This Biblical Christianity website encourages people to know and to live, God’s Word; thus enabling us to live now as God intended for us to live, and preparing us for eternal life in God’s kingdom.
Site Navigation:This left-column outline contains links to website pages and sources pertaining to helping the Body of Christ gain the potential for which God designed it. The menu below pages down to the individual sections of this outline from which you can navigate to other web pages. There is a fourth level to some of the third level or decimal elements of this outline that is hidden, to view this level click on the symbol in the outline; to hide the fourth level, double-click upon it (I found out, the last time I checked, that Mozilla's Firefox browser doesn't support this fourth level expansion feature, sorry).
The title of this article is not intended to imply that the whole Church has been deceived, but that a great majority of those who claim to be Christians have been. The Bible places the whole population of this world in three categories: (1) the Church or Body of Christ; (2) Israel; and (3) the remaining gentiles or unbelievers. "Do not let yourselves be [hindrances by giving] an offense to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God [do not lead others into sin by your mode of life]"; (1 Cor. 10:32). At the present time God is dealing primarily with the Church and the unbelieving world, and makes a clear distinction between them, "This is what I command you: that you love one another. If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you belonged to the world, the world would treat you with affection and would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world [no longer one with it], but I have chosen (selected) you out of the world, the world hates (detests) you. Remember that I told you, A servant is not greater than his master [is not superior to him]. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word and obeyed My teachings, they will also keep and obey yours. But they will do all this to you [inflict all this suffering on you] because of [your bearing] My name and on My account, for they do not know or understand the one Who sent Me" (John 15:17-21).
Whenever God starts something, Satan immediately attempts to infiltrate, corrupt, weaken, and eventually destroy (ICWD) it. Shortly after God created all that is, the enemy began his ICWD plan; you can read about it in the third chapter of Genesis. As soon as Jesus began His earthly ministry, the enemy unsuccessfully tried his ICWD plan on Him (Lk. 4:1-13); and as soon and since Jesus established The Church, Satan has been aggressively using his ICWD plan to infiltrate, corrupt, and weaken, with an intense desire to destroy it.
Satan infiltrates our lives, and the Church by injecting his distortions and contradictions of God’s Word, sometimes indirectly by using others and sometimes directly by injecting these thoughts into our thinking process. When or if we accept them as being true, he has successfully corrupted our understanding of God’s Word and weakened our ability to withstand his future attacks, and thus, our lives are endangered or put in jeopardy.
One of the tools or methods of the ICWD plan that Satan has successfully used is the So-called "Social Gospel." There is no Biblical "social gospel" only The Gospel; the social gospel is the invention of man. While there are many Christians, from the time of Christ to the present, that were and are involved in social work as individuals, it is not a legitimate Biblical function of the Church; it is not found anywhere in the New Testament that the Lord instituted or commanded the Church to attempt to change or improve worldly conditions, only individuals. The Biblical function of the Church is to, "Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days ( perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be)" (Matt. 28:19-20).
There is no Biblical precedent for Christians dialoging with the world or the world’s religions in an attempt to reach a consensus with them, and certainly not to compromise God’s Word in an attempt to be acceptable to them. All the world’s religions are wrong and should be avoided completely, and the Roman Catholic church is one of them, they have nothing to contribute to Biblical Christianity; dialoging with them only leads to compromising the integrity of God’s Word and degrades and dishonors God. Witnessing to individuals, no matter what their persuasion, is right and good, but we will never be able to change a false religion or the world by dialoging with them, it can only lead to being corrupted or persecuted by them. Biblical Christianity is much more than a religion, it is the establishing of an intimate relationship with God through repentance and faith in the redeeming sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary, and this is the one and only way that we can receive this forgiveness and reconciliation with God. Religion is merely the way we express ourselves in our relationship with God and other Christians.
People who believe that the Bible includes a social gospel, confuse the acts of local church members toward other believers in their community; this is not an effort to change or improve the local community, but to help Christian individuals in the community, or well-known Christians in other communities. This is not to say that Christians shouldn’t be involved in trying to improve the community as an individual, which may, if a person stays within Biblical guidelines, be a legitimate function of citizens; but it is not a legitimate Biblical function of the Church! Jesus has called the Church out of the world, and has instructed us to not be overly involved with the world, "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers [do not make mismated alliances with them or come under a different yoke with them, inconsistent with your faith]. For what partnership have right living and right standing with God with iniquity and lawlessness? Or how can light have fellowship with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and Belial [the devil]? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? What agreement [can there be between] a temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in and with and among them and will walk in and with and among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. [Ex. 25:8; 29:45; Lev. 26:12; Jer. 31:1; Ezek. 37:27.] So, come out from among [unbelievers], and separate (sever) yourselves from them, says the Lord, and touch not [any] unclean thing; then I will receive you kindly and subtly you with favor, [Isa. 52:11.] and I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty" (2 Cor. 6:14-18).
Christians who get involved with the social gospel usually start out with very good intentions, but to include and work with unbelievers and false religions in this endeavor is in direct violation of the above Scripture, and is the beginning of the many compromises that they will eventually make, as they find it necessary in order to continue their association with unbelievers. Most Christians who get involved this way seem totally unaware of how terribly degrading and dishonoring their actions are of God and His Word; without realizing it they are doing the same thing that King Jehoiakim of Israel did, "So the king sent Jehudi to get the scroll, and he took it out of the chamber of Elishama the scribe. And Jehudi read it in the hearing of the king and of all the princes who stood beside the king. Now it was the ninth month, and the king was sitting in the winter house, and a fire was burning there before him in the brazier. And [each time] when Jehudi had read three or four columns [of the scroll], he [King Jehoiakim] would cut them off with a penknife and cast them into the fire that was in the brazier, until the entire scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the brazier. Yet they were not afraid, nor did they rend their garments--neither the king, nor any of his servants who heard all these words" (Jer. 36:21-24). This kind of behavior gradually erodes our confidence in the Bible and ends up giving no more significance to the Word of God than to the writings of the false religions; thus, tearing out page by page God’s Word of truth and trashing it until there is nothing left but a false gospel – you will see examples of this in Tom McMahon’s article at the end of this page.
This sort of behavior is the result of Satan’s ICWD plan to gradually and subtly infiltrate or inject (I) this kind of thinking into our mind; thus compromising and corrupting (C) God’s Word; which weakens (W) it so as to render it uneffective; with the hope of destroying (D) it altogether. God always objected and disciplined the nation of Israel whenever they looked to the heathen nations around them for help – He will do the same thing with His Church!
The following is from the Dictionary of American History | 2003 |
SOCIAL GOSPEL was a movement led by a group of liberal Protestant progressives in response to the social problems raised by the rapid industrialization, urbanization, and increasing immigration of the Gilded Age. The social gospel differentiated itself from earlier Christian reform movements by prioritizing social salvation over individual salvation. Although the ministers and activists of the social gospel based their appeals on liberal theology, which emphasized the immanence of God and the doctrine of Incarnation and valued good works over creeds, they usually showed more interest in social science than in theology. Believing that laissez-faire capitalism's understanding of labor as a commodity and its sole reliance on mechanisms of supply and demand to determine wages and allocate resources was un-Christian, social gospel advocates supported the labor movement and called for an interventionist welfare state. They differed from secular activists in that their ultimate vision was not just a more equitable balance of power within society, but a Christianized society in which cooperation, mutual respect, and compassion replaced greed, competition, and conflict among social and economic classes. Despite all of their efforts to reach the working class and to cooperate with the labor movement, though, the social gospel failed to reach far beyond its middle-class liberal Protestant milieu. Ultimately, the greatest achievement of the social gospel was to prepare the ground of middle-class America for progressivism.
Washington Gladden was the first person to formulate the ideas of the social gospel. After failing to have the definite conversion experience required by his family's orthodox Calvinist faith, Gladden discovered liberal theology. His editorial work with the liberal journal the Independent and his ministry in several urban churches wracked by labor conflict solidified his liberalism and his concern for the plight of labor. By the mid-1880s, Gladden's name drew audiences across the country to hear his calls for bargaining rights for labor, a shorter work week, factory inspections, inheritance taxation, and regulation of natural monopolies. His charismatic presence, along with his comforting theological exposition of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, made these ideas, radical at the time, more palatable to his middle-class audiences. Gladden never endorsed socialism, but hoped for a gradual evolution toward a cooperative social order. Although he did write several theological treatises, including Applied Christianity (1887) and Social Salvation (1901), Gladden's thought relied more on social ethics and reform than on Christian theology.
If Gladden reveals the social gospel's tendencies to reduce Christianity to a system of social ethics, Richard Ely calls attention to the movement's international influences. Ely was a member of a cohort of social scientists who received their academic training in Germany and who regarded the social welfare legislation of the German Empire with great interest. Ely began his career by studying with German historical economists such as Karl Knies, who rejected neoclassical economics and called for economists to attend to differing cultural and historical contexts. As the principal founder of the American Economic Association and a professor at the social science centers of Johns Hopkins and the University of Wisconsin, Ely advocated the application of Christian social ethics to the discipline of economics. In his economic writings, Ely supported such major revisions to the economic order as public ownership of natural monopolies, factory inspections, and consumer protection.
By the mid-1890s, the social gospel had the support of multiple denominations and a strong foothold in interdenominational organizations. The Episcopal church, which had strong ties to English Christian socialism, the Congregational church, which boasted Gladden and social gospel leader Josiah Strong as members, and a small minority within the Baptist Church were the denominational leaders of the social gospel. The social gospel was particularly prominent within interdenominational organizations. The Interdenominational Congress and the Evangelical Alliance evolved into organs of the social gospel, and social Christianity frequently occupied the podium at the Parliament of Religions at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. Beginning in the 1890s, some social gospel ministers, including Gladden, traveled south with the American Missionary Association to address the plight of southern blacks. Gladden and Walter Rauschenbusch both denounced racial inequality and lynching and explicitly extended the brotherhood of man to include African Americans. However, the primary geographic and intellectual focus of the movement remained the cities of industrial America.
In the early twentieth century, the social gospel found its intellectual leader in Rauschenbusch. A theologian, Rauschenbusch's social gospel career began while he was the minister of a German Baptist congregation in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York City. His witness of urban poverty sparked his passion for social Christianity, and after his eleven years of ministry, he became the theologian of the social gospel. In Christianity and the Social Crisis (1907), Christianizing the Social Order (1912), and A Theology for the Social Gospel (1917), Rauschenbusch united German pietistic evangelicalism, theological liberalism, and social Christianity by connecting the Kingdom of God to social salvation. For Rauschenbusch, the Kingdom of God lay in the unknown future, but was latent in the present and active in moments of crisis and change. The Church's and the Christian's role was to enunciate the Kingdom, to find it in the present, and to look to the future with a vision of the Kingdom as one's fulfillment and end. Rauschenbusch accepted a gradualist, Fabian version of socialism. He denounced what he saw as the evils of capitalism and gave his support to workers, but never joined the Socialist Party.
The social gospel reached its zenith in the decade before World War I. In 1908, the Federal Council of Churches, a federation representing thirty-three Protestant denominations, came into being and immediately adopted the social creed of the churches, which affirmed labor's rights to unionize and to bargain collectively. The Men and Religion Forward Movement, an interdenominational campaign that challenged men and boys to devote themselves to Christian social reform, was founded in 1911. An expanding YMCA, the development of institutional churches, and the social direction of the Religious Education Association, which oversaw Sunday-school education, expanded the reach of social Christianity. The social gospel's indirect connection to progressive activist Jane Addams further benefited the movement by drawing attention to the cause of urban social reform. Addams was not, strictly speaking, a member of the social gospel; she did not use the language of social Christianity, and she maintained a skeptical attitude toward the churches, which offered her little financial support. However, her work as a settlement house founder and social activist made her a symbol of the social gospel in action. Hull House workers joined social gospel activists in lobbying for urban housing improvements, shorter working hours, better working conditions for women, unemployment insurance, and against prostitution and other forms of urban vice.
Most members of the social gospel supported World War I, which they saw as a chance to Christianize society and international politics. The Senate's rejection of U.S. participation in the League of Nations and the revelation of the horrors of the war destroyed the cultural optimism that had been the social gospel's emotional foundation. The social gospel persisted through the 1920s, mostly through pacifist and ecumenical organizations. Yet the majority of American Protestants, who remained socially and theologically conservative, had begun to withdraw their support. Fundamentalism, which began its struggle for denominational power in the 1920s, articulated the growing distrust of the liberal theology behind the social gospel. Fundamentalists did not object to Christian social concern, but to the social gospel's prioritization of social salvation over Christ's regeneration of individual souls. The social gospel, fundamentalists claimed, valued Christian faith only for its inspiration of social action. Furthermore, liberal theology's overemphasis on God's immanence in human society had made God an almost irrelevant component in a largely human project of social reform. As the fundamentalist fight against liberalism and modernism became more strident, fundamentalists identified all social Christianity with the liberal social gospel and associated Christianity with social conservatism.
In the 1930s, neo-orthodox theology, which originated with the work of Swiss theologian Karl Barth, formed a second major critique of the social gospel. Barth emphasized the transcendental nature of God and the apostolic message of scripture, and criticized liberal theology's willingness to alter Christianity to fit the needs of the middle class, modern scholarship, and social reform. Along with his fellow theologians Paul Tillich and H. Richard Niebuhr, Reinhold Niebuhr expanded Barth's critique of the social gospel. Reinhold Niebuhr took the social gospel to task for its optimism, inattention to human sinfulness, and avoidance of political conflict. In the early 1930s, Niebuhr called for a social Christianity that possessed a more realistic understanding of power structures and human sinfulness and based its appeal on a deep, biblical faith instead of utopian visions. A new, more politically realistic social gospel did develop in the 1930s, as the changing political mood gave a more radical branch of social Christianity the opportunity to express itself. However, World War I, the growth of Protestant political conservatism, and the critiques of neo-orthodoxy divided the social Christianity of the 1930s from its progressive-era precursor. End of quote from the Dictionary of American History.
To see some of the present-day results of Satan’s ICWD plan in his use of the social gospel, click on this link to The Shameful Social Gospel at The Berean Call website. About half way through Tom’s article you will find a link to a YouTube video showing Rick Warren’s involvement in a Tony Blair Faith Foundation forum with some of the world’s false religious leaders discussing their plans to work together to solve the world’s problems. This is a perfect example of how Satan is using groups like this to establish his one-world government. Rick Warren uses a three-legged stool to explain his plan to solve the world’s problems; one leg represents help from the governments of the world, the second leg represents help from world businesses, and the third leg represents help from the world’s religions – exactly what Satan is in process of doing, and will accomplish in the near future. Make sure you are not a part of it!
To see an extensive list of Satan’s tools, technics, schemes and devices, see our website page entitled, Satan’s Vast Network Of Deception & Opposition.