man they have ever heard before. They were men of "vision". No one will, or could ever let go of the stuff they posses unless they see something much better than what they have now. The rich young ruler had no vision to be able to let go of his riches that were only temporary. It's not that the Lord wanted him to be broke, and have nothing, but the true riches comes only after we give to others what we have, and then the Lord gives back to us much more than what we gave, and that happens in this life.

    Mar 10:26.. And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, "Then who can be saved?"
    Mar 10:27.. Jesus looked at them and said, "With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God."
    Mar 10:28.. Peter began to say to him, "See, we have left everything and followed you."
    Mar 10:29.. Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel,
    Mar 10:30.. who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.
     
  13. Hello CCW95A.
    That is not necessarily so.
    After accepting losing everything in a fire I realized, to some level, that I was still okay regardless of the loss.
    If Jesus, the Son of God and Truth, said to me to let go of everything to follow Him, I could also understand that it was okay to have nothing and follow what is Truth, just like the truth that I am okay with nothing.
    The true riches is not about giving to others (as such) what we have, but to have no riches to go back to. No more doubt, or a backdoor to escape/return to the riches. It is to be unconditional surrender of any other source of salvation but the salvation of our soul.
     
  14. Peter, I have more than once left every thing I own, and gave it to other Church members to do the will of God, and right now I have way more than ever before. Stuff is just junk, and can not give life to anything. There would have been no way I could have not done this without first seeing something much better then what I had. God's Word creates vision in the person who keeps it in his heart. If there is no vision the people perish. Obedience is absolutely the key to success, and without it the enemy comes in anyway and steals what we have.

    Luke 16:10.. He who is faithful in a very little [thing] is faithful also in much, and he who is dishonest and unjust in a very little [thing] is dishonest and unjust also in much.
    Luke 16:11.. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the [case of] unrighteous mammon (deceitful riches, money, possessions), who will entrust to you the true riches?
    Luke 16:12.. And if you have not proved faithful in that which belongs to another [whether God or man], who will give you that which is your own [that is, the true riches]? (AMP)

    True riches are only given to a person who is obedient with what God has given him. If a man will not work, neither shall he eat, and I really I like to eat, so, I work at giving what the Lord has given me whether it is stuff, money or more importantly his Word. Jesus left the Glories of Heaven to do the will of his Father, Moses left the riches of Egypt, the Apostles left everything to follow Jesus, Abraham left his family, and country to do the will of God.
     
  15. CCW95A. We are saying the same thing with a slight misreading between us.
    The thing is to know that we are okay in God regardless of what happens. By being in God we also become obedient to God's will for us. We accept all that is required from us. We belong to God and nobody, or anything, else. If God said, 'let's go', we drop everything and go with God.
     
  16. Jesus, speaking to his disciples said (in Luke 12): “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
     
    Big Moose likes this.
  17. I almost wish I didn't agree as much as I do. The scriptures you quote are legitimate ... and history has shown that when people no longer feel the need to care for themselves, that a society is in bad shape. I believe we do have an individual command/obligation as Christians to help ... but sometimes there is a fine line between helping and enabling. I pray that as I look to see where to share my resources (because the needs are overwhelming in this country, and far more overwhelming elsewhere) ... for discernment.
     
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