Statement on God’s Justice

I was one of the 30+ people from the Progressive Asian American Christians group who wrote this response to the statement released by John MacArthur and some other hyperconservative Evangelicals a few days ago (The Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel). They basically were saying that caring about social justice was a distraction from being a real Christian. Provocative, right? It was racist, sexist, and homophobic too.

Our statement is Biblical, compassionate, inclusive, truthful, loving, and affirming. In other words, our statement is the Christian one. I guess that’s provocative too, but in a good way.

Here’s some of the parts that I contributed to:

      • God placed us in families and in communities. Our God-created nature depends on being connected with and cared for by others (Ruth 1:16-17; Romans 12:5; Galatians 6:2; Hebrews 10:24-25).
        We are inherently social beings.
      • God wills that things are restored, repaid, made whole, and made new here on Earth (2 Corinthians 5:17; Revelation 22:1-7).
        This is the spirit of justice.
      • God’s will is manifested in societies where the needs of those that don’t have enough are fulfilled by those who have more than enough (Acts 4:32-35). When God walked among us, Jesus taught and lived by this principle (Luke 6:17-26; Luke 19:1-10; Matthew 14:13-21).
        Things are made right through communities of people.

WE REFUTE the views espoused therein as inconsistent with God’s justice (Exodus 22:21; Deuteronomy 10:18; Isaiah 1:17; Psalm 82:3; Proverbs 29:7, 31:8-9; Jeremiah 22:3; Zechariah 7:9-10; Luke 10:30-37; 1 John 3:17-18). All theological frameworks stem from the perspectives of people from a certain time and place. The theology in The Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel grants authority to and glorifies not God, but privileged White men who stand in the contexts of Empire, Authoritarianism, and Patriarchy. As a community of people whose knowledge of God has been dismissed as peripheral and self-seeking, in solidarity with other communities who have experienced the same, we challenge any claim to objectivity and consider each framework one of many incomplete perspectives of God.

The beliefs espoused in this Statement originate in a very human emotion: Fear. Specifically, they are rooted in fear of uncertainty, fear of loss of autonomy, fear of not belonging, and fear of a changing world. We understand these fears. They are universal. We all feel them. However, the ways we respond to these fears say more about people than they do about God.

In response to these particular fears, the affirmations of The Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel remove faith by creating a false sense of certainty in the unknowable (Psalm 145:3; Job 11:7-9, 26:14; 1 Corinthians 13:12), remove choice by creating no room for complexity or nuance, and remove connectedness by drawing exclusionary lines in the sand (John 3:16; Romans 15:7; Revelation 3:20).

These affirmations leave no room for any god but a small one hidden beneath the suffocating statements of frightened men. This is not the Good News. (Isaiah 61:1; James 1:27).

Instead, we affirm unity in Christ. We believe in a God who occupies all the inner and outer spaces of the universe, (Isaiah 66:1) and a God who is the energy and matter that brings unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ (Ephesians 1:10). The God we believe in is immeasurably expansive, and whose essence is love (1 John 4:7-12).

Every wrong that we make right brings God pleasure, as we, together, are bending the arc of the universe towards justice.

Things are made right through communities of people.

WE BELIEVE AND WE AFFIRM: Social justice is the will of God. This is Good News.

#justiceislove #loveisjustice

If you affirm this, add your signature and share widely.

Statement on God’s Justice

Written by Joseph Lee, M.D.

I'm a Psychiatrist in private practice in Redondo Beach, CA. I completed both medical school and residency training at UCLA. My practice is psychotherapy based with a health-oriented focus on personal growth and wellbeing. I also teach about mental healthiness and advocate for social emotional learning (SEL) in all contexts.

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