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Emancipation from American Christianity

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Have you seen this article? What do you think about it?

A pastor's emancipation from American Christianity

I used to think that it was just me, that it was my problem, my deficiency, my moral defect.

It had to be.

All those times when I felt like an outsider in this American Jesus thing; the ever-more frequent moments when my throat constricted and my heart raced and my stomach turned.

Maybe it came in the middle of a crowded worship service or during a small group conversation. Maybe while watching the news or when scanning a blog post, or while resting in a silent, solitary moment of prayer. Maybe it was all of these times and more, when something rose up from the deepest places within me and shouted, "I can't do this anymore! I can't be part of this!"

These moments once overwhelmed me with panic and filled me with guilt, but lately I am stepping mercifully clear of such things.

What I've come to realize is that it certainly is me, but not in the way I used to believe.

I am not losing my mind.

I'm not losing my faith.

I'm not failing or falling or backsliding.

I have simply outgrown American Christianity.

continued at the link above

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It would be interesting to me to see how this person uses scripture to differentiate between "American Christianity" and "Biblical Christianity," or if "Biblical Christianity" is his ideal (as opposed to some other form of the faith).

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It would be interesting to me to see how this person uses scripture to differentiate between "American Christianity" and "Biblical Christianity," or if "Biblical Christianity" is his ideal (as opposed to some other form of the faith).

My hunch is that among his concerns is the growing trend toward Dominionism in US churches. I took a brief look at his website. I don't see him emphasizing anything that would link to a fundamentalist perspective.

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I see this person saying what he's had enough of; not saying where he thinks he's going or what he's looking for.

I wonder if his perspective might be different if he were a black person (I do get the impression he's white, but I might be wrong).

It seems to me (from this side of the pond) that a lot of American Christianity is "prosperity gospel" and that's certain a lot of what TWI propounded. There is very much more in the Bible about suffering, persecution, and persevering through difficulties. And there is a significant amount about compassion leading to open-handed help and service.

I live in a different country, and have lived in other countries, and the fear-bashing and money-oriented culture of the American mega-church or of the cultish TWI does not prevail in those other countries. This person needs to explore outside of the USA. Go on mission to Africa or India or Albania or somewhere else, for a little while.

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I think calling it "American Christianity" is painting with an over-broad brush. "Fundamentalist/Evangelical Protestantism in America"? That would be closer to the truth.

There are plenty of good Christians in every denomination in America, even some good fundamentalist/evangelical protestants, but the groups who joined in the fundamentalist movement of the early 1900s seem particularly prone to certain cognitive distortions.

I find myself being drawn to identify more with folks who came out of the Wesleyan Holiness Movement of the late 1800s, particularly those who recognize the workings of the Holy Spirit.

Love,

Steve

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I read a bunch of Brian McLaren books back in 2008, which essentially said the same thing as this guy.

Douglas Murray has an interesting take on American Christianity when he talks to Sam Harris

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I read a bunch of Brian McLaren books back in 2008, which essentially said the same thing as this guy.

Douglas Murray has an interesting take on American Christianity when he talks to Sam Harris

I wish I could take two hours to listen to that podcast. But after just a few minutes of Sam Harris, I don't think I could get all the way through it.

But I'll see if I can find something more succinct with Mr. Murray.

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Sounds more like a loosely disguised political diatribe to me. I bounced around quite a bit during my years after TheWay and don't recall ever coming across the kind of hate he's claiming permeates Christianity in America. An isolated pocket here and there but that's about it.

Now, if he wants to discuss the emptiness of the practices as opposed to the promises. I'd be all in.

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I didn't think about it that way, JJ, but you're right. This article is nearly as political in nature as it is doctrinal.

Considering that it didn't spark a fight or anything, I'll leave it be. But thanks for pointing it out. We'll be careful to monitor that line between faith and politics to make sure Greasespot's rules are followed. I don't think they were broken here, but the potential was far more obvious than I recognized when it was originally posted.

Edited by Raf
Corrected error in describing the article.

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I'm not exactly sure what "American Christianity" is.  What is he leaving?  Is it some form of nationalism?

I do know politics and religion were for a long time worked together in human history.  If in the past few centuries we've tried to separate them, is there something lost that is not understood, yet?  Those are two major way humans group together or make associations with each other.  Wouldn't they continue to try to merge or overlap?

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