Isaiah 1:17, Micah 6:8, Amos 2:6, Matthew 25:40; these and other passages of Scripture are often used by many in the progressive camp of Christianity to promote what has become popularized as a “social justice gospel.”
Let me begin by stating clearly, God is indeed concerned with justice. The fact these verses exist are proof enough that believers are commanded to do what is right. The problem with the “social justice gospel” comes in the way they define “right” or “justice.” Indeed, their popular name, “social justice,” is a clue as to how they define what is right. Essentially, what is right is anything done for the social good. This is the missionary wing of secular humanism’s intrusion into the Church. Secular humanism places man as the center, focus, and foundation of religion. God may be referenced, but often as a being who has given authority over to the creature.
The God of the Bible is concerned with biblical justice. What is it that God finds just or right? One need not read far into the Bible to discover the answer. Those who hold to the “social justice gospel” must perform hermeneutical gymnastics to interpret or ignore entirely the opening chapters of The Book of Genesis.
God’s command to Adam is a prohibition on eating the fruit of one tree; this command is annexed with the punishment of death. (Gen. 2:16-17) We can safely assume Adam communicated this to his wife, for she repeats something similar to the serpent. (Gen. 3:2-3) Upon eating of the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve have their eyes opened and they are ashamed. Now, why would they be ashamed? Could it be because they know God is concerned with justice? The “social justice gospel” argues that their brand of justice is not something one should be concerned about, unless of course you are the majority holding power. In which case, it becomes clear that “social justice” is not about doing what is right but doing what is equitable.
In fact, you see our primeval parents doing just that: Adam points to Eve and says, “she made me do it!” Eve points to the serpent and says, “he made me do it!” (Gen. 3:12-13) Blame for the sin is placed somewhere else. It becomes clear in the subsequent verses that God is not concerned with equity but with justice. Punishment is meted out on all parties. It is only out of grace, which is God’s lovingkindness, that He allows Adam and Eve—and indeed all His children—to live in sin rather than to die without a redeemer.
The “social justice gospel” would rather teach that either Jesus redeems all people, universally granting salvation to every soul or that God’s primary concern is with your social welfare above and beyond your fallen nature. It should be abundantly clear, the social justice gospel has no grounding Scripture.