Social Justice Online
The passion for social justice is front and center in today’s digital world. Even major corporations like Starbucks, Target and Facebook are all in for profit and social justice.
Business for business sake is so 1990s.
Passions run high and hot when it comes to judging our online neighbor’s true commitment to loving one’s neighbor. People online judge people a world away if they lack social justice. People react quickly and heatedly with a click to being judged by people whom they believe don’t even know them well enough to judge them. Perhaps Jesus would say today “If you live by the click you will die by the click.”
What I find fascinating and even hopeful is how much of today’s social justice dialogue is loosely based on Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. There is, however, one glaring omission in today’s social justice narrative borrowed from Jesus’ words.
For the most part, Jesus is left out.
Jesus is rarely mentioned as the author of the patterns of social justice being demanded of all online. It is as if Jesus was right but is now no longer relevant. Jesus is so “then” but not “now.”
This leads to an interesting question. Can the Sermon on the Mount be lived apart from Jesus’ active presence and participation? The best way to answer this question is to let Jesus speak for Himself.
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” Matthew 7:24-27
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5
It is crystal clear in Jesus’ words that there is a direct link between Him and true, lasting social justice
I am encouraged by the growing passion for equality, kindness, patience, respect and opportunity I see among the young, the business leaders and the social commentators of our day. I am not encouraged by the tone, disdain and the lack of love for those who will not submit to someone’s vision of social justice. I think the tone, disdain and lack of love is the fruit of leaving Jesus out of the social justice conversation.
If the love of Jesus does not constrain us more deeply than our own sense of social justice, we will soon be merciless with those who will not show the mercy we think they should show others.
Social Justice without love for even our enemy is not able to be just or social over time.
Social Justice inspired and guided by Jesus can and will be just and social for all over time.
This simple truth is one of the main reasons I am a Christian. I want to be just and I know I cannot be just over time and toward all without Jesus.
Leaving Jesus out of this online social justice conversation and campaign will end in great intentions frustrated by lack of true love constraining it and making work.