Beware of the Social Gospel
Updated: Jan 5
Reverend Jim Jones is an example - an extreme example - of what eventually goes wrong when Marxist, socialist ideas are mixed in with Christian doctrine.
Jones had many issues, chief among them were preaching an overtly false gospel and convincing black congregants to trust his protection against the American government and elites who wanted to keep them in segregation. His message was communicated during the civil rights era, a particularly vulnerable time in our nation’s history.
A church for the people
Before the mass murder suicide took place in “Jonestown” (named after Jones; located in the Republic of Guyana), Jones’ movement was a humble ministry based on humanitarianism. Jones preached against racism and inequality and he encouraged (coerced) his followers to give up their pensions and possessions in support of his cause. It’s discoverable that Jones had no formal ministry training, but was ordained by the Disciples of Christ denomination (a Pentecostal sect with heretical teachings on healing and the Trinity).
According to Britannica, “Jones gained a reputation as a charismatic [preacher] who claimed to have psychic powers such as the ability to foretell the future and miraculously heal [the] sick. He was a vocal proponent of racial integration, a position that ran afoul of some church elders. In 1955 he established the Wings of Deliverance, a Pentecostal church that eventually became known as the Peoples Temple.” By November1978, nearly a thousand followers, including 300 children, who flocked to the remote compound in South America were dead.
With the conspicuous absence of God and the Bible, and Jones claiming to be the “messiah” of the people, most 21st century believers wouldn’t fall for such a scam. Yet, some of these same believers hold the view that alternative faith practices, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism, and Progressive Christianity, are acceptable to Christ. At best, these false doctrines are a lie from the pits of hell, and at worst, they are a sure way to miss heaven.
Was Jesus a socialist?
The simple answer to this question is absolutely not! However, it's understandable that Christians are concerned about racial disparities, gender confusion, the destruction of the planet, etc. Does the Lord care about these situations? No doubt, which is why the Father sent His Son. The Lord pointed to Himself as the Savior of the world. Not once did He direct humans to seek "revolutionary change", government intervention, or reparations. His legislation is not the rhetoric of man but the divinely inspired words from Genesis to Revelation.
Dealing primarily with the wealth and racial inequality narratives, Christians need wisdom and discernment to see the communist agenda behind the propaganda. First of all, selfish humans make a socialist utopia impossible; worldly empires will always stand in opposition to the kingdom of God (see Prov. 14:12). Second, it is not God’s will that everyone be materially and financially rich. Jesus said there would be poor people in every generation and He charged His disciples, not the federal government, with meeting their needs (see Matt. 26:11; Luke 9:12-13). Providing for local communities is the responsibility of the Church, not Congress.
Lastly, the disadvantages black communities are facing are not due to systemic racism, but are the result of a lack of faith in Christ, the turning away from biblical morality, and putting ungodly amounts of trust in the Democratic Party. This is the party of slavery, Jim Crow, welfare dependency and every other policy that oppresses ethnic minorities. Yet, research shows upwards of 80-90% of black people have drunk the kool-aid (pun intended) as they continue to identify with and vote for Democrats.
Don't drink the kool-aid
“Social justice” and “equality” are catchy phrases that disguise the Marxist ideas pushed by mainstream media; their purpose being the ideological subverting of a nation and throwing it into violent turmoil. When people are gripped with fear, they will listen to any charismatic preacher and vote for any hopeful politician with the best laid plans. If one is willing to see it, communism and socialism are precursors for the antichrist political and religious system that will eventually give rise to the Beast and his false prophet (see Rev. 19:19-21).
Do we yet understand how far the social gospel is from the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Calling out “white privilege” and championing “equal outcomes” are not synonymous with the Cross, the Blood, the Resurrection, and the Second Coming. The Great Commission (see Matt. 28:19-20) is not a mandate to rid society of all its troubles; it is a command for the Church to disciple nations after the Person and ministry of Jesus Christ. Every solution to the world's problems is found in Scripture. Thus, socialism has no place in the pulpit.
Without further detailing Jones’ gross dysfunction, it's sufficient to know he was deeply perverted, tormented by demons, and totally corrupt. He was never a man of faith, he never feared God, and he was never chosen by God to lead anyone. Jones was ultimately responsible for captivating hearts and minds, leading masses like cattle to slaughter, eventually forcing them to drink kool-aid laced with cyanide and sedatives. By the time his followers realized something was wrong, it was too late.