These sentiments are common. The FBI declines to press charges against Hillary Clinton. Police officers shoot a man to death for selling CDs. Three thousand little babies are pulled out of their mothers’ wombs every day and thrown into the garbage. Women and children are neglected, abused, and mistreated. Those with power misuse their power, and the very ones they are responsible to serve and protect are crushed, manipulated, snuffed out.
Where is justice? Let there be justice.
But to ask for justice, in the first instance, is to ask for a standard. There is no such thing as justice without a fixed standard. If there is a sense that black people are treated differently by police officers than white people, there must be a standard to appeal to, a standard of civility, a standard of morality. You cannot banish the standard and then insist on justice. To banish the standard is to banish justice. There must be a court to appeal to, otherwise you’re just talking to yourself. You’re just venting your feelings. But this is precisely what secularism has sought to indoctrinate us with over the last few hundred years. There is no fixed standard. Objective morality is dangerous and tyrannical. If you let objective morality in here, you are letting oppression and abuse in here, they say. Ok, it’s true: Sometimes people perpetrate great evil in the name of good. And sometimes people perpetrate great evil in the name of their god.
Secularism offers to be the great savior of the West by banishing absolutes from the public square. Relativism promises to be understanding, sympathetic, and respect everyone’s different opinion. This is the utopian vision of secular relativism. The problem is that this is like promising a knit sweater that you (on principle) refuse to tie off. There are frays at the top and at the bottom. The secularist insists that this allows for greater flexibility. It will adjust with the wearing, he says. It’s a design feature, not a defect. And yet, the sweater keeps unraveling. In fact, in order to keep the sweater looking like a sweater, the secularist must run around after you with his needles furiously knitting just in front of the unraveling.
This is where we are. We point to the unraveling of families, the murder of the unborn, the disease, poverty, crime, and addiction that follow (inevitably) in the wake of promiscuity and infidelity of every flavor, and they parade some smiling, happy face in front of the television (knitting with passion) and say, see, look how happy secular relativists are! Ta-da!
But the point is that secular relativism is an ideological commitment to injustice. They will say, no, we have rules and laws that must be followed. Justice is based on the rules and laws on the books. Right, until they change. Until they don’t apply. Relativism insists that justice can change. The nature of marriage can change. The nature of male and female can change. Justice can change. Which means that justice isn’t. It isn’t justice if it changes. This is like taking a test where you write your answers out on a separate sheet of paper, where you number your answers assuming that they will be graded according to the corresponding numbers on the test sheet. But since absolute standards are tyrannical and oppressive, the school has a policy that every five minutes a new test with different questions replaces the old one. And if you object, you are the one being insensitive and intolerant.
Part of the way the secular elites run this play is by how they change the subject every fifteen minutes. This leaves good hearted people constantly on their heels reacting to the latest injustice. Since the secular worldview breeds injustice, they have plenty of fodder to feed us with, and since none (or few) of us are in a position to watch the whole play being run, we are left feeling slightly frustrated but without enough info to go on and then the next outrage breaks out. And because secularism is a worldview based on the non-existence of absolute morals, the only currency they trade in is manipulation. When men and women are reduced to chemicals and atoms, the sole lever is various forms of physical, material, emotional manipulation. So it is always someone else’s fault. It is the economic conditions, the racial tensions, the political machinations, the guns, the extremists, the climate, whatever. And if you get enough of those balls spinning in the air you can keep several hundred million people sort of stunned and unsure about what exactly is going on.
This is why conservative Christians need to start seeing all of it as the same play, the same thing. And it’s actually not that hard if you use the category of “justice.” A black man was shot to death by police; will there be justice? That all depends. What is the standard of justice? Don’t appeal to the constitution, silly. We’ve already been told that the constitution is fluid and flexible. It changes. Don’t be distracted by their games, by the genealogical sleight of hand, they’ll pull. All men are created equal apparently didn’t apply to all the Africans kidnapped and sold to the framers of the constitution. Right? Ok, but don’t get distracted. Why is that wrong? Why is that horrible, awful, and morally repugnant? Because there is a God in heaven who created man in His own image, and that God has spoken to us clearly in His word and in His Word made flesh, Jesus Christ. If we want justice, we must have Jesus Christ. There is no other name under heaven whereby we must be saved. No other name means no other justice. It is Christ or chaos. Christ or injustice. Christ or death. Christ or nothing.
But women and children are being abused and abandoned. What should be done? Do you want justice? By what standard? But what about prison reform? What about foreign policy? What about corrupt corporations? What about justice for the immigrants, for minorities, for the disabled, for religious conservatives? It turns out that it’s all the same question, and it’s all the same answer. Let them ask it, and we must all begin giving them the same answer. The answer is that we will have justice. And by that we mean that we will have a fixed standard. We will have an immoveable standard. We will have Jesus as our King, our Lord, our Master, and none of their monkeyshines anymore. All other attempts at human society that are not built on the supremacy of Jesus Christ over all — are in principle opposed to justice. They are human levers with human hands pushing and pulling them. And to the extent that we settle for less than the justice of Christ, we are being bought and sold and bribed into silence and apathy.
Yes, men may abuse the standard. Men may pretend that the standard justifies their lust, their lies, their fears, and they may get away with it for a time. But it is no solution to banish the standard. This is like banishing doctors because some of them are corrupt or commit malpractice. No, thank you very much, but we still believe in justice. We believe in the truth, and we believe that despite our differences of culture which are real and good gifts of God there is such a thing as true truth that applies to us all. There is right and wrong. There is a standard that transcends culture, that transcends the constitution, that transcends the Supreme Court, that transcends the congress and the UN and all other man-made authorities. And that standard is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Every problem they raise, every attempted distraction they point to: another Trump atrocity, another Clinton scandal, poverty on the rise, Zika virus running rampant, transgender rights, abortion rights, immigration reform, economic trends, whatever — don’t be tricked, don’t be fooled. They’re running a Ponzi scheme in which they assume you won’t ask where all the money really is. Where do those “rights” come from? Where does that justice come from? How do we know what a solution would look like? Is there a fixed standard that we can all look at together to see what is wrong and what must be made right? Will the same standard that gives Hillary a pass apply to the florist or the baker or the preacher? Will it apply to Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Alton Sterling, [Update: Philando Castile]? Will it apply to the fifty million nameless children whose voices have been snuffed out since Roe vs. Wade? Will it apply to the single moms? Will it apply to corrupt corporate VPs?
They keep asking us to care about all of these atrocities, all of these evils, and really, they are asking us the same question again and again and again: Do we want justice? Do we really want justice? But what they don’t know is that Justice is a man named Jesus. And so what they are asking is: Do we want Jesus? Do want His death and resurrection? His blood shed for our sins? His life for our life? His justice to rain down?
When the American people rise up with one voice and say, yes, that is what we want, the secular American sweater will come undone and the people running this charade will stand there naked before God and the watching world looking mighty sheepish.
And then we will smile and tell them about Jesus and His justice that covers all our shame.
In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.