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Beware the twin idols of ‘social justice’ and ‘health & safety’

July 2020 | by Mike Judge

When it comes to questions about race and ethnicity the impulse for justice, fairness, and unity is a right one for us as evangelicals to have. But, as Ferris Lindsay points out in this edition, it is rarely that simple. As the son of Caribbean parents, he has spent a lifetime thinking through the questions of racism. The older he gets, he says, the more complex and difficult the topic becomes. He is surely right to say we must be cautious about jumping on the latest bandwagon, taking up the latest slogan, reposting the latest social media craze. His article is a personal perspective, but one that is well worth reading.

The Bible has much to say about justice. But the Social Justice Movement is not the gospel. It sees society as a battle between the oppressed and the oppressors. Whether it’s women vs men, gay vs straight, or black vs white. It divides people into tribes and elevates group identity above individual responsibility. It champions emotionalism, not rationalism. It promotes ‘victimhood’ and a ‘cancel culture’ where politically incorrect opinions are silenced. Evangelicals should be wary.

Elsewhere in this edition, William Philip asks why churches appear to have elevated the issue of ‘health & safety’ above the commands of God. He raises an important point. Yes, the Covid-19 lockdown caught us all by surprise. Yes, churches had very little time to think through the questions. But shouldn’t it unsettle us how easy it was for the government to halt church gatherings for the ‘national good’? Shouldn’t we be a little more disturbed at the lack of church leaders pressing for churches to reopen? Is there yet a backbone in British evangelicalism? These are important questions.