Hidden in Plain Sight The Social Gospel

Jesus Christ identified with the downtrodden and oppressed. While he lived, he conducted a campaign of feeding the hungry and healing the sick. He is noted to say, foxes have den and birds have nests, but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head.
Jesus Christ identified with the downtrodden and oppressed. While he lived, he conducted a campaign of feeding the hungry and healing the sick. He is noted to say, foxes have den and birds have nests, but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head. | Source

The Real Message Slipped Through Historical Censure

Despite all attempts to change the message in various translations, to bury it and otherwise hide it, the predominant message in the Bible still survives, though in some instances, one has to do a little digging. Much of it is obvious in the teachings of Jesus extracted from numerous sources and is backed up in the Torah. There are plenty of stories and parables in the New Testament that vindicate the social gospel. There are also messages in the Old Testament concerning the same message. No social movement today can claim any originality as far as the comprehensive social message is concerned. The message was transmitted via Jesus and others to the Jerusalem followers and from there, a battle ensued with Paul who attempted to turn it on its head to make it a Rome serving message. What we get through the church history from Paul on up to the contemporary period is the distorted view of what the message was supposed to be. Jesus and thousands like him sought to throw off the shackles of all oppressors whether organized by state or religion. The way to do this is to fulfil the law, being, the law of Moses, summed up by Jesus in two statements about love of God and love of one another (1). This must all be seen and understood in context. From hear we learn about ideas such as;


  • God's economics

  • Relieving the oppressed

  • Healing the sick

  • Feeding the hungry

  • Teaching righteousness

  • Setting free of captives, prisoners and slaves

  • Forgiveness of debts and no usury

  • Pleading the cause of the needy

  • Forgiving of enemies

  • Doing justice/protesting injustice


The Bible contains a program for maintaining economic democracy via a periodic resetting called the Jubilee (2, 3). It is very detailed in the book of Moses called Leviticus that is an outtake of the Torah. Every seventh year measured from the year count from the time of Adam's creation and into the indefinite future, is to be a year of jubilee. There is a special jubilee to be celebrated on the 49th year as well, which is seven times seven. Indeed, the seventh millennium can also be likened to a Jubilee period of a thousand years of peace under the reign of God alone. The requirements of the jubilee are as follows. There shall be an universal levelling of the economy to reset economic democracy. Those who had gotten wealthy by whatever means were to redistribute it according to need. This is what was being practised by the apostles according to Paul's take in Acts (4) and for once there appears to be harmony in what happened and what Paul reports. Those who had gotten poor by misfortune were to have all debts cancelled. Everyone was to receive according to need. Captives, slaves and prisoners were to be set free. Productive lands were to remain fallow every seventh year to allow them to rejuvenate. As God had and has provided the earth as his sanctuary for the equal access and use by all, the jubilee was a program to ensure that things remained more or less that way. The almost total absence of practice of this cycle has led to the world we see today where 85 of the richest folks in the world have the same amount of wealth as 3.5 billion people, or half the worlds current population. It has also meant the devastation of crop lands and blatant injustice on a massive scale. In short, humanity now practices by design and ignorance, an almost total disregard for each other, the planet and God. According to the Jewish Calendar, Jubilee years are marked in ours at 2000, 2007 and 2014. The year after 2000, there was 9-11 that created the opportunity to establish a universal police state. 2007 is the year before the greatest economic collapse that still has the world reeling. The current year bodes ill for 2015 given the recent past and current developments. It is stated, don't be fooled. God is not mocked. Whatever you sow, that is what your get in return (5).

Moses led the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt and they came to mount Sinai where Moses received the ten commandments. Moses is often cited as being the first union organizer.
Moses led the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt and they came to mount Sinai where Moses received the ten commandments. Moses is often cited as being the first union organizer. | Source

If you believe in Jesus' message, even filtered through Paul, you are to act in a manner to bring relief where possible to the oppressed (6). It could even go so far as to struggle to do this or die in the attempt. The story of Moses is about just such an act of relieving the oppressed and in addition, the setting free of the slaves. Now we do not know the exact year in which this happened, but two stories and one natural disaster point to the year of 1626 to 1646 BCE as the time of the liberation and exodus. We have the Jewish account in Exodus and the story of the Egyptians about the expulsion of the Hyksos, or shepherd kings. These are the two descriptions told by separate writers on both sides of the struggle. Then there is a geological event of mammoth proportions in that era that created the conditions for the ten plagues which are accounted for in both stories and in scientific analysis. We have no way of knowing if the actual liberation happened in a jubilee year, but it would be poetic justice if it did. A millennium and a half later, Israel and Rome went to war three times over issues of liberty, self determination and gross injustice between 66 AD to 135 AD when the Messiah, Shimon Bar Kokbba and his huge army were defeated by six or seven Roman legions in Judea. After that, Jews did not inhabit Judea in large numbers until 1948. Most Jews today do not respect the jubilee, especially when it comes to the Palestinians, Arabs and Bedouin. They are in direct opposition to the requirements of relieving the oppressed. Lately they are also guilty of overt racism and oppression. When we encounter the words oppressed of the devil, we must understand that in the Greek, the word for devil means adversary. Seen in this light, it becomes clear that anyone who is oppressed, sees the oppressor as the adversary, and in the minds of many, a devil and so they accuse the oppressor as being a devil.


Wherever Jesus went, he healed the sick. This no doubt was done in a variety of ways. Some illnesses are amenable to suggestion as Sigmund Freud proved. Others can be healed with the use of herb mixtures such as cannabis, turmeric, garlic and other potent herbs. Many illnesses arise out of malnutrition and this was a problem in Jesus' time owing to the heavy taxation and intervention of imperialist Rome. Jesus answer, especially to the rich and the publicans (tax collectors) was to sell off their massive holdings and give the proceeds to feed, heal and house the poor. The latter category of taxes being diverted to help the poor would have flown in the face of the Roman authorities. This act of selling off holdings and giving to the poor according to Jesus was a good first step on the road to salvation (7). There is also PTSD that is common in stresses like wars, so Jesus would have to treat these conditions too. These war stresses can be seen as demons, and indeed, even today we talk of peoples' demons. War stresses and those caused by brutal task masters such as the Roman imperialists can cause a whole range of psychological problems. In some cases, when people lack support and hope, they commit suicide. Jesus had to deal with it all, especially in the sense of being a learned rabbi. He had to undo the damage caused by others. Jesus was not alone either, as others were healing and casting out demons. Of which Jesus directly approved. It appears that in a country in turmoil and kept in a state of chaos, there would be plenty of need for healers. Depending on who you reference, Jesus and those of similar background had anywhere from five to 82 followers learning the ways and doing the practises. We are even told they were sent two by two throughout all Judea.


There are simple ways to feed the hungry and the fact that this is not done stands as a testament against Christendom and those who call themselves Christians. Even though the better performance of atheist states smack as an indictment against Christendom, this is still not enough to move many to compassion. Indeed, some churches have stopped feeding the hungry because it attracts the poor (8). Far too many Christians are lukewarm today, even ignorant of what God really requires of them. Many Christians know about Jesus' miracle of feeding the 5,000 (9), but they fail terribly in being an imitation of their self proclaimed saviour. We do not need a miracle today to feed the hungry of the world, but we need a transformation of society so that there is proper distribution according to need (10). It is a terrible indictment indeed when the beast 666 can do better at feeding the poor and hungry than the Loadicean church (11, 12). It can be said that the anti-Christ has managed to slap Christians across their collective hypocritical faces. In fact, even Paul, who changed the face of the Jerusalem gospel, but quoting Peter, acknowledges the directive of Jesus (13). There are more than enough resources to feed everyone. We can grow gardens instead of lawns. We can stop wasting so much food. We can adopt a more equatable system. Away with manufactured scarcity!


The teaching of righteousness has been perverted and inverted. The Torah, Pentateuch and Old Testament call for all followers of the one true God to practice righteousness. There has evolved since then, many ideas of what constitutes righteousness. But, we have built into each one of us, a guide (14). This then should serve well if it is not corrupted and seared out of us, like those who have become so dull to righteousness, they cannot discern good from evil. There is a stern warning about reversing definitions concerning this (15). There is another warning about adding and subtracting from the word of God, that Paul should have heeded (16). If further guidance is required concerning righteousness, there is plenty of available information (17).


Too many people who are in prison should not be there and too many criminals who are not, should be. This has become the standard of our current age, an age of apostasy and unrighteousness, where the innocent are killed by the corrupt seeking to profit from their death and the resources that are theirs. Those who blow the whistle on corruption, lies and oppression are themselves persecuted and identified as villains. Since 9-11-2001, there has been a long line of whistle blowers, some of which have been killed, some jailed and others are in hiding or in political asylum. Names that come to mind for the contemporary era are those like Daniel Ellsberg, Julian Assange, Aaron Swartz, Bradley/Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and many others. All have exposed corruption, lies, cold blooded murder, corruption and they now suffer for this. Some are in prison and some are dead. The real criminals who commit war and financial crimes are free and fear no reprisals. These are people like Evelyn De Rothschild, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Barrack Obama, the Sachs and Koch brothers, Henry Kissinger and many more. These ones are free and should be behind bars. Instead, innocents falsely accursed of terrorism languish in torture facilities like Guantanamo Bay even though they have legal release orders. So far, 2014 is not being fulfilled as the jubilee calls for. The guilty are free and the innocent are under oppression. Slaves are not set free and we have four types of slaves being chattel, wage, debt and prisoners in private for profit prison enclaves. Fraud committed routinely in high economic circles goes largely ignored because the CEOs and CFOs run banks “too big to fail”. Too big to fail then runs the states of the world along with corporations, which includes the media.

A markermiddle east -
Middle East
[get directions]

This locale has been and is still the hotbed of activity from the time of Moses, to the time of Jesus to the modern wars.

The failure of the world's banks and the international economy is due to the fact that a subtle robbery has been unfolding due to the failure to follow the economics of God, that is, the jubilee cycle and the prohibition against usury. That economy forbids the device of usury/interest (18). However, bankers cannot make a profit from someone else's money unless they charge a fee and/or interest. But, what really is interest? Banks take deposits of real wealth from those who produce it or who own it, which ultimately comes from surplus. This surplus is placed in trust with someone who will keep it secure and issues a receipt for the goods placed in safe keeping. The trick then comes where those who do not have anything of value, other than the promise of the future, approaches the banker for a loan, which is to be paid back. This would be fine if it is straight value for value. But bankers with an eye on increasing the supply of value, charge a handling and keeping fee and also interest on the loan. They will also loan several times the value in holding, which is called fractional reserve lending. The loans are made not with real value, but with bank notes that can be used in place of real value. This all works provided the original depositors don't all come back at the same time and ask for their real value back. As long as the banker maintains trust, the system will work and the banker will increase the virtual value of the number of notes in circulation by charging interest. In the case where there is a default, then the banker can claim the real value property toward which the loan was made. This increases his base for fractional reserve banking. This then is one way real wealth accumulates. Another way this is done, if work is involved is that the holder of the loan must produce real wealth equivalent to the loan plus the amount to cover the charges, fees and interest. Interest is pernicious and on plans rated as compound interest. The accumulation of interest alone can mushroom if the loan is floated for decades. These types of loans are typically granted for large ticket items like homes. The loan payer typically pays the principal and almost twice that in accumulated interest. Sometimes it is even more. The banker has successfully created a slave that will keep himself in promissory notes that can be recycled in a loan interest cycle. When loan ratios far exceed the real value in the economy and speculation drives up prices, a collapse can threaten large banks and the economic security of everyone who uses the system. The result can be failed banks and poverty on a mass scale. Before the days of fiat currencies, goods of actual value were used in exchange by bankers and money changers. As an example, a banker lent a bushel of wheat and expected payment back of something like two bushels of wheat. When we read of Jesus overturning the tables of the money changers (19) in the New Testament, it was exactly this system of enriching some while making others poor that was condemned. This practice is condemned in the Old and New Testaments, but it is the mainstay of modern banking. The collapse of overblown banks and bubbles in 2008 is what led to a huge increase of poverty and austerity world wide.


Today, 2014, it is illegal to protest in some nations. Many people protest against war, injustice and poverty and are now labelled as terrorists. Laws change at the drop of a hat whenever the powerful and wealthy feel threatened. In January of 2014 after two previous months or protest in the Ukraine, a law was passed that made it illegal to protest no matter how justified that was. It was quickly dropped when the protests increased massively. In Canada, simply wearing a mask on a protest is enough to net ten years in prison. Thus people who cry for justice, democracy and a living above starvation, wind up in jail while those who did the real crime, luxuriate in indolence while laughing at their victims. Some protestors are even killed in the streets while making requests and demands. In the US, anyone can be rounded up from anywhere in the world at anytime without warrant or charge and held indefinitely. This is a breach of various constitutions and charters nationally and internationally and is described as a sin in the Bible. In his day, Jesus and many others were in protest against the policies and practices of imperialist Rome, and many paid the ultimate price for terrorizing Rome, the oppressor in Judea. There is a stipulation within the jubilee cycle to release prisoners every seventh year. This would bode well for protesters who have stiff jail terms, but there is no such thing as a jubilee release anywhere and Christendom as well as Judaism ignore it.

This poster compares Jesus to modern day protesters who demonstrate against financial  corruption. Jesus is recorded throwing the money changers out of the temple.
This poster compares Jesus to modern day protesters who demonstrate against financial corruption. Jesus is recorded throwing the money changers out of the temple. | Source

Consider Carefully All That is Stated Here

The enemy of my enemy is my friend, so the saying goes and this is at the heart of the forgiveness of enemies. There is no injunction to forgive oppressors (20). In fact, in some of the readings, we find that the role of the saviour is to relieve the people of the oppressor. Oppressor and oppression are dealt with more thoroughly in the Old Testament, but the tone changes under Paul's influence in the New Testament. This in itself is significant, as it indicates the interference on the part of Paul on the original message (21). When it came to oppressors, Jesus had to deal with them on an almost daily basis. We see a departure here with Paul and the first signs of two separate gospels. Today, we deal with mass confusion in multiple translations that is a detailed work in itself. There has been plenty of political interference with the gospel, but the original message still gets through.


We should do justice in all our activities as this is where trust and faith are built. Indeed, because of this, the just can live by faith/trust (22). The unjust do not have this luxury and inhabit a world of alienation, suspicion and anti-trust. It follows that in order to establish faith and trust, that one must live in truthfulness, for deceit is a sure wrecker of trust. Justice can only prevail in a climate of truth, openness and transparency. Thus when we hear the chant “No justice, no peace” it literally means that peace shall evaporate in the face of injustice. Protestors against injustice are doing humanity as service by the mere revelation of a problem of bad justice in the land. It is a wake up call that many ignore at their own peril. Unbeknownst by those who join against oppression, injustice, war, occupation and bank robbery, they are doing the work of the social gospel that is by and large ignored by organized religion and pretenders to Christianity. The Old Testament prophets made it clear that the oppressor would be crushed by the saviour, so we have a clear view of just what is considered to be a saviour. This then unfolded in the days of the Exodus, the era of the major and minor prophets and in Jesus' time and thereafter in the three Roman-Jewish wars. There have been saviour-messiahs ever since, cloaked in various names and fighting the oppressors whether monarchs, theocracies, tyrannies, capitalists, military juntas and corporatist tyrannies. There was nothing supernatural in this, despite what Paul embellished in his numerous writings. Many other sources beg to differ including the prophets. But Paul, seeking to lessen the impact of raw Christianity, superimposed Jesus onto Romulus and made the transition to Pauline type Christianity easier for the Roman state to accept in the long run. The name was changed, but the pagan rites and beliefs continued. In Revelation, we read Jesus' message to the seven churches and this has tremendous bearing on all that followed after the original Jerusalem gatherings against oppression and for liberation.


We are adamant followers of the social gospel of the Jerusalem council/church and not of Paul's converted gospel. We take as our guide, the example of Jesus/Yeshua/Joshua the messiah and liberator, who served to throw off the oppressor's shackles and as the guide to others of like mind from then to now, to in effect, be our saviours. It does not matter what criticism has been made of any of them as their hearts and minds were united in a single cause to liberate humanity and establish an earthly paradise of equality for all with equal access to earth and the works of their own making. The liberation struggle has gone under many names and the adversary seeks to crush all of them. They are in essence the same struggle throughout history. Our roots are planted in the struggles of the deep past and the branches and leaves are as fresh as today!

References

  1. Matthew 22:37-40; Mark 12: 30,31; 1 Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:9-18; Timothy 1:5; Galatians 5:14

  2. Leviticus 25:6-17

  3. Leviticus 25:-25-30,33-40

  4. Acts 4:32-35

  5. Galatians 6:7

  6. Judges 6:9; Acts 7:24; 10:38

  7. Mark 10:17-27

  8. http://www.wondercafe.ca/discussion/religion-and-faith/headline-church-closes-food-bank-because-it-attracts-poor-people

  9. Matthew 14:20-22

  10. 1 Peter 5:2,3

  11. Revelation 13:16-18

  12. Revelation 3:13-16

  13. 1 Peter 5:1-3

  14. Matthew 7:11-14

  15. Isaiah 5:20

  16. Revelation 22:18-20

  17. Job 35: 7-9; Psalm 15:1-3; 52: 2-5; 72: 2-4; 103:5-7; 112:8-10; Proverbs 2:2-10; 12:16-18; Isaiah 11:3-5; 32:16-18; 54:13-15; 59:16-18; 64:5-7; Jeremiah 9:23-25; 22:3; Ezekiel 18:19-21; 33:13; Galatians 5:21-23; Ephesians 5:8-10

  18. Exodus 22:25; Leviticus 25:26, 37; Deuteronomy 23:19,20; Nehemiah 5:7,10; Proverbs 28:8

  19. John 2:14,15

  20. Psalm 72:4; Isaiah 16:4; 19:20; Jeremiah 22:3

  21. Colossians 3:21-23

  22. Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38

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4 comments

watergeek profile image

watergeek 2 years ago

Native Americans in the NW used to do it every year in the form of potlatches. Eastern tribes did it when anyone was married, born, or died. The family would gather and make as many goods as they could to give out at the wedding. Europeans forbade the practice and started persecuting those who continued (among other types of persecutions). The practice still continues, albeit in a reduced form:

http://www.ladivalatina.com/giveaway.html


syzygyastro profile image

syzygyastro 2 years ago from Vancouver, Canada Author

This is true and I have written a hub on the Potlatch - to give away.


GreenPrince profile image

GreenPrince 2 years ago from Philippines

great moral lessons.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 2 years ago from Texas

Fine information well presented! I will admit that I just scanned it this time, but I'll send it to my Kindle for a closer read! Voted up and awesome! :)

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