As a Christian, I believe there are a number of spiritual dangers that we face as Americans. There is a worldliness that has crept in among us. And by “worldliness,” I don’t mean whether or not you watch certain types of movies or dress in a certain fashion. Rather, my chief concern and the greatest spiritual threat that I believe any of us will face is that of our identity as Americans. As Christians baptized into the red, white, and blue, our nationalistic identity as Americans threatens to distort our view of what it means to be a Christian.
The late Art Katz was fond of saying in his sermons, “You are far too American…”
We have something of a identity crisis as Christians living in America. For many, to be a Christian and American is pretty much one and the same. As a result, our identity as Americans often shapes our spiritual identity, beliefs, and values. And from this, our faith becomes polluted, as we end up becoming much more American than we are Christian, and are easily misled by the ever shifting sands of our culture and society.
Our identity as Americans shapes what we believe, the way we think, and the way we act. And increasingly, being an American means identifying with a certain sub-set of Americans… people who are either Republicans or Democrats. And with everything in our society becoming increasingly political, it becomes near impossible for us to avoid being polarized into those two political camps.
At the end of the day, we are being forced into warring factions and tribes, all because of who we are as Americans is far more important to us than who we are in Christ. We have been discipled more by Sean Hannity and Wolf Blitzer than we have the pastors of our own churches. And the acid test of our orthodoxy has become whether or not we will vote for Donald Trump or Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
In today’s podcast, I talk more about the spiritual problem that I believe we as American Christians face, and propose an alternative mindset by which we can find freedom from the corruption of this world. And I believe the key to this lies in a mindset that the “old timers” of our faith used to say, “We are in this world, but not of this world.” In the same spirit, I would say “We are in America, but not of America.”
Listen to the podcast as I discuss the following passage of Scripture, as I see it key to who we are supposed to be as Christians, and how we are to live our faith out in America
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.”1 Peter 2:9-11 (NASB)
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