social justice and justice are not the same
I have no hope in social justice. Not because I think that it’s bad, but because it’s a counterfeit that often falls far short of what any one person or people group actually deserve. Biblically, social justice was never meant to be a pursuit and the passionate desperation with which it is presently being pushed should clue us into that. It is exactly what our adversary wants to see, a perfect distraction from what God intended (individuals submitted to the authority of Jesus and the real justice that comes from it).
When we were created, God, in his original plan, told Adam and Eve to subdue and have dominion over the earth, to multiply and be fruitful. They held authority and power over everything around them. However, they were soon deceived by the serpent and disobeyed. Because of this, their authority was given to Lucifer and he became the god of this world, to include the earth you and I live on. When Jesus came, Lucifer tried to offer that authority to Him in a way that would bypass obedience to God’s plan. Jesus denied him and followed God’s leading to the cross, which took back the authority from Lucifer. Lucifer knew this and it’s why he offered Jesus the same thing Jesus was after but in a different way—a way that would defy God’s authority and therefore steal Jesus' ability to take back the authority that was given to Lucifer via Adam’s disobedience.
The power and authority God originally gave mankind has not been revoked. There are plenty of people that have learned how supernatural power works and often perform party tricks in an attempt to pursue their own agenda. The power has been stolen and is often misused for personal use, like in Exodus 7:10-12 when Pharaoh’s sorcerers turned their staffs into snakes, trying to match the power of God being displayed by Moses and Aaron. Spoiler alert: God’s authority and power are more powerful than the counterfeit power that’s being used for personal purposes.
Like someone plugging into an outlet on the outside of my house (without permission), God’s power can be “borrowed” to convince ourselves and others that there is no need for Him — an attempt to set up a world without Him. Social justice is an example of this.
Social justice and justice are not the same thing. True justice can only come from being aligned with the King and submitted to His authority. Social justice is aligning one's self with society and what they decide is right and wrong. They aren’t necessarily at odds, but often do not have the same purpose. In John 15:5, Jesus says that satisfaction, productivity, and purpose are found in being connected to the King and that, with him, nothing can keep you from such.
Inclusion, equality, and material resources cannot compare to getting connected to the vine, where true purpose and power are found.
We should 100% lay down our lives for other people and fight for the justice every individual deserves, but this is not social justice. Social justice would have left out many of the people Jesus helped. Social justice of the day would have stoned the woman caught in the act of adultery. The lepers that Jesus healed had been cast out and left for dead, based on social justice. The man plagued with demonic possession would never have been relieved from his torment. But Jesus, submitted to the Father’s heart and purpose, went beyond social justice, choosing to follow and obey God’s leading, and that led to redemption — a higher form of justice than we could ever establish for ourselves. We would be foolish to think there aren’t examples in our current social justice that we woudn’t be ashamed of in the future. You will never be ashamed of true justice, established by living a life submitted to Jesus.
If the Father’s authority and leading were enough for Jesus, we should pay attention. It is in trusting Jesus’ leading in our lives that we will find true power and potential to help radically improve the lives of those around us.