Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Two Kingdoms and the issue of "Social Justice"

In certain segments of supposedly apolitical American Reformed Christianity, there is a push to deal with social issues under the heading of "social justice." These organizations supposedly hold to Two Kingdoms theory, which calls for the church to be apolitical. The strange thing, however, is how they claim to reject the social and political activism of the "Religious Right" because it confuses politics with the Gospel. Yet, if they are to be consistent, they ought to reject social and political activism of all kinds, because all kinds of social and political activism, according to this version of Two Kingdoms theory, would confuse politics with the Gospel.

Positions and activities under the heading of "Social justice," whatever they may be, are in fact rather political issues. That this is the case is seen in the reality that they are not held to be true by most people in the same way the concrete findings of the natural sciences tend to be. Almost all conservatives reject "social justice" in some form or another, based upon conservative social and political theories, which they hold sincerely to be true. It is absolutely irrelevant that left liberals think those theories are nonsense, because right-wingers would say the same about left-wing theories as well. In other words, what is seen here is a real disagreement over the interpretation of facts and socio-political theories. To attempt to delegitimize right-wing theories is to take a socio-political stance, i.e. some kind of left-wing liberalism.

Thus, when organizations distance themselves from the "religious right," yet take up issues such as "social justice," such organizations are being political, politically left-wing. If any organization desire to be totally apolitical, as their version of "Two Kingdoms" supposedly informs their ministry praxis, then they ought not to take any side on any disputed social and political issue. Therefore, the final question to such organizations is: "Why are you not practicing what you preach on the supposed apolitical nature of your organization?"

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