I picked this article up after church on Sunday, Pastor Gary Gilley nails it in this piece he wrote concerning the social gospel...
One of the important issues which the church has always had to
address is that of its role in society. In the Old Testament, the Lord
chose Abraham to be the father of a called-out race of people. Years
later, the Lord would establish the nation of Israel under the Mosaic
Covenant. Detailed laws and regulations were given to Israel at the
time including how that nation was to be governed, how poverty was to
be dealt with, how widows and orphans were to be helped and how
injustices were to be corrected. All of these matters were addressed
almost exclusively within the context of the nation of Israel, with
relatively minor concern for the surrounding nations. The Old Covenant
to be in force throughout Old Testament history until finally
superseded at the dawning of the church age in Acts 2 with the coming
of the Holy Spirit at the day of Pentecost. While the Jewish people and
the nation of Israel still retain a primary place in the plan of God,
and the Lord still has an eschatological plan for Israel, presently
we live in what is commonly called the church age. The church, which
functions as the chosen people of God for this age, is composed of
regenerate people of all nationalities. It is not a nation in an
official sense and has not been given laws by which a governmental
structure could function. The church, being the people of God
scattered throughout the globe, cannot possibly function as the nation
of Israel did during the Old Testament times.
Still, most recognize that Christians live as citizens not only of
heaven but also of earth and as a result have responsibilities
pertaining to life on this planet here and now. What those
responsibilities are and how they are to be worked out has been the
topic of much debate for almost 2000 years. The pendulum has swung at
times from total disinterest in this world to the idea that solving
social problems is the primary objective of the church.
With the advent of the internet and other rapid forms of
communication, a plethora of voices is weighing in on this issue.
Most recently the shift toward the social agenda has gained the upper
hand in most evangelical circles and is rapidly being given equal
status with the proclamation of the gospel message. As a matter of
fact, a two-tiered gospel has arisen composed of both the Great
Commission and the so-called Cultural Mandate. In this paper I want
to try to make some sense of all of this and draw a conclusion which I
believe is faithful to the New Testament program for the church. We
will begin with a glance at history.
continue reading here...
You can read part 2 of this article here