Thursday, September 17, 2015

American-Christian / Christian-American?


                       "Love of country is a wonderful thing, but why should it stop at the border?"  
                                                            --Pablo Casals                                  

Driving by this church this morning--I wonder if any member of the church realizes how incongruous
this picture is.

What happens when an Hispanic walks into the church...or someone from China or Korea...or even one of the Middle Eastern countries? Would they feel at home?

Old-time Baptists would never put national flags outside their churches--if they had a building. They knew that Church and State were separate. Coming out of England where all the ministers had to be approved by the State...where all the citizens would have to give to the church coffers whether they liked them or not--these dissenters moved to America hoping to live in a land free from the state when it came to church. Well, we really know the rest of the story.

The hymn that reads:"In Christ there is no East or West, in Him no north our South"--was not talking about the geography of America--but the universality of the gospel.

Consequently we don't have to be a Republican or a Democrat or a Socialist--or wear any other label to be a Christian. I love the story about the teacher in a Church school in California. He asked the students if they were Christians. One teen-ager raised her hand and said, "Yes, I'm an American." When we blend American and Christian we get a strange and heretical brew.

Russell Moore has written a thought-provoking piece in the New York Times asking "Have Evangelcals Lost Their Values?" You might want to read it.

                                                   --Roger Lovette /

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