According to the Oxford Dictionary, a Social Justice Warrior is ‘a person who expresses or promotes socially progressive views.’
The online Urban dictionary offers a more substantial explanation:
“A pejorative term for an individual who repeatedly and vehemently engages in arguments on social justice on the Internet, often in a shallow or not well-thought-out way, for the purpose of raising their own personal reputation. A social justice warrior, or SJW, does not necessarily strongly believe all that they say, or even care about the groups they are fighting on behalf of. They typically repeat points from whoever is the most popular blogger or commenter of the moment, hoping that they will “get SJ points” and become popular in return. They are very sure to adopt stances that are “correct” in their social circle.” [i]
In the case you’re doubting the credibility of Urban Dictionary, take as further evidence, defining examples highlighted by the observer.com in an article called, ‘The Totalitarian Doctrine of Social Justice Warriors’. Such as:
“[when] your cool feminist T-shirt can becomes a racist atrocity in a mouse click. And since new “marginalised” identities can always emerge, no one can tell what currently acceptable words or ideas may be excommunicated tomorrow.”
I’m not in full support of every claim made by the author in the article, but the majority of the content makes a dent in the “progressive” bulldozers steamrolling everything they’re told to hate, or anyone that they’ve (ironically) judged as “judgemental, phobic or a hater.”
In one swift statement, the article presents the monstrous maelstroms of confusion S.J.W’s tend to create.
Another stand out example:
We get that you’re protesting. Respect your right to protest, but want to know what it is that you want that protest to achieve? What is the end goal? If asked the majority probably are either confused, clashing with other protest groups, or have no idea what it is that they are protesting, let alone what the goal of that protest is.
Take the S.J.Ws support for an apparent war on the rich (a well-intentioned stand against poverty) and their counter-productive boycott of business. Movements such as Occupy Wall Street and the anti-Israel, Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS).
Don’t get me wrong. Poverty is to be challenged and real injustices responsibly corrected, but how does boycotting businesses, just because they don’t agree with a party-line about same-sex marriage or support hashtag movements, serve the poor or help end poverty? In some cases the targets were mum and dad, small to medium businesses, who did nothing other than support traditional marriage, as being something shared holistically between a man and a woman. The impact of which hits charitable tax-payers actively trying to pull themselves and others out of poverty.
The method of boycott, hashtag, hashtag… people lose their jobs. Company shuts down. Capitalism is blamed [24hrs passes]. “Next victim”; is a radical cycle that only pads ego, wallet and blog stats.
What real purpose does this “outrage” serve, other than to boost approval ratings, celebrity funding drives or ignite social media with a feel-good fifteen minute hashtag keyboard riot?
It would be fair to ask whether or not their level of social media influence was the real concern, and not the marginalised, the minority or the poverty-stricken.
Militant arms of all progressive ideologies are not about “…and justice-for-all.” They stand above, over and against us. They lay claims against the biblical equality of human limitations which states that: ”for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:23-24).
They don’t ask ‘…what can I do for my country?” (J.F.Kennedy) They demand that their country do for them what their free country empowers them to do for themselves!
The militancy hands justice over to pseudo politicians who judge from people’s courts, controlling popular opinion with image, idea, internet, and an index-finger pointed in judgement against blasphemers who speak out against idiotic statements, and the ‘isms which encourage them.
It’s reminiscent of the Soviet leadership who, in the early 1980’s, sort to remind Poland’s Communist leaders that any hint of counter-revolutionary blasphemy among Poland’s largely Christian population, should be suppressed:
“…You should say openly that the law forbids any statements against socialism”
(“Theses For Conversation With Representatives of the Polish Leadership“, 1980. Vladimir Bukovsky, 1995)
This is not affirmative action. It’s bullying through fear, suspicion and threat. The type that coerced people to support the Nazis. It incites the same self-serving action as ‘Judas Iscariot, who went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver Jesus over to you?” Who in return paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment sought an opportunity to betray him.’ (Matthew 26:14-15/ Mark 14:10-11/ Luke 22:3-6) [ii]
The same ‘Judas who protested, after seeing Mary take a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, anoint the feet of Jesus and wipe his feet with her hair:
“Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the money-bag he used to help himself to what was put into it.’ (John 3:6)
The same Judas who, as the anti-Nazi theologian, Karl Barth wrote:
‘Perverted his office [of Apostle] into the exact opposite; placing Jesus under humanity, instead of humanity under Jesus – to deliver Jesus to sinners, not sinners to Jesus…Judas prepared for Jesus the fate of John the Baptist.’ [iii]
Because Iscariot thought that:
“Jesus was for sale.
He reserved to himself the right to decide for himself, in the face of Jesus, what the way of apostolic discipleship really involves.
It is an indication that his nature and function are those of the apostle who ultimately regrets his own devotion and the devotion of others to Jesus, who would prefer ultimately to use the power of this devotion for something which his own judgement considers to be better […]” [iv]
These statements form Barth’s critique of a people who, in their rejection of Christ, reject themselves; suffering a similar fate of self-destruction that consumed Judas:
‘The one who kills Jesus also kills themselves […]’ [v]
This handing over of Jesus is occurring today. Jesus is surrendered to an ideology as a slave, not as He, according to the Biblical witness, exists – as King of Kings and LORD of Lords, the one who is and was, and is to come!
‘Neither man’s headship or humanity’s dominion (lordship) over the earth equals ownership of woman or creation. Humanity’s rule exists, as a gift. It exists in the light of God’s rule and therefore cannot be absolute.’ [vi]
The Social Justice Warrior is in many ways the soldier for hire of the progressive ‘liberalist religion’, identified by Eric Voeglin in his 1968 work, Science, Politics & Religion. The progressive ‘liberalist religion’ preaches a gospel of ”self-salvation” through the creation of the Übermensch (the superman).
This coincides with the will-to-dominate, which is, today, masked by the veneer of social justice. The darkness of the 20th century shows that what lies behind this is pride. This is a pride hiding the nature of its true intent. Determined to talk of grace, all the while hiding the fact that pride is, and will always be, an enemy of grace.
It is determined to devour those who stand opposed to it. In this context, pride serves no one, and is guided by nothing, but its own lust for power. Its only interest in mercy, justice and love, is that which advances its own cause.
So goes the Social Justice Warrior; “peace, love and bureaucracy” [vii]. Preaching that God is love, and all the while taking for themselves His throne of mercy and justice, then moulding into their own image.
The late, political scientist, Jean Bethke Elshtain was on point when she stated that viewing Christianity As An Ethic Of Universal Niceness Misses The Point:
‘Misunderstandings of Christian teachings are rife. Christianity is not an exalted or mystical form of utilitarianism. Jesus preached no doctrine of universal benevolence. He showed anger and issued condemnations.
These dimensions of Christ’s life and words tend to be overlooked nowadays as Christians concentrate on God’s love rather than God’s justice. That love is sometimes reduced to a diffuse benignity that is then enjoined on believers.This kind of faith descends into sentimentalism fast.’ [vii]
As Paul the Apostle encouraged a young Timothy. Take heed, stand ready to answer with a loving “no”, those who would preach a different doctrine; a different Jesus Christ than the one the early Jewish Christians walked with, witnessed and spoke of:
‘If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing.
He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.’
Jesus isn’t a Marxist rebel clad in olive drab. He isn’t a golden-haired, blue-eye, bearded, robe wearing guru, sitting on a cloud with rainbows coming out of His ears, sprinkling love dust, answering the lamp rubbing wishes of a group of “super-nice” people, who claim for themselves the moral high-ground*.
‘The prophets said, “Thus saith the Lord,” but Jesus said, “I say.” We have no mere prophet here, no mere humble exponent of the will of God[…]Jesus here represents Himself as seated on the judgement-seat of all the earth[…] Could anything be further removed than such a Jesus from the humble teacher of righteousness appealed to by [the cult of] modern liberalism?’
(J. Gresham Machen, Christianity & Liberalism) [xix]
Any person who hands Jesus over to a largely corrupted, and enslaving ideology; any person who chooses to measure Christian discipleship by allegiance to Leftism’s ‘liberalist religion’, or its equivalent on the Right, are the brethren of Iscariot, not Christ.
[i] Social Justice Warrior, sourced 29th August 2016 from urbandictionary.com
[ii] English Standard Bible, Crossway Publishers
[iii] Barth, K. 1942 The Doctrine of God: The Determination of the Rejected, Church Dogmatics, Hendrickson Publishers (p.481)
[iv] ibid, 1942 (pp.462 & 463)
[v] ibid, 1942 (p.471)
[vi] Barth, K. 1958 Creation & Covenant: Creation as the External Basis of the Covenant, CD.3:1 Hendrickson Publishers (p.205, paraphrased)
[vii] O’Sullivan, J. 2006. The President, The Pope & The Prime Minister: Three Who Changed The World Regnery Publishing (p.4)
[viii] Elshtain, J. 2008, Just War Against Terror: The Burden Of American Power In A Violent World Basic Books Kindle Ed. (p. 100-101).
[xix] Voegelin, E. 1968 Science, Politics & Religion Regnery Publishing, Inc.
*Charles Spurgeon: ‘some two faced men are hypocrites by nature; slippery as eels, and piebald like Squire Smoothey’s mate. Like a drunken man, they could not walk straight if they were to try…They are born of the breed of St. Judas. The double shuffle is their favourite game, and honesty their greatest hatred. Honey is on their tongues, but gall in their hearts.’ (The Complete John Ploughman, p.115) [added, 23rd November 2017]