In Jesus for President, Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw write, "Rather than placing our hope in a transnational church that embodies God's kingdom, we assume America is God's hope for the world, even when it doesn't look like Christ."
The church in general has gotten itself caught up in the American Dream, where bigger is better and more is just not enough. I'm sure most of us have heard sermons or statements equating being American with being Christian. As we enter the "patriotic season (Memorial Day, Flag Day, July 4), there will be more of that thing in churches across the land. We seem to be as worried, if not more worried, about threats to our American way of life than about those who are less well of than we are. The current economic crisis has many Christians as scared as those who do not follow Jesus.
Evangelical leaders bemoan the decline in the number of people who identify themselves as Christian, and the decline in church attendance. The fear is that America will lose its identity as a "Christian nation." We act as if the world will go completely all to hell if America doesn't remain as powerful as it has been in the past.
Could it be that God is bringing us through these tough times to teach us that our hope is not to be in capitalism (or any other economic system), but is to be in God alone? Maybe we need to be less concerned with the American Dream and more concerned with God's dream.
Could it be that God is allowing the church in America to decline while the church in other countries thrives to show us that He is not an American god, but is the God who calls all people everywhere to repent and look to Jesus for salvation. The center of Christianity is no longer in the West. It is now in Africa and the East. Millions of people are coming into the Kingdom, and i many places they are doing so without the influence of Americans.
Don't get me wrong. I love America. It's the land of my birth, and home to my ancestors for 250 years. I believe that this country has been especially blessed by God, but I don't believe that it 's because we've been better than anyone else. I also believe that God governs in the affairs of men and nations, and that He raises up countries for certain purposes. I don't think this country is going to disintegrate into a bunch of smaller countries, but I am wondering if America's time has come and gone.
Maybe it's time we pledge our allegiance to the King and His Kingdom.
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