“God exercises a preferential option for the poor, and he keeps telling us this in the Bible; but the right doesn’t like this- which is just one indication that they have too much privilege. You get mad that God “like” the poor more than he “like” you! You don’t want to face that you are only blessed so you can help the poor.” Thabiti Anyabwile (ETHNOS conference, Race and Church: A Matter of Justice, The Biblical Concept of Justice: – Village Church, Baltimore, MD. Nov 2016) http://ethnosbaltimore.org/
(To access the full speech click link above and scroll all the way down to bottom of page under the 2016 promo video- look for The Biblical Concept of Justice – Thabiti Anyabwile.)
So, God likes the poor more than those who are not poor? And those who have accumulated wealth (the haves) are expected to hand it over to the have-nots?
Thabiti Anyabwile (Ron Burns) is an author, speaker and the pastor at Anacostia River Church in southeast Washington, DC, as well as a Council member of The Gospel Coalition. But first and foremost, he is black- and it is this fact that seems to define his ministry. Like so many other “modern preachers,” Anyabwile sees all things biblical through a racial lens, as a result his ministry is defined by a social understanding of the gospel, the Great Commission, and the very nature of the birth, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the false social gospel.
“Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion. Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God. For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answers him in the joy of his heart. Ecclesiastes 5:18-20
“The preferential option for the poor,” as stated in the above quote, is the clarion-call of the social gospel movement but it is the antithesis of scripture:
“’You shall do no injustice in judgment: you shall not be partial to the poor, nor show favoritism to the great; but you shall judge your neighbor in fairness.” Leviticus 19:15
“For God does not show favoritism.” Romans 2:11
So, where do they get this ideology? – Watch this clip
The phrase “preferential option for the poor” was first used in 1968 by the superior general of the Jesuits, Father Pedro Arrupe, in a letter to his order. The term was later picked up by the Catholic bishops of Latin America. The liberation theology movement fully embraced the concept and in 1991, Pope John Paul II used the term, and elaborated on the concept in his encyclical Centesimus Annus. http://www.uscatholic.org/articles/201501/what-preferential-option-poor-29649
- a movement in Christian theology, developed mainly by Latin American Roman Catholics, that emphasizes the preferential option for the poor for liberation from social, political, and economic oppression as an anticipation of ultimate salvation.
Anyabwile continued his progressive, political rant to the attentive, young audience bemoaning the death of Michael Brown “and the many more that followed,” railing against blaming the “poor and oppressed” for their condition, condemning conservative immigration policies, building walls, oppressing muslims, subverting free healthcare and so on…and he backed it all up with twisted scripture. But he really played his sleight of hand when he said:
“Scripture says he sets the prisoner free, but many evangelicals want to build more jails, and appoint the man who gave us “stop and frisk” to Attorney General!”
Yes- he actually made the inexcusable inference that “setting the prisoner free,” which is a spiritual reference to our bondage to sin, is actually a *get outta jail free card* for criminals. And he goes on by condemning the pro-life movement as being all about justice for the unborn while ignoring social justice, using their abortion stance to “get them off the hook on caring about other injustices.” Anyabwile says these single-issue, pro-lifers “aren’t thinking God’s thoughts!”
Anyabwile perverts and distorts the repeated concept of God’s justice in scripture, most notably the Psalms, to redefine biblical justice to mean social justice. He distorts Psalm 9:7 by telling his audience that God has established his throne for justice in the world via government and political leaders because “that’s what government is for”…..
Psalm 9:7 7The LORD reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment.
John Gill commentary: “he hath prepared his throne for judgment;” for the administration of judgment in this world, for the particular judgment after death, and for the general judgment after the resurrection of the dead; which seems by what follows to be chiefly meant, and which will come on after the destruction of antichrist; and all things are preparing for it; the day is appointed in which God will judge the world.
Pastor Anyabwile cites the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah, telling the conference attendees that the prophets’ words:
“read like a castigation of unfettered capitalism, really.”
“We ought not to miss the Messianic connection to justice, as we are told this throughout the Old Testament and it is fulfilled in the New, and here is what I have observed: There are professing Christians who would feel chastised by these verses, they don’t mind if I speak subjectively to them about injustice if I am speaking as one who feels hurt- but if it is about the log in their eye, an objective point about right and wrong, if I say Jesus brings justice and you are wrong, then they are ready to fight…beloved, this is one of the things that troubles me about this conversation and the church- real Christians get this and they accept the spanking because they know they are participating in the righteousness of God because God in his heart loves to do justice for all the poor and oppressed and working with his hands through government God will establish justice and reject everything that rebels against it.”
This conference speech demonstrates “the Messiah’s connection to justice” according to Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile: It is social justice in the form of Peter Pan economics. Outrageous.
The Messiah’s connection to justice should not be understood by the Christian as social, but penal:
Penal substitution- developed with the Reformed tradition, says that Christ, by his own sacrificial choice, was punished (penalized) in the place of sinners (substitution), thus satisfying the demands of justice so God can justly forgive sins. It is thus a specific understanding of substitutionary atonement, where the substitutionary nature of Jesus‘ death is understood in the sense of a substitutionary punishment.
“Christ’s sufferings and death were adequate to accomplish all the ends designed by the punishment of the sins of men. He satisfied justice. He rendered it consistent with the justice of God that the sinner should be justified.” (Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, Book 1)
In a post-conference video excerpt Anyabwile undermines biblical justification by telling the largely millennial audience that justification equals justice:
“You’re not justified by your doctrine of justification, beloved- you’re justified by faith in Christ alone and where that faith really exists it transforms itself into a merciful and just life.” – Watch this clip
Tweet Feb 11 @ThabitiAnyabwil continues his biblical justice series:
“Only the gospel of Jesus Christ crucified, buried and resurrected meets every demand of justice–retributive, distributive, restorative and procedural.”
“And the beggar gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, silver and gold have I none; but such as I have I give thee: “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.” (Acts 3:5-8)
Mark and avoid these peddlers of the false, social gospel. It is really no gospel at all (Galatians 1:7).