The English term “evangelize” is derived from the Greek term εὐαγγελίζω. Christians use the term “evangelize” to describe the Christ-mandated action of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with others: His atoning death for sin, His burial, His resurrection, and His impending return. Literally, to evangelize is to share the good news. In fact, the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον, which is translated to English as “gospel” means good news. That’s what the gospel is, it’s the good news. By its nature it can’t be anything else. The effect of the gospel is broad and yet simple: the world is saved from the deleterious effects of sin. Individual believers who accept the gospel message are saved from the wrath of God. They are redeemed from their sin and proclaimed righteous in Jesus Christ. They are citizens of a heavenly kingdom and will live with their Lord in a renewed Heaven and Earth.
That renewed creation has not yet come. Until it does, the creation groans. Poverty and injustice remain ever-present in a fallen world. Thus the temptation to turn the good news of Jesus Christ into a message of social renewal in the current world remains an ever-present tool of the devil, especially as society becomes more dedicated to the unbiblcal notions of humanism, scientism, evolutionism, and cultural marxism. This perversion of the gospel is known as the “social gospel.” Unfortunately, it is getting more and more popular among professing evangelicals and their institutions. As broader evangelicalism takes a leftward turn towards advocating social justice, observers can expect to see its book-sellers and conference speakers turn with it.
America’s most popular Bible teacher, Beth Moore, may have just veered in that leftward direction:
When the gospel has become bad news to the poor, to the oppressed, to the broken-hearted and imprisoned and good news to the proud, self-righteous and privileged instead, it is no longer the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
— Beth Moore (@BethMooreLPM) December 9, 2018
Beth Moore’s exasperating comment carries with it a heavy “social gospel” undertone. The irony of her statement is that she has long made a living partnering with those who pervert the gospel in an entirely different direction. Beth Moore has long been a friend to Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Christine Caine and others who preach that Jesus came and died to make people rich. Now, the well heeled Moore, seems to be preaching against privilege.
Pastors and the husbands of Beth Moore’s legions of fans would do well to refamiliarize themselves with the words the Lord Jesus Christ read from the scriptures when he proclaimed his Messianic anointing to his hometown synagogue:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are oppressed,
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”
Jesus came neither to make individuals materially wealthy (the prosperity gospel) nor to evenly distribute the wealth of earthly societies (the social gospel). Jesus came to save us from our sins. The further we get away from that, (the true gospel) the further we get away from His Father.
*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.
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