God has had a very busy schedule keeping up with the flood of requests, thank yous, shout-outs and invites to just about any type of organized event or cause. You will agree that with so much happening here in the States, with so much demand for his Deity’s involvement that God would devote himself exclusively to the American cause. Why bother with the third world who bring nothing, contribute nothing and offer nothing except chaos in some places, ingratitude and impoverishment. America is the one place where God finds consistent comfort in our politicians to evoke the catch all phrase of “God bless America” though trolling for prostitutes in airport bathrooms, and America is the one place where prior to pummeling your opponent’s head with your fist until his face is too disfigured and bloody to be recognized, you find Phillipians 4:13 quoted or stamped on the fighter’s trunks
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Yes, America has from its founding had a love affair with the divine. Its inception and obviously providential guidance has left an imprint on the American moral and social fabric that is inescapable whether in pop culture, sports, politics and religious outreach. We have come a long way since when John Adams claimed God’s stamp of approval on the American experiment when he wrote
God favors this undertaking, a new order for the ages.
adding that the early settling of America was part of a
grand scheme in Providence
Americans have definitely evolved their perceptions about God, from a God that favors the noble cause of freedom and liberation from political and religious oppression, to the god that magically grants birthday wishes and luck for those devoted the strenuous act of scratching off lottery tickets. This god of our liking is akin to a big brother that shadows you in your every endeavor adding just the right amount of protection, fear and political clout. He does not ask for much and is very easy going. It matters not that the existence of God brings on incredible consequences on reason, intellect and theological issues because this god cares not that we get him right. It matters to him not that we might live inconsistent to his lax creeds because what he cares about is that he be in the forefront beveled on our currency, our court placards and nodded to at the end of political speeches. This is the god that Americans are comfortable with. This is the god that American Christianity is comfortable with.
I’ve often had a feeling that what Christian Americans are adapting and finding more appealing is that form of Christianity that can appeal to the middle aged suburban housewife. The Middle Aged Suburban Housewife Test(MASHT) for approved Christianity is the most surest and safest bet god has to be in the mainstream, to be accepted and have any chance and relevance in the social and religious arena.
Using the MASHT affords god instant access to knowing what is tolerable, popular and easily digestible, because the last thing the American God would want to be seen as is intolerable and too rigid to hang in the mainstream. The American God wants to be accepted with just about every subcultural group and the way Christians must go about this is to make sure that the American God is presented in terms that can easily be understood and non intrusive. Avoid any direct provocations to one’s lifestyle and choice of actions because if there’s anything that the American God hates is intolerance.
Inside America’s Protestant churches the American God reigns supreme. As he is presented Sunday by Sunday from the pulpit or nowadays from coffee shop stools, you are presented with a slew of wonderful cliches about a god whose schedule revolves around meeting and satisfying our monetary, health and social needs. What concerns this god more than anything is that we’re comfortable in our suburban lifestyle, that our children are involved in Christian league sporting events, that our houses are of a certain status and that non Christians might feel safe around our lifestyle.
Bible teachers are sought based on their abilities to market the church and the gospel so that it reaps the the most plentiful harvest since the American God intends to win the world over to him by sheer numbers.
The God presented is not the God you will find through a humble submission to the Word of God. This American God is molded after our own desires to fulfill our own needs and not the other way around. There is very little talk of Providence, Sovereignty, Atonement or God’s will. Words like these frighten the average Middle Aged Suburban Housewife because pop culture media has trained us to equate it with male chauvinism. The gospel presented in churches on an average Sunday speaks more to that week’s pastoral frustration than with an exegetical discovery of what God is speaking to us. The worship resembles an exercise in self-persuasion and emphatic emotionalism which serves the average person with enough emotional euphoria to call it a spiritual experience. After all, spiritualism is definitely making its comeback and finding a wonderful home in suburban America and what do we as American Christians have in order to compete with it if not religious euphoric experiences.
American Christianity has morphed into a faint resemblance of historic Christianity or Biblical Christianity. With its core centered on meeting self needs, in constant search for acceptance and that magical hip factor, and molding the Gospel of Christ into a gospel of social norms, American Christianity is inching closer and closer toward the edge of irrelevancy. I stand with Paul Washer in his scathing condemnation of American Christianity: that it is almost completely wrong.