“Social justice” is a term often thrown around, but very rarely defined, explained or even clearly understood in daily discourse. Yet a clear definition of this concept is necessary because there is indeed a such thing as social justice - and then there is justice. Contrary to popular delusion, there is a difference between the two, for if they were indeed one and the same, the term “justice” would be sufficient. No qualifier or modifier would be necessary. But I've found that most often conflate these two concepts, which causes much confusion, contention and debate amongst Believers regarding our charge as Christians. One might argue that it’s just semantics, but I’d passionately beg to differ. And I am sincerely alarmed when professed Christians not only claim “social justice” is what the Body of Christ is charged to pursue, but that they’d dare argue it’s what Jesus preached or supported during His earthly ministry.
Many Americans are having a hard time grasping why Christian baker Jack Phillips declined to make a custom cake for a gay wedding. One would think the conflict is obvious, but there are many who seem to be appalled, if not downright enraged, by Mr. Phillips and his position. There's been very little attempt to view his position with care and understanding. Instead, there have been tweets, Facebook posts, thought pieces and political pundits seemingly committed to dragging the man through the mud. They say Mr. Phillips wasn't motivated by sincerely-held convictions to decline to make the cake. They say he was motivated by "bigotry"! They say he was motivated by "hate"!
I say that is malarkey.
I say, those who desire to malign Mr. Phillip’s convictions aren’t only being grossly disingenuous, they're being wholly hypocritical.
Yesterday, we celebrated the 241st "birthday" of our nation's Declaration of Independence. But for the past few weeks, I've actually been contemplating matters relating to our Constitution. I'm aware that the U.S. Constitution wouldn't become the law of the land for another decade, two months and 13 days after we declared our independence from British rule. And I can respect the amount of painstaking time, energy and thought our Forefathers put into creating our "more perfect Union" and the "supreme law" that would rule it. Yet, with all that is going on in our nation and the world, I've been considering lately how desperately fragile this document, and the rights granted therein, actually are.
Truth is, I'm of the mind that Christian persecution will become a widespread norm in the United States - probably in my lifetime. I don’t mean persecution of the "Starbucks-removed-the-Christmas-tree-from-their- red- cups” variety (which, by the way, isn’t persecution at all given that Christmas is a man-made holiday rooted in pagan practices AND one that Jesus never told us to celebrate in the first place. But that’s another post). I’m talking about the type of persecution the early Church endured.