Back in the 1980s I was invited to a Christian leadership conference. As soon as Kenneth Copeland finished preaching, he led us in singing “America the Beautiful.” Everyone had their hands raised and their eyes closed-except me. I was looking around the auditorium in horror.
Now I happen to think America is beautiful. I am glad I live here. But WHAT were they worshiping? I asked the man next to me. He said, “Just sing along.” No, I will not just sing along. The conflation of God and the USA has gone way too far already. I objected then and I object today.
Too much cross pollination between church and politics! America’s “Greed is Good” mantra so popular in the 1980s infected the Church like a nasty virus. The video below is a good illustration of that.
Greedy Christians, REPENT. Christian “celebrities” (!) can go and we won’t miss them. Most preachers are good people, struggling along just like their congregation, trying to do the right thing.
Cross-pollination is often the mission of today’s church. Patriotism, politics, entertainment, financial management, sexual activity, medicine (just look at the Hobby Lobby case). Interesting piece in Alternet came out a couple of days ago that illustrates just how intense the situation is within one megachurch and how dire the consequences can be for pastors and their congregations: Mark Driscoll is spiraling and it’s extremely interesting to watch.
Thanks for the comment-and the link. I’ll check it out. My beef is that we Christians are supposed to have Good News for the world. It’s supposed to be so simple that even little children can get it. All the cross-pollination just obfuscates the message, and ultimately the message itself ends up ignored. Minus the Good News, I’ve got nothing to offer but my opinion.
Oh-a Calvinist-that explains a lot. There was a portrait of John Calvin hanging in Fred Phelp’s church. I was just researching Calvin-yet again-to see where Christians made a really bad turn back there. Calvin ran a theocracy in Geneva, checked in people’s closets to make sure their clothes were modest, and executed many heretics. The bad news is they had a big influence in early America, and if Driscoll’s 14,000 member church is an indication, this rot has not gone away yet.
Yeah he’s a part of the whole “New Calvinism” scene. Watered down and prettied up for today’s American, but with all of the guilt!
That said, the true Calvinists that I’ve met have been some of *the* most intelligent Christians I’ve ever talked to. Well educated in their beliefs and history. Not as much, of course, as those Eastern Orthodox guys who believe the stuff that happened before Luther is worth studying too.
Anyway, I’m just an atheist and reformed dumbed-down evangelical who has a lot of interest today’s church exactly because of that cross-pollination and its influence on our nation and world. Have been enjoying the blog–good work here.
You inspired me to post a John Calvin article. Glad to make your acquaintance. 🙂