Christians are Idiots

Ok, not all of them.  The American ones.  Well, not all of them I suppose, but a whooooole lot of them.  But if I got your attention or got you angry, read on.

This has been building in me for a long time.  We Christians have our causes, but most of them are not even remotely related to Christ.  I’m not saying they’re bad, mind you – but I am saying they are somewhat meaningless. And I wonder if our passion for the gospel matches our passion for our causes.

Many Christians get all fired up over immigration.  “If those people want to live here, they should learn to speak english!”  I wonder if you know your bible they way that you expect them to know your language?

We love to rail against the users in society.  “If I need a drug test to get a job, then people should have to pass one to get welfare.”  Do you put the same performance tests on chronic users in the church?  Are you a consumer?

I’m not saying that these sentiments are necessarily bad.  I’m just wondering if we are consistent.

Secular culture is full of ideas that are contrary to the Christian faith.  (This should not be any great surprise – that’s why we call it secular!)  What is absolutely stunning to me though, is the degree to which we not only accept them, but actually embrace these ideas in our churches.

Some of should be evident to anyone with even a passing knowledge of Christianity.  The Twilight rage, for instance.  Isn’t it common sense that young girls should not offer their necks, their blood, and their virginity to older men?  Nope.  The church ladies love it.

Some of it should be plain to people versed in Christian doctrine.  “The Shack” comes to mind – a book written by a man who does not belong to a church and does not identify himself as a Christian.  A book full of fuzzy, Christian-sounding themes, yet poor theology at best.  A book that has nevertheless been embraced by the American church.  (I’m now realizing that I have never formally posted on this topic.  May have to do that soon.)

And finally, some of it looks and sounds Christian, but all that is required to determine its orthodoxy is to ask a few questions.  But do we?  Nope.

Enter Glenn Beck, and the topic that got me fired up today.  Nice enough guy, solid values, hard-worker, entrepreneur.  Heck, he’s even entertaining.  But how did he enter the church?  Is anyone even aware that he is a Mormon?  Mormons are nice people and all, but come on!  The guy is on a different team!  He does not believe what you believe!

I have enjoyed listening to his tirades as much as the next conservative.  I appreciate his national pride.  He even has some good business advice.  But now we’re looking to Mr. Beck for a rallying cry for Christianity.  Ummm…   HE ISN’T A CHRISTIAN!!  Any revival he initiates is not one you want to be part of!

People are posting links to tell others to “Join Glenn each morning for live prayer”.  What?!?!!  When did we start intermingling our faith with the other faiths of our nation?  Seems like I recall the children of Israel doing something like that a time or two and running into some problems over it.  But, I digress.

This post was inspired by a much better one by Dr. Russell Moore.  I highly recommend you read it.  Here are a few excerpts:

A Mormon television star stands in front of the Lincoln Memorial and calls American Christians to revival. …  The news media pronounces him the new leader of America’s Christian conservative movement, and a flock of America’s Christian conservatives have no problem with that.

If you’d told me that ten years ago, I would have assumed it was from the pages of an evangelical apocalyptic novel about the end-times. But it’s not. It’s from this week’s headlines. And it is a scandal.

American Christians have had to endure years of vacuous talk about undefined “revival” and “turning America back to God” that was less about anything uniquely Christian than about, at best, a generically theistic civil religion and, at worst, some partisan political movement.

Too often, and for too long, American “Christianity” has been a political agenda in search of a gospel useful enough to accommodate it.

Where there is no gospel, something else will fill the void: therapy, consumerism, racial or class resentment, utopian politics, crazy conspiracy theories … anything will do.

It’s sad to see so many Christians confusing Mormon politics or American nationalism with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Again – I recommend that you go and read his post in its entirety.  Lots of stuff to make you think.  Thanks to Dr. Moore for speaking up.  It seems few are interested in doing so these days.

When you’re done with his post, let your mind wander back to the American church – and to your church.  I’ll bet you won’t have to look far to find things that martyrs have died over, yet are acceptable today.

Hopefully, that won’t be acceptable to you.

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  • Brett

    A… frigging… men. I’ve been thinking the exact same thing. Thanks for raising the issue, Scott.

  • Jdchilds

    Hummm Jimmy Carter says he is a Christian and born again. I voted for him the first time on the basis of what he said. After I saw his works, I didn’t vote for him again. The Lord knows the hearts of men and we can only know them by their fruits. Glen Beck says he is mormon. He is bringing a lot of American’s together and many of them are very strong Christians. I am sure they will be praying for him. I would like to think that it is the Lord’s plan to capture his heart and he will become the leader that America truly needs and is directed by the Lord Jesus Christ. Thankyou for your comments.

  • Thanks Brett! Appreciate you stopping by!

  • Thanks Brett! Appreciate you stopping by!

  • Voting is a different issue. People vote for different people for different reasons. Personally, I would not vote for someone simply because they are Christian, or pro-life, or any other so-called litmus test. The presidency is a job position that demands a certain character, skill set, temperament, and level of experience. While I’d love to have a good Christian leader in office, salvation alone is not a criteria for a job.

    True, the Lord knows peoples’ hearts. But isn’t the abundance of that what the mouth speaks of? If someone says they are a Mormon, I’m going to take them at their word. I won’t follow a real Mormon, or a closet Christian that puts on a Mormon persona. I don’t understand that line of thinking.

    I’ll take your word that Beck is bringing Christians together. I believe a golden calf did something similar. So did Benny Hinn, and Ted Haggard, and Todd Bentley. And a big tower in Babel. The *only* acceptable center we should rally around is the gospel of Christ. Not a person, a product, or a political movement.

    As for “the Lord’s plan to capture his heart and he will become the leader that America truly needs” – yikes. That sounds like something out of Left Behind. What if all us Christians follow a guy based on his promises and good will, then later find out he’s quite happy being a Mormon? Or worse?

    If I were the devil, I wouldn’t try for any big upsets that are obviously contrary to Christianity. I would start slowly with things that people accept as Christianity-ish. (C.S. Lewis and Screwtape said it much better)

    Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  • Ricki

    Scott. Awesome. We need to be just as aware of a conservative social gospel as we are of a liberal social gospel. Keep on on keeping on with this reminder: this is the life-changing message…Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures…he was buried… he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.

  • Thanks Ricki! I loved Moore’s reference to Francis Shaeffer. I’ll have to pull him out again. One of his themes: Patriotic loyalty must not be identified with Christianity. Too many people wrap their faith in the American flag.
    Thanks for your chiming in!

  • John Short

    You had me with your title, you lost me with your religious explanation.

  • Hey John – thanks for stopping by!
    In short, true Christianity is acceptance of Christ, but too many have used the same name for what are nothing more than social causes.

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  • Roxy Swindoll

    I’m 100% with you in every statement in your post… Tittle, not that favored though 😛
    Dr. Moore has a tremendous discernment. Always enjoy reading his take on relevant issues. My struggle is more on the discouragement side. I really want and hope for our God to move and heal with His mighty power our country. I know He can use anybody or anything. The good and the bad. He’s done it before… We have the stories through out the Bible… Everything working together for His purpose. His Kingdom is advancing! His sheep know His voice and follow Him…
    Praying for America! Salvation is here!

  • I hear you about the title. I took a risk. I figured there would be people who either agreed or were offended without even reading the post. Nevertheless, it did get a lot of readers too! But ultimately, I don’t intent to offend – unless the shoe fits!

    You’re right about Dr. Moore. He’s a smart guy, and I love reading his stuff.

    As to your “struggle on the discouragement side”. I understand where you are coming from. And there is nothing wrong with national pride, etc. The primary problem is when we confuse patriotism with Christianity. That was one of my primary beefs. The other was that Christians are looking to a Mormon to lead them.

    Beck is leading a political movement for sure, and I don’t see that as a problem. Obama, who may or may not be a Muslim, or something else, is leading our nation. Of course I would love to have people of sincere Christian faith in these positions, but are they capable of bringing about positive change? Sure they are. As you said, God can use anyone to accomplish his will.

    My issue remains this: what “salvation” are we looking for? Salvation from political tyranny? Salvation from a corrupt culture? Salvation from the mainstream media? Or salvation from sin and corruption that has eternal consequence?

    Do we pray for America? Absolutely. But whether the country fails or succeeds in its government, economy or heritage – what does it matter if all Americans go to hell? I think we need to be careful of our priorities. Saving the country is good. Feeding the poor is good. Being responsible with the environment is good. But without relationship with Christ, these will all have been a waste.

    Thanks Roxy!

  • Roxy

    Again, you are raising all the right questions. Thank you for this opportunity to express mine
    We were created with a purpose. Designed to express His glory.
    Everything we believe and do shouldn’t reveled Christ likeness in us?
    That is the mark. His mark.
    I believe being passive voicing out our values as Christians is not a sign of more spiritual maturity or trust. I strongly believe BECAUSE many Christians in the past adopted this posture of not involvement, no risking and expressing God’s stablished order for men, we have such distortion of right from wrong. Believing, living, proclaiming and supporting God’s values for such a time as this is crucial.
    My son Alan is a sophomore at Baylor studying philosophy, as a pre law major. He wants to be a politician. Should I discourage him to pursue that path?? Would it be more “spiritual” choice for him to attend a seminary? No! We need God everywhere. Christ should be preached all over! Homes, schools, courts, rallies, picnics, radios, parks, newspapers, of course churches. Do we think we are not wasting that possibility in this country or other ones when we don’t engage and participate?If not us, who? If not now, when? No time to lose! Thanks Scott 🙂

  • You are right on Roxy! And that is very cool that Alan is pursuing politics. It would be nice to have dome people of faith and character in there!

    I agree with everything you said 100%. Perhaps my thoughts did not come across well enough. We absolutely should bring our faith into everything that we do. However, that does not mean that we bring our politics, schools, newspapers, etc. into our faith! Make sense? We are to take the gospel with us into the world, but we are not to bring the world into the church. This is my issue. My issue isn’t with Glenn Beck or his rallies. My disagreement comes when people bring Glenn Beck into church.

    My other problem is that Christians are looking to a Mormon as the leader of the “American Christian right”. This is absurd! He’s a good man. He’s an American. He’s on the right. But he’s not a Christian! I don’t understand people letting this fly by.

    Does this help explain my ramblings?

    Thanks Roxy!

  • Roxy

    I think by now I’m 300% agree with you. People from both sides love and need idols to touch and adore! Even Moses dealt with that. I do not follow Glen Beck or RT any of his thoughts. I follow the same criteria for other “good” guys that are not in line with salvation through Christ and Christ alone. I’m extremely surprised by this on Twitter. I actually made few mistakes in the past with some quotes that I liked but were not in line entirely with the Gospel. My family and… you (remember JW?) keep me on track. :/
    My problem is that I think everything sounds good in English :/ Don’t laugh! It is true! Great chat Scott! Thanks again:)

  • jajajaja. Yep – I understand! Great points with the idols. That’s what they are, isn’t it?

    Always enjoy chatting with you Roxy – don’t be a stranger!