10 Ways To Determine If Your Christianity Has Been “Americanized”

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Crabtownboy, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    16,609
    Likes Received:
    157
    Is the version of Christianity you’re living out the real-deal or is it the Americanized version? Here are ten ways you can tell– but there are undoubtedly many more:

    1. If you look at the early Christians and are in disbelief over what you find.
    If your primary identity is legitimately that of a Christian, you’ll be open to learning about Christianity as it was taught and lived by the earliest Christians. However, from an American mindset, original Christianity and the first Christians appear nuts: they were universally nonviolent (against capital punishment, abortion, military service and killing in self-defense), rejected individual ownership of property in order to redistribute their wealth (Acts 2:44-45, Acts 4:35), and rejected any involvement with the government. When reading about them they seem rather un-American, and this will cause frustration or disbelief among those in Americanized Christianity.

    2. Your chief concern with Muslims is how to defeat them instead of how to show them the love of Christ.
    The chief calling of a Christ-follower is to love others. Whether a neighbor across the street, or an enemy across the world, Christ’s command is abundantly clear: we are to love one another. If your initial posture toward Muslims is that of viewing them as a threat instead of viewing them as people Jesus has commanded we radically and self-sacrificially love, then your Christianity might be Americanized.

    3. If you can recite more of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights than you can the Sermon on the Mount.
    Love the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights because they set the foundation for our country? Well, did you know that the Sermon on the Mount serves the same function for the new, otherworldly Kingdom principles that Jesus followers are supposed to be living by? If you’re more familiar with America’s founding documents than you are the foundation of Jesus’s teachings, your Christianity might be Americanized.

    4. If you’re going to spend more time focused on the presidential election than serving real people around you.
    Jesus calls us to get busy serving the least of these– to get our hands dirty, to embrace the position of “servant of everyone,” and to pour ourselves out as we endeavor to change the world right where we are. America on the other hand, invites us to view political power and force of government as the solution to the world’s problems, and that’s a tempting offer for both liberals and conservatives. If you’re more focused on what they could do than what you can do, your Christianity might be Americanized. (And here’s one similar: if you judge the heart of fellow Christians because you don’t like the political candidate they voted for, your Christianity might be Americanized.)

    5. If you advocate cutting government programs for the poor but don’t actually tithe yourself.
    An American value is small government and low tax rates, but a Christian value is the elimination of poverty– which is precisely why the early Christians shared their wealth instead of hoarding it. However, while many American Christians fight for lower taxes, the average American Christian doesn’t give money to charity. Where the early church shared everything, statistics show that Americanized Christians share almost nothing- less than 5% even tithe to their church. When we reject the Americanization of Christianity, we become focused on how to give more, not on how to give less.

    6. If you say “we’re a nation of laws” in reference to immigrants faster than you quote what the Bible says about immigrants.
    For a nation of immigrants, American culture has a shockingly hostile posture toward them. When this bleeds into our Christianity, we see Christians adopt a hostile posture as well– and that’s the last possible posture a Christian should have. The Bible has plenty to say on immigrants, and consistently lists them as one of the vulnerable groups of people God-followers care for. While the government has a right to determine who can come and who must go, the primary posture of a Christian is that of radical love towards immigrants of every type.

    7. If you think Paul’s prohibition on female teachers is straightforward, but Jesus’s teaching on enemy love is somehow open to a thousand degrees of nuance.
    People often forget that Paul wrote letters to specific churches addressing specific problems that had a specific context. Yet, in a society that is still wrestling with patriarchy and sexism, we take Paul’s letter to a specific church and make it a blanket prohibition for all times and cultures. However, when we get to Jesus saying “love your enemy” and “do not respond to an evildoer with violence” we abandon that same hermeneutic and say, “Well, Jesus couldn’t have meant we’re not supposed to kill our enemies.” Why? It’s Americanization- we interpret scripture in a way that is consistent not with authorial intent, but our own culture.

    8. If you only see sexuality in the admonition to be modest.
    We are a society that sees sex in everything– and we see it in Paul’s admonitions for modesty as well. However, if you look closely you’ll see that Paul isn’t talking about sexual modesty, but is prohibiting Christians from flaunting their money with expensive clothing and jewelry. However, we don’t see that in the text because Americanized Christianity would reject the idea we aren’t supposed to own expensive and flashy things. So, we make the passages about sexual modesty so that we can enjoy our expensive and unnecessary toys without a guilty conscience– all the while policing women with yoga pants.

    9. If you think defeating gay marriage is the most pressing issue of our time.
    Somewhere along the line, the Americanized version of Christianity taught us that defeating gay marriage was perhaps the most pressing issue of our time. Sadly, as Americans we’re taught to be self-centered and this is an incredibly self-centered view that completely ignores the global issues of our time. It is the mistaken identity that our issues are the issues. The most pressing issues of our time? Let’s start with the fact that 750 million people around the world don’t even have access to clean water or that 805 million people are chronically malnourished.

    10. If your church honors soldiers more than the elderly woman who has been quietly teaching Sunday school for 30 years.
    Because of the blending of America and Christianity, many of our churches sure do love them a man or woman in uniform. Back in my military days I remember wearing my uniform to church when I came home on leave– you get treated like you’re the most important person in the room. But you know who is the most important person in the room? It’s the person who is not in the room at all– it’s that little old lady who has quietly and lovingly been teaching the kids about Jesus while the rest of the church forgets she even exists. Americanized Christianity loves to fawn over those who fought, but the Kingdom of God teaches us the real heroes are the ones who are quietly serving in our midst to the point we are almost unaware they’re even among us.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/americanized-christianity/
     
  2. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,287
    Likes Received:
    780
    Keep Jesus Out of Your Socialism

    The headline of the full-page ad asks, "What Would Jesus Cut?—A budget is a moral document." The text continues, "Our faith tells us that the moral test of a society is how it treats the poor."

    The ad was produced by Sojourners, a self-described "evangelical" organization whose slogan is "Faith in Action for Social Justice." The ad was signed by Sojourners president Jim Wallis and more than two dozen Religious Left pastors, theologians, and activists. They urge our legislators to ask themselves, "What would Jesus cut?" from the federal budget.

    How would you answer that question? My answer would be, "It's a nonsense question. Your premise is faulty. Your priorities are not His priorities."

    Jesus had many opportunities to confront the Roman government about its spending priorities. It was, after all, one of the most brutal regimes in history. If the question "What would Jesus cut?" has any biblical relevance, we should be able to cite instances where Jesus lectured the Roman oppressors the same way the Religious Left lectures America.

    Just compare ancient Rome with America today. Rome sent its armies out to conquer; America sends its soldiers out to liberate. Rome demanded tribute from other nations; America sends aid and emergency relief around the world. Rome enslaved nations; America rebuilds nations.

    If the federal budget is a "moral document," what does it say about America? It suggests to me that America may be the most moral nation on earth! Name one other country that has spent $15 billion fighting AIDS in Africa. Name one other country that has provided more disaster relief, that has built more schools and water treatment plants, that has supplied more food aid around the world, that has sent more doctors, teachers, and technical advisers to developing nations.

    Even America's military budget—much of which is being spent to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan—reflects the basic compassion and unselfishness of the American people. Clearly, America hardly deserves any scolding from the Sojourners soapbox.

    http://www.michaelyoussef.com/michaels-blogs/keep-jesus-out-of-your-socialism.html
     
  3. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,287
    Likes Received:
    780
    Keep Jesus Out of Your Socialism (Part 2)

    In part one of this series, I made clear, from the words of Jesus and the New Testament, that ministering to the poor and the needy among us is the work of Christian individuals and the church, not the secular government. Jesus said, "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. . . ." Today's Religious Left wants to change that to, "He has anointed the federal government to preach good news to the poor."

    The Christian gospel is a message of salvation, not a message of income redistribution and raising our neighbor's taxes. Jesus said that the way to serve the poor is by giving generously of our own resources. "But when you give a banquet," He said in Luke 14, "invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

    The Religious Left is very generous—with other people's money. In fact, I believe the founder of the Religious Left was none other than Judas Iscariot. When Mary, the sister of Lazarus, anointed Jesus with costly perfume just days before the crucifixion, Judas lectured her and said, "Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor?"

    Notice that Judas put on a show of caring for the poor—even though the money was Mary's, not his! The motives of Judas, John 12:6 tells us, were corrupt and self-centered—and Jesus responded with a stinging rebuke.

    At least one of the Lord's disciples was a "social action Christian" in the Sojourners mold: Simon Zelotes (Simon the Zealot). Just as Sojourners president Jim Wallis was once president of the Michigan State chapter of the militant Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Simon Zelotes was a young political radical who attached himself to Jesus because he thought Jesus would lead a revolt against the Roman Empire.

    Simon saw Jesus as a political Messiah who would topple the powerful while lifting up the poor and oppressed. But Jesus was not a political Messiah. He didn't attack the Roman Empire. He did battle with the Evil Empire of Satan himself.

    Jesus didn't tell the Roman government what its budget priorities should be. Why? Because His agenda was much larger than the agenda of Simon Zelotes or the Religious Left. His eyes were fixed on eternity. He said, "My kingdom is not of this world."

    http://www.michaelyoussef.com/michaels-blogs/keep-jesus-out-of-your-socialism-part-2.html
     
  4. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,287
    Likes Received:
    780
    Keep Jesus Out of Your Socialism (Part 3)

    Previously, I talked about the Sojourners-sponsored ad headlined "What Would Jesus Cut?" The ad, signed by Jim Wallis and more than two dozen leaders of the Religious Left, urged our leaders to ask themselves what Jesus would cut from the federal budget.

    Called "the leader of the Religious Left by The New York Times, Rev. Jim Wallis has a long history of denouncing his own country. In Agenda for Biblical People (1976), Jim Wallis refers to America as a "fallen nation." In an article in Mission Trends, Wallis approvingly predicted that "more Christians will come to view the world through Marxist eyes" and that "so-called 'young evangelicals' . . . [will] see the impossibility of making capitalism work for justice and peace."

    During the 1980s, Wallis defended the U.S.S.R. and blamed the U.S. for Cold War tensions, claiming, "At every turn, U.S. policy-makers have chosen to assume the very worst about their Soviet counterparts." He denounced the U.S. government which was trying to halt the spread of communism in Latin America in the 1980s, and supported Communist factions in Nicaragua and El Salvador.

    In a 2006 radio broadcast, an interviewer asked, "Are you then calling for the redistribution of wealth in society?" Wallis replied, "Absolutely, without any hesitation. That's what the gospel is all about." Actually, no, that's what The Communist Manifesto is all about.

    The organization Wallis heads, Sojourners, has received grants from the Open Society Institute totaling nearly a third of a million dollars. OSI is the foundation created by far-left atheist billionaire George Soros to fund his socialist, globalist agenda. Wallis first denied, then admitted, that Sojourners took the Soros money, claiming the amounts were "so small that I hadn’t remembered them."

    Another signer of the "What Would Jesus Cut?" ad is sociologist Tony Campolo, quoted by John Oliver Mason in The Progressive (August 2005) as saying, "To be a Christian in today's world is to be opposed to America. Why? . . . America says, 'Blessed are the rich.' Jesus said, 'Woe unto you who are rich, blessed are the poor.'"

    As an African-born American, I worked my way to this country. I paid for my education and was glad to do so. Unlike many people who were born in America and take its blessings for granted, I know how rare those blessings are in this world.

    I don't see America as a "fallen nation." To me, America is a lighthouse of liberty, a shining city on a hill. May God bless my adopted homeland and may He open the eyes of those who deplore and oppose what God has blessed.

    What's the best way to lift people out of poverty? America has spent trillions on anti-poverty programs—yet, as Jesus said, we still have the poor among us. These programs don't end poverty. They just incentivize it.

    The best way—in fact, the only way—to lift people out of poverty is by creating jobs. How do you do that? With stimulus spending? When Congress passed the $787 billion Stimulus Bill in February 2009, unemployment stood at 8.2 percent. Before the end of the year, unemployment topped 10 percent; today it's at 9.1 percent. Clearly, "stimulus" spending doesn't work.

    The only way to create jobs is to set the private sector free by cutting taxes and cutting government red tape. (I don't say that's what Jesus would cut; it's common sense.) The most effective anti-poverty program ever devised is a job, and most jobs in America are created by small businesses. When a businessman puts his capital at risk and hires employees, he's fighting poverty.


    http://www.michaelyoussef.com/michaels-blogs/keep-jesus-out-of-your-socialism-part-3.html
     
  5. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,287
    Likes Received:
    780
    "To use the name of Christ to advance a socialist ideology is to abuse His name. Jesus is Lord and Savior. His Kingdom is not of this world. He left the glories of heaven to be crucified, to rise again, to conquer hell and the grave—not to become a mascot for a worldly political movement." ~ Michael Youssef
     
  6. vooks

    vooks
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    Messages:
    1,256
    Likes Received:
    1
    surely he should defend Americanism without being silly. We are pouring money into Itaq and Afghanistan because we poured some more destroying them.
     
  7. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,287
    Likes Received:
    780
    Which was a result of his invasion into another sovereign country and his slaughtering of his own people. Context is important. So no he was not being silly. Silly is misrepresenting what happened by ignoring context.
     
  8. vooks

    vooks
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    Messages:
    1,256
    Likes Received:
    1
    They say patriotism and common sense are mutually exclusive.
    We're they decimating Iraq because of an invasion or because of some fictitious WMD?
     
  9. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    16,609
    Likes Received:
    157
    Rev. there you go again, misdirecting the subject of the OP. You are very good at this. How about examining the OP and determining if your beliefs have been Americanized.

    Which do you value more, the teaching of Christ or your patriotic feelings?

    Are you more concerned with killing Muslims or bringing the love of Christ to them?
     
  10. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,287
    Likes Received:
    780
    Actually my posts are very much in line with the op and in fact refute its premise directly. Maybe your view of misdirecting is when someone effectively refutes the errors in the op. We have a few posters on this board who make such claims. However, the reality is the op is wrong, untrue, and quite frankly a bit dishonest.
     
  11. JohnDeereFan

    JohnDeereFan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    11


    Why would we look to you to tell us about either one? [edited--questioning salvation]
    First, do you have evidence for this?

    Second, so what? Is our Christianity based on the Word of God or what other men do?

    Nothing in those verses says they rejected individual ownership of property.

    So, if we don't stop Muslims, how are we showing love to their victims?

    Loving somebody doesn't mean you don't stop them from hurting someone.

    As long as they're killing people, they're a threat.

    Actually, the Sermon on the Mount isn't a lecture on social values, as you so ignorantly would have us believe. It's a reiteration of the law.

    Category fallacy.

    I believe electing Godly men and American men is serving those around us.

    Then why do you insist on outsourcing this responsibility to the government?

    Then maybe you should join us. We believe in less government and less political power.

    Have you ever read your posts???

    First of all, why should we tithe? We're not Jews. This isn't the Nation of Israel.

    Where are Christians ever told to tithe? And which tithe? Do we pay all the tithes? Who do we pay them to? And for what purpose?

    Second, how does cutting government dependency programs indicate anything about us?

    Verse? If this is true, then why did Jesus say the poor would always be among us? For that matter, could you please define "poverty"?

    Do you mean American poor or Ethiopian poor?

    Actually, it's very well known that Christians give more to charity. Even the anti-American Huffington Post admits this:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/20/study-less-religious-stat_n_1810425.html

    Why would any Christian tithe when the tithe was an Old Testament Jewish concept, not a Christian one?

    First of all, we're not a nation of immigrants. Most of us were born here and our families have been here for many generations. In my family, the last family member to immigrate here was in the early 1800s. My wife's family, about the same.

    We're not a nation of immigrants. We're a nation of laws.

    Second, we're not hostile to legal immigrants at all. We merely ask that they follow the law and assimilate.

    Do you know why TV stations include naturalization ceremonies on the news? Because they know we're very proud to have had a country that immigrants want to come to and wanted to be a part of.

    Third, could you please cite some of these Bible verses so we can examine them in context? What Bible verses say it's OK for people to break the law because they're immigrants?

    And yet, you can't even cite one verse.

    I see. So then, Eve was only deceived in specific churches and in specific contexts?

    Wait, where does Jesus say "do not respond to an evildoer with violence"? And why would He contradict Romans 13 in this way?

    Why is it self centered to want to defend marriage?

    You were never in the military.
     
    #11 JohnDeereFan, Jul 23, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2015
  12. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    16,609
    Likes Received:
    157
    You paint with a broad brush and never approach the real topic. Which is more important to you, Christ or patriotism?
     
  13. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,287
    Likes Received:
    780


    Oh you must mean the same broad brush used in the op.

    The Christ of the Bible. Not the Christ you fabricate.
     
  14. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    16,609
    Likes Received:
    157
    I think the points by the author were pretty specific. I realized he stepped very hard on your toes and that is why you wanted to throw the discussion away from the points in the OP.

    Do you advocate cutting programs for the poor?

    You only encourage me to continually show the message of Christ on how we are to treat others.
     
    #14 Crabtownboy, Jul 23, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2015
  15. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,287
    Likes Received:
    780


    Actually the refutation of the points in the op which were based on a false premise about Jesus and the early church were soundly presented. I know you cannot deal with them so you ignore facts. You cannot actually defend the op so you falsely accuse others like you have done with me here in this thread. You are known for it. Unless you are willing to actually deal with the points of the op and how they have been soundly refuted by Dr. Youssef then we are done. After this post I will not entertain anymore "have you quit beating your wife" questions.

    What I advocate is the poor getting jobs.
     
    #15 Revmitchell, Jul 23, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2015
  16. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    16,609
    Likes Received:
    157
    At a living wage? Do you support raising the minimum wage?
     
  17. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,287
    Likes Received:
    780
    The premise of the op is that if you oppose coercive government wealth redistribution then you are against taking care of the poor and your religion is "Americanized".

    It is a false premise and it is quite dishonest. It presents government wealth redistribution as the only means to address the poor therefore if you are against it you are against God.

    The op is flat out evil as it misrepresents God in order to push a political agenda and presents opposition to coercive government wealth redistribution and immoral.

    We, as Christians, need to be very careful how we present our politics and how we represent God. This extreme left wing Marxism found in the op is about as worldly as it can get.

    Really, the op is shameful, unChristian, and immoral itself.

    AS Dr. Youssef said, using Jesus as a mascot for a political agenda in this manner is abhorrent.
     
  18. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,287
    Likes Received:
    780
    What I support is the freedom to become skilled to be able to earn more because the value of their work is valued more.


    Do you believe the federal budget is a "moral document,"?
     
  19. JohnDeereFan

    JohnDeereFan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    11
    Please define "living wage". And, do you mean a wage a nineteen year old could live on or a forty year old husband and father of four.

    A "living wage" in New York City? Or a "living wage" in Cullman, Alabama?
     
  20. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,287
    Likes Received:
    780
    I have a lot of family in Cullman.
     

Share This Page

Loading...