Lots of American churches have been caught by the American individuals aiming for capitalism and having their own self enjoying it as much as they can in as much wealth they can get.
The American people have forgotten where their ancestors came from and that they too are people which only can live in that wealth because their ancestors where finding themselves a place where they were not considered as unwanted immigrants.
Lots of Americans still do not see that their family has taken the ground of the indigenous people, the ones who lived on the pastures. Lots of Americans also have forgotten the main message of sharing agape love.They may be members of mega-churches, but those churches have nothing in common with the first ecclesiae or meeting places of the first followers of Jesus Christ.
The majority of Christians in the United States of America still do not understand how the devote Jew Saul (better known as Paul today) used also harsh language in denouncing the way the face of Christ was distorted by both false teaching and behaviour inconsistent with the Gospel. Today it is not better than in his time. Most people having taken Jesus as their god and also having made graven images of their gods. The majority has come to live like Roman Catholics not reading the bible any more and just hearing some verses often taken out of context.
All over the world we can see that the majority of people with their lifestyle are far off the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. Already for that reason it is high time we shall get some awakening again.
American (Eastern Orthodox) theologian David Bentley Hart raises some thought-provoking questions about the American church that if raised by others would immediately be brushed aside as symptomatic of “anti-Americanism”.
open + troubling question whether American religiosity has resources to help sustain a culture as a culture >to create a meaningful future, or can only prepare for the end times.
can it cultivate kind of moral intelligence necessary to live in eternity and in historical time simultaneously, without contradiction?
American Christian Fundamentalism (ACF) made deep inroads into churches all over the world since the Second World War => influence magnified with rise of satellite TV + Internet.
decline of old-style European theological liberalism, ACF poses far bigger threat to global church than Islamist fundamentalism.
(1) ACF promotes religious hypocrisy > baptising consumerist “American dream” + right-wing political agendas
(2) ACF promotes mindlessness > demonizes whatever it doesn’t understand = Secularism, Evolution, Feminism, Islam + ancient Asian religions.
(3) ACF promotes divisiveness > preaching a private, individualistic “Gospel”, blinding its followers to scandal of Christian fragmentation, rivalry + separation. + encourages “personality cults” disguised as “doctrinal distinctives.”
(4) ACF promotes Zionist views re the Middle East, reinforcing the apartheid practices of the Israeli state.
=> need a new Reformation among evangelical Protestants.
Find also to read: Followers, protestors and reformers
The American (Eastern Orthodox) theologian David Bentley Hart raises some thought-provoking questions about the American church that if raised by others would immediately be brushed aside as symptomatic of “anti-Americanism”. In an article (“The Angels of Sacré-Coeur”) first published in 2011, Hart writes:
“It is very much an open and troubling question whether American religiosity has the resources to help sustain a culture as a culture- whether, that is, it can create a meaningful future, or whether it can only prepare for the end times. Is the American religious temperament so apocalyptic as to be incapable of culture in any but the most local and ephemeral sense? Does it know of any city other than Babylon the Great or the New Jerusalem? For all the moral will it engenders in persons and communities, can it cultivate the kind of moral intelligence necessary to live in eternity and in historical time…
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9 responses to “A New Reformation”
vinoth-ifes replied to the original post on August 26, 2017 at 3:05 am with:
Hart’s criticism is not only of ACF but the American Church as a whole- no cultural impact or legacy. He is mainly concerned with art and architecture. I am concerned about the influence of American evangelicalism/fundamentalism worldwide.
May I recommend that you follow a theology course in an inter-denominational seminary wherever you happen to live? You will find answers to some of your questions. Otherwise, read Hart yourself. Or others like Tom Wright, James K. Smith, Kevin Vanhoozer and Justo Gonzales. They communicate at both scholarly and popular levels.
To which David Green reacted with saying that he would rather hear strategies for a way forward than why this or that church tradition is wrong.
Of the reacting people we also look at the comment of David Green
August 22, 2017 at 6:05 pm
Mathew, Vinnoth, Others:
We are watching the devastation of American Christianized culture and its spiraling into paganism. You can blame the ACF for pulling out of / being forced out of intellectual circles of power and influence (that have the nasty tendency to pit themselves against the Almighty throughout history) and becoming insular cowards. As I recall the fundamentalist movement was meant to be an ecumenical one – “let’s just agree on these fundamental Christian things.” Maybe we have a confusion of terms here. You can blame the liberal church for embracing the secular mythology of the popular ideologies of the age to the point that they don’t believe in Jesus and embrace their violent tribalisms for meaning. You can blame the Devil, our own sinful nature, and every human idolatrous institution there ever was.
As we have all observed a conversation can be had only when two parties are willing. Both sides are always eager to air their grievances and both demand the other sacrifice on their behalf. How do you deal with this problem? As you have pointed out before, Vinnoth, the political correctness of the West is a cheap substitute for having difficult conversations and the inflamed narcissistic emotionalism of the next generation plays into the hands of those who oppose God. The cry of “security” becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when those perceived as a danger rise up in angry condemnation. The cry of “victim” rings hollow when it’s meant as a weapon.
I was profoundly struck by a talk you gave at Urbana about how Jesus scandalously subverts human ideologies and institutions. How does Jesus do it? How does what we do as Christians differ from prevailing postmodern notion that human consolidation of power is what advances a cause? The ACF surrendered their privileged position of intellectual power in culture. Was that their mistake? Is it working out well for them? Is it too soon to tell? When does pointing out our brother’s speck become piling on the next scapegoat? How pure a gospel do we need for Christ to accomplish what He wants?
What does it mean to be holy and still embrace the unholy? How diverse can we be before we sacrifice unity? How much diversity do we sacrifice to maintain unity?
How happy/secure does God want us to be? Do we eschew “jobs” or just the jobs that give us wealth and power? Do we entrust our mental and physical health to the ravens or the sweat of our brow and the machinations of our minds? When do we cast off friends and family for the sake of the kingdom?
How do we govern and empower a free people to choose what is good?
…we know people won’t…when do we curtail evil and by what means?
How do you pass on the faith of hope and love and the beauties of culture without an authoritarian structure? Parents, teachers, professors, pastors, artists, statesmen, organizers. prophets…all rely on authority.
How do we measure cultural success? Is it by their “great” achievements? Should we form more Christian Empires to achieve these? It seems that
How do we love someone who chooses destruction?
I think of families who have genuinely sacrificed to work in failing communities and watched their kids succumb to the drugs and wildness of their neighborhoods.
I think of families who wall themselves off from the problems of others striving for the security and prosperity that will continue “their way of life” watching their kids go off to do the same.
Meic Pearse talks about the wild juggernaut of western anti-culture that smashes peoples values and institutions within a generation. Christian cultures are hit just as hard and people’s rage and fear is no less real. Where does the rage against injustice meet the gentleness of the Holy Spirit? Or do we rely on Him to strike our brothers and sisters dead if they succumb to temptation?
I appreciate the chance to dialogue.
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