Social Gospel

Many fundamentalists voice particular disapproval of the "social gospel," often identified with economic as well as theological liberalism. The Evangelicals seem to be the main antagonists against the social gospel. They decry that the mainline denominations are infiltrated with this evil liberality and the social gospel gained ascendancy as the good news was subordinated to good deeds. Evangelical Christianity reacted against the liberal Christian concentration of effort in this area of concern by non-involvement and anti-social behavior.

These antagonists say that they are sent to preach salvation, not society; evangelism, not economics; redemption, not reform; conversion, not culture; pardon, not progress; a new birth, not a new social order; regeneration, not revolution; revival not renovation; resurrection not resuscitation; a new creation, not a new organization; the gospel, not democracy; Christ, not civilization to be ambassadors, not diplomats. This puritan ignorance sounds like a manifesto of Babylon the Great and her pretense of righteousness in self seeking materialism and love of this world. Faith without works is as dead as these people. They are also the ones that deny the power of the holy spirit and think that salvation includes sanctification by doing nothing.

On account of our relationship of brotherhood, God teaches us never to do evil, but always good. And He also prescribes in what this doing good consists: in affording aid to those who are oppressed and in difficulty, and in bestowing food on those who are destitute. For God, since He is kind, wishes us to be a social animal.

Movements for social justice and efforts to aid the disenfranchised, the weak, and the poor have owed much to the work of Christians motivated by Biblical exhortation and example: the prophet's cry for justice and Jesus' relationship to the poor and outcast. Plans differ and strategies conflict, but the Biblical motive remains. The gospel is a social message, solemn and overpowering in its force; it is the proclamation of solidarity and brotherliness, in favor of the poor.
[114, 193, 220, 300, 326]

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