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The “Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel” Stirs Up Controversy and Conversation

Voices Against the Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel

Critics note that a majority of the creators of the statement are white men, a point that is not lost on people of color. In “Battle Lines Form Over Social Justice: Is it Gospel or Heresy?” Jemar Tisby, president of the black Christian collective The Witness and author of the forthcoming book The Color of Compromise: The Truth About the American Church’s Complicity in Racism, writes:

Statements that dismiss social justice send a message that the ongoing marginalization many minorities still experience and struggle against is of no concern to their fellow Christians.

Or to God.

Or to the Bible — despite ample scriptural evidence that demonstrates God’s concern for the poor and the powerless and anger toward those who create oppressive conditions (Amos 5:24, Micah 6:8, Psalm 103:6, Isaiah 10:1, Luke 1:52-53, Luke 4:18).

Eric Costanzo(@eric_costanzo) tweeted: To see #socialjustice as a “liberal” construct is to misunderstand the term and its origins. The people God upholds and empowers in the Bible are rarely the powerful. When they are, He holds them accountable for injustice or abusing their power. #statementonsocialjustice

And Michael Frost(@michaelfrost6) added: (The Statement on Social Justice & the Gospel wants to preference gospel proclamation over social justice. But I think of them as two interlocking cogs. As you crank one cog, it sets the other one turning as well. #statementonsocialjustice

Is the “Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel” Necessary?

One of the originators of the statement, explains why he believes it’s necessary. Josh Buice writes in “Why I Signed the Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel“:

When social ideas and constructions replace truth, it runs the risk leading people into further darkness and oppression. Therefore, we must stand for the gospel of Jesus Christ and deliver the only message that will bring oppressed and broken sinners to a saving relationship with God—that’s the message of the cross of Jesus Christ. We must never forget that even the learned Jews with the oracles of God and the covenants lost the gospel.

Still others disagree.

What do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts in a healthy conversation.