Christian Nation Paradox

is-america-a-christian-nationOver coffee this morning, I pondered the question, What makes us a Christian Nation?

Statistics indicate that the United States of America is the most Christian nation in the world. We call ourselves a “Christian Nation” for various reasons that I won’t get into in this particular blog post. Given the percentage of Americans who claim to be a Christian alone gives us the right to call ourselves a Christian Nation. However, because we call ourselves a Christian Nation wouldn’t it lead you to believe that we would act like we are a nation of Christians?

Jesus gave some pretty explicit guidelines on how we should act. Let’s look at one small section of the gospels where a man comes to Jesus and asks what he must do to have eternal life – or get into heaven. This story is found in Matthew 19:16-22. Being a Christian is all about getting to that afterlife place and to avoid hell. Jesus says that we have to do something here on earth in order to earn that rite of passage. We must do something – good deeds. He first tells the man to “keep the commandments.” Jesus only names a few but we can probably assume that he meant all of God’s commandments. In John 14:15, Jesus says, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Speaking of statistics, most Christians are unable to write down all ten commandments. Oops – getting off the subject.

When the man tells Jesus that he keeps the commandments and asks what else he should do, Jesus gives him the hard answer. The guy should have stopped and walked away while he was ahead. But here’s the good part. Jesus told the man that if he wants to be “perfect,” to sell his possessions and give all his money to the poor, and then follow him. The young man goes away grieving because he knew that he could not give up his possessions – that he would live with the guilt of knowing that he has a ticket to hell.

Wouldn’t it be great if Jesus said we could keep our possessions and not have to share with anyone and let the poor fend for themselves? It’s almost impossible for me to love my enemies. And our neighbors – does that include gays and transgenders? Can we, as followers of Christ, manipulate the words of Jesus? We are a Christian Nation! Time for another cup of dark roast!

2 thoughts on “Christian Nation Paradox

  1. Vic, I always enjoy reading your post. The Bible is a big thick book, and like you I enjoy reading it. People let faith get complicated. I have done it some in my own life. For me I try to reduce things to two verses. We are not under law, but under grace, and love is the fulfilling of the law.

    1. Hey Tony, always good to hear from you – hope you’re doing well. Yeah, I believe a lot of people let religion and scripture interpretation get in the way of loving their fellow man. You know by now that I try not to offend anyone with my writings. I try my best not to attack anyone for their beliefs when I know that mine are highly questionable. Like Socrates said (to paraphrase), “We really don’t know shit!” Love you, man!

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