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The Social Gospel

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The Social Gospel

What is it and is it biblical?


“Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”

[John 18:36]


What is the Social Gospel


The social gospel is a name for the idea of reforming society or fixing social problems in the name of Christianity.  It involves trying to promote Christian values, usually without actually promoting Christ and His narrow road to heaven.  Many large “Christian” ministries are involved in this social gospel today.  Some of the leaders of these ministries tell their followers that it is the biblical responsibility of Christians to reclaim America for Christ, even though Jesus said His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36).  There are some serious biblical problems with the idea of this social gospel…


Unbiblical Unity:


One major problem with this social gospel is that unity among Christians and non-Christians is required.  It involves a unity of professing evangelical Christians with the unsaved at the expense of Biblical truth. Christians in some of these ministries are redefining what a Christian is, in order to allow Catholics and unsaved Protestants to be referred to as “fellow Christians” for the “greater good”.  That greater good often consists of uniting for some social cause or family values at the expense of warning the lost to flee God’s wrath. This corrupt unity would never have been so successful if not for the Charismatic/tongues movement sweeping Protestant and Catholic churches today.


There is a common thread of ecumenism in many so-called evangelical Christian ministries nowadays. Many ministries totally ignore the clear command of scripture to separate from fellowship with known unbelievers:


2Corinthians 6:14-17 – “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,”


As we see in the passage above, the apostle Paul made it very clear that we are not to be partners in ministry with people who pervert the Gospel by their own false gospels.


It is OK to spend time with Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormon’s, and Catholic apologists IF we are seeking to preach the true Gospel to them, BUT we dare not join them in some kind of ministry AND we certainly must warn others about them. But when professing Christian ministry leaders speak nothing but words of praise for men who preach false gospels, then it is very likely that these so-called Christians are just wolves in sheep’s clothing.


What is the calling of Christians?


Another problem with the social gospel is that Christians are not called to reform the existing government establishment.  They are of course called to preach repentance, to individuals, who may or may not be government workers. But Christ came to save sinners not governments.  He also never advocated overthrowing governments.  He advocated praying for government leaders and submission to them (as long as the authorities were not commanding Christians to violate the laws of God):


Romans 13:1 – “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”
1 Timothy 2:1 – “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”


Wrong focus:


If we focus on trying to change laws rather than on preaching the gospel (so that Christ will use our preaching to change men’s hearts), then we need to examine what we are doing. Our focus should be Christ and His future kingdom:


Ephesians 3:8 – “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ”


1 Corinthians 2:2 – “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”


Wrong Gospel:


Those who unite with unbelievers are often unbelievers themselves.  They may be very zealous in the pursuit of their causes because it is part of their “works-based” salvation plan:


Romans 10:2-3 – ” For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.”




If we as truly saved believers in Christ are preaching the uncompromising truth about man’s lostness to everyone around us, and not just to the “really bad” people, we will soon find that no one wants to be in league with us in the pursuit of righteousness if that righteousness is Christ’s righteousness and if that righteousness has this to say even about the supposedly “good people”:


Isaiah 64:6 – “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.


James 2:10 – “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”


Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”



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