On March 16th, Jeff Maples posted an article about how the church is moving towards a social gospel model, away from the gospel put forth by Jesus and the apostles. The social gospel never saved anyone from their sin. It may save them from hunger, physical harm, and many other dangers and tragedies they may face but it will not save them from eternal damnation.
This morning in my Twitter feed, I saw this article posted by Christianity Today. It is about a petition written and signed by one hundred of the top Evangelical leaders (the list of leaders is at the bottom of the article) in regards to President Trump’s cutting of foreign aid in his budget plan. In it is this quote:
“As followers of Christ, it is our moral responsibility to urge you to support and protect the International Affairs Budget, and avoid disproportionate cuts to these vital programs that ensure that our country continues to be the ‘shining city upon a hill,’” they stated.
Later on I noticed this tweet from false teacher Rachel Held Evans:
Worth noting that in Matthew 25, God judges the NATIONS by how they treat "the least of these." It's not a passage about personal charity. https://t.co/uCVbC6iwS6
— Rachel Held Evans (@rachelheldevans) March 17, 2017
In her interpretation of Matthew 25:31-40, the Great Judgment, nations will be judged as a whole. That is not what the context means by the word “nations”. “Nations” simply means everyone who ever lived on the earth, just read a little bit further. If it didn’t then could people who immigrated to this country when it is judged for its wickedness say, “Hey, I wasn’t born there. I just lived there for a while. Can I go back to Canada and receive their judgment instead? They didn’t seem as wicked as the US.” If a nation is judged as a whole, will the saved, the sheep, be grouped with the unsaved, the goats, of any particular nation when that nation is judged as a whole? Nations are judged for the collective sin of the individuals, like Israel was in the OT because they did not obey God’s Law and whored after other gods. We will be judged individually and separated, the sheep from the goats. Ms. Evans, not surprisingly, misuses and twists the meaning of the text to suit her agenda.
In addition to this, Evans again quotes scripture out of context, this time Ezekiel 16:49:
Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.
At first read it may seem that Sodom’s sin was not attending to the needs of the poor and needy. Sodom’s sin was pride in their wealth and ignoring the needs of the poor and needy was a bad work, if you will, that was a result of their pride.
What are they saying really? That it is the US government’s responsibility to do the work of the church. Christians and the church are to be the “shining city upon a hill.” It is not the US government or any national government that is to be the shining light upon the hill, and we as Christians cannot force it upon them. There is no such thing as “third party sanctification” or being sanctified vicariously through the works of one’s government. We would not be able to stop all hunger in the world. What did Jesus say to his disciples Mark 14:7:
For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me.
The political side to consider is that we probably have been sending these countries food and money for years. Who gets it all? Whoever has the most guns in that country at the moment and they don’t care about the people whom they are oppressing. Keeping it from the populace enables them to solidify their control.
The church at her heart is more like a grassroots movement. Our primary mission is to spread the gospel, make disciples of men (and women) and baptize them in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is not our mission to focus solely on social gospel issues, when we do we go off mission. We are sojourners in this world, not of this world, so we should not concern ourselves with what the government does or does not do unless it is in direct violation with the Law of God, such as legalized abortion. We are to obey our Lord in working out our salvation and sanctification, and not to expect whatever country we live in to do our good works for us. I am not advocating neglecting to feed the hungry and clothe the needy. We are to take care of their most important need which is to hear the gospel preached and tend to their earthly needs as well. It will not do them any good to fill their belly and give them clothes and shelter, and neglect their greatest need, the good news of our Risen Savior, Jesus Christ.
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” –Matthew 28-16-20
[Contributed by Michael Hall]
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