Recently, Beck made the comment that if your church preaches a gospel of social justice, to "run as fast as you can." He said that social and economic justice are "code words" for communism and Nazism.
I agree with the newspaper columnist Leonard Pitts who wrote that "the gospel according to Beck is missing the red words." I personally don't want anyone running away from our church. But I would be an unfaithful minister of the Word if I was to fail to call us to social justice. It is one of the main themes of Scripture, maybe best summed up with these words from Matthew 23: 23: "but you have neglected the more important matters of the law -- justice, mercy and faithfulness." Scripture even tells us that justice is more important than the offering of ritual worship!
When the Israelite (and Scripture) spoke of justice, it was not in the legal sense that we might think of -- administering a right judgment in court. Rather, it was about caring for the marginalized.
There are obviously many strengths to American capitalism. But that is not to say it is perfect. And one of its weaknesses is that it dehumanizes those who are "lesser." The assumption is that their condition is their fault. Sometimes, that is true. But not always. And mercy would still call upon us to care for them all. Not to enable, but to empower. I believe that as a nation, this is not just an option. I believe God will hold us accountable to that.
I like the way Pitts ends his column. He writes: "(Beck) thinks we should flee the church that preaches social and economic justice? I think you should flee the one that does not."