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Liberation Theology and Social Justice

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I have taken a lot of hits from people like Rev. Jim Wallis on "social justice." But I needed you to know there is a poison in some of our churches. Social justice — the way Jim Wallis and Jeremiah Wright understand it — isn't in the gospel, neither is redistribution of wealth.

Jesus never said, "Take from the rich and let the government redistribute it." Take the parable of the Good Samaritan. The Samaritan chose to take it upon himself to help; he took on the bills himself. The government never told him to do it. Anything else is a perversion of Christianity and the perversion of the principles of God.

You don't need to be a Christian to believe this. You need to understand this because a perversion of God is extraordinarily dangerous.

Tonight, I have to take it a step further.

We are living in dangerous times and unless you understand what people are saying and why they are saying it and how they arrived there, then too many Americans are going to be fooled.

We start with James Cone. He's one of the founding fathers of liberation theology. Liberation theology is a brand of Christianity based on the liberation of the oppressed from unjust economic, political or social conditions. It centers around the idea that people are in one of two categories: the oppressor and the oppressed. Poverty, according to this theology, is caused because the poor are "victims of others."

James Cone is credited with starting the same liberation theology behind Rev. Wright's church:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES CONE, ADVOCATE OF BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY: Any group that has institutional power, they are violent. Therefore the mainline denominations in this country have been violent against black people.

The crucifixion of Jesus was a First Century lynching.

America has a tradition of lynching, in which America lynched more than 5,000 black people in this land. The Christian church said very little about it. It was very violent lynching. So, if we understand the cross correctly, we will see it as Jesus being a victim of lynching, a victim of violence. So at the heart of the Christian faith is God taking upon God's self the suffering of the victim.

When you see a lynched black body, that's who God is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

This is kind of complex, because Jesus did identify with the victims. But Jesus wasn't a victim, he was a conqueror. Jesus conquered death. He chose to give his life. Jesus didn't come back from the dead and make the Jews pay for what they did. That would have been an abomination.

Straight from Cone: "Black theology refuses to accept a god who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community... If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill gods who do not belong to the black community."

It gets worse from here. So how does a white person get salvation in that system?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONE: If the powerful in our society, the white people, if they want to become Christians, they have to give up that power and become identified with the powerless — if you're going to be a Christian, you can't be identified with the powerful and also a Christian at the same time...

The only way in which your repentance, your forgiveness can be authentic, your reception of it can be authentic, your repentance can be authentic, is that you give back what you took — and white people took a lot from black people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Got it? The only way you can be saved according to this theology, if you are the oppressor, is to give back what you took through reparations. Step down from that job you "took" from someone else. Give back that money you "took" from someone else.

Do you notice anything that's missing here? Well, for one thing, merit. And when it comes to salvation, how about the concept of grace? Saved by grace. You cannot earn your way into Heaven. There is no deed, no random act of kindness, no amount of money to spread around to others that earns you a trip to heaven. It's by God's grace alone that you are saved. Now, that doesn't mean you aren't supposed to do works and deeds — "faith without works is dead." Our work is a demonstration of our faith.

But right now I just want to show you how liberation theology has completely perverted Christianity and teaching something radically different. For example, Cone himself has argued that the Bible is insufficient to know what social justice is and that you need Marxism to understand what Christianity means. I think I speak for most Christians when I say, God's word is sufficient for me; you can 86 the Marx — thank, but no thanks.

Now, I know people will say, Oh, Glenn Beck is a Mormon! He's not even a real Christian.

OK, fine. You can believe what you want. I am a man that needed atonement more than most people. But I know the game, so I called Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. I wanted to make sure that mainline Christianity has the same definition of individual salvation that I have. He agreed that salvation is an individual relationship between a person and God through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth and the light." I can't be saved for someone else and they can't be saved by me. When Jesus died on the cross he died for everyone that ever lived, but individually. It was one act for the entire collection — it was for each person individually.

Another perversion is the concept of collective salvation. You've heard Barack Obama say that his "individual salvation depends on collective salvation." What does that mean?

According to liberation theology, it means that salvation and redemption bought by Jesus comes in the form of political and social "liberation" for minorities from white oppression. Salvation is realized with minorities achieving economic and political parity, via redistribution of wealth with whites. Minorities are "saved" in the sense that white people constantly confess and repent of being racists and meet the economic demands of minorities, via redistribution as a consequence of some form of reparations.

That's quite different than the gospels and their message of being saved by grace. It actually sounds a little more like Marxism.

As I said in the beginning, there are those in the country that need to divide us for power. They will make this about race. But this has almost nothing to do with race; it has everything to do with power. It has happened over and over and over again — it's a formula: same outcome, different group of people.

— Watch "Glenn Beck" weekdays at 5 p.m. ET on Fox News Channel