Glenn Beck shoots from the lip again. He did real Christianity a huge favor by inadvertently raising the most important issues to the top of the news cycle.
So what did he say?
I beg you, look for the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice' on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes! If you have a priest pushing social justice go find another parish. Go alert your bishop and tell them. Are you down with this whole social justice thing?
He said that on radio. Then on his FOX TV show, he added that the Communists and Nazis subscribed to "social justice." What one sees there is that if the Communists and Nazis did it, it has to be Communists and Nazis who are still doing it. That's not to mention that Communists and Nazis were capable of doing the right things, albeit most often for the wrong reasons. Look, whether Glenn Beck is bright enough to realize or not, just because the Communist Party or the Nazi Party said something doesn't automatically make the thing bad. It's the same thing as saying that every last thing someone who is usually good says has to be good, as if someone can't slip up.
Let's cover some background here. The beginning of this post may be a bit "dry" for many; but bear with me, as the background is important to having more than a sound-bite understanding of what's going on here with Beck (he has people with deep, deep pockets behind him).
The term "Social Gospel" certainly became widely known as a fairly particular movement. It was part and parcel of the Progressive Era and progressivism, which Glenn Beck so hates.
The Fundamentalist/Literalists more often speak in terms of millennialism than do the progressives. The Social Gospel movement has been characterized as being mostly postmillennial, as in that Jesus will come at the end of the millennium of Revelation 20.
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, (Revelation 20:2)
And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. (Revelation 20:3)
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4)
But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. (Revelation 20:5)
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, (Revelation 20:7)
The Dispensationalists break things down into many pre- and post- this, that, and the other, including concerning John Nelson Darby's Rapture Theory. They do it all in the most literal of senses relative to the other branches. Progressives are much more likely to view things figuratively, often to a fault. However, Darby too took things figuratively, something not often considered by the most stringent Fundamentalists:
I do not think that Verse 32 (1Co_15:32) should be taken literally. The word translated 'I have fought with beasts' is usually employed in a figurative sense, to be in conflict with fierce and implacable enemies. - Darby
As for the rapture, he writes the following:
At an unexpected moment we shall enter into this scene, ordained by the Father, prepared by Jesus. The power of God will accomplish this change in an instant: the dead shall rise, we shall be changed. The last trumpet is but a military allusion, as it appears to me, when the whole troop wait for the last signal to set out all together.
You will notice the words there: "...is but a military allusion."
Here's the Rapture Theory's basis:
1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
(15) For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
(16) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
(17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Now, the question arises as to just how metaphorical or allegorical or figurative that is intended to be.
Here's Darby on the subject:
The Lord comes in Person to receive us to Himself; He does not send. With full authority over death, which He has conquered, and with the trump of God, He calls together His own from the grave; and these, with the living (transformed), go to meet Him in the air. Our departure from the world exactly resembles His own: we leave the world, to which we do not belong, to go to heaven. Once there, we have attained our portion. We are like Christ, we are forever with Him, but He will bring His own with Him, when He shall appear. This then was the true comfort in the case of a Christian's death, and by no means put aside the daily expectation of the Lord from heaven. On the contrary this way of viewing the subject confirmed it. The dead saint did not lose his rights by dying - by sleeping in Jesus; he should be the first object of his Lord's attention when He came to assemble His own. Nevertheless the place from which they go forth to meet Him is the earth. The dead should be raised - this was the first thing - that they might be ready to go with the others; and then from this earth all would depart together to be with Christ in heaven. This point of view is all important, in order to apprehend the true character of that moment when all our hopes will be consummated.
...The same power would be applied to their dead bodies as to the mortal bodies of the living saints, and all would be caught up together.
For, I doubt not, the vague idea that possessed the mind of the Thessalonians was this: Jesus would return to this world, and they who were waiting for Him would share His glorious manifestation on the earth. Now the apostle [Paul] declares that the dead saints were in the same position as Jesus who had died. God had not left Him in the grave; nor would He those who had, like Him, been there. God would also bring them with Him when He should return in glory to this earth. But this was not all. The coming of Christ in glory to the earth was not the principal thing. The dead in Christ should be raised, and then, with the living, should go to meet the Lord in the air, before His manifestation, and return with Him to the earth in glory; and thus should they be ever with the Lord. This was the principal thing, the Christian's portion; namely, to dwell eternally with Christ and in heaven. The portion of the faithful was on high - was Christ Himself, although they would appear with Him in the glory. For this world it would then be the judgment.
Most Dispensationalist-Fundamentalists don't understand that, that does not have to be as literal as Hal Lindsey, John Hagee, and others have made it out to be.
The souls are already immortal at that point. They are no longer "flesh and blood" in the mundane sense but rather the flesh and blood in the spiritual sense - spirit manifest. That is not Darby's take on it, however. They do inherit the Earth, but it is the New Earth where death has been conquered (as demonstrated by the resurrection). Nevertheless, Satan is yet loosed once again and meaning what? It means that evil is not completely gone at that point.
The progressives could also be said to be more so Dominionists (people must bring in the kingdom by taking dominion over the Earth often by force) than the traditional Fundamentalists, who distained and still distain involvement in secular politics and war making as the work of the Devil.
It was Jerry Falwell, Jr.'s, father who was most instrumental in the creation of the Moral Majority that was a movement to register Fundamentalists to vote and to run for office, all as part of the Southern Strategy - a very cynical strategy that Moral Majority.
The following is reported by CNN concerning Jerry Falwell, Jr.'s announced take on Glenn Beck's anti-Social Gospel message in the churches:
Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, a Christian college in Virginia, says Jesus wasn't interested in politics. He says that those pastors who preach economic and social justice "are trying to twist the gospel to say the gospel supported socialism."
"Jesus taught that we should give to the poor and support widows, but he never said that we should elect a government that would take money from our neighbor's hand and give it to the poor," Falwell says.
Falwell says that Jesus believed that individuals, not governments, should help the poor.
"If we all did as Jesus did when he helped the poor, we wouldn't need the government," says Falwell....
Now, you can see that Jerry Falwell, Jr. is preaching partial-truths there. He's not speaking of government as the real government of God. Of course, Jesus was interested in politics, since nothing isn't politics. Heaven is a city. That's where politics derives it's meaning - the city and how it is governed. As for socialism, there are Christian socialists who do believe in democratic socialism. That's the part that is true. It is not, however, the full context of the real Christian perspective on the issues at hand. It is also true that Jesus did not stand with forced-taking but rather against it. Hence Jesus was opposed to even all taxes and tribute in principle. However, Jesus also literally lived a communist life with his closest disciples and advocated that others live likewise as much as they were able to overcome their attachment to solely owned material. Heaven is communist but of course, not Marxist. It is collectivist.
Notice Falwell's statement: "If we all did as Jesus did when he helped the poor, we wouldn't need the government." How telling that is. He's saying that we do need the government because people refuse to help the poor. In addition, has he given all that he "owns" to the cause of the poor? He has not nor would he if asked to. I call upon him to join the Christian Commons. Where are all the "conservative" and even "progressive" Christians when they are asked to bring forth the Christian Commons?
The result of Jerry Falwell, Sr.'s efforts was a huge expansion of Fundamentalist Dominionism that has frightened those who are big on the separation of church and state. That's quite ironic given that his son just got through saying Jesus wasn't interested in politics. The Falwells weren't/aren't against politics. They're just against politics where they have to give and to share more with the downtrodden – the downtrodden that only exists on account of their, the Falwells', very politics.
However, when Christians pray the Lord's Prayer, we are asking for God's government to come here to the Earth. We are praying that the rock smash the feet of iron and miry clay and the wind carry away Babylon forevermore.
(31) Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.
(32) This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,
(33) His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
(34) Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
(35) Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
(36) This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.
(37) Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
(38) And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.
(39) And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
(40) And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.
(41) And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
(42) And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.
(43) And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
(44) And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
(45) Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
The separation of Church and state is unreality. It is the mixture of iron and miry clay. The fear comes because churches have often been churches of Christ in name only. Separating the false-church from state is proper. So, the challenge lies in properly defining "Church." What is it? What did Jesus say and is still saying?
The Church is wherever Jesus is and wherever God is, living within, and where two or more are gathered together and like-minded and believing, etc. There you will find the kingdom of God on Earth. There you will find the true state - how things ought to be and will be for the whole of the Earth.
The rock is the Church, is Jesus, is God, is the state, is the kingdom, is justice...; and all of this is completely lost on Glenn Beck.
What the current mundane government isn't is the platform for bringing in the kingdom. The current mundane, secular government is displaced and falls and is replaced by the Christian Commons enhanced.
Consider that Glenn Beck is a neoconservative-Mormon-Zionist attempting to appeal to Libertarians, such as Ron Paul followers. Beck's use of the term collectivism is intended to do this. What is collectivist versus that which stands in starkest contrast to it, as Ron Paul and others attempt to preach and sell to the masses?
Collectivism is a term in usage with many connotations. I do not make the error of readily accepting the naysayers' definition as the end of the discussion. The Libertarians have a whole lexicon of jargon to suit their circular ideology. Freedom and liberty and capitalism and a whole host of terms are to them only as they define them. I have yet to meet a Libertarian who will continue a "civil" discussion where the terminology is not exactly suited to their worldview. Expand or enhance the meanings to encompass the full Gospel message, and they head for the doors or commence a would-be shouting match ducking the points in the process. It is intellectual dishonesty that they've turned into an art form. The herd doesn't know the alternative that is real Christianity. The Libertarian leadership conceals it from them.
Collectivism is just group ownership. The family home when owned in common with any other family member is a collectively owned home. That's collectivism on a small scale. There are collectives running up and down the scale. Not all collectives are governed the same way either. For instance, it is not necessary that a collective be centrally planned or topped by a dictator, contrary to what the Libertarian Capitalists would rather everyone to falsely imagine.
The Christian Commons Project is a collectivist project. It is not modeled after Stalinism or Maoism or suchlike. It is a combination of decentralism and centralism. It is consensus-based also. There is no dictator. I "founded" it so to speak. Although in truth, it has always been there just as the Heaven of Jesus Christ has always been. In the start-up phases, I have attempted to organize it on paper to meet the requirements of the secularist, coercive (false-hearted) state. In the end though, of course I wouldn't have more control than any other member, else it wouldn't be what I'm holding it out to be. In a real Christian environment, all the secular "checks and balances" and "separation of branches", etc., become moot. There's nothing to check. No one has a selfish bone in his or her body. Everyone works in concert and harmony for the betterment of each and all as "we" as part of the self who is God. There's no queen bee. Jesus is the last. He is the chief because he is the lowest servant.
What's the opposite of this collectivism? Well, it's where no one owns anything with anyone else. Forget about joint anything. Now, the Libertarians would come to their own rescue here insisting that their definitions allow for "collective" ownership and even perhaps some by the "state" (where state is only as they define it). Well, this puts Libertarianism at odds with Heaven regardless.
Where would you rather live, Jesus's Heaven or Ron Paul's vision? I choose Heaven.
As for Beck's description of churches calling for social justice as being coded terminology or code words for socialism and communism, he is, of course, attempting to associate that with the Communism (as in Communist Party, violent-revolutionary dictatorship ostensibly of the industrial workers) of Lenin and especially Stalin because to do so, serves Beck's appeal to selfishness that is Satanic.
I don't hold with every last bit of the theology of every social-justice church. How could I? They vary so. However, it is an easy matter for me to say without equivocation that the social-justice churches are far from generally desiring to bring forth Stalinism. Beck's attempt is going to be successful only with the extremely shortsighted.
What might most social-justice churches agree upon that runs counter to Glenn Beck's laissez-faire-cum-Zionist capitalism? Well, the deregulation frenzy that began in the Reagan years and culminated in the Clinton and George W. Bush Presidencies is one where most social-justice churches would agree. It was the undoing of the New Deal's Glass–Steagall Act in conjunction with the Bush administration's hands-off approach to the hedge fund activities with the regular banks that led directly to the current economic meltdown that is far from over. The opposite direction of the deregulation is the socialist direction. Hence, less socialism in this case, and not more, caused the vast majority of the unemployment, bankruptcies, foreclosures, homelessness, malnutrition, cuts in services, and on and on. It has been the Barack Obama's administration's siding with the Wall Street bankers, or banksters as they were called during the Great Depression, that has continued the problems. Going in the direction advocated by Glenn Beck would only exacerbate the problems, not fix them.