The fatal conceit of the American church

Do you think it is fair to say that the Christian church in America has spent the bulk of its time and treasure evangelizing the rest of the world, while it ignored America? Perhaps that has just been a quirk of my church attendance over the years, but that is how it seems to me. America, our own nation, was not viewed by most churches here as a mission field – even back when the “news” was mainly about what had happened that day, and less about how to frame it to keep certain media-favored politicians in elected office.

Surely this view was filled with conceit (the rest of the world was populated with heathen peoples in need of “Chistianizing,” but America was already Christian) because the churches that it did have were full on Sunday mornings and the collection plates were full at the end of the service.

In view of our own nation’s current condition, perhaps it would have made more sense to send missionaries to Washington, D.C., and other major U.S. cities, along with the 50 state capitols to accomplish Jesus’ directive to “Make disciples of all nations.” A nation that had been discipled in accordance with Jesus’ teachings would not have elected corruptocrats to rule over it, would not have built abortion temples where children were sacrificed to the gods of modern convenience, would not have embraced sexual confusion and would not have removed Christian history from its schools. Rather, a nation that had been discipled would have taught Creation, not an evolutionary fantasy.

From that seemingly insignificant lesson, it would have followed that we were responsible to our Creator for our treatment of His Creation, including other people, whom He also created. Instead, we teach children that everything arrived by accident from a cosmic burp, and we are at the top of the food chain. Why are we then surprised when children behave in a way consistent with how they have been taught? You don’t make disciples of nations by ignoring the education of your own children.

It’s not only our schools that have ignored Christian education. So have many of our churches. Somehow “theology” became more important than intimate relationship, which is what God has always wanted with His people. God doesn’t “need” any one of us, but He “wants” every one of us to love Him and communicate with Him. Jesus made that very thing possible, so why do so many of us spurn that gift? How amazing is it that the God who created everything and everyone wants to talk with us and tell us what He is doing in the world?

Of course, if we don’t believe that God is doing anything in the world, but rather that it is all up to us to fix it for Him, then we might not be so eager to talk with Him about his plans for the world, and for us, our family and our friends. Do we really understand that when God verbalizes his plans, both the natural realm and the supernatural realm mobilize to “make it so”?

Jesus carried that same authority, not because of anything he had done, but because of who He was – and is. He explicitly stated that authority to his disciples after his resurrection. “All authority in Heaven and on Earth is given unto me. …” He wasn’t bragging; he was just stating the facts.

The Apostle John called us “children of God.” It is expected that children will at some point become adults (grow up). Has the Christian church in America grown up? Are we using the authority God gave us to defeat evil in our world? Or are we trying to do it in our own power (political, financial, personal, etc.)?

Simple translation: “Everything will be better after the next election!” Really? Is Jesus even electable in America today? Or have we allowed evil to overrun the nation and world because we are insisting on fixing a problem that we see in the natural world, using only the tools of the natural world. Such a view negates the power Jesus used to heal people and expel demons from people who were afflicted. Or is our world today so neat and tidy that we no longer have to deal with disease and demons?

What if our view of looking strictly from the natural world and ignoring the supernatural (spiritual) world causes us to misunderstand the problems we face? What if that misunderstanding causes us to oppose and promote the wrong solutions to our problems in the natural world? What if Christians already have the authority to deal with the problems in the supernatural (spiritual) realm, but ignore those solutions in favor of the more limited natural realm? What if evil people, executing their evil plans, are the real problem? How does us fighting our wars on the devil’s territory make us more likely to succeed, as opposed to operating in the supernatural (spiritual) realm, as Jesus taught us to do?

Why on earth would we think that our powers that flow from large churches with big memberships and famous pastors is how we will defeat evil in our world, our nation and other nations? Are World Wars really the best way to defeat evil people and evil plans? What if Jesus was trying to teach us how to use the tools God had already given us to defeat evil? If so, why do we act as if we are barred from the supernatural (spiritual) world until after our death?

Is it perhaps just possible that American Christianity has gone terribly wrong and exported its own Gospel of the Natural to the world at large, making other nations not disciples, but as ineffective against evil as we are?

Evil tends to ignore negotiated settlements with those it is already destroying. Rather, it responds best to having its territory reclaimed by the Blood of Jesus at the Cross, where death itself was finally defeated, and the communion that men and women had with the Creator, himself, when they walked together in the Garden, in the cool of the day, in intimate fellowship together. If Jesus on the Cross paid for that gift, why would we ignore God’s personal attention upon our daily concerns, including good and evil, and what God is doing in the world today to secure our enjoyment of His Creation both in the natural and the supernatural realms?

The (real) Armageddon Story –

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