Update: Be sure to read Bubba’s comment below, which, as usual, is better written than my post. Lots of great points, including this one:
As free human beings, we can certainly choose to emphasize temporary bread over the Bread of Life, but we have no business doing so in Jesus’ name.
The social gospel is just coveting disguised as religion — taking away from those who have “too much” and giving to those who have too little.
Taking other people’s money at the point of a gun (i.e., taxes) to fund your pet projects or what you think is “fair” is not charity. You might try to argue that it is good public policy, but to consider yourself generous for holding those views is mistaken. You won’t find support for that in the Bible, though you will find calls to give your own time and money.
The social gospel is poison. It doesn’t just crowd out the real Gospel, it is used as a substitute for it.
And it isn’t even effective at what it purports to do! It keeps people in bondage instead of really helping them.
Of course good deeds are important. But if you spread the real Gospel they come with the package. If you only spread the social gospel then you don’t have saved people or transformed lives. And in my experience and as validated by studies, the orthodox Christians do as much or more to help the poor than the liberals do. They just don’t talk about it as much and they do it with their own time and money.
The real Gospel is Christ crucified for our sins. If you want to improve the world then the best way is to share the real Gospel. That will transform people’s hearts, minds and behavior — for eternity.