Can't You Just Feel the Love? [Excerpts]
There are not many certainties in this world; death and taxes for sure, but beyond that, not many. But in recent years, a new certainty has been added to a very short list. Whenever the world tries to interpret the Bible, they will get it exactly backwards. The Religious Left has teamed up with the National Council of Churches and the National Association of Evangelicals to help push [Jim Wallis of the] Sojourner's socialist gospel, aligning itself perfectly with the rest of the professing church of the Laodicean era.
First off, what is the "religious Left"?....Case in point would be the "Reverend" Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners. The masthead at the Sojourners Web site reveals why I never paid much attention to the group -- "Celebrating 40 years of Faith in Action for Social Justice". Which takes us to the next question: "What is social justice?"
"Justice" is the concept of moral rightness; the act of being "just" or "fair." When the word "justice" is accompanied by the word "social," then the meaning of 'justice' is reversed.
If the tax system was "fair" or "just" then everybody would be paying the same rate, since in a fair system, everybody would benefit equally from government. If the system were just, everybody would pay the same and get the same benefits. When you combine the religious Left with social justice, what emerges is an unjust system in which success is penalized and sloth is rewarded.
What does the Bible say about social justice? Does the Bible offer any support to Reverend Wallis' contention that Jesus was a Socialist? Is there any Bible justification for claiming that if Jesus were on earth today, He would be down there with the Occupy Wall Streeters?
The Bible relates the story of the rich young ruler who came to Jesus with a question: "And, behold, one came and said unto Him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" (Matthew:19:16).
Read the Lord's reply carefully, for this is one of the 'proof texts' of the religious Left. "Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell all that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me" (Matthew:19:21).
The Bible says the young man went away sorrowful, for he had many possessions. This is where Jesus said it would be "easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God." "When His disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, 'Who then can be saved?'" ( Matthew:19:25).
The point wasn't that wealth is evil. The rich man arrogantly claimed to be "good" and a keeper of the commandments, but that entrance into Heaven requires 'perfection.'
Interpreting this as the Lord's support for Socialism gets it exactly backwards. The point is that moral perfection in this life is unattainable, which is why we need to trust in a perfect Savior to stand in our place. Jesus didn't advocate confiscating the rich man's wealth and redistributing it. It was an individual choice that He left up to the rich man.
Nowhere does Jesus advocate taking wealth from one person and giving it to another. To do so would violate the Commandment, "Thou shalt not steal" to satisfy the demand created by violating the Commandment, "thou shalt not covet."
Instead, the Bible says this: "For every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God" (Ecclesiastes:5:19).
(Jack Kinsella, "Can't You Just Feel the Love?," November 17, 2011, www.olivetreeviews.org)