The social gospel vs. prosperity gospel. Are today's Christian's actually following the gospel of Christ? Maybe not.

By Phil Zuckerman

Professor of Sociology, Pitzer College in Claremont, CA.

This article was co-authored by Dan Cady is an assistant professor of history at California State University, Fresno. He publishes on the history of the American West, music, and religion.

Excerpt: "Of course, conservative Americans have every right to support corporate greed, militarism, gun possession, and the death penalty, and to oppose welfare, food stamps, health care for those in need, etc. -- it is just strange and contradictory when they claim these positions as somehow "Christian." They aren't."


  1. As a Christian, this article makes you re-think what is important to Jesus

  2. Dude. The Phil Zuckerman view nails it. ON THE HEAD! Ouch! Like a crown of thorns. I'm presently struggling with the exact same dilemna at the church where I've been worshipping God since 2006. The leadership there has been escalating, in the name of Jesus, thier plea for cash donations beyond tithing. It's been troubling for many of us in that body lately--treading dangerously close to soundiing like money-changers in the temple. What would Jesus think/do?

  3. We live in a materialistic society, and that view has moved, unfortunately, into the building where Christians worship. (Remember that WE the people are the Church.)

    The excerpt accurately defines the conservative American group. What concerns me is that it is not Biblical and they profess Christianity. The Gospel of St. Luke is the social gospel. Notice the people Jesus associated with...the poor, the prostitutes, the lepers, the unfortunate, the outcast, etc. As for the death penalty, while the Old Testament (the Law) states "an eye for an eye, the New Testament (Grace) states through the words of Jesus "not an eye for an eye".

    The same mentality moves into the finances of the group. It is a "let's take care of ourselves" philosophy. Jesus said go and make disciples; He did not say "stay and accumulate wealth". I realize that money is necessary and that God gives the best to His children; however, we need to use our wealth to help the less fortunate, not build bigger buildings and more elaborate places of worship. We need to help those who can not help themselves -- that is the Gospel.

    We love God by loving humanity; we serve God by serving humanity.

    1. Kenneth,
      Your viewpoint is very moving. It is sad that the church seems to have lost its way. Thanks for writing.


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