Now, at the end of the second decade in the 21st century, something new is hitting many of our churches: a social justice ideology that is, as I wrote a few weeks ago, “anti-biblical, borrows heavily from the postmodern worldview which aims to redistribute power (Marx aimed to do the same with wealth), and…is becoming a kind of false religion.” Has a postmodern version of the old social gospel reared its ugly head inside churches where it once, at least during the fundamentalist era, was rejected?
My friend Scott Allen, President of Disciple Nations Alliance, recently blew the fog hornfor evangelical ships tempted to sail into the inviting waters of social justiceideology: “Stay clear, lest you undermine your faith by crashing upon unseen obstacles!” His article is a must-read, and will shock you at the extent to which social justice ideology, which defines justice strictly in terms of desirable outcomes for the poor and minorities, has penetrated the evangelical orbit.
The opposition between evangelism and social action started in early 20th century conflicts between Christ-preaching evangelicals who treasured the Bible and social gospel advocates that believed real Christianity had to make a difference in society first of all. Now, in the early decades of the 21st century, the old conflict has largely subsided and is alien to current university students. But, should evangelism and social action be linked, and, if so, why?