At the beginning of the 20th century, America underwent a seismic shift in the way the country's economy was organized. The new corporate industrial system was generating immense wealth for the fortunate few and severe deprivation for the resulting social casualties. Thanks to the actions of people of conscience, including Christians who embraced the Social Gospel, a wide range of progressive measures were enacted that addressed the system's most serious flaws. In the process, they helped create a globally admired American way of life that endured until recently.
Despite the brief period when the Social Gospel movement had its greatest impact, the changes that it helped generate were remarkable. In partnership with the labor unions and other progressives, it secured such benefits for working people and their families as a living wage, safe workplaces, workers' compensation for injuries, widows' pensions, health and unemployment insurance, and a ban on child labor. The role of the Social Gospel movement in achieving these reforms has been largely forgotten. However, the moral force that it brought to the struggle had an enormous impact. They were angry about what Jesus would be angry about -- preventable poverty, greed, failing to love one's neighbor as oneself. They took seriously the implications of such admonitions as "I was hungry and you fed me not; I was naked and you clothed me not."
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This is a very thoughtful article, and asks important questions - like, why does Christianity seem so far removed from Jesus' actual teachings?
The Urantia Book provides some answers
98:7.11 Christianity, today, has become a religion well adapted to the social, economic, and political mores of the white races. It has long since ceased to be the religion of Jesus, although it still valiantly portrays a beautiful religion about Jesus to such individuals as sincerely seek to follow in the way of its teaching. It has glorified Jesus as the Christ, the Messianic anointed one from God, but has largely forgotten the Master’s personal gospel: the Fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of all men.
142:7.4 He next explained that the “kingdom idea” was not the best way to illustrate man’s relation to God; that he employed such figures of speech because the Jewish people were expecting the kingdom, and because John had preached in terms of the coming kingdom. Jesus said: “The people of another age will better understand the gospel of the kingdom when it is presented in terms expressive of the family relationship—when man understands religion as the teaching of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, sonship with God.” Then the Master discoursed at some length on the earthly family as an illustration of the heavenly family, restating the two fundamental laws of living: the first commandment of love for the father, the head of the family, and the second commandment of mutual love among the children, to love your brother as yourself. And then he explained that such a quality of brotherly affection would invariably manifest itself in unselfish and loving social service.
159:5.8 Jesus put the spirit of positive action into the passive doctrines of the Jewish religion. In the place of negative compliance with ceremonial requirements, Jesus enjoined the positive doing of that which his new religion required of those who accepted it. Jesus’ religion consisted not merely in believing, but in actually doing, those things which the gospel required. He did not teach that the essence of his religion consisted in social service, but rather that social service was one of the certain effects of the possession of the spirit of true religion.
170:5.11 The Master fully realized that certain social results would appear in the world as a consequence of the spread of the gospel of the kingdom; but he intended that all such desirable social manifestations should appear as unconscious and inevitable outgrowths, or natural fruits, of this inner personal experience of individual believers, this purely spiritual fellowship and communion with the divine spirit which indwells and activates all such believers.
See also Christianity's Problem