Jeremy Smith can’t stop talking about Glenn Beck

Jeremy Smith can’t keep away from Glenn Beck. We may need an intervention, soon.

Smith is intrigued by the difficulty we have in talking about “social justice” without becoming parrots for the Democratic Party. I think this problem stems largely from our national agencies tending to sound like a Democratic Party platform committee.

But – as I am wont to – I went looking for John Wesley’s advice or views on such matters. I’m not aware of the term “social justice” in his sermons or writings.

I did find this discussion of the nature of the church in his address on “The Reformation of Manners.”

This is the original design of the Church of Christ. It is a body of men compacted together, in order, first, to save each his own soul; then to assist each other in working out their slavation; and, afterwards, as far as in them lies, to save all men from present and future misery, to overturn the kingdom of Satan, and set up the Kingdom of God.

This sounds to me like a strong affirmation, in the third point, of all manner of social justice efforts. But these grow out of a strong focus on saving souls – our own and our neighbors. If the United Methodist Church could hold these three together, we would be going a long way toward being the church.

3 thoughts on “Jeremy Smith can’t stop talking about Glenn Beck

  1. i am totally with you that the speaking for social issues sounds like a political party discourse, or shout match.

    also to say, when we talk about social issues & their subsequent interventions, don’t we automatically assume its the churches job, not the govt?.. (crickets).. oh, so i’m the only one there?

    as i got it, Christ wasn’t terribly thrilled with the government of that day and didn’t seek to use them for his kingdom, so we we default opt on using them as a Christian nation is beyond me. churches should step up to their namesake they claim

  2. Well said. I concur with Gavin that it ought to be the role of the church to care for the least of these. We have over the course of several hundred years (when the Church State began to dissipate into two entities) abdicated our role of social and economic adjudicators for the role of Saviors, in as much as we proclaim we are the only ones able to provide the Salvation through Jesus Christ (which, of course drives the deeper question of whether we have just committed idolatry, by lifting ourselves to the role Christ alone can offer, and adding another intermediary)
    I made the brazen statement that maybe the church ought to be upholding the former “Tithe” laws in a sermon this past year. One thing I learned in that is that the Temple was subject to almost 50% or more of each person’s earnings, or holdings each year. A far greater tax than the Federal Government imposes, but almost comparable to what we find people give, after charitable giving and taxes are combined.
    The real kicker is that if a person of the community failed to do so, it meant they were expelled from the community. What would happen if we enacted such a thing in the Federal Government, or even our local churches – would we stop being church, or would that only be another important piece of being church?

  3. Thanks for the intervention…I’m positive that this is as much attention as it needs.

    However, I’m also thankful for Glenn Beck as he has exposed a whole swath of people that I never knew existed: people who think social justice is not a part of Wesley’s call to social holiness. That, in my opinion, is erroneous and dangerously disconnected from any chance of a Wesleyan resurgence.

    I’ve gotten two whole posts that have told me much about how people view justice. And a renewed call to become more articulate in connecting how social justice is a part of social holiness.

    So perhaps the blog post could be titled “Jeremy Smith can’t stop talking about justice?” 😉

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