One More Word about the Gospel, Cultural Marxism, and Social Justice: Moving Forward

Celucien L. Joseph

How shall we then move forward? How shall we live peacefully and in mutual understanding as Christians? Below, I suggest 10 possible ways toward this goal for Christians on both sides of the social justice debate, for the sake of Christ, for the sake of the Gospel, and for Christian witness in public.

  1. The task begins with the self-examination of our hearts and actions to discern if we are complicit in the suffering and mistreatment of others, especially our Christian brothers and sisters.
  2. Be a peacemaker and an advocate for transformative justice in your family, work, community, city, church, and country. Jesus has called all of his followers to be peacemakers, and it is the peacemakers who are called children of God.
  3. Be a servant to people in need and serve them without reproach or grudging. Jesus states that he has not come to be served, but to serve the world. Service is a fundamental characteristic of Christ-centric discipleship and Biblical piety.
  4. Find creative ways to inspire and empower others to attain their dreams as well as become useful and democratically-minded national and global citizens. We must always remember that our citizenship in this world is temporary. Followers of Christ are bound to the same destiny and by the same Savior Lord.
  5. Defend the rights of the vulnerable and the poor. Contribute to their ability to explore their full potential in society and in Christ. Disciples of Jesus should be the most zealous advocates of human rights and total justice. God loves justice and wants us to imitate him by being a community of radical justice in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  6. Be an active ally to the socially and economically marginalized minority groups, especially those in the Christian community. Instead of attempting to win a debate, be a partner in solidarity to those who are weak and use your strength to help ameliorate their lives. Christian solidarity is an essential mark of agape love and of those who bear the mind of Christ.
  7. Do not endorse politicians and legislation that are detrimental to another group, class, or race in our society. We should seek the best interest of our brothers and sisters in Christ. We must also always attempt to find productive ways to use our resources and privileges to uplift those individuals and families who have been victims of bad public policies.
  8. Do not endorse politicians and their foreign policies that are not human flourishing-oriented, peace and unity-based, or those that do not lead to the improvement of nation-state diplomatic relationships and global safety, prosperity, and unity. As Christians, we should develop an international perspective on matters of life and faith, and beyond the contours and confinement of American nationalism and patriotism. We are called to love all people, even those who live in distant shores from our country. Our political actions and moral interventions in American society should always be aligned with the universality of the Gospel.
  9. Help someone realize the greatness of God’s love and mercy for himself or herself and for all peoples in the world. As members of the body of Christ, denigrating one another through intellectual and theological debates will not advance the kingdom of God in our culture. It lacks compassion and it is not Christ-like.
  10. Embody and promote the revolutionary ideas and liberative call of Jesus to love all people: “…a new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13: 34-35).

The Gospel of Christ is a counter-culture and revolutionary message. I believe the revolutionary life in Christ must entail the pursuit and practice of all the transformative interventions named above. Living revolutionary is not only a matter of changing one’s attitude. It is an existential commitment that resists self-interest in order to pursue the joy of other Christians and people. This must inform our collective efforts to radically deracinate human evils and oppressive systems and structures in society through Christ-inspired tactics and strategies.

4 thoughts on “One More Word about the Gospel, Cultural Marxism, and Social Justice: Moving Forward

  1. DCGrad

    Because I commented negatively on the previous entry in this two-part series, I want to comment here too. This article contains many helpful suggestions, and I generally agree with the points. But, I would caution that their generic nature contrasts with both the first article in this series and the title of the series, which promises to specifically address “the Gospel, Cultural Marxism, and Social Justice.” My concern with many aspects of the social justice movement is emphatically not caused by a hesitancy to seek justice, care for the poor, promote peace, etc. My concern is that some aspects of the social justice movement appear blatantly unbiblical. In the first article in this series, for instance, Dr. Joseph suggested that God always sides with the poor and the widowed. Perhaps I am overlooking certain Scriptural provisions, but that seems to be contrary to the overall context of the Bible. For instance, Jezebel, a wealthy widow by the time of her death, was condemned for her unrighteousness. Other passages forbid showing partiality to the poor or to the rich when administering justice. Christianity is not simply about class or racial conflict. It is about a Savior who provided salvation for poor sinners who were dead in unrighteousness; everything else in the Christian life – love for one another, spiritual unity, outreach to the world at large, letting justice roll down like the waters – flows from that central point. My concern with much of what purports to be “social justice” is that it seems to push the heart of Christianity to the background; it then uses sociological terms like “white privilege,” “white fragility,” “black theology,” to erect walls along racial, class, and gender lines that go far beyond the way Scripture and common sense define these categories.

  2. Thomas W.

    Hey, I appreciate your response. I’m not sure I mentioned that in part one, Somewhere. Could you elaborate? I agree biblical sources are important, but I focused in part 1 on Dr. Joseph’s failure to refrain from mind reading and ad hominem fallacies.
    Perhaps Galatians 5:15 is applicable here? “But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.”

    I see alot of this on both sides, and I’m sure i’ve done it too in ways, but if we’re just calling each other Marxists, racists, ignorant, etc, we won’t get any where.

    On the quote you mention, pronouncing judgment, the point is that there is a large range by which people vary on the role and application of civil government. I’m sure you know such variations, but what we often witness is the conservative bashing a liberal for wanting the government to do everything, while the liberal bashes the conservative for not valuing the importance of government like they do. We so easily pull things through our own narratives and worldviews that I’m cautioning our typical knee jerk stereotypes and responses.

    For biblical context, the bible though is busy speaking to the church. It doesn’t call out democracy as the best form of government or any other. And I think that’s the case for at least one reason that all human government is fallen and subject to the natural state of mankind. Regardless of democracy, republics, monarchies, etc…they’re only as good as the people who uphold them, and they’ll all be crushed one day by the kingdom of heaven.

    So as a specific example among thousands, take immigration. The liberal has no more right to judge the conservative for a lack of love when they desire stricter immigration laws than the conservative has the right to suggest that liberals are in association with terrorism and crime for wanting looser immigration laws.

    This is a form of what I call, Spiritual Extortion. It’s primary definition is the use by which someone pulls the “love your neighbor” card on others they disagree with.

  3. Somewhere in Matthew 22

    Hi Thomas W,

    I’m having trouble understanding your responses…you mention in part 1 the need for biblical sources for the reasoning of Dr. Joseph’s article..but in your response you’ve stated several opinions w/o biblical context to support them…am I missing something here?
    Could you please elaborate on your last statement “We must be very careful when pronouncing judgment against those who value government in different ways by which we as Christians have the freedom in christ to view to varying degrees.”….and maybe include some biblical context too.


  4. Thomas W.

    This is way better than your previous post.
    There is almost nothing here to disagree with.

    Thus, I would ask, why did you bother with the previous post that violates many of your points here?

    For instance: “Instead of attempting to win a debate, be a partner in solidarity to those who are weak and use your strength to help ameliorate their lives. Christian solidarity is an essential mark of agape love and of those who bear the mind of Christ.”

    Yet your part 1 creates division, attempts to win the argument, and runs amok with ad hominen and mind reading fallacies on stereotypes.

    How would you rate your part 1, in light of your own words here? Does it measure up, or do you think it should be rewritten?

    ” Be a servant to people in need and serve them without reproach or grudging.”

    I agree, but let’s expand this to the proper understanding that service is to all, not just those in need. This includes those on various political and societal disagreements. This means refraining from mind reading and devaluing projections. How will you display this even to the stereotypes you condemned as ignorant?

    We all want the very things that you mention. We all believe in loving our neighbor as we should. How we apply this will vary though, and there is much freedom in those variations thanks to the gospel.

    One criticism I do have is the use of “democratically minded”. This by definition would mean that the majority rule. As is, this means both nationally and globally that paganism and injustice would govern. It’s also generalized and propagated by politics to justify endless war by which I think conservatives are easily suckered into.

    Though it is fair to say that most generalizations of democracy are probably more in line with the association of personal freedom. By which we would agree.

    However, it should be noted that this country has defined freedom on the right to your personal property and self. And this is what we advocate globally.
    This is a vast contrast from communism/Marxism which declares all property, Inc the self to be the state’s. And it’s why you see many white conservatives view socialism and social justice as a means to that end because it isn’t the honorable, jemar tisby’s that govern it, but politicians with low priority for biblical justice.

    Looking biblically, there is no socialism or social justice as mediated by any government. Zero.
    Charity, giving, service, ministry, etc are not dependent on such to be accomplished or applied.
    But We must be very careful when pronouncing judgment against those who value government in different ways by which we as Christians have the freedom in christ to view to varying degrees.

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