In one respect, its great that Christians care about taking care of weaker members of society. I applaud genuine efforts to address unfair treatment of women, and I praise God when Christians call racism out as a sin. Please, as you read this article, understand that I wholeheartedly support the idea of Christians serving others.
Having said that, I also believe that the Social Justice Movement (or Woke Movement) has created a serious distraction from our primary mission as Christians.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” ~~Matthew 28:19-20 (ESV)
At the risk of stating the obvious, our first priority is the twofold mandate to evangelize and disciple. While caring for people and treating them with courtesy and respect certainly provide avenues for sharing the Gospel, those good works and correct attitudes simply can’t replace the Gospel.
To illustrate my point, let’s narrow our discussion down. One demand of the Woke Movement is that white evangelicals continually repent for our parents’ and grandparents’ complicity in the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. While my maternal grandmother (having grown up in Georgia in the late 1800s) may well have harbored racist attitudes, I need to ask why members of the Woke Movement hold me responsible for a sin that she may or may not have committed. Even the Old Testament comes against holding someone responsible for the sins of their parents.
19 “Yet you say, ‘Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?’ When the son has done what is just and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. 20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. ~~Ezekiel 18:19-20 (ESV)
Suppose every white Christian really did find a way to perform perpetual penance for American slavery, Jim Crow laws and racial profiling. How would such penance demonstrate the grace of God? Does it point to a Savior Who shed His blood to atone for the sins of all who believe in Jesus Christ? Does it testify that His work was completed on the cross?
Or does it demand that white evangelicals pay for the sins of our ancestors, therefore implying that Christ’s death wasn’t fully sufficient?
I’m in no way denying the atrocities committed against black people in the United States. It’s sinful, and it grieves the Lord. But when Christians suddenly divide over past injustices that nobody can possibly make right, we forget the very Gospel that sets the example of forgiveness and reconciliation.
The Social Justice Movement reflects the world’s attitudes of vengeance and retribution rather than the Gospel. Instead of exalting the Lord Jesus Christ and remembering that He paid for our sins, it demands that we continually pay for the presumed sins of our ancestors. It vastly deviates from the Great Commission, distracting us from our task of making disciples.