School of Antioch or Alexandria? By Dr. David Bowen I teach at a Christian university…
The Social Gospel: Satan Still Asks “Hath God Said?”
The Social Gospel: Satan Still Asks “Hath God Said?”
By Geri Ungurean
“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat” (Genesis 3:1-6). (emphasis mine)
What exactly is the Social Gospel?
Answer: The phrase “social gospel” is usually used to describe a Protestant Christian intellectual movement that came to prominence in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Those who adhered to a social gospel sought to apply Christian ethics to social problems such as poverty, slums, poor nutrition and education, alcoholism, crime, and war. These things were emphasized while the doctrines of sin, salvation, heaven and hell, and the future kingdom of God were downplayed. Theologically, the social gospel leaders were overwhelmingly postmillennialist, asserting that Christ’s Second Coming could not happen until humankind rid itself of social evils by human effort.
For a Christian perspective on the idea of a social gospel, we need to look to Jesus, who lived in one of history’s most corrupt societies. Jesus never issued any call for political change, not even by peaceful means. He did not come to earth to be a political or social reformer. The gospel Jesus preached did not have to do with social reform or social justice or political change. Rather than attempt to change governments and institutions, which are made up of people, Jesus came to change people’s hearts and point them to God’s kingdom. He preached the saving power of the gospel and the transforming work of the Holy Spirit.
Yes, Jesus showed deep compassion for the poor, the sick, the dispossessed, and the outcasts of society. He healed them, but before taking care of their physical or emotional needs, He first took care of their spiritual needs. He was most concerned about the state of their souls and preached the gospel of repentance from sin through Him so they understood that their eternal destiny was far more important than their circumstances here on earth. Several of His parables conveyed this truth, including Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:19–31). The rich man, who had every possible social advantage, spent eternity in hell while Lazarus, the poorest of the poor with dire social needs, was comforted in heaven.
Social justice is based on the concepts of human rights and equality. The Bible supports social justice with regard to the plight of the poor and the afflicted, orphans and widows, and people unable to support themselves. The nation of Israel was commanded by God to care for the less fortunate in society. Jesus told us to care for those who are hungry and thirsty, who are sick or in prison, the outcasts of society (Matthew 25:34–40).
Jesus reflected God’s sense of justice by bringing the gospel message to the lower rungs of society. The wealthy also need to hear the gospel message, but it is noteworthy that the well-to-do, the upstanding and respected members of society are less likely to see their utter spiritual bankruptcy before God and embrace the message of the gospel. Christians are under a personal obligation to love their neighbors as they love themselves (Matthew 22:39). We have a responsibility to be good stewards of our own wealth because all wealth comes from and belongs to God. Christians should take a God-centered approach to social justice, not a man-centered approach. We see Christ Jesus as our Savior. When He returns, He will restore justice. In the meantime, Christians are to express God’s love and justice by showing kindness in practical ways to those less fortunate. – source
As usual, I find gotquestions.org to be spot on about the Social Gospel.
The Slippery Slope
As I have stated in so many of my articles, when leaders in the church neglect the role of the Word of God, but instead preach their own opinions and conclusions about Christianity; they begin a downward spiral into humanistic teachings. Our rock solid foundation is the Word – God breathed and inspired by the Holy Spirit; it leads us unto God’s righteousness.
Jesus did not come to earth to change governments or social injustices. He came because man was separated from a Holy God because of SIN. During His ministry while on earth, he stated that we would always have the poor with us. His horrific death on the Cross, burial and resurrection was payment in full for all sin – for those who would repent and trust Him for forgiveness of their sins.
Jesus did tell us that we (the church) should give to the poor and take care of those less fortunate. I believe that He was speaking of a repentant and born again soul – and how a person who has been born again from above would naturally want to be compassionate to the less fortunate. Our good works after we are saved are evidence that we have been saved! But don’t confuse this with people who are attempting to “work their way to heaven.” People who think that this is the way to heaven have not been born again.
(James 2: 14-20)
“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?”
Hath God Said?
Yes. God DID say that we MUST be born again to see the Kingdom of God. Do you think that Satan has sat idly by while the Church has grown, and not come in with his wicked whispers? Why in the world do you think there is so much apostasy? The whispers of the evil one become a thought in a person’s mind. Then they act on the thought, being tricked into believing their thought came from God.
“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21) This verse means to test or prove all things against the Word of God!
How do you think a person is trained to spot counterfeit money? They are trained by knowing the authentic money! After intensive training – seeing, touching the real – for months and months, these people can spot counterfeit money quickly. We MUST know the Word of God so well, that when counterfeit teaching comes our way, we will know in an instant that this does not match the Word of God.
Brethren, cling to the Word. Check all things against the Word. Defend the Word!
We are in a time when Strong Delusion is happening throughout the church. I cannot say whether the people who are practicing apostasy were ever born again – only God knows that. But we who are born again must test all things against God’s Word.
Jesus is the Truth. His Word is the Truth. Man’s opinions are stubble.
“Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 5:24).