Social Gospel and the Resurrection

Ya’ hang around bad theology long enough and you’ll adopt it.  It’s as simple as that.  And many people you’d otherwise respect in prominent evangelical and “mainstream” Christendom are leading the pack.  Today’s Social Gospel preachers are turning a culturally relevant theology into a culturally based theology. 

What’s the difference, you ask? 

A culturally relevant Gospel is a God-glorifying, Resurrection-based, evangelically motivated, historically preserved, and socially concerned Gospel promoting good works to a culture from a Christian’s changed heart. 

The Social Gospel is culturally based Its aim is an increasingly perfect world by glorifying man’s innate motivations and abilities.  The Word of Truth in a Social Gospel becomes subservient to relative truth (i.e. what’s true for you and what’s true for me are different things).  The necessity of man’s improving social circumstances betrays a belief that God isn’t actually real and Christ isn’t needed.  We’re all we’ve got and that’s enough.  

The two gospels (the Gospel of Jesus Christ versus the Social Gospel) are markedly different to the discerning mind because they are founded on different views of the Truth.  But, God doesn’t evaluate our world and our actions the way we do.  

A case in point: The hysteria regarding the US non-participation in the Paris Climate Accord. Where’s God–especially among the countries pushing for it?  To some, we’ve abandoned the world and condemned it to death.  Mankind is going to perish completely unless we find technologies to make Mars livable for when the Earth is not.  This is not what the Bible teaches. 

According to the Bible, when the Earth goes, Mars goes. God is still sovereign and the only thing left when it’s “Game Over” is … what you did with Christ.

A Social Gospel is being preached in plenty of churches these days.  They’re preaching racism and refugees more than Christ’s Resurrection; injustice more than the One who justifies; relative truth versus Jesus as “the Way, the Truth, and the Life;” and an the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it consequence of climate change and politics versus the “end of the world” because frankly, God promised it (2 Peter 3:11-13).

In a Social Gospel, there is a blending of Christianity with multi-cultural awareness until it becomes genuine syncretism (a theological smoothie of many religions), and adopting a chameleon gospel that changes with its political surroundings—all of this is way too easy and really, really wrong.

To that kind of mentality among the Resurrection-deniers, the Apostle Paul tells the church at Corinth,

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”  Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God– I say this to your shame. (1 Corinthians 15:33-34)

To Social Gospel proponents, we must ask “What Does It Mean to Be Resurrected?”  Resurrection is both the Gospel’s turning point and the determinant of humanity’s future.  This Earth will perish—it’s supposed to. 

As good environmental stewards, we won’t hasten its demise, but eternal life requires Resurrection and a New Earth.  The Kingdom of God isn’t better health care while nurturing Mother Earth, or colonizing Mars just to be safe.  The Kingdom of God in the hearts of believers displays sacrificial service until Jesus’ return.  Then there will be a New Heaven and a New Earth just as Jesus promised. 

This is the Gospel that the Apostle Paul talks about to those of his day:  Galatians 1:6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.

How do we get through to many evangelical, Protestant, and Catholic leaders of our day?  How can we show them the seductiveness of exchanging exclusive truth of the Gospel for a worldly facsimile, just enough off to become corrupt?  To become a different gospel? 

The truth is the Resurrection changed everything now and forever. In the future, we don’t need a Social Gospel and we don’t need Mars to live. 
What do we need to live?  We need Jesus whose Resurrection paved the way for ours.  And that’s the Gospel truth.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on June 4, 2017

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