That was the question a dear friend and colleague in Christian leadership recently put forth. Here is one of many responses I can and do give on the matter. As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn
“Quoting Winston Churchill (no fan of socialism and in fact accused I think with some good cause, of racism) re. your question which for me forms but one way of my answer re. “Define social justice”:
His context was direct military attacks via the Nazis and the issues of full-on Communists (“socialism” as bent, flawed and abused as some “democracies” have been) re. the dictator Stalin. I am not here pleading for complete pacifism in the face of these… but eventually one must move beyond theory when facing actual martyrdom and that’s another and important matter in such real-world, historical discussions!
“The whole history of the world is summed up in the fact that, when nations are strong, they are not always just, and when they wish to be just, they are no longer strong.”
If loving one’s neighbor, even enemies as a command of Christ (which it is!) is lived out, then I think we might also benefit by considering that Churchill said he was often reminded of the comment of someone at the end of his life who said “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles -most of which never happened.”
When one of the strongest proponents against socialism (who apparently had no issue with Empire as in the UK) also quotes a statement clearly responding to fears, imaginations regarding events and as a Christ-follower (me) lack of faith and I think at times lack of simple wisdom regarding love and respect for -all- (see the New Testament) I’d say he himself in that first quote did away with the very command of God to love our enemies as well as Micah 6.8 (love mercy, DO justice, walk humbly with your God) much less Jesus’ shocking words in Matthew 25 about our treatment of those we consider “the least”.
I happen to think Sir Winston was both brilliant and at times as exceedingly wrong as wrong can be. See Battle of Gallipoli as a glaring example. -Glenn Kaiser