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The Warping of Justice

Michael Beck Michael Beck

“Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.” (Isaiah 60:21)

To be “all righteous” is to be fully righteous, even as God is righteous in all His ways. (Ps. 145:17) The righteousness, or justice of God, is revealed in the gospel. (Rom. 1:17) It declares “his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” (Rom. 3:25) Messengers of the gospel have been given a “ministry of reconciliation” because “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” (2 Cor. 6:9)

What motivated God to enact such a plan? Firstly, His tender love and compassion, even toward those who had sinned against Him.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16,17)

The social justice warriors of our day know nothing of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel.

Raw justice demands that people get what they deserve. But God was not looking for justice when He sent His Son into the world; He was looking for restoration of relationship. We deserve His wrath, but He offers us mercy. We, the guilty, deserve to be punished; but He, the innocent one, bore our sins in His own body on the cross. He demonstrated His love for us in that while we were still sinners He died for us. (Rom. 5:8)

The social justice warriors of our day know nothing of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel. They are the coalition of the enraged who are out for blood. They want vengeance on those they deem society’s evil-doers. Their representation of the ideal of justice is warped and untempered by any ideal of mercy or compassion. They cry out for justice on the earth, but they so little reflect the full-orbed righteousness of heaven’s God.

A discerning church will not be deceived and co-opted by the so-called social justice movement of the day.

While God is a just God, who will one day repay unrepentant evil-doers; He is also a merciful God who takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked and is not willing for any to perish. (Ezek. 18:32; 2 Pet. 3:9.) He designed the death of His Son, the just for the unjust, to bring us to Himself. (1 Pet. 3:18) His justice was satisfied on the cross, where His Son bore His wrath toward sin and opened the way for us to receive forgiveness and reconciliation.

A discerning church will not be deceived and co-opted by the so-called social justice movement of the day. They will see it for what it is: a haven for wounded spirits; an outlet for rage; a ministry of condemnation that wants nothing more than payback to those they have villainized.

Let the church arise in the true righteousness of her God. Let her put on His beautiful garments, even by showing mercy to the unmerciful. Let her be all righteous.


Michael Beck is a pastor in New York City and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.