Worship Mythbusters: Social Justice is worship?

MYTH: Social Justice is Worship…

Amos 5:23-24 Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! Matthew 25:44-45 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

It may seem like an open and shut case that “social justice” is what worship is. I would concur that if we as believers do not act as such there is obviously consequences we surely do not want to face in the after-life. Also, it is clear that worship without justice is meaningless and empty. But, is it worship? Is social justice our focus of worship? No.

The danger here is losing the centrality of Jesus in our worship by simply focusing almost in a pantheism-Jesus-is-the-poor mindset and miss that they are not Jesus. Jesus is Jesus. Jesus is our focus. By gazing at Jesus in worship the obvious sign of our love for him is poured out in being filled with justice and righteousness.

The real judgement I think is in the loss of our focus on the supremacy of Christ as our object of worship. We can turn to idols even the good things. Here is the premise I want to hear from you about: Good works are a result of worship. Not the other way around.

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Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

40 comments

  1. Great post Rich!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rich Kirkpatrick, David Goodwin, tehillamusic.com, John Chilcote, stephen proctor and others. stephen proctor said: RT @rkweblog: Worship Mythbusters: Social Justice is worship? http://goo.gl/fb/8Fazk […]

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rich Kirkpatrick, David Goodwin, tehillamusic.com, John Chilcote, stephen proctor and others. stephen proctor said: RT @rkweblog: Worship Mythbusters: Social Justice is worship? http://goo.gl/fb/8Fazk […]

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rich Kirkpatrick, David Goodwin, tehillamusic.com, John Chilcote, stephen proctor and others. stephen proctor said: RT @rkweblog: Worship Mythbusters: Social Justice is worship? http://goo.gl/fb/8Fazk […]

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rich Kirkpatrick, David Goodwin, tehillamusic.com, John Chilcote, stephen proctor and others. stephen proctor said: RT @rkweblog: Worship Mythbusters: Social Justice is worship? http://goo.gl/fb/8Fazk […]

  6. I think the heart of the matter is pretty simple. If you love Jesus then you will want to do what he says – look after those less fortunate than yourself. If you love Jesus you will want to become more like him – have compassion on those who are suffering.
    So, obedience and transformation are natural outcomes of a wholehearted surrender to God and following Jesus along The Way, therefore any practical outworking of that, such as giving someone a cup of cold water, or paying their heating bill for them, or mowing their lawn, or visiting them in hospital or prison, is worship.

  7. I think the heart of the matter is pretty simple. If you love Jesus then you will want to do what he says – look after those less fortunate than yourself. If you love Jesus you will want to become more like him – have compassion on those who are suffering.
    So, obedience and transformation are natural outcomes of a wholehearted surrender to God and following Jesus along The Way, therefore any practical outworking of that, such as giving someone a cup of cold water, or paying their heating bill for them, or mowing their lawn, or visiting them in hospital or prison, is worship.

  8. I think the heart of the matter is pretty simple. If you love Jesus then you will want to do what he says – look after those less fortunate than yourself. If you love Jesus you will want to become more like him – have compassion on those who are suffering.
    So, obedience and transformation are natural outcomes of a wholehearted surrender to God and following Jesus along The Way, therefore any practical outworking of that, such as giving someone a cup of cold water, or paying their heating bill for them, or mowing their lawn, or visiting them in hospital or prison, is worship.

  9. I think the heart of the matter is pretty simple. If you love Jesus then you will want to do what he says – look after those less fortunate than yourself. If you love Jesus you will want to become more like him – have compassion on those who are suffering.
    So, obedience and transformation are natural outcomes of a wholehearted surrender to God and following Jesus along The Way, therefore any practical outworking of that, such as giving someone a cup of cold water, or paying their heating bill for them, or mowing their lawn, or visiting them in hospital or prison, is worship.

  10. I think the heart of the matter is pretty simple. If you love Jesus then you will want to do what he says – look after those less fortunate than yourself. If you love Jesus you will want to become more like him – have compassion on those who are suffering.
    So, obedience and transformation are natural outcomes of a wholehearted surrender to God and following Jesus along The Way, therefore any practical outworking of that, such as giving someone a cup of cold water, or paying their heating bill for them, or mowing their lawn, or visiting them in hospital or prison, is worship.

  11. I don’t think that social justice is what worship is, but I think it is part of our worship offering to God. Just like what Mark said, obedience is key to our worship offering.

  12. I don’t think that social justice is what worship is, but I think it is part of our worship offering to God. Just like what Mark said, obedience is key to our worship offering.

  13. I don’t think that social justice is what worship is, but I think it is part of our worship offering to God. Just like what Mark said, obedience is key to our worship offering.

  14. I don’t think that social justice is what worship is, but I think it is part of our worship offering to God. Just like what Mark said, obedience is key to our worship offering.

  15. I don’t think that social justice is what worship is, but I think it is part of our worship offering to God. Just like what Mark said, obedience is key to our worship offering.

  16. It seems to me that from the overflow of the heart comes worship and service. I don’t know if they are one in the same, but I do know that my heart cannot be filled with “ME”. Letting go of selfishness and being willing to give all of your heart to loving God naturally seems to result in loving others.

  17. It seems to me that from the overflow of the heart comes worship and service. I don’t know if they are one in the same, but I do know that my heart cannot be filled with “ME”. Letting go of selfishness and being willing to give all of your heart to loving God naturally seems to result in loving others.

  18. It seems to me that from the overflow of the heart comes worship and service. I don’t know if they are one in the same, but I do know that my heart cannot be filled with “ME”. Letting go of selfishness and being willing to give all of your heart to loving God naturally seems to result in loving others.

  19. It seems to me that from the overflow of the heart comes worship and service. I don’t know if they are one in the same, but I do know that my heart cannot be filled with “ME”. Letting go of selfishness and being willing to give all of your heart to loving God naturally seems to result in loving others.

  20. It seems to me that from the overflow of the heart comes worship and service. I don’t know if they are one in the same, but I do know that my heart cannot be filled with “ME”. Letting go of selfishness and being willing to give all of your heart to loving God naturally seems to result in loving others.

  21. The Great Commandment indeed is to love God. The Second is to love your neighbor. I think we can find a pattern there.
    My concern is when we put our actions of service as idolatry by putting that as what we worship rather than Christ. Our kids and loving them can be more of a focus than Jesus, right? Anything, even good things.

    Is God really that jealous? I think so.

  22. The Great Commandment indeed is to love God. The Second is to love your neighbor. I think we can find a pattern there.
    My concern is when we put our actions of service as idolatry by putting that as what we worship rather than Christ. Our kids and loving them can be more of a focus than Jesus, right? Anything, even good things.
    Is God really that jealous? I think so.

  23. The Great Commandment indeed is to love God. The Second is to love your neighbor. I think we can find a pattern there.
    My concern is when we put our actions of service as idolatry by putting that as what we worship rather than Christ. Our kids and loving them can be more of a focus than Jesus, right? Anything, even good things.

    Is God really that jealous? I think so.

  24. The Great Commandment indeed is to love God. The Second is to love your neighbor. I think we can find a pattern there.
    My concern is when we put our actions of service as idolatry by putting that as what we worship rather than Christ. Our kids and loving them can be more of a focus than Jesus, right? Anything, even good things.

    Is God really that jealous? I think so.

  25. The Great Commandment indeed is to love God. The Second is to love your neighbor. I think we can find a pattern there.
    My concern is when we put our actions of service as idolatry by putting that as what we worship rather than Christ. Our kids and loving them can be more of a focus than Jesus, right? Anything, even good things.

    Is God really that jealous? I think so.

  26. I appreciated your comments about this topic, Rich. I especially liked that you remind us that social justice is good and important, but it can’t be put in the place of our focus on the person of Jesus and him, alone.

  27. I appreciated your comments about this topic, Rich. I especially liked that you remind us that social justice is good and important, but it can’t be put in the place of our focus on the person of Jesus and him, alone.

  28. I appreciated your comments about this topic, Rich. I especially liked that you remind us that social justice is good and important, but it can’t be put in the place of our focus on the person of Jesus and him, alone.

  29. I appreciated your comments about this topic, Rich. I especially liked that you remind us that social justice is good and important, but it can’t be put in the place of our focus on the person of Jesus and him, alone.

  30. I appreciated your comments about this topic, Rich. I especially liked that you remind us that social justice is good and important, but it can’t be put in the place of our focus on the person of Jesus and him, alone.

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