Posted in Op-ed on February 5, 2010 – 9:32 pm
By Bill Koenig
Jesus came to earth as the Messiah — the Savior of the world — not a social worker.
Today, many Protestant and Catholic Church leaders are focused on the social gospel and the establishment of the kingdom of God on Earth while virtually never mentioning that salvation is only possible through Jesus Christ or that He will reign for 1,000 years from the New Jerusalem due to their lack of eschatological teachings.
In a review of Dr. Martin Erdmann’s book, Building the Kingdom of God on Earth: The Churches’ Contribution to Marshal Public Support for World Order and Peace, 1919-1945, the reviewer wrote that the kingdom of God [the church] had been stripped of all biblical and theological distinctives and now was virtually identical to the new world order and its political and social agenda.
Today, it is acceptable in major international religious and political meetings to portray Jesus Christ as a social worker, while using words from the Sermon on the Mount to show that Jesus Christ was socially conscious. Furthermore, it has helped lead to a false perception that there are many paths to God.
Yale professor H. Richard Niebuhr in his book The Kingdom of God in America (1937) wrote that Protestant liberalism’s message and social gospel has led to a “God without wrath brought men without sin, into a world without judgment, through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.”
In today’s ecumenical meetings, the saving of souls from sin was replaced with saving the world from unemployment, poverty, war and injustice. But this is treating the symptoms, not the root cause, which is the heredity and existence of sin in people’s lives.
Oswald Chambers wrote: “Sin dwells in human nature, but the Bible makes it very clear that it is an abnormal thing, it has no right there, it does not belong to human nature as God designed it. Sin has come into human nature and perverted and twisted it. The Redemption of God through our Lord Jesus Christ delivers human nature from sin.”
Henry Brandt stated: “You can have victory over life-dominating sin, based on two biblical principles remarkable in their simplicity: 1. There is no human remedy for sin. 2. The only cure for sin is in Christ.”
We live in a fallen, sinful world filled with people whose only hope is in a Savior named Jesus Christ who took the sins of the world to the Cross on our behalf; and through Him and only Him, is there a promise of forgiveness and an everlasting life.
Convinced but not converted
My wife’s and my former churches as children, Catholic and Episcopalian, respectively, believe that baptism as a very young child is all that is required to be a Christian and to have everlasting life. These and many other Protestant churches believe that it isn’t necessary to be “born again,” and they deny the importance of making a public proclamation of one’s faith in Jesus Christ.
Many religious leaders are convinced, but they aren’t converted. They have conformed to religious dogma, a false piety and discipline; and because they aren’t born again, the Holy Spirit is nonexistent and they haven’t been transformed. And they don’t have a personal and intimate relationship with the Savior of the world.
Isn’t it an irony, yet not a surprise, that their religious beliefs and their political agendas are the main catalysts that will bring these times to completion and Jesus Christ’s return to Jerusalem?
Is this a surprise? Absolutely not: It was predicted in the Bible.