@WarnerMiller Sorry for the late response, thank you for the thorough reply.
I would like to throw a couple things out and get your thoughts. Great verse examples of what I’m thinking about.
He who has a bountiful eye shall be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor. [II Cor. 9:6-10.] ~ Proverbs 22:9 AMPC
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.
Proverbs 31:8-9 NLT
In the first verse it seems the giver does not owe the poor their bread. The verse states it’s “his” bread. He is blessed by giving, but not necessarily condemned for not giving it. It may be that someone doesn’t give their bread to the poor man, but they may have other responsiblities (their family etc). So the person isn’t doing wrong by not giving to the poor man necessarily.
In the second verse, justice seems like this is something they are owed. To pervert justice is actively doing wrong. Everytime justice is perverted, it is wrong, period.
I like your definition of social justice here,
***Historical social justice is justice that gives ALL people equal access and equal opportunity, NOT necessarily equal outcomes
There’s probably some definitional differences that arrive in public dialogue when speaking of “equal access and opportunity”. For example, a child may have had really savy parents who know how to invest $. My parents didn’t have that knowledge to teach me, so is that example of unequal access? Maybe? I don’t feel that’s unjust though.
It’s a bit similar to how I’ve thought in the past about partiality and God. There is no partiality in God’s judgement. However, God is free to give someone a gift and not to give that to someone else. But it’s not partiality. It’s God’s to give or not to give. God would not judge one person using one standard and another standard for another. So equality in judgement, but it’s God’s prerogative to give gifts to whom he wishes.
So a parent can give their child a gift of superior understanding of say how to invest $$, that seems like a gift they give to their children. It doesn’t seem like an injustice that the kid got an advantage.
However, it could be that some other child’s parent was denied access to the same opportunities to say…work at an investing firm, because of racism. Then the racial injustice against that parent means his kid doesn’t have an equal opportunity with this other kid. So what isn’t an injustice in and of itself, (unequal education in the home) becomes one.
This is why this topic is so wickedly difficult. What should happen is this case? What does biblical justice look like there? I’m only referring to justice here, not self sacrifice on the part of the advantaged. That should be something people who follow Christ do. But I’m specifically asking what justice looks like in a similar scenario (of which the US is chock full of)?
Why do I ask this? Because, giving or reaching out to the less fortunate in scripture seems to me discretionary. Sometimes we do sometimes we don’t. I don’t mean discretionary as in extra $ for spending or something. I use “discretionary” to indicate it’s up to the person with $/power to give/help. Not totally dissimilar to how God gives gifts, it is discretionary. (That doesn’t mean it’s not mindblowingly generous). But justice is an imperative. Justice should never be perverted. It is not discretionary. Thanks for reading the long post