Posted by: the warrioress | May 28, 2014

The Social Gospel

 

 

By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.–1John 3:10

“The Social Gospel” is spoken about with distaste and disdain by those who are blatantly right wing politically-motivated. These muttering about “The Social Gospel” are fierce in their intensity to denigrate it so they can excuse themselves from siding with the greedy.

The phrase “thou doth protest too much” seems to come to mind as I listen to inane excuses and pitiful protestations that Jesus cared more for the soul than He did for the state of a man’s body. Anything can be taken out of context and miserably twisted as the concept of the Social Gospel has been, but God doesn’t appreciate His word being mauled and mutilated for greed’s sake. God is clear about how He will handle those who oppressed the poor, who sought after greed, who exploited the less fortunate.

Jesus said, ‘if you did it to the least of these, you did it unto me!’

The bible specifies our behavior with one another on this earth. It is very clear again and again. Read the numerous scripture that address this very thing:

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. –James 2:14-18

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. –1John 3:17-18

Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse. — Proverbs 28:27

They have grown fat and sleek. They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy.–Jeremiah 5:28

“Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke? “Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh? “Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. –Isaiah 58:6-8

A righteous man knows the rights of the poor; a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.—Proverbs 29:7

 

The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery. They have oppressed the poor and needy, and have extorted from the sojourner without justice. –Ezekiel 22:29

Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered.— Proverbs 21:13

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. –James 1:27

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.–Matthew 23:25

Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.–Ezekial 16:14

 

If your religion does not include a love for the oppressed and the broken-hearted, your religion is in vain. If you stand with the rich, the greedy, corporations, and Wall Street against the common working poor, will God look kindly down upon you? I think not. Are you fooling Him? No, I think not.

No way.

 

 

social gospel:
noun: Protestantism.
a movement in America, chiefly in the early part of the 20th century, stressing the social teachings of Jesus and their applicability to public life.
Origin:
1915–20

Social Gospel definition

A religious movement that arose in the United States in the late nineteenth century with the goal of making the Christian churches more responsive to social problems, such as poverty and prostitution. Leaders of the movement argued that Jesus’ message was as much about social reform as about individual approaches to salvation.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition

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 neighbours 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 Saviour. 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.

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/social-gospel.html#ixzz333AgUKpp

Further Reading upon the Social Gospel:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allan-brawley/will-christian-right-return-to-social-gospel_b_1333327.html

http://www.theopedia.com/Social_Gospel

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Responses

  1. I recall a statement made in a Southern Baptist Convention church that I attended in the 1980s:

    “Oh, that was the social gospel. We put an end to that.”

    I also remember this:

  2. I don’t know about the “Social Gospel” but do know it does not take the responsibility away from the churches to care for the poor, women and children as they have been doing for years.
    Putting the burden on the government is costly and has shown to be irresponsible and expensive. Expensive is more than likely the reason the church decided to pass it on to the people.
    Here in Marshall we have started a movement to bring it back into the church and have added classes on money management and healthy living. It is only two years old, but is showing signs of working well with the community.
    As for the Political agenda of those mentioning “social gospel” on both sides, I find it disconcerting they have the gall to talk about something they choose not to act on. Which is why I support the movement to replace all incumbents in office with someone new.

  3. Adrienne alluded to one of the reasons the social gospel was abandoned by most conservative churches. A complaint went out that they needed to quit it—that not enough souls were being saved. Although I was not there at the time (meaning alive), I think it went something like this:

    “If we feed all these poor people, they’ll just be hungry again tomorrow and expect to be fed again. Sure, there is untold suffering here, but we are just flushing this money down the toilet because their needs never end. Maybe we should stop for a minute and look at it this way. Suffering here on Earth lasts for maybe 100 years tops. Suffering in Hell lasts for all eternity. So, would it not make sense to just let them suffer 100 years here and instead spend all this money on saving their souls for the life to come. Then, all of the rest of their existence, they will be happy and maybe thank us for it.

    Besides, and I think we ought to take a close look at this. Jesus himself, right here in the scriptures, says that the “poor will be with you always.” You see!!! Even the Man himself is telling us that they are a hopeless case. Well, if they are hopeless like He says, that means spending all of this money on them will ultimately do not good. It will not change anything for the better in the long run, and then all the money would be wasted and gone. Now, the Book of Proverbs teaches us to have good business sense and not waste our resources. Now, there’s another good argument in favor of stopping all this social gospel waste.”

    But they forgot one important thing. God makes it clear that the poor are to be helped anyway—regardless—and he makes no stipulations as to how it must be down, leaving that to us. But you know, I think God sometimes paints his pictures by the lost wax process—called negative painting. What if the obligation to help the least of these is not all about the least of these? What if it is also in some measure about us?

    When the AIDS virus arrived on the scene, the famous TV preachers rushed to the microphone to declare it as God’s vengeance on homosexuality—and the sick people were suddenly outcasts—upon whom God had inflicted punishment—and oh—it would be wrong to intervene in God’s affairs by offering help to these people.

    But here is the negative painting. What if God was not punishing the people with AIDS. What if AIDS were just a natural evolution of a simian virus that jumped to man and resulted in untold suffering. What if God cared deeply about that suffering? But what if God stopped and stepped back for just a brief moment and said to himself, “Wait a minute. I have all these bloated windbag preachers in apricot jackets running around claiming righteousness, and the people in their pews are puffed up just as much. Maybe what I would really like to do is see how these folks that claim to be MY PEOPLE (above all others) treat the least of these who have come down with AIDS. Will they do what my Son Jesus would have done, or will they instead show me their true colors. Let’s stop, observe, and test.”

    Life’s a bitch ain’t it.

  4. Hey Ed,
    The problem are those who believe they can leave everything up to the church, who don’t want any government involvement; there are too many in need for the problem to be covered by just the churches. Like the lack of affordable health care & those who fall between the cracks right here in TX, it’s clear we need help from the government too. Food stamps, programs for the poor, etc.

  5. Generally speaking, I am speaking of a situation whereby the buck gets passed around politically and nada gets done about the problems. One cannot claim to love God and yet help and support those folks who oppress the needy, the sick, the elderly, and yes, even the veterans who fought for our country.

    It should be a given and a no brainer that Christians support those who need it; that we share with ALL, including the world hunger issues etc. instead of calling people who want to help “believers in a stinking social gospel”……

    If Christians are quick to scream “liberal, bleeding heart,” because we care about social issues, social justice, their intent is clear. They need to reread the bible, and pay close attention to the words in red.

  6. Which is exactly why I saw to replace everyone in office today with new blood, with the understanding if they can’t do the job they are gone next.

  7. It’s Ez 16:49 not 16:14 with Sodom and her daughters 😉

  8. Hope it’s okay that I translated that into German, see here:
    http://www.endzeit-forum.de/index.php?page=Thread&postID=2903#post2903


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