It is important to know some background of Karl Marx in order to understand the hidden agenda of the Social Gospel, because today, the churches are preaching “Liberation Theology” – a mixture of leftist politics and social action programs masquerading as a Gospel-inspired, Christ-promoting mission.
Left-wing politics and socialism trace their origins to Karl Marx, a Jew who was reared as a nominal Christian in the Protestant state church in Germany. He was the chief founder of two of the most powerful liberal movements in history – democratic socialism and revolutionary communism. He very early came to despise both Judaism and Christianity, and throughout his life he exhibited a violent hatred for God and humanity. As a student at the University of Berlin, Marx came under the spell of the liberal German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel. Marx accepted and applied Hegel’s reasoning by rejecting God’s revelation of beginning, end, and history.
In his book, Das Kapital [Capital], he claimed that history is a record of class struggle between the “haves” [rich] and the “have nots” [poor]. His goal was to usher in a perfect society by eliminating poverty, unemployment, and all the classes [the rulers, nobles, rich, middle class, and peasants] and thereby eliminate all the struggles. Socialism claims to seek equality and liberty for the people by helping to alleviate the poor by eliminating the greedy middle class and the oppression of the poor by the wealthy “capitalists” who owned the nation’s businesses and industries.
Socialism starts with the nationalization/confiscation/stealing of every means of production, the plants, factories, businesses, corporations, industries, farms, private property, natural resources, money, and banks—which all supposedly come under public ownership, that is, under the collective ownership of the nation. Socialism ends when all the wealth is redistributed evenly among society.
Poverty would be immediately ended because the vast recourses that are wasted by the rich and by private corporate/business profits would be redistributed to the poor by law. Karl Marx theorized that with capitalism gone, crime will also begin to disappear, for it is the vicious profit system that The major problem and flaw of this system is that socialism/communism does not bring equality to the people; it is really the concentration of power among a small, elite group of bureaucrats who control the wealth and resources of the nation while the majority of the population work like slaves to support the state. It brings not liberty but bondage under an all-powerful state that dominates the body and soul of the people. Between 1917 and 1991, over 100 million people in the former Soviet Union alone were murdered by means of forced starvation and wholesale execution by the brutal Communist regime. And ever since Communism overthrew the Nationalist government of China in 1949, they have executed over 40 million Chinese citizens. And these figures say nothing of the millions more who have died at the hands of the Communists in Vietnam, North Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Cuba, and numerous African nations.
The Origins of the Social Gospel.
The Social Gospel is the idea that the preaching of the Gospel can be better fulfilled through social activism and the promotion of societal change rather than the historical, God-appointed method of preaching Biblical doctrines.
Albrecht Ritschl [1822-1889] was an avid liberal German theologian who promulgated the false teaching that the work of the church is to attack social inequalities and to work toward the establishment of complete democracy, as opposed to bringing individuals to personal salvation through Christ. This is by definition the meaning of the Social Gospel.
According to Ritschel and to American “Social Gospellers” Harry Emerson Fosdick [1878-1969], Washington Gladden [1836-1918] and Shailer Matthews [1863 1941], Jesus had proclaimed a “Social Gospel.” And the task of the church was to implement the social gospel by social reform and political action. They preached the importance of persuading government to intervene in order to bring in perfect economic conditions. They spoke passionately of a new order [1000 years of peace on the earth before Christ comes] that would rest on the Christian principles of equal rights and democratic distribution of economic power. The Social Gospellers were all advocates of big government and became enthusiastic supporters of the programs of the social democrats in Europe and other liberals in America. Many turned to communism and socialism as the “Christian” solution to economic ills and social problems. Such prominent churchmen as Archbishop William Temple [1881-1944] of the Church of England were ardent socialists who worked to establish a perfect social order.
It is not surprising that religious liberals made common cause with political liberals and social revolutionaries. Liberal Christianity today, as represented by the National and World Councils of Churches, continues to actively support the worldwide socialist revolution both philosophically and financially, calling it “Liberation Theology” or “Social Justice.”
Doctrine Divides / Social Gospel Unites.
When the ecumenical movement, as expressed in the World Council of Churches or the National Council of Churches, begins to discard and undermine the doctrinal truths of the faith as a basis for unity, something else is substituted in place of Bible truth so there can be a basis on which to unite. And what the ecumenical movement has substituted in place of the truth as a basis of unity has been charity. But their understanding of charity is to take up a wide variety of social, secular, political, and revolutionary causes. Whenever the church opts for social/political activism instead of preaching its historical/fundamental truths, the end result always lead to the secularization, the “de-Christianization,” and the “de-Adventization” of the church. Satan wins when the church replaces its original, historical work of preaching the truth of the three angels’ messages and decides on advocating political, material, secular, liberal, human interests. These new ideas within Adventism are heresies disguised as an angel of light [2 Cor. 11:14].