American Christianity no longer resembles its Founder

In the United States of America the last few months we could see that there is much division in the country, with lots of people who call themselves Christian took on not only a racist attitude, but also used many awful words against the different peoples living in their state and against those who show that they do not agree with their favoured politician and presidential candidate.

In the 16th century there was a time many who fled to the New World carried a Dutch crescent-shaped Geuzen medal at the time of the anti-Spanish Dutch Revolt, with the slogan “Liever Turks dan Paaps” (“Rather Turkish than Papist“), 1570, indicating to be better a Muslim than to be a Roman Catholic.

An American writer who considers himself reformed in his thinking and faith, considers himself a follower of Jesus and believing all  Scriptures, though he looks like a papist (not in an offensive way) and does not seem to believe all words of Jesus and not to accept that God is only One, but that is not the issue in this writing.  Today we want to look at what he wrote already in 2012.

In his article The Best Argument Against Christianity he looked at “Some Disturbing Statistics” and wrote

David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group (a research organization focusing on religious trends and information), asserts that the primary issue that today’s culture has with Christianity is that it no longer resembles its Founder. {David Kinnaman, Unchristian, 2007, pg. 25. + The Best Argument Against Christianity}

In his book Unchristian, Kinnaman studied the Mosaic (born between 1984 and 2002) and Busters (born between 1965 and 1983) generations of the United States, which currently comprise approximately 77% of America’s population. With respect to Christianity, Kinnaman notes a growing tide of hostility and resentment, a statistic which is trending downward from a positive study that was done by his Barna group only one decade before. {The Best Argument Against Christianity}

Barna also describes the Mosaic Generation as “comfortable with contradiction”, “post-modern” and exhibiting “non-linear” thinking. All the contradiction going on in the New World many wanting to screw back into the past, makes it very chaotic.

The criteria for human value, to the world at large, has shifted from that of someone who champions high ethical standards at work, has personal integrity in his dealings, and who is committed to doing the right thing no matter what, to someone who, at work, is willing to do whatever can ensure the greatest commercial viability and his own personal security, and get away with whatever s/he can in their personal dealings. The more noble qualities of human nature are unwittingly being sacrificed on the altar of commerce. Most do not realize the cost: ending up as two-dimensional beings, mere cogs in the wheel of commerce without a heart capable of compassion.{Millennials: Escape the Credit/Debt Matrix}

For the blogger “evangelical” relates to Christianity, though we do not hope he wants to give the impression to his readers that ‘Evangelism‘ are the norm and does not use ‘Christianity’ in the same way as it is often used in Belgium when they speak of Christianity or of Christendom they mean ‘Roman Catholicism‘.

Most important to notice is the reflection of the spirit of the age. We have come in a time where atheists speak publicly more often about God than their in God believing counterparts. By the majority of the population there is a bad co-notation to the word ‘Christian’. In 2012 nearly half had a bad impression, and four year later we may say nearly three quarter of the population has a bad idea by the word ‘Christian’ and lots of them do find religion the cause of all the problems and all the wars.

Many non-religious people in the States and in Europe look at the works of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda and see the similarities with the crusaders.  All those groups went killing and conquering territory, terrorising lots of people. Many non-religious people also hear the vile language of many who say they are Christian or are saying they are defending the Christian values. The 2016 American presidential election has been the example how the Christian manners shown to the world are not those of the master teacher, rabbi Jeshua, known in the States and many other countries as Jesus Christ.

In 2012 also

There were two things that Kinnaman’s study uncovered, and neither had anything to do with the theological teachings or doctrinal standards of the Church. First, unbelievers responded negatively to what they termed the Christian “swagger” – how Christians’ lives don’t match up to Christ’s, and the bark and bite that unbelievers say they see in Christians’ demeanor and action. {The Best Argument Against Christianity}

The immoral way of life by Christians, outsiders can see, is the most chocking to non-religious and other religious people. Muslims in particular are very disgruntled by the way Christian behave. Put out over their way of life no wonder several Muslim groups try to get Christians to their faith, trying to have them understand such a way of living is totally against the Will of God.

Lots of non-religious and non-Christian religious groups see as many respondents said that the charity and compassion of Jesus’ teaching in the Gospels have been dismissed by Christians in favour of their selfish gain, combative and judgemental actions against what they believe to be threats against their moral positions.

In other words, as Christians, we have become famous for what we oppose and stand against rather than for what we are in favor of and champion. {The Best Argument Against Christianity}

But what are those American Christians are in favour for? What are their aims and what is their willingness to follow Jesus’ teachings and to have that same attitude as that master teacher? How peaceful do they want to be? In most instances we can see those American ‘Christians’ only considering their church or nomination to be allowed to have the label Christian. Very often they feel other denominations of Christendom are the false groups and consider that most of those people will land up in hell (for them a place of eternal torture). The exclusion of other people is the most problematic element the American population now encounters.

Many youngsters, particular the Millennials who had first difficulties in paying their studies and now have problems paying off the loan and need a place to live (besides with their parents), clothes on their back, food to eat and resources to care for their children, do not see any surplus a church or religion may give them. For them their focus is not at all on something which we cannot see or not fully understand. They are focussing on the material which might be in their reach if certain groups would not stand in their way. They want to have time and money for travel, doing fun things, but nobody standing in their way or confronting them with how they have to live or behave. At the moment they also have become very disappointed with the political system they are living in and want change. It is that carving for change what made many also to chose for Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States, which have become very divided now.

The neo-Nazis and the weapon lobby gladly backed Donald Trump, because in him they saw the man to clean up the country and to enable enough income by the promotion of weapons to determinate ‘the vermin’. Strangely enough lots of evangelist Americans and other so called Christians in those states do promote the carriage and use of weapons and do not seem to mind to shoot at an other creature of God.

When we do hear how those gun-lovers talk about them having to prepare against ‘the enemy’ and how they have to train their kids in shooting and defending themselves, we clearly can form a good idea how far away they have gone from the teaching of Christ. It has gone even so far that there are churches in America where in the service there are tombola’s for or weapons given to their members. There exist even crusader rifles of which so called Christians are very proud to have such gun, which has a cross engraved on it.

That is where the Americans have left the real faith and have also gone far away from the idea of defending and living in a free state.
Lots of American Christians have come to think their freedom is to limit the freedom of others and to oppress their way of thinking to others. For them all have to take on their ‘belief’ and their ‘faith’ and all people in the United States of America do have to live according to their religious rules. For sure that was not something the founding fathers of the New World had in mind. They just had escaped the tyrannising position of the churches in Europe. Today lots of Americans are trying to create that what the founding fathers of the United States of America had fled for and have no idea of their sayings.

It is getting time American Christian get back to reading the Bible and to listen what is written in it. They have to get back on track, finding the inner moral compass to resist unethical business practices, to show others they have a moral and ethical attitude according Judeo Christian values.

Once back on track they can give a good example how a Christian should live together with all sorts of people from all sorts of place and religions. than they can start to rebuild the shattered state they are living in now.

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Preceding articles

Scepticals of the Bible

Islamophobia Must be Fought and Defeated

God Isn’t a Republican

 

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Additional articles

  1. American Founding Fathers Sayings
  2. 2014 Religion
  3. Six Reasons Young Christians Leave Church
  4. The 17th annual White Privilege Conference a militantly Christophobic conference held in Philadelphia
  5. Iranian preacher creating more hatred between religious groups
  6. Hamas the modern Philistines
  7. Refugee crisis, terrorist attacks and created fear
  8. Silence, devotion, Salafists, quietists, weaponry, bombings, books, writers and terrorists
  9. What Jesus Did – Misleading around the Messiah and the final assessment
  10. Running the battle
  11. Living in faith
  12. If You want to start winning the war
  13. Blinded crying blue murder having being made afraid by a bugaboo
  14. The clean sweeper of the whole caboodle
  15. Separation of church and state
  16. Demonizing families in poverty and misleading actions
  17. Right to be in the surroundings
  18. Which back voters in the US wants to see
  19. Christian values and voting not just a game
  20. Faith related boycotts
  21. Roman Catholic Church in the United States of America at war
  22. Ron Paul blames Neocons
  23. Jews the next scapegoat for Donald Trump
  24. The American clouds of Anti-Semitism
  25. Trump brand of migrant demonization #1
  26. Peppered Speeches at Republican National Convention
  27. Bumpy road to success
  28. Reluctance to act in Syrian civil war
  29. Al Qaeda regaining foothold in Middle East bubonic plague for American elections
  30. ISIL will find no safe haven
  31. The Crusader Rifle
  32. Conservative and Communist Climate Change Scam
  33. Bridge builder Obama
  34. Obama made in a cult
  35. Second term for Obama
  36. Children of Men
  37. Preparing for an important election
  38. Coming closer to the end of 2015 and the end for Donald Trump as presidential candidate
  39. Walls,colours, multiculturalism, money to flow, Carson, Trump and consorts
  40. When so desperate to hold onto power
  41. Are United States of America citizens going to show their senses
  42. Brexit No. 2 Blow-up
  43. Nigel Farage called Donald Trump’s victory ‘bigger than Brexit’
  44. Trump et al.— The Global Storm
  45. A strong and wise fighter who keeps believing in America
  46. Victims and Seekers of Peace
  47. Declaration of war against Islam and Christianity
  48. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life

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Further reading

  1. Millennials: Escape the Credit/Debt Matrix
  2. Fully Satisfied
  3.  Election 2016
  4. Election 2016 Afterthoughts
  5. On voting
  6. This American Life
  7. How America got Trumped
  8. they tried to bury us. they didn’t know that we were seeds.
  9. How the Hated Donald Trump Came to Power
  10. What Great Leaders Stay Focused #Leadership #SMB
  11. “love keeps us safe, not fear”
  12. … Focus on the Task at Hand , ObamaCraps [#Islamic Terrorism]…
  13. Lesson From Election 2016
  14. The Need to Focus and Not Be Scattered
  15. Blog 2016 046. 11/11/16 Evangelize like Jesus did! Ask questions to get to their motives.
  16. Racism in America or Amerikkka( as some might call it)
  17. Andrew Young: ‘This is our country. And it does not depend on the president to make it great’
  18. The ‘Theoretical’ Significance Of This Election
  19. Cacophony of lawsuits to follow Trump into White House
  20. How a major hate-watch group is preparing for President Donald Trump’s America and the alt-right
  21. The Power of Apathy
  22. Division: An open letter to my sons 
  23. Donald Trump Is an Icon
  24. Clinton Wounded the Party, Now Howard Dean Wants to Kill It
  25. Southeast schools take the streets of South Gate
  26. Trump Denounces Protesters In Tweet, Praises Them In Another
  27. Man Describes Brutal Attack; Crowd Yelled ‘That’s A White Boy Trump Supporter’
  28. The Transition
  29. Donal Trump, The New Miracle
  30. Millions Of Concerned Citizens Are Signing A Petition That Asks The Electoral College To Vote For Hillary Clinton
  31. PFW: Blowing the Rust off of Hillary’s America
  32. Rowan Blanchard Marches In ‘Not My President’ Protest With Powerful Sign — See Pic
  33. The media’s sanctimonious self-righteousness contributed to Trump’s victory
  34. Rural vs Urban: the Greatest Divide in Modern America
  35. Trumped up
  36. The traumatized Democrats
  37. Rainier Beach High Students Walkout to Find Hope, Optimism After Election
  38. Well, That Didn’t Take Long
  39. Call to ‘Lock Her Up’ Puts Trump in a Bind Over His Threat to Prosecute Clinton
  40. White Christians Who Voted for Donald Trump: Fix This. Now. | John Pavlovitz
  41. The TRUMPet Has Been Blown
  42. We Will Rise Above
  43. Post-Election 2016, cont.
  44. How Donald Trump Pulled It Off
  45. Confession of a watcher
  46. Things I’m Verbing: “We Reject the President-Elect” and a WPA for Journalism
  47. The Era of the Post-Truth Politician?
  48. The Ku Klux Klan has a Voice and a Leader in Washington
  49. Where Were They?
  50. Oh, Really? Omarosa Says Black People Should Educate Whites After Trump Victory
  51. Oh, Really? Omarosa Says Black People Should Educate Whites After Trump Victory
  52. Immigrants in U.S. gripped by deportation fears with Donald Trump election win
  53. Between Friends
  54. Hitlery’s terrorist youth demand a government overthrow
  55. The Other Side We Failed to See – 2016 U.S. Presidential Election
  56. Blanketing Fantasy With A Hint of Reality
  57. Here’s how to sleep with Donald Trump
  58. Voices: Reacting to Trump | ‘I will fight for my right to speak’
  59. Women Warned To Get IUDs Before Trump Becomes President
  60. November 11, 2016
  61. Trump commends protesters’ ‘passion’ after new night of rallies
  62. How Will a Trump Presidency Impact Your Health?
  63. The tweet of a narcissist 
  64. Episode 43: Welcome to Trumpdome
  65. Republican Age Of Austerity – ‘And Here We Go’
  66. The Wall
  67. Popped and Cultured: The Results Are In
  68. It’s time for a few hard truths.
  69. Usually liberals would have same opinions & views as the media & liberal social networking groups… really sad…
  70. The pitfalls of underestimation
  71. With the possibility of 11th-hour change, here are suggestions for Trump’s ‘national growth and renewal’
  72. A Rock and Roll Generation (Post-Election blues)
  73. Election Results 2016: Did Voter ID & Voter Suppression Help Elect Trump?
  74. Here’s What it Means to “Make America Great Again”
  75. Election vitory: Anti-Trump Protest enters day two
  76. The way of the world

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I Can’t Believe That … (2) God would allow children to suffer

How could a loving God allow an innocent child to suffer? Surely he cares enough to prevent the suffering (if he didn’t care, he wouldn’t be very loving). And surely is able to prevent to suffering (if he couldn’t, he wouldn’t be very powerful). And yet we know that in this imperfect world children suffer. So does that mean there is no God? Or could God have good reasons to allow such suffering?

The Suffering (video game)

The Suffering (video game) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we talk about the reasons for suffering there is a real danger that anything we say will sound glib or even insensitive to those who have been bereaved. The mother who has lost a beloved child doesn’t want reasons, she wants her child back. Trying to intellectualise the problem will be cold comfort for such grief. Trying to explain away the suffering would be heartless. Because what possible reason could you give that would make the death of a child acceptable? What explanation would justify so great a loss? And that is the first thing to recognise. When we seek to understand the existence of suffering we are not seeking to give a reason for individual acts of suffering. Some acts of suffering, when considered in isolation, have no reason. They are not caused by God, they are not for some eventual gain, they are, essentially, meaningless. We do not live in a world where everything has a purpose, where everything happens for a reason. The Bible says God has subjected the world to “futility” (Rom 8:20), that is, God has purposefully made this world imperfect and subject to imperfection. God does not cause suffering, but has made the world where suffering occurs. The question is, why would he do that?

Step back and consider: what is the cause of so much of the evil in the world? Answer: human beings. Whether it is cold-blooded murder or just casual neglect, so much suffering and pain is caused by humans making bad choices. Sometimes people will choose to do something truly wicked, more often people just choose to do what is easy, but it is those choices that produces the suffering. God could have created a world without such suffering because he could have created a world without people or only with people whose minds he controls. That would have prevented a lot of suffering. There would be no murders, if God didn’t allow people the freedom to choose. But God has allowed people the freedom to choose. Because a world in which people have free will is better than a world without it. Imagine a world without free will. Sure, there would be no evil but there would also be no good. Without free will there could be no love and there could be no relationships. There could be no acts of kindness, no moments of generosity, and no real charity. The world would just be filled with choice-less robots, neither good nor bad, just behaving as instructed. A world with free will is better, and world where people freely choose to do good is best, but if people are truly free then that means they have the option to cause evil.

But this isn’t the whole answer. Murderers may choose to murder, but waves don’t choose to drown people, rocks don’t choose to crush people and viruses don’t choose to infect people. A lot of the suffering in the world is caused by natural processes, by the laws of nature operating as they always do, the victims just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Why does God allow such suffering? Well, imagine the alternative. Imagine that rocks would always fall down to the ground EXCEPT when a child was underneath. That might seem like a wonderful idea, but think of all the exceptions and kinks in the laws of nature that would be needed to make children invulnerable. Bullets would turn to jelly when fired at children, fire would become cool when a child was close by, man-eating tigers would become lovable kittens. Suddenly the ordered and regular world that we’re used to has become chaotic and difficult to predict. No longer could humans depend on things behaving like they always have and so could no longer make even reasonable guesses about the outcome of their actions. Without the laws of nature, without the regularity of nature, human free will cannot operate because without that regularity you cannot make informed choices.

Okay, you say, I understand that free will is a good thing and I understand that the laws of nature are necessary, but even so couldn’t have God made the world better? Couldn’t there be less dangers? Or couldn’t we be less vulnerable? Why not make humans impervious to harm so that we can carry on whatever the world throws at us? Of

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Preceding article: I Can’t Believe That (1) … God would send anyone to hell

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Additional reading:

  1. About suffering
  2. Foreword to suffering
  3. Choices to make in suffering
  4. Crucifixion for suffering
  5. God’s instruction about joy and suffering
  6. God’s promises to us in our suffering
  7. Importuning for suffering hearts
  8. Seems no future in suffering
  9. Suffering through the apparent silence of God
  10. Suffering continues
  11. Suffering leading to joy
  12. Surprised by joy
  13. Surprised by time in joys & sufferings
  14. Miracles in our time of suffering
  15. Offer in our suffering
  16. Temptation and its conquest
  17. Words from God about suffering
  18. Mission son of God perceived as failure
  19. Patient waiting
  20. Moving mountains
  21. Why Think There Is a God? (3): Why Is It Wrong?
  22. Attributes to God
  23. Disappointed with God
  24. God’s measure not our measure
  25. Full authority belongs to God
  26. God Helper and Deliverer
  27. God is Positive
  28. God’s design in the creation of the world
  29. God’s hope and our hope
  30. God His reward
  31. God’s promises
  32. God’s salvation
  33. Incomplete without the mind of God
  34. Is God hiding His Face when He is seemingly silent
  35. Jesus his answers about God’s silence
  36. Based confidence
  37. Chrystalised harmonious thinking
  38. Our way of life
  39. Life with God
  40. Nuturing a close relationship with God
  41. Concerning gospelfaith
  42. Epitome of the one faith
  43. My faith
  44. Hope
  45. Working of the hope
  46. Looking for blessed hope
  47. Hope for the future
  48. Expiatory sacrifice
  49. Content with the no answer
  50. Free will and predestination
  51. Meaning of life
  52. Death and after
  53. God’s Comfort
  54. A world in denial
  55. Fear and protection
  56. Because men choose to go their own way
  57. It is a free will choice
  58. Free will and predestination
  59. Let you not be defined by the effect of your wrong choice
  60. The Existence of Evil

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  • Why does God allow evil? (pastormikesays.wordpress.com)
    The Bible describes God as holy (Isaiah 6:3), righteous (Psalm 7:11), just (Deuteronomy 32:4), and sovereign (Daniel 4:17-25). These attributes tell us the following about God: (1) God is capable of preventing evil, and (2) God desires to rid the universe of evil. So, if both of these are true, why does God allow evil? If God has the power to prevent evil and desires to prevent evil, why does He still allow evil? Perhaps a practical way to look at this question would be to consider some alternative ways people might have God run the world:
  • God’s Gift & Our Response: Mercy & Worship (jamespaulgaard.wordpress.com)
    God gives us many good and wonderful gifts that we need. But a gift does not give its intended benefit if the one receiving the gift does not open the gift and use it. You could be given the greatest gift in the world, but if the gift sits in the corner unopened, that gift will have no benefit in your life. So through this series, we want to encourage you to reflect on the many gifts God has given you, and how you respond to those gifts. In today’s sermon we are thinking about God’s gift of mercy and our response of worship and the three points of the sermon
  • Why You Shouldn’t Teach Your Children That Hell is Real (patheos.com)
    If teaching heaven is bad, teaching hell is downright mental child abuse. There is no way around this one. You are telling a child that for bad deeds done, or not worshipping the right (or any god), you are going to burn in a lake of fire for eternity. Pure torture, unimaginable pain and it is forever.The myth of Hell needs to be destroyed faster than the myth of heaven by far. Children and countless adults fear any of their actions will result in them spending eternity in Hell. Why? It is such a childish and illogical idea. For starters, their almighty God created an evil angel, and instead of destroying him, gave him his own kingdom? And let’s not get started on the fact that if Satan is the one punishing the bad guys for their evil, doesn’t that make Satan the good guy? If Hell is for the most evil people in the world who listened to and or worshipped Satan, wouldn’t Satan be glad to have them? It simply doesn’t make sense and even Christians and other religious followers are deciding they don’t believe in Hell anymore. It seems that all the rest of their religion is true, but Hell sounds too mean, so that part is obviously just an allegory. So, just like the endless rape, murder, genocide and other atrocities of the Bible, let’s go ahead and cherry-pick Hell right out of it.
  • The Man or The Devil In The Mirror? [Part 1] (corbenstreet.wordpress.com)
    People must understand and know how to differentiate between the reason and the purpose of doing things. But because humans are always so good at taking things for granted, it is not surprising that whatever the reason and the purpose of using mirrors, it no longer means anything to everyone – anymore!
  • David Haines killing is ‘an act of absolute evil’, says Archbishop of Canterbury (christiantoday.com)
    The Archbishop of Canterbury is among the Christians expressing their sorrow over the killing of hostage David Haines at the hands of Islamic State militants.The 44-year-old aid worker’s beheading was shown in a video released on Saturday night.It has been strongly condemned by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who has vowed that Britain will take “whatever steps are necessary” to keep the country safe and bring the killers to justice.Archbishop Justin Welby used his Twitter account to ask every church in the country to pray for Haines’s family, saying he had been “evilly killed in the place he was serving in love for its suffering people”.

    In comments to the BBC later on Sunday, the Archbishop described the aid worker’s murder as “an act of absolute evil, unqualified, without any light in it at all”.

    He said there was a sense that in places where militants have taken hold “the darkness is deepening”.

    “It’s being done in the name of faith, but we’ve heard already today faith leaders from Islam across the world condemning this,” he continued.

  • William Lane Craig vs Walter Sinnott-Armstrong: evil, suffering and God’s existence (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
    This is one the top 4 best debates that William Lane Craig has done in my opinion. (The other two are Craig-Millican debate and the first and second Craig-Dacey debates) This one doesn’t seem to get a lot of play on the Internet: there’s no video, transcript or anything. But it is a great debate, and on a problem we are all concerned about: the problem of evil and suffering. One other thing – Sinnott-Armstrong is also a very courteous, respectful and intelligent scholar and he is very good at defending his side. This is a very cordial and engaging debate, and because it was held in front of a church audience, it was targeted to laymen and not academics.