Glenn Beck and the Gospel

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.

Gospel of Luke 4:18-21; Jesus quoting Isaiah 61:1-2

The words above are the very first words Jesus spoke as he began his public ministry. Those words, and many others, should make it crystal clear that Jesus cares a lot about social and economic justice. Indeed, justice is one of the primary elements of God's kingdom which Jesus came to earth to invite us to join. Justice: Social, economic and creation is a big part of the gospel of Jesus.

Really, this should not be controversial; yet somehow it is. In fact, Glenn Beck, one of the most influential voices in American popular culture recently proclaimed that christians should flee from churches that even mention the words "social justice" or "economic justice."

You can hear more of what Mr. Beck said here:

Of course, the problem is not what Glenn Beck thinks, but rather the fact that so many christians seem to agree with him. Incredibly, despite the clear word of God, a number of major christian organizations (like Liberty University and some Southern Baptist leaders) have joined with Mr. Beck in his assault on justice. In fact, it often seems that a majority of Americans who call themselves christians don't think they need to do anything about injustice.

In too many churches, you won't hear sermons, or read anything on their websites, about social justice; economic justice; or creation care. You won't hear anything about promoting God's earthly kingdom. The gospel message preached in a great many churches in America today is a watered-down, neutered version of the gospel that has minimized it by making it only about individual salvation and spirituality. The gospel has, in a great many places, become irrelevant to the real, tangible, practical problems mankind faces today on this earth.

But, the honest truth is that God really does care about the real tangible needs of the poor, the oppressed, the sick, the stranger among us. God cares about the well-being of his entire creation -- including the earth and all the creatures on it. God cares a lot about justice of all kinds here and now in our world today. This is a powerful, compelling and relevant part of the gospel that is needed more today than ever.

Here's more about Jesus and Justice and the Gospel and Politics.

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