Thursday, February 9, 2012

Politics and Social Justice

Many scorn Obamonomics and deternine to limit the President to one term in office. He is not a Christian; he is a closet Muslim. He is too bright and intelligent to be a black man, except he was given an education via affirmative action he did not earn.

Worst of all, Mr. Obama is a Socialist. He represent the masses rather than the people in power. He wants to redistribute “our wealth” (which we earned) among the poor (who did not earn). Like the Clintons and all that liberal crowd, he insists on providing health coverage for everybody (which we all know we can’t afford, although we can afford war, tax breaks for the most wealthy, lifetime pensions for everybody who serves a term in Congress, ad infinitum).

Such people are like the wealthy Israelites the Prophet Jeremiah described: “For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. They have treated the wound of my people carelessly, saying, "Peace, peace," when there is no peace” (Je. 6:13-14).

The rage of right-side politicians today is individualism, a specialty of Ayn Rand, the Russian atheist, social philosopher, and mother of the school of “Objectivism”. Rick Santorum idealizes the good old days when there was no social network to protect people in difficult times, when there were only hardy pioneers (individualists) who carved it out on their own, without help from anyone. They created our country, he claims! To hear him talk, you would think any kind of social networking is un-American and Socialistic.

Listening to current conservative Republican Presidential candidates, I hear them outline their political conservatism and am painfully aware they are building their political structures more on the philosophies of Ayn Rand than they are the moral integrity of the Bible. Although the social issues of health, welfare, and education are a relatively small number of dollars within our national budget, they take up a majority of the political campaigning. Each vies with the other to see who can have the smallest government, with the least number of entitlements et al. In doing so, they deny major themes of the Bible.

For example: when Moses reaffirmed the Covenant in Deuteronomy 26, outlining the first fruits and tithes, he reminded Israel to declare “before the Lord your God: ‘My father was a wandering Aramean… the Lord… ‘saw our misery, toil and oppression…”

He told them, “Place the basket before the Lord your God and bow down before him. And you and the Levites and the aliens among you shall rejoice in all the good things the Lord your God has given you…” To this he added: “When you have finished setting aside a tenth… you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless, and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.”

In chapter 27 Moses outlines the curses and blessings of Israel, all premised upon their obedience: “The Lord your God commands you this day to follow these decrees and laws; carefully observe them with all your heart and with all your soul” so that “you will be a people holy to the Lord your God, as he promised“ (26:16; 26:19).

Among the curses of disobedience is this one (v 19): “Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widow…”

Years later, at the end of Joshua’s life (the successor to Moses), Joshua reminded the people “the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their forefather… Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled… But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses… gave you…love the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul” (Joshua 21-22).

Joshua gave this word to Israel’s Leadership before he died: “Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses” (23:6). From the beginnings of the Judaio-Christian era the message has been one of individual responsibility with equality of opportunity and social justice for all as a major theme throughout the Bible.

Nor was this a word for Israel only. While the Israelites took the matter of circumcision to be a means of distinguishing Jews from Gentiles, the Bible sees it differently. Joshua’s departing message included this insight: “The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live…” (30:6).

By the time Jesus taught his disciples “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine [or did not do], you did [did not] for me”, he was only fulfilling teaching that began with the Abrahamic Covenant, continued throughout the Prophets, and was brought to its fullness in Jesus (Matthew 25:40-46).

From Warner’s World,
Social Justice is neither left nor right, Democrat or Republican, social justice became the law with the Word of God and it finds its finest expression when we worship God supremely, and love our neighbor (including our enemy) as ourselves…

No comments: