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The Social Gospel 7.0

“I’m always willing to be a back channel for peace.”
[Rick Warren, CNN, 12/15/06)

International peace must become an aspiration, a religion, before it will become a reality.”
[Samuel Z. Batten,
The New World Order (1919)]

The CFR and the Social Gospel: Part 4

The concept of “peace” was re-defined so that it contained the added meaning of an international new world order by the architects of the United Nations, many of whom were leaders in the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). John Foster Dulles led the way in this effort, writing a concept paper entitled “The Problem of Peace in a Dynamic World” presented to the World Conference of Life and Work at Oxford in 1937.

According to historian and theologian Dr. Martin Erdmann in his landmark book Building the Kingdom of God on Earth (Wipf & Stock, 2005), Dulles foresaw the pivotal role that churches could play in creating a spiritual ethic of world peace. And the Oxford Conference would be a watershed event:

“…[T]he meeting which ensued marked the beginning of a remarkable collaboration in the ecumenical movement. [John Foster Dulles] aspired to capture the imagination of the Christian public with a grand ideal, transcending narrow-minded national self-interest, the ideal of a unified world society living in peace and justice. To educate the churches, and through them society at large, about international co-operation was seen… as the primary antidote of war.

“…Dulles idealized the Christian Church as an exemplary community which had demonstrated the ability to transcend the limitations of the nation state….” (p. 84-85

“…Dulles… stated that he looked to Church leaders in particular to guide the world into a peaceful future.” (p. 86)

“…[H]e challenged a new generation of pastors to guide their future congregations into the unfamiliar terrain of a new world order as the only sure hope of peace.” (p. 88) [emphases added]

These CFR leaders contrived to manipulate a new Christian ethic and era of “peace” by creating a new doctrinal ideal – that of building the kingdom of God on earth. This doctrine would serve as the foundation upon which international peace could be built.

Philip Kerr (Lord Lothian), one of the original Round Table Group (from which emanated the Council on Foreign Relations), also presented a paper at the Oxford Conference – “The Demonic Influence of National Sovereignty and the World of Nations” – which called for the creation of a world federation for peace. Dr. Erdmann observed:

“In the final section of his paper, Kerr outlined the specific role of the churches in facilitating the ‘federation of nations into a single world commonwealth’.… Christianity would provide humankind with a common loyalty, not to a political entity, but to God.… In conclusion, Kerr encouraged the Christian churches to build the Kingdom of God on earth.” (p. 111) [emphasis added]

40 Days of P.E.A.C.E.

The new Social Gospel of P.E.A.C.E. is set to go into high gear in the coming year. In an interview with CNN, “The Situation Room,” which aired on December 15, 2006, Rick Warren stated that he was a “back channel for peace.” The context of these remarks was international relations.

“MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, as you said Rick Warren wrote ‘The Purpose-Driven Life,’ and his messages from that book are part of his ministry teachings around the globe. Some say Warren’s influence is not only growing, but changing the relationship between evangelicals and the right.…

“SNOW (voice over): Pastor Rick Warren’s latest mission brought him to Washington for the White House summit on malaria. Wiping out pandemic diseases has become one of the cornerstones of the lessons he preaches. Lessons that have made him one of the most influential pastors in America.

“E.J. DIONNE, THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: I think what you’re seeing with Rick Warren is almost a new version, a 2006 version, of Billy Graham.

“SNOW: But unlike Graham, who’s always seen in suits, Warren is often dressed in Hawaiian shirts ….

“He’s taken his message around the globe, even traveling to controversial countries like Syria. This past summer he tried unsuccessfully to enter North Korea.

“PASTOR RICK WARREN, AUTHOR, ‘THE PURPOSE-DRIVEN LIFE’: I’m always happy to be a back channel for peace.” [emphasis added]

Rick Warren’s Social Gospel of P.E.A.C.E. is elaborated on in a Christianity Today article, “Rick Warren to Share Meaning of Christmas with 800,000 US Troops Worldwide: Pastor Rick Warren of ‘Purpose Driven’ fame is to broadcast his Christmas message with 800,000 US troops stationed across 177 countries with the help of the Armed Services Television Network,” by Maria Mackay. In this article, Rick Warren unveils a new rendition of an old Bible verse:

“Christmas is the celebration of an invasion when God came to earth 2,000 years ago, and the world has never been the same since,” said Pastor Warren. “It is a time for celebration – ‘don’t be afraid for I bring you good news of great joy;’ salvation – ‘for unto you is born a Saviour;’ and reconciliation – ‘peace on earth, good will toward men.’

“‘Christmas is also a time of coming together, and we need reconciliation in so many areas – in families, in communities and between nations,’ added Pastor Warren. ‘Many times when families get together over the holidays, there is a lot of brokenness, dysfunction, hurt and heartache. That’s why this message of reconciliation, – peace with God, of God and with each other – is one that will ring true in a lot of hearts.’”

This is a new twist to the old Social Gospel message of “peace on earth.” In this new version is included the psychobabble element of “reconciliation” which is applied not only interpersonally but to the concept of international peace.

A generation ago in the evangelical churches a bad memory lingered of the old mainline demoninational churches and the Social Gospel. In fact, many evangelicals left these churches because the Bible was no longer being taught. But the Social Gospel of neo-evangelicalism today is an updated version. This new Social Gospel is more sophisticated. It includes more biblical-sounding terminology, a nod to evangelism (albeit an incomplete Gospel message), and a warm-fuzzy approach using the latest tricks of marketing and psycho-social methodologies. It sounds kinder/gentler — more compassionate.

The new Social Gospel also includes all the elements of the old Social Gospel, many of which are mentioned in parts 1-3 of this series. And it particularly contains elements of dominionism the same old CFR-inspired idea that the church can build the Kingdom of God on earth.

This new/old Social Gospel concept of “peace” isn’t going to go away. In fact, the evangelical push for a new Social Gospel of peace is only beginning. In an article posted today at Christianity Today article, entitled “Three Purposes of Christmas: Saddleback’s Warren to address global audience over holiday weekend,” Timothy C. Morgan asked Rick Warren the following question: What is on your ministry horizon?” to which Warren responded:

“Saddleback is going to be doing this fall: 40 Days of Vision. I’m taking The Purpose-Driven Church, and I’m going back into writing mode on January 1. I’m going to revise that book, including what have I learned in the past 11 years. I wrote that in 1995. I wrote the first book for pastors. This one I’m going to write for every Christian. What is my role in the church, because I’m committed to the local church. What is my role, and what is God’s purpose for me in my local church? I’m going to put it in the 40-day format. The next wave is going to be huge, and it’s going to be next fall. The fourth one is 40 Days of Peace. That’s moving people into the last campaign, which is deployment.” [emphasis added]

The Truth:

The only way to counter the Social Gospel message of peace/P.E.A.C.E. is to become familiar with what the Word of God says about peace. Using a concordance look up the biblical meanings of this word, particularly in the New Testament. You may appreciate the Old Gospel meaning of “peace” in the words to the hymn “Peace, Perfect Peace.”

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)

“To give knowledge of Salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender Mercy of our God; whereby the Dayspring from on high has visited us, To give light to them who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:77-79)

“Therefore being Justified by Faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” (Romans 5:1)

“And, having made peace through the Blood of His Cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in Heaven. And you, who were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now has He reconciled In the body of His flesh through death, to present you Holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight.” (Colossians 2:20-22)