I came across an excellent article at Harpers, The Christian Paradox, How a faithful nation gets Jesus wrong. It’s a long article, but it’s worth reading. While I don’t completely agree with every detail in there, I think the vast majority is right on.
Here are a few excerpts…
“America is simultaneously the most professedly Christian of the developed nations and the least Christian in its behavior.”
“[Dominant teachings of American churches] undercut Jesus, muffle his hard words, deaden his call, and in the end silence him. In fact, the soft-focus consumer gospel of the suburban megachurches is a perfect match for emergent conservative economic notions about personal responsibility instead of collective action.”
So, is America a “Christian Nation”? I’m not so sure. When traveling overseas, people have asked me what percentage of Americans are Christian, and I don’t know what to say. Sure, the majority claim to be Christians, but do our actions back that up? Are even half of Americans really Christian? A third? I don’t know.
Personally, I’m tired of the soft, comfortable, easy philosophical belief system that passes for Christianity in America. I want the kind of faith I’ve seen among the poorest of the poor in third world countries. The kind of faith I’ve seen in Christian workers in India. The kind of faith that Jesus taught about. The kind that costs something. The kind that is willing to risk everything.
I guess the real question is, am I willing to do what it takes to have that kind of faith, or am I too comfortable where I am?