Disclaimer: In some of our articles, especially under the Modern Issues section, we present readers with challenging issues to examine, reflect upon and research. The material is neither supported nor rejected by us, and no one is responsible for its content, other than the original source. Therefore readers are requested not to make any complaints, but to take time to reflect on the material from an Orthodox perspective.

The Origins and Implementation of the Heresy of Social Gospel

We have been writing much about this heresy of Social Gospel here on this website, in our old group on Facebook and still continuing to expose it in our new Facebook group. We have focused mainly on presenting the characteristics of this heresy, but let us explore a little into the origins of this heresy and how its implementation is being rolled out.

On a number of occasions we showed how really this heresy traces back to Francis Of Assisi, but made the point that it did not really start to become mainstream until more recent times. It was really in 1891 when Pope Leo XIII released his encyclical Rerum Novarum (On Capital and Labour ) when the foundations, the basis of this new heretical doctrine, were really laid.

Rerum Novarum and many papal encyclicals for the past 130 years have argued for various social causes like the protection of workers and the right to form a union. We already start to see here the perversion of the message (mission) of the Church towards serving a social purpose. In the very first paragraph of Rerum Novarum the concept of globalization was already being addressed in connection with new development of industry, new techniques striking out new paths, changed relations of employer and employee, abounding wealth among a very small number and destitution among the masses. Many church historians claim that Rerum Novarum is the starting point of an important tradition of Catholic social teaching on the economy, politics, world order, and peace that has served as a compelling alternative to secular politics.

But it was really the Second Council of Vatican that has produced the final version of this new, evolving doctrine. This council that was held in 1965 had as one of the decrees the one titled “Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World “.


It is impossible to not notice the humanistic tone of this document right from the beginning. It’s entire content focuses exclusively on “peace”, “equity”, “equality”, “morals”, “common values”, “justice”, “community of nations” etc etc. Chapter V of this document focuses on the challenges the world as a whole faces in the context of the modern times, and makes the case that a super-nationality-authority is required in order to address them. They argue that “the whole human family faces an hour of supreme crisis in its advance toward maturity”. It is important to note here the subtle allusion to the idea of humanity “maturing” towards the “omega point”, the point in which humanity unites with divinity, a concept that we have already encountered earlier on in various catholic writers.

Let us stop here and make an important observation, and which is something we also encountered in the philosophical writings of mason Rene Guenon – the idea of the need for a “universal crisis”, which is required to propel humanity towards its final “destination”.

Yet the chapter of most importance in our view in this Vatican II document is chapter IV – “The Role of the Church in the Modern World”. Just replace the word “Role” with its obvious synonym “Mission“, “Modern” with “Contemporary“, add the word “Orthodox” in there, and you get something we are more familiar with : “The Mission (Role) of the (Orthodox) Church in the Contemporary (Modern) World” – the very document adopted at the Council of Orthodox Churches in Crete in 2016.

Wow. All of a sudden we now can see the “smoking gun”. Not only is this a new ecclesiology introduced into the Orthodox Church only in recent times, but it is also a foreign ecclesiology! Yet earlier than Crete the very same document surfaced in the Russian Church under a series of “decrees” of its own: In August 2000, the ROC adopted its “Basis of the Social Concept” and in July 2008, its “Basic Teaching on Human Dignity, Freedom and Rights“. Ooops.

But please allow me to refer back to Vatican II for a second, because one of the other decrees focuses on a more technical aspect: the implementation of the preaching of this New Gospel, and specifically the use of “social media” towards achieving this goal. The name given to this decree by the Council of Vatican II is “Inter Mirifica“, or the “Decree on the Means of Social Communication“. This is actually its exact name.

If one tries to explain the explosion of social media platforms in recent times, in addition to the traditional ones, maybe this would be a good starting point – the need to make the spreading of this new gospel as efficient as it can be – it may seem they have all appeared for a specific purpose and are governed, if you look carefully, by the same authorities …

Coming back to the ROC‘s version, one of the Chapter included in the “Basis of the Social Concept” document is “Church and Mass Media“. Hmm. Other chapters include of course “The Church and Ecological Problems“, “Personal, Family and Public Morality“, “Church and Politics“, “Property“, “War and Peace” etc etc.


So what we are dealing with here is becoming crystal clear: A New Gospel focused exclusively on addressing social issues that really has no message of salvation left in it …

Think Twitter … 🙂

Related articles:



Download PDF