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“American Christianity”: Looking for Hope in All the Wrong Places!

Stan Moody:

We Americans really want to be left alone! Right? Apparently not! Our freedom and

abundance don’t seem to make us very happy or even thankful, do they?

In the very place where hope is offered – the Church – a fight is underway to bypass Jesus and

His revolutionary prescription for peace through love of God and neighbor. Conservative

Christians want to strip away freedoms embodied in the Constitution and replace them with

legislated moral absolutes, while liberal Christians take another approach to the same objective –

remove all restraints in the path to their various versions of peace on earth.

I recently had the pleasure of getting to know and work with a young pastor from Pakistan,

Usman Raza, 6,900 miles away from the “land of the free and home of the brave”. Shockingly,

Pastor Usman is dealing with the very same issues – watching the Christian Church disassemble

over the surprising threat of sin in the world while failing to take a good look at itself. He asked

me, a while ago, to help him understand what conservatives refer to as, “Age of Apostasy”.

Ages of Our Own Creation:

My personal reaction is that of a fear-driven conservative Christian Church lurching from one

age to another in search of its Utopian vision of God.

  • Age of Dispensationalism: The 19th Century attempt to reduce an eternal God to a formula and timetable acceptable to the corrupted, temporal mindset

  • Age of Invitationalism: The 19th Century birth of easy-believism – “Say the magic words, and you’ll go to heaven when you die (so long as you hate Communists, progressive Christians, and rationalists, of course)!”

  • Age of Dominionism: The 20 th Century projection of Gen 1:28 as a command for conservative Christians to take physical, spiritual, and political charge over the earth

  • Age of Gnosticism: Variations of heresy from 1st Century Christianity onward that have tinkered with the nature of body and spirit as a challenge to the person and work of Christ, leaving pieces in place along the way for human inherent goodness activated by special knowledge. Inherent sin morphs into “Occasional mistakes”; righteousness becomes morality.

  • Age of Moral Majority and Trumpism: Conservative reaction to the ‘60s social and religious revolution, culminating in selection of a current nationalist prophet.

I could go on, but I’m too busy looking for a new-age phenomenon that speaks to us all. The

only thing that comes to mind is Jesus on the Mount of Olives ascending into the clouds, while

we all stand gawking upward. A voice is heard,

“People of America, why do you stand looking up at the sky? This Jesus, who has

been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have

watched Him go!” (My paraphrase of Acts 1:11). i.e., “Repent! Retreat! Get to

work! God is in charge!”

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