Tag Archives: The Social Gospel

Bill Lockwood: True Religion Results in Free-Will Giving: Not Jizya or Socialistic Forcible Taxation & Redistribution

by Bill Lockwood

By speaking of the reign of Solomon (970-931 B.C.), which was a foreshadowing of Christ’s kingdom, the Psalmist in chapter 72 depicts the expansive coming reign as being from “sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth” (72:8). During this reign of the Messiah the kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts (10).

Charles Spurgeon, the matchless commentator on the Psalms, observed at these verses,

…true religion leads to generous giving; we are not taxed in Christ’s dominions, but we are delighted to offer freely to him… This free-will offering is all Christ and his church desire; they want to forced levies and distraints [to seize by distress], let all men give of their own free will, kings as well as commoners; …

Free will offerings. This is the only giving known in the New Testament. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 9:7 “Let each man do according as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly, nor of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver.” For this reason, Paul writes the letter and encourages by persuasion the churches to freely give. How beautiful is this precedent compared to other systems and man-made religions and systems!

Compare Giving to Islamic Jizya

Mohammed absolutely established that people of other religious persuasions must pay a poll tax to Muslims called the jizya. This was specifically that they might recognize they were inferior to Muslims. “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians), until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued” (Koran 9:29).

From the religionofpeace.com website:

Traditionally the collection of the jizya occurs at a ceremony that is designed to emphasize the subordinate status of the non-Muslim, where the subject is often struck in a humiliating fashion. M.A. Khan recounts that some Islamic clerics encouraged tax collectors to spit into the mouths of Hindu dhimmis during the process. He also quotes the popular Sufi teacher, Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi:

The honor of Islam lies in insulting the unbelief and the unbelievers (kafirs). One who respects kafirs dishonors Muslims… The real purpose of levying the Jizya on them is to humiliate them… [and] they remain terrified and trembling.

The jizya (or extortion) is one of the main cornerstones of the entire system of Islam. It institutionalizes forever the fact that, in the eyes of Muslims, non-Muslims have an inferior status in Muslim nations.

Another example is this that there is no way to live peaceably with Islam. Where it has dominated a culture, it has exacted a forcible toll on all non-Muslim peoples throughout the centuries—without exception. As it develops and engulfs a culture, Islam is designed to extinguish all Kafir civilizations. It is but a reflection of Mohammed himself who did not stop the conquering of Arabia until 100% of his demands were met.

This is just one example that demonstrates that Islam is not a religion of God, depending upon thoughtful reasoning and persuasion by argumentation; but a man-made totalitarian system relying solely upon force. When one comes out of the dank dungeon of Islam, and stands upon the mountaintops of Christianity, he is able to breathe the clean fresh air of a religion of the heart whose founder, Jesus Christ, never used violence or force to subjugate man, but died on the cross for the sins of the world.

Compare Giving to Socialism or Social Justice

Social Justice is not simply doing humanitarian acts of kindness as Buckley and Dobson suppose in Humanitarian Jesus: Social Justice and the Cross. “The Social Gospel asks Christians to be concerned and invested in the world around them” (p. 42). The authors suggest that the entire issue is about whether first to give a tract or a sandwich to those in need? (p. 43) This is ignorance as to what is social justice or socialism.

The great author and thinker Thomas Sowell explains: “Central to the concept of social justice is the notion that individuals are entitled to some share in the wealth produced by society, and irrespective of any individual contributions made or not made to the production of that wealth.” (A Conflict of Visions, 216)

But if all people in society are entitled to a share in that which I produce, how shall this be enforced? For this reason, socialism by definition implies the “expansion of the government domain to produce social results to which particular individuals are morally entitled.”

So states The National Association of Scholars. The term “social justice”, or socialism, they explain, is today understood to mean the “advocacy of egalitarian access to income through state-sponsored redistribution.”

But state-sponsored redistribution of my production begins with theft. Forcible removing from me of the fruits of my own production to give to others. This is not even remotely associated with the free-will giving taught by Christianity. If it is, why must there be a gigantic state to enforce it?

The French writer, Frederic Bastiat was correct therefore to explain socialism as plunder.

See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. . . It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder. (Bastiat, The Law, p. 17).

That the above has already occurred in America is obvious. The evil is already upon us. A gigantic welfare state. Former Texas Congressman Ron Paul summarizes it well.

From lower-income Americans who rely on food stamps, public housing, and other government programs, to middle-class Americans who live in homes they could not afford without assistance from federal agencies like Fannies Mae and Freddie Mac, to college students reliant on government-subsidized student loans, to senior citizens reliant on Social Security and Medicare, to billionaire CEOs whose companies rely on bailouts, subsidies, laws and regulations written to benefit politically-powerful businesses, and government contracts, most Americans are reliant on at least one federal program. (Dec. 31, 2018. Ronpaulinstitute.org)

Make no mistake. The Welfare State is nothing akin to the free-will giving of Christianity. Once again, instead of relying on force to confiscate and redistribute, the early church in the book of Acts willingly and freely gave of their possessions to assist others (Acts 2:43-47; 5:1-4). There is a world of difference between the Bible and the systems of man.

Socialism in the Churches

Socialism in the Churches

by Bill Lockwood

One would have supposed that of all groups of people holding the line against ungodly socialism which enshrines government theft and redistribution, the churches of America would lead the way. Following Christ does not call for empowerment of government confiscation and re-label it “giving.” But apparently such is not the case.

The National Council of Churches (NCC) website boasts that it has never stopped waging LBJ’s “historic war on poverty” and that this marks “an unprecedented commitment by government to claim justice for the poor.”
William H. Young, in a National Association of Scholars (NAS) article explains social justice: “Its core concept … is the redistribution of resources and advantages to the disadvantaged to achieve social and economic equality.” Rather than emphasizing individual opportunity and responsibility, socialists stress “equality” and the achievement of “social outcomes” “by expanding the scope of government.”

That followers of Karl Marx would be gratified to have these concepts grafted into government goes without saying. That would-be disciples of Jesus Christ would mimic this is appalling. But that is exactly the position of the NCC which supposedly represents most mainline Protestant denominations in America and claims leadership of over 45 million American Christians and over 100,000 local congregations. The NCC, however, has really been, since its inception, a front group for socialistic and communistic change. This in turns helps to explain why it is so difficult to enlist many churches for real American causes today.

Historical Roots of NCC

Everyone needs a cause.  Even those without God become ardent evangelists in behalf of their message.  As the leadership in the churches of America, therefore, became doctrinally flabby throughout the past century, they proportionally became ripe for propagation of another gospel. Socialism. Thus was founded the Federal Council of Churches in 1908—later to become the National Council of Churches. Collectivist propaganda had penetrated Protestant Churches in America prior to the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. The Communist Party in America was not officially organized until 1919.  However, a cursory examination of the National Council of Churches reveals that it has always sided with Marxist and Communist causes, and its leaders have consistently consorted with policy-makers of the Communist Party, prior to its official birthday in 1908.

One of the early leading lights of the Federal Council, Dr. Harry Ward, strikingly demonstrates the above.  Dr. Ward worked in Chicago before becoming a teacher in the Boston University School of Theology and later Union Theological Seminary.  Introductory material, signed by Dr. Ward in 1917 included the call to churches concerning “the social service movement in the churches.”  One of Dr. Ward’s theses insists that the religion of the Bible mandates an “equal distribution of land” between Israelite tribes but this was corrupted by “individualism.”  The Kingdom of God, says Ward, is a “collective conception involving the whole life of man.”  “Jesus was not a mere social reformer. He has been called the first Socialist.”  Jesus was not, per Ward, interested in “theology” but in the “social needs of mankind.”  Ward was later identified under oath by many witnesses before United States Congressional committees as a member of the Communist Party.

Dr. Walter Rauschenbusch, who graduated the University of Rochester in 1885, had initially planned to go to India as a missionary for the American Baptist Mission Society, but was rejected because of his liberal views.  Among those views was a solid commitment to the philosophy of socialism.  Rauschenbusch, knowing that American Christians would revolt at his teaching of straightforward socialism in the pulpits, gave his theories window dressing.  He became the primary promoter of “The Social Gospel,” by which social change in the order of Karl Marx’s materialism and economic redistribution was the primary goal. The emphasis becomes reworking the material conditions of the world.   Biblical terminology, words, and phrases now are “converted” to this service.  The National and World Council of Churches today reflect these commitments.

The Social Gospel?

What is wrong with “The Social Gospel?”  Besides the fact that promoters of the social gospel traditionally reject the fundamentals of Christianity, why oppose their scheme?

First, The Social Gospel  begins with deception.  Charitable giving per biblical injunction always involves individual free-will choices.  Idealistic theories, on the other hand, that preach a “redistribution of wealth,” demand a power that actually takes from some and gives to others.  This powerful machinery—read “government”—therefore engages in theft.

To “Christianize” theft requires no little deceptive manipulation of historical fact as well as the English language.   Biblical principles always influenced mankind’s condition from the bottom up. Slavery, for example, was eliminated as the principles of Jesus permeated society throughout.   However, the social gospel requires power from the top to control those below.  Force becomes the method.  The current NCC website is marinated in statements such as “sustainable” development (socialistic redistribution) of the resources of the earth; “abatement of hunger” by the “enactment of policies benefiting the most vulnerable;” “affordable and accessible healthcare” on the backs of taxpayers. To achieve these ends “binding covenants” are recommended.

Second, individual salvation is rejected by The Social Gospel in favor of salvation of the “collective.”  The function of the church, which was authorized to preach salvation from personal sin, is recast as an enforcement of “civic or social justice” and the gospel merely becomes a channel that exists for the service of man—not God.  Individual rights are seldom heard.  Instead, church workers become firebrands for “group rights” and collective change.  Political activism, after a communistic fashion, is encouraged.

The crying sin of society becomes the “unequal redistribution” of wealth; evangelism is more about “saving the environment” than saving man from sin; the mission of the churches is just as much about restructuring society along Marxist lines than offering the gospel to souls.  Achieving Socialism in America is the goal. Transforming “Christianity” into an instrument to accomplish this end is the means.   As one advocate of The Social Gospel put it, we seek “an overthrow of the present capitalistic system.”  This was penned by Ivan Lee Holt, one-time president of the Federal Council of Churches.  He went on to denounce the “profit motive” insisting that there was no happiness for mankind until the “present economic system gives way to some cooperative scheme…it might mean revolution.”

Third, enforcement of the social gospel program requires the uniting of church and state. This explains why the NCC calls for not only the growth and strengthening of the United States government, but also for World “governance” operated via the United Nations.  Only in this manner might trade become more “equitable” on a “global scale,” and “peacemaking through multilateral diplomacy” by “strengthening” the “United Nations” and the “rule of international law.”

So, while the disingenuous claim is made by the NCC that they do not favor “unilateral force” to gain their goals, the program laid out calls for nothing but the usage of governmental force to redistribute wealth. Tax policies are recommended to “reduce” the “disparities between rich and poor” and “provide” for greater opportunity for “everyone within the common good.”

If we are to stop the socialistic onslaught now facing America, patriots must appeal to the common sense of average Americans in the “Christian community,” by-passing the leadership of large denominational churches which have become purveyors of soft-shell pabulum at best, and aggressive socialistic change at worst.  We would to God that the pulpits of America would aflame once more with righteousness, rejecting the gospel of Karl Marx.

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