Scot McKnight Sets Glenn Beck Straight

Yesterday we did a post on Glenn Beck’s call for Christians to flee churches that taught “social justice.” Scot McKnight at Jesus Creed has weighed in:

…I find these sorts of statements so far from an awareness of Jesus (not to mention John the Baptist), so I post here the first words of Jesus in public preaching. This passage can’t be read without thinking Jesus was here to bring justice. After the jump, I’ve got John’s words, which have to be seen as some form of voluntary economic sharing as a form of creating justice.
But instead of turning back kind for kind, we shall commit ourselves all the more to telling the truth of the gospel and urge churches to make sure, because of their commitment to following Jesus, their website does mention justice.

Jesus:

4:16 Now Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 4:17and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

4:18The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives

and the regaining of sight to the blind,

to set free those who are oppressed,

4:19 to proclaim the year of the Lords favor.”

4:20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on him. 4:21 Then he began to tell them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled even as you heard it being read.” 4:22 All were speaking well of him, and were amazed at the gracious words coming out of his mouth. They said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” 4:23 Jesus said to them, “No doubt you will quote to me the proverb, ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ and say, ‘What we have heard that you did in Capernaum, do here in your hometown too.'” 4:24 And he added, “I tell you the truth, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. 4:25 But in truth I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s days, when the sky was shut up three and a half years, and there was a great famine over all the land.4:26 Yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to a woman who was a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 4:27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, yet none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 4:28 When they heard this, all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage. 4:29 They got up, forced him out of the town, and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. 4:30 But he passed through the crowd and went on his way.

John the Baptist:

3:10 So the crowds were asking him, “What then should we do?” 3:11 John answered them, “The person who has two tunics must share with the person who has none, and the person who has food must do likewise.” 3:12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?” 3:13 He told them, “Collect no more than you are required to.” 3:14 Then some soldiers also asked him, “And as for us – what should we do?” He told them, “Take money from no one by violence or by false accusation, and be content with your pay.”


I have my own beefs with the word “social” with justice, thinking it too often gets lumped with the US Constitution, but all justice will manifest itself in social and economic ways.

3 thoughts on “Scot McKnight Sets Glenn Beck Straight

  1. I won't defend Glenn Beck; I've actually never watched or listened to him.

    But would you really deny that some of the most radical social and economic causes have been justified with an appeal in church circles to “social justice”? Or to go a specific example, was the PCUSA paying the legal fees of Angela Davis a faithful application of ?

    I haven't paid much attention to all this, but it seems obvious that Beck has (at the very least) vastly oversimplified this issue. But is any phrase more vague in its use and application than “social justice”? Try this: grab something – anything – written by Jim Wallis, and replace “social justice” with “tax increase” or “expanded federal program,” and see if it works.

    Like

  2. Glenn Beck states:

    “I beg you, look for the words ’social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!”

    Well, let's see how his own standard applies to his Mormon faith:

    “It is unfortunate that it is taking so long to bring full ECONOMIC JUSTICE to women. The feminization of poverty is both real and tragic. That is why you should work very hard to prepare for your future by gaining some marketable skills.”

    ~James E Faust, Apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, September, 1986

    “I wonder how much we offend Satan if the proclamation of our faith is limited only to the great humanitarian work this church does throughout the world, marvelous as these activities are. When we PREACH THE GOSPEL OF SOCIAL JUSTICE, no doubt the devil is not troubled. But I believe the devil is terribly offended when we boldly declare by personal testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that he saw the Father and the Son; when we preach that the Book of Mormon is another witness for Christ; when we declare that there has been a restoration of the fulness of the gospel in its simplicity and power in order to fulfill the great plan of happiness.”

    ~James E. Faust, September, 1995

    And the Mormon Tabernacle Choir being honored for, “The achievements of those who beautify the world, especially in the fields of religion, social justice, and the arts.”

    And from the Book of Mormon itself:

    From the Book of Alma 1: 27-28, 30:

    “And they did impart of their substance, every man according to that which he had, to the poor, and the needy, and the sick, and the afflicted; and they did not wear costly apparel, yet they were neat and comely.

    And thus they did establish the affairs of the church; and thus they began to have continual peace again, notwithstanding all their persecutions.

    And thus, in their prosperous circumstances, they did not send away any who were naked, or that were hungry, or that were athirst, or that were sick, or that had not been nourished; and they did not set their hearts upon riches; therefore they were liberal to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, whether out of the church or in the church, having no respect to persons as to those who stood in need.”

    And Mosiah 4: 16-19:

    “And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

    Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—

    But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

    For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?”

    Like

Comments are closed.