Tag Archives: social gospel

The “social gospel” vs. the real Gospel

False teachers must not read the Bible, or they are so jaded that they pretend that they can be Leopard Theologians and just pick the spots they like.  Those who preach a “social gospel” should know that by definition they are now accursed:

Galatians 1:8–10 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

That seems pretty clear.  Preaching a gospel of one’s choosing isn’t just a little different, it is the opposite and a profoundly bad thing.  People like Jim Wallis who say that “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” are mocking this passage.

Yes, the real Gospel will lead to all sorts of good deeds.  But the good deeds aren’t the Gospel.  If you tell people that they must be good to be saved, that’s the bad news, not the good news, because we will always fail.  Without Christ, our good deeds are like polluted garments to God (Isaiah 64:6).

The real Gospel is Jesus dying for our sins and rising from the dead.  If we focus on sharing that, then transformed lives and cultures will follow and you’ll get all sorts of authentically good deeds.

1 Corinthians 15:1–11 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

So if you really want to improve the world, share the real Gospel.

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Pastor Ed Young’s rant against Reformed theology

Note: This isn’t about the pros and cons of Reformed theology, so save those comments.  This is about using proper arguments.

Ed Young, a mega-church pastor, gave a rant against Reformed theology in this clip. This is a classic example of straw-man (putting words in the mouth of your opponents) and ad hominem (attacking the person instead of the argument) fallacies.

This was bad on many levels.  There wasn’t one biblical argument made and no examples of refuting anything Reformed people actually claim.

The “You’re putting God in a box” line could by used by both sides, which means it proves nothing.  He pretends that people actually say they have “God in a box.”  He makes plenty of claims about God, so it seems hypocritical of him to make this claim.  And God has revealed at least part of himself in scripture.  If he thinks we’ve misinterpreted it, then he should explain why.  But by Young’s definition, anyone claiming to know anything about God would be guilty of “putting him in a box.”

Young’s practices are so bad that he regularly shows up on anti-heresy sights.  I’ve seen clips of him using creepy high-pressure giving tactics.  He promoted his sex book by being on a bed on the roof of his church with his wife (does he even know the rooftop story about David’s son Absolam?).

He says Reformed people are mean-spirited?!  Has he listened to his own message?

He makes nonsensical statements about the Reformed people being focused on fashion when he is the one who put on a fashion show.

He says the Reformed folks are pushing the social gospel?!  In my experience, I haven’t come across one Reformed person guilty of that.  They are usually the first to criticize it.

Despite what he says, we don’t claim to know who the elect are and we certainly don’t ignore the non-elect.  From one of the YouTube comments:

Calvinists never reach people with the Gospel? Tell that to Edwards, Whitefield, Spurgeon, Sproul, Pink, Packer, Carey, Bunyan, Owen, and others like them.

Ed says he baptized lots of people.  So what?  Ed thinks he is reaching people, but how can he be sure he isn’t just making false converts?

He says his critics are pajama-wearing basement bloggers?  Sure.  Then he says he doesn’t have time to call names.

If you have time, listen to James White’s analysis here.  Young is obviously feeling very threatened.  White concedes that perhaps Young was offended by some inexperienced Reformed people who should be “caged” until they mature.  But even then Young’s comments were still fact-free.

People like him make me even more Reformed.

If you like small chunks of heresy . . .

You can follow false teacher Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” Currie on Twitter — see Social Gospel Christianity In 140 Characters.  My guess is that false teacher Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” Wallis has an account as well.

The “social gospel” folks are a self-parody, as they are nearly all pro-legalized abortion.  Chuck and Jim would have rather seen their Obamacare dream fail than support the Stupak Amendment, which would have banned taxpayer-funded abortions.  Meditate on that: Their definition of “social gospel” doesn’t just include keeping abortion legal, it means increasing abortions.

I’ve also noticed that the social gospel types don’t present the real Gospel.

Here’s a contest: Who can come up with the best Tweet (140 characters or less) critiquing the hypocrisy of the “social gospel” crowd?  Buzzkill alert: It is one of those contests where the only prize is the satisfaction of winning.  The ruling of the judge is final must be present on the Internet to win etc. etc.

Here are some samples (you don’t have to include the words “social gospel,” I just had room for them:

Social gospel: Congratulating yourself for taking from neighbor A by force to make neighbor B more covetous & comfortable on his way to Hell

Social gospel: Recklessly borrowing from future generations to kill part of future generations via taxpayer-funded abortion

Or state the real Gospel in 140 characters or less:

Jesus died for your sins and rose again.  Repent & believe and have joy, forgiveness and eternal life.

Yet another passage that theological Liberals ignore or don’t understand

I often point out how false teachers abuse scripture to advance their religion-disguised-as-politics agenda.  Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” Wallis likes to point out how there are over 2,000 verses about money in the Bible.  That may be true, but it doesn’t mean he understands them.  False teachers like him and Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” Currie think that Jesus taught to ask “Caesar” (i.e., the government) to borrow from others to give away in the name of the oh-so-generous false teachers.

Here’s another verse they ignore or don’t understand, courtesy of  The Servility of the Religious Left « runlevel five(pointer).

The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender. Proverbs 22:7 English Standard Version

Chuck Currie and the United Church of Christ want to make a lot more slaves. In fact, if they have their way,  the entire nation will become further enslaved to foreign lenders, by insisting that we continue to raise the debt ceiling. Moreover, in response to calls for increased fiscal responsibility, they are demanding an increase in taxes.

The problem is, Currie is not alone in his views. He is joined by a host of other advocates for fiscal irresponsibility that reaches the level of forced servitude for the American people. Such deluded individuals consider spending beyond our means as a nation a good thing. Even elected officials such as Pete Stark go so far to say that the bigger our national debt, the wealthier we are.

Currie should know better. What is truly alarming is his willingness to sacrifice future generations, including his two children, on the altar of the idol of Entitlements and the long-discredited Social Gospel.

Indeed, people who can’t vote or haven’t been born yet will be saddled with the debt that these false teachers advocated in the name of Christ.  Just as God points out in Proverbs, they will be slaves to their lenders.  But at least the borrowers Solomon had in mind were directly responsible for their actions.  No one borrowed in their name and without their approval.

Worse yet, the false teachers’ use of the borrowings is nearly always counterproductive.  It is lose-lose with these guys.

Works without faith: Just as dead

bible.jpgThis passage always seems to get people into discussion mode:

James 2:14-26 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

 The key to the understanding is on the equivocation with the word “faith.”  In the “faith without deeds [or works] is dead” line, “faith” is inauthentic faith.

Said another way, real faith will lead to real works – i.e., good works done for God’s glory.  Inauthentic faith will lead to no works or works done for self-glorification.  Either way, inauthentic faith isn’t faith at all.

But if you do good works but don’t have genuine faith, then you are just as spiritually dead, because the works aren’t really “good.”  They are done for your glory and not for God’s.  Works without faith is just as dead.

Romans 3:10-11 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.Romans 3:23-24 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

But there is good news!

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 10:9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Real faith is acting as if what you say you believe is really true (I think I’m paraphrasing Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason there).