Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Myth of the Social Gospel

The social gospel is a myth a boggy man in your closet. For 1500 years there was only one gospel. The social aspects of the gospel are part of a more holistic Christianity. If you find this concept foreign try reading the writings of the early church fathers.

After the Apostle Paul presented his understanding of the gospel to the church leaders in Jerusalem, the only thing they asked was that he continue to remember the poor (which he was already eager to do). Christians in Rome took it upon themselves to rescue newborns routinely abandoned in the city dumps, and it was Christians who finally succeeded in putting an end to the gladiatorial games.

And so it has gone on for almost 20 centuries Christians taking up the causes of the weak and oppressed. Christians led the fight to end slavery, first in Europe then in the United States. Christians led the fight for civil liberties. Christians are currently fighting slavery in India and Asia.

But in the last 500 or so years there is a growing movement among Christians (most predominately in the west) to separate the message of Jesus. They have developed a personal salvation plan, and tried to over look the rest of the message. Probably because it is easier to live a life of comfort, most likely because it politically suited their personal needs. I find this so sad because even a cursory reading of the gospels dispels this myth.

Jesus announced the start of his ministry in Luk 4:17 . Why did he say he had come?
Now I know what the greatest the greatest Bible expositors, commentators, and Theologians of modern generations say. They will tell you Jesus is speaking of the spiritually poor and spiritually blind, and those oppressed by sin. Which in and of itself is true but is only part of the message... When John the Baptist sends one of his followers to ask Jesus if he is “the one” What is Jesus reply? Luk 7:20
And look at Mat 25:31 through 46... This Jesus explaining how he will judge the world. See the same things crop up again and again, and again...
And as it that were not enough to make you wonder... Take a look at how Jesus spent his time here on earth. He was healing the physically sick, living the the physically poor, setting the those held physically captive free. Oh and the end of Jesus mission statement in Luk 4:19 "to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.” is a direct reference to jubilee Lev 25:10

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