Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Dangers of believing in a "Christian nation"

Out of Ur has published an excerpt of Gregory Boyd's book, Myth of a Christian Nation, and it sounds outstanding. Here's an excerpt from the excerpt:
The myth of America as a Christian nation, with the church as its guardian, has been, and continues to be, damaging both to the church and to the advancement of God’s kingdom. Among other things, this nationalistic myth blinds us to the way in which our most basic and most cherished cultural assumptions are diametrically opposed to the kingdom way of life taught by Jesus and his disciples.

Instead of living out the radically countercultural mandate of the kingdom of God, this myth has inclined us to Christianize many pagan aspects of our culture. Instead of providing the culture with a radically alternative way of life, we largely present it with a religious version of what it already is. The myth clouds our vision of God’s distinctly beautiful kingdom and thereby undermines our motivation to live as set-apart (holy) disciples of this kingdom

Even more fundamentally, because this myth links the kingdom of God with certain political stances within American politics, it has greatly compromised the holy beauty of the kingdom of God to non-Christians. This myth harms the church’s primary mission.
Amen, amen and amen.


Blogger Unknown said...

I have only read "Letters From a Skeptic" but this one also looks interesting. Greg is quite a preacher as well. High energy! Thanks for the excerpt.

12:13 PM, April 05, 2006  
Blogger Pilgrim feet said...

I met a woman once who said the Pilgrims were sinners for splitting from the Church Of England...What say ye?

It was based on "freedom" to worship and freedom "from" tyranny.

Unfortunately, when you allow freedom, other negative aspects of society creep into the mix. Little like leaven?..

Milton-Take a look at this website and let me know your thoughts.


Good stuff! They blogged too!

4:46 PM, April 05, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is one of the most self righteous,piestic things I've read in a while.This is exactly what is wrong with Christianity's view of culture.All this does is perpetuate the apostacy of the last 75 years of Christianity in America.As you well know,many of America's founders believed they were founding a Christian nation for the right to worship freely and to spread the Gospel to the world.They may not have done it perfectly,but it was done better than any other time in Christianity's history.I would submit that they were living out the "radically countercultural mandate of the kingdom of God" more than you ever thought of doing.This was a radical change for Christianity in the context of history.They not only provided their immediate culture with a better,alternative way of life,but were also a witness to the rest of the world.Unfortunately,dispensationalism(and the apathy it created),along with humanism,turned America into your description of a "Christian nation myth".I would also submit that there is not a perfect church in America today.They all have degrees of humanism,apathy,and syncretism,but does that mean they are not Christian? Should they also be abandoned, or should we not seek to continually strengthen and reform them? I think our cultural mandate requires that we engage all of culture--church,community,and civil government.Is Christ not Lord over all spheres of life?To turn away from a certain sphere of influence is to hand it over to satan and say Christ has no business there.Your rhetoric in this piece seems to be a continuation of the traditions of the Christian church for the last three generations,NOT a counterculture mandate as was forged by the founders of America.

8:40 PM, April 05, 2006  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Oh, my. I just don't know about the Pilgrims. Growing up I never questioned the conventional wisdom that they were absolutely and heroically in the right. Since then I've come to see a little bit of how much they, and the founders of the U.S.A., were children of the Enlightenment, and during a time when the grave shortcomings of Enlightenment thought had not yet become apparent. One of those shortcomings is something you may be referring to in your comment: that liberty all to easily gives way to license.

I had seen the Mayflower Compact before. Although it has a certain Christian flavor in its tone, as did much of the writing in 17th century Britain, it still strikes me as more practical than anything else.

The piece from Bradford reminds me how thoroughly Protestant I was as a child--and still am today. That's because I'm as much a child of my day as the Pilgrims were of theirs.

As to whether or not they sinned for splitting? I really don't know (and, praise God, I don't have to make the call). No doubt their limited worldview caused them to sin as much as ours do today. That's why I praise God our salvation depends not on flawless obedience, but on God's grace to those who call on his name.


1:16 AM, April 06, 2006  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, blessings4free. Peace.

1:20 AM, April 06, 2006  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

By the way, PF, it's good to see you're posting again at Sojourn.

1:22 AM, April 06, 2006  

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