Glenn Beck, social justice and your family. What do they have to do with one another? A lot according to Beck. The controversy has continued over comments Glenn Beck made March 2 on his radio show, The Glenn Beck Show, where he advised his listeners: “I beg you, look for the words ‘social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. … Am I advising people to leave their church? Yes! If I am going to Jeremiah Wright’s church. If you have a priest that is pushing social justice, go find another parish. Go alert your bishop.” That particular tirade (he makes them almost daily) has brought forth a firestorm of criticism from the media, Democrats and church leaders who promote social justice agendas.
The issue is clearly not going away yet. In an article in today’s Politics Daily, columnist Peter Wehner writes, “The Hebrew Bible and the New Testament are filled with admonitions to pursue justice. And showing concern for the poor and the dispossessed, the alien and the sojourner, the widow and the orphan, is clearly scriptural. There are vastly more verses dealing with our treatment of the poor than there are, for example, dealing with homosexuality. So, to be in favor of social justice is not itself problematic and, rightly understood, is commendable.”
Beck weighed in on the issue again on last night’s O’Reilly Factor (see video below) where he said that he has no problem with the Biblical views of social justice. He argued that churches with a Liberal agenda have hijacked the term and perversed the Biblical concept in order to further their own personal agendas. Beck argued that Jesus did not tell His followers that when a man needs a shirt that they should give their coat to the government so they can give him some pants (a reference to Matthew 5:40). “The government is not charity.”
So what does all of this have to do with you and your family? It’s doubtful that many people, if any, will leave their churches because of Beck’s comments. If they do, then it’s not likely they were very committed to the institution anyway. But this growing controversy is an opportunity for us to reflect on our own social and political beliefs and practices. Are we practicing what we preach or are we content to sit back and watch others? What do your children see in you and what do you want them to see? If you can’t answer the latter question honestly and get the same answer, then it’s time to do a reality check of your own and see where changes are needed.