Defining the terms as meant in this lesson:
Social - "of or relating to human society , the interaction of the individual and the group, or the welfare of human beings as members of society <social institutions>"
Gospel - "word of God, message, good news, teachings"
Examples of "social Gospel" would be using facilities, money, etc. to entertain a group or individual with the hope of bringing them to the Gospel. Social halls, gymnasiums, plays or concerts, friends days, etc. Anything that would make the goal to "make them comfortable, make them happy, etc. opposed to teach them the truth and that only being the means of evangelism).
An Example of "the Social Gospel":
The plea and methods of Willow Creek, the example church today for many. The members of Willow
Creek went into the surrounding neighborhoods and asked people, "Why do you not attend church?" The
response they received was fivefold: "(1) Churches are always asking for money, (2) church services
were boring and lifeless, (3) church services were predictable, (4) sermons were irrelevant to daily life in
the real world, (5) and the preacher made people feel guilty or ignorant, so they leave church feeling
worse than when they entered the doors." "A new kind of church! If hard pews, boring sermons and rusty hymns have zapped your interest in church, then you've been waiting (your church's name supplied). You'll find electric music, sizzling drama, powerful messages and high-voltage programs for everyone. A new kind of church - shocking, isn't it?"
"Its party time! Join us at North Park Church…., we are hosting a free BBQ and community carnival and, for the
adults, a special concert. We'll close the day with a short celebration service featuring a message from an NFL Pro
linebacker and a special puppet show for the kids. Please join us for this fun and exciting day…."
I. The approved method of evangelism
2. The Social Gospel is no where in the Bible. Therefore, it is another Gospel. What Does God say of that? Galatians 1:8-9 "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."
3. Notice Romans 10:8 (does it say anywhere in this verse we practice and teach a "Social Gospel?) "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach."
C. The word (not activities) brings salvation I Peter 1:23 "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."
D. The word is to be preached II Timothy 4:2-5 "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."
E. It is the word that must be received (not cake and ice cream or balloons and dart games) I Thessalonians 2:13 "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe."
C. If it is not of God, it is of man. Thus, it would not be the Gospel Galatians 1:10-12 "10. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. 11. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ."
B. The choice is ours, be followers of Christ or men. I have my preference just as did Peter Acts 5:29 "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men."
If you get them to the church by entertainment and the Social Gospel movement, you will have to keep that up. That is a far cry from what Jesus called worship John 4:24! The "Social Gospel" movement is a slap in our Lord's face.
Copyright 2001 by Brian Yeager may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.