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Why Has American Christianity Failed?

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posted on Jan, 27 2017 @ 12:27 PM
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There was a topic in the political section here, asking to describe our politics without stating left, right, what it isn't, etc. It was a super cool thread and, in that, I cited Matthew 25:31-46, my favorite positive verses in the Christian bible as a guideline to my political beliefs. I astonished myself because, even though I've always cherished those words, I'd never realized that I also applied it to my political ideology... in fact the concept damn near summarizes my politics.

So you can imagine my elation when I came across an article on Sojo.net (Sojourners, a Christian site), asking why American Christianity has failed to live up to the basic tenets of Jesus. It's a fantastic article and I hope this new direction I've been seeing with some Christians becomes mainstream because it's the only way their religion will survive. I don't want to extinguish oppressive religions when we could simply question why they are oppressive in the first place (and if they even need to be to retain their identity).

Read it here: American 'Christianity' Has Failed
I encourage you to read this in full before commenting. It's well worth it.

Excerpt:

By these standards — and by the ultimate example that Jesus himself set for us by example — mainstream Christianity in America has failed. It looks nothing like Jesus. But the reality is that following Jesus is extremely hard. It demands giving away your most prized possessions and abandoning your biggest fears. So while there might be political, economic, financial, and safety reasons for implementing policies that harm people and refuse them help, there are certainly no gospel reasons.




posted on Jan, 27 2017 @ 12:30 PM
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a reply to: Abysha

My votes is literalists. When you take a metaphor as historical fact you have anchored yourself deep in the waters of intolerance.



posted on Jan, 27 2017 @ 12:38 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus
a reply to: Abysha

My votes is literalists. When you take a metaphor as historical fact you have anchored yourself deep in the waters of intolerance.




I used to agree with that (and still do sometimes) but... does it have to really be that way? In recent months, I've met Christians who stand up against intolerance and toxic dogma, Christians who follow goodness and reject harmful ignorance (inherent ignorance inside of religion will always be there but it's not always harmful).

If any of the Abrahamic faiths are to survive, they need to divorce themselves from identity politics. And Christians would have to vote without bias beyond what is just and right, regardless of what their perceived political peers tell them to vote for.

I've been told I suffer from astonishing degrees of unchecked optimism so I realize what I hope for is a tall order but I do see signs of this evolution already. Crossing my fingers.



posted on Jan, 27 2017 @ 12:42 PM
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My vote is not literalists, it's literally what the religion is, the sloppiness (clearly not divinely) stated in both the new and old testament, & how it has always been used and spread (forcefully).

It, like a few other religions, is built upon the tenants of division, judgement, scapegoating, and even worse, a fetish for "end times". These things aren't going to go over well in the long run... anywhere.



posted on Jan, 27 2017 @ 12:44 PM
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originally posted by: Abysha
In recent months, I've met Christians who stand up against intolerance and toxic dogma, Christians who follow goodness and reject harmful ignorance (inherent ignorance inside of religion will always be there but it's not always harmful).


If they are doing anything that can be considered 'liberal' in nature then many 'Christians' will positively state to you that they are doing the Devil's work.



posted on Jan, 27 2017 @ 12:46 PM
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a reply to: Abysha

I read the article Abysha and agree. But that is the thing ain't it. Others will read it and disagree. They will find other places in the Bible to agree with that make agreeing with this aspect of his teachings not so important.

To expand on his point above, for me, one of the things it comes down to is the God and Mammon issue. I think that to many modern day Christians think that they can have both. Then of course is the small problem of how so many add a word to the Golden Rule, " Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, except"

They have become content with being a Christian rather than being Christian.



posted on Jan, 27 2017 @ 12:50 PM
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The Satanic Panic of the 80s(thanks Tipper Gore), they became a easily targeted fundamentalist part of society.

The emergence of the 60's Hippies into power, driven by questioning every establishment for the sake of questioning everything.

Now here we are.



posted on Jan, 27 2017 @ 12:51 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus
a reply to: Abysha

My votes is literalists. When you take a metaphor as historical fact you have anchored yourself deep in the waters of intolerance.


What a great quote! But probably a lot of us believe stuff that isn't literally true; we just don't know it. It's not so much false beliefs that cause failure, but the insistence that Jesus is the ONLY path to salvation. Now THAT'S intolerance and it shows either a low level of intelligence or a high level of brainwashing! And that kind of intolerance is hardly limited to Christians.

I had occasion to attend a Methodist service a couple of weeks ago for a grand nephew that was being baptized. His father is Jewish. The minister was somewhat evangelical in her approach, but she stressed solidarity with a Muslim mosque that had been burned in an arson nearby and described efforts of this church to help out. And half of the ceremony consisted of the father, in complete Jewish regalia, offering blessings to his newborn son, a Jewish tradition. frankly i was surprised at this level of tolerance. I don't know if this is typical in Methodist churches, but I don't think one can claim "Christianity has failed" if this behavior is common.



posted on Jan, 27 2017 @ 12:53 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler
Now THAT'S intolerance and it shows either a low level of intelligence or a high level of brainwashing! And that kind of intolerance is hardly limited to Christians.


I completely agree with you on this point. No one religion has a monopoly on this type of behavior.



posted on Jan, 27 2017 @ 12:58 PM
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There is really a lot of good in the things Jesus taught. Seems what he taught has been twisted though. I guess it is because Jesus was teaching almost socialism and people selflessly helping each other just for the sake of it being what god wanted us to do. Look around you, what do you see?

I believe in god and truth, not someone's twisted perceptions. There are a lot of good Christians out there, I know many. Do I believe in god and the good that Jesus taught us? Of course, but I will not join a religion because doing so would mean I am judging others. That is not my job.

I will try to persuade others to do what I feel is right, but rarely do I judge them. Just because someone believes in something that is not real doesn't mean they are bad, most people believe in things that are not real. The interpretation of scientific evidence is steered by belief and the knowledge the writer has. What science says is real is only an interpretation, reading the evidence a lot and looking at opposing evidence will show you that.

Everything is messed up, I liked it better when our country had more conservative Christians in it.



posted on Jan, 27 2017 @ 01:04 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler
And half of the ceremony consisted of the father, in complete Jewish regalia, offering blessings to his newborn son, a Jewish tradition. frankly i was surprised at this level of tolerance. I don't know if this is typical in Methodist churches, but I don't think one can claim "Christianity has failed" if this behavior is common.



I appreciated your whole post but I just wanted to speak to what I quoted above. The problem is that it is not common. Just like the modern inclusive church isn't exactly "common".

They are becoming more so and that is wonderful. I'm not sure if you read the entire article but it goes into how things can get better and more in line with their gods. Overall, it's a very uplifting article if a person gets past the initial title and first few paragraphs. Sojo.net is an amazing site and I think their expression of Christianity will be the way forward for others.



posted on Jan, 27 2017 @ 01:09 PM
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a reply to: Abysha

I would say the American church failed when it stopped using and teaching 1John1:9 as a regular practice. Believers are priests under Christ (Rev1:6), so private confession of personal sins directly to God is a part of the priestly function.

So how can Matt 25:31-46 possibly be fulfilled if Christians won't own up to their short comings before God?

Instead we have Christians who have turned their focus on themselves and distort the Bible to feed their egos. Hence the rise of the Alt-Right and the Seven Mountains movement.
edit on 27-1-2017 by BELIEVERpriest because: added point



posted on Jan, 27 2017 @ 01:23 PM
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originally posted by: Abysha

The problem is that it is not common. Just like the modern inclusive church isn't exactly "common".


What do you know? When's the last time you stepped foot in a church?

Is there some irrefutable Harvard study that you can point to or is this coming from your own extremely limited perspective?



posted on Jan, 27 2017 @ 01:32 PM
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originally posted by: Bone75

originally posted by: Abysha

The problem is that it is not common. Just like the modern inclusive church isn't exactly "common".


What do you know? When's the last time you stepped foot in a church?

Is there some irrefutable Harvard study that you can point to or is this coming from your own extremely limited perspective?


Irrefutable proof? Well, for one, you can look at "mission" pages on nearly every church website to discover just how inclusive they are. From what I can tell, Episcopalians, Unitarians, and a few non-denominational branches are the only ones I've consistently seen do this.

And yes, I'm sure there's a study we could cite but it would be based on that same anecdotal evidence (ie self-reporting churches).



posted on Jan, 27 2017 @ 01:37 PM
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a reply to: Abysha

I agree. American Christianity is a perversion of the Christian religion that really worships power and greed over selflessness and giving. But not all American Christians are like this though. Some TRULY do understand this and work for a better religion. Unfortunately they are drowned out by the others led by the fundamentalists.
edit on 27-1-2017 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 27 2017 @ 01:56 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

"Many" is a slanted word for "some," particularly when it comes to judging others. Unless you'd like to quantify the difference, it's really just word to mark one's own bias towards something. Just my take. Perhaps someone has taken the time to quantify it, as I know research groups have done with other faiths?



posted on Jan, 27 2017 @ 01:57 PM
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2 Chronicles 7:14King James Version (KJV)

14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.



posted on Jan, 27 2017 @ 02:09 PM
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I can only speak to my own experience but I became severely disenchanted with traditional enthusiastic Protestantism several years ago. To me it felt soulless and nonspiritual to worship in a basketball court with a praise band.

Baby-boomers and Gen-Xers I think rejected the more conservative tendencies of their parents and have attempted to create this "mainstream" Christianity that they think will ensure their survival if only they can make church appear "cool."

My issue with this is that you are trying to disguise an imposed obligation (mandatory church attendance) by making it appear "fun" (hey, I like electric guitars so maybe this church thing isn't so bad... sort of a thing).

Young adults and millennials are starting to seek spiritual truth and meaning. I converted to Eastern Orthodoxy and it is one of the best things I could have done. The emptiness I felt in the basketball court is now filled with ancient spirituality that engages all the senses and provides a deep spiritual connection.

It may be the millenials and the "builder" generation after them that re-connect American values with traditional Christian values.



posted on Jan, 27 2017 @ 04:15 PM
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I want to wide it since it is not only Christians who are failing. Why are all three Abrahamic playing around with duality (us vs them thinking) in their scripture?

It is insanity to treat another soul as your soul brother/sister when they still bear the logical curse of dualistic spiritual superiority complex based on faith brainwashing. It might not be nice to see the big elephant in the room that Abrahamic religions are more in the way of spiritual peace and connection to the higher levels than an enabler for the maximized potential of all souls.

The christian have done insane things with their dualistic spiritual superiority complex that Paul fostered. Islam and Judaism is currently manifesting the same insanity in Zionism and Wahabbiism.

It is not wrong to call all these three groups partly insane on brainwashing and be neutral to their fate when they will not question their cultural and spiritual baggage to make sure they follow the golden rule.

The Zionist and Wahabbi and Alt right feeding each other in their hate and people going towards the extremes since they notice the insanity in each group and do not want the insane wolfs in their mist.
edit on 27-1-2017 by LittleByLittle because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 27 2017 @ 04:26 PM
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edit on 27-1-2017 by Justso because: (no reason given)







 
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