this can’t be Christianity…
Sunday morning I was at Mike‘s parents’ house doing homework. We were going to Mike’s cousin’s wedding in a few hours and I was trying to squeeze in some homework. I got bored and decided to turn on the TV for a few minutes when I saw… Coral Ridge Ministries Hour. Within minutes I was up from the table and standing in front of the TV, arms crossed, and quite pissed off…. I simply couldn’t believe that what they were saying, in the name of Jesus. They were fundamentalist Christians, to say the least, and very conservative, and I am neither. But despite our opposing starting points, I would hope that I could agree with them at least partially because of our common faith… but I could not.
The preacher said, “85% of Americans claim to be Christians while only one percent claim to be atheist. Do you know what it is called when the one percent rules the other 99%? A tyranny. We need to take back this country and make it a Christian nation again.” WHAT?!? Ok, first off, 85% of this country is not truly trying to follow Christ or things would be a whole lot different. Secondly, this country was not founded as a Christian nation- most of our forefathers were deists! And even if all of our forefathers were devout Christians, as Christians we should not be striving to build a “Christian nation” but rather the Kingdom of God, which transcends all nations, nationalities, races, and boundaries. The idea that we should build a Christian nation is absolutely ludacris to me… and where the heck to you find that idea in the bible? I think that trying to build a Christian nation also puts Christians at war for power with the non-Christians of America, and that puts a serious road-block in building the Kingdom. Why are we fighting for political power when we already have the power of God? Why are we trying to take over the systems of the world instead of building the Kingdom of God that is far more powerful and transendent then any system in America? I believe Christians should vote, we can even get involved in politics, and I think it is necessary to be activists, but forget “building a Christian nation”- we have far greater goals.
After the motivational speech about re-building our Christian America. There was a Coral Ridge Ministries commercial… for a cruise. A CHRISTIAN CRUISE? WHAT?!? The cruise trip was called “America the Beautiful” and the ship cruises the Hawaiian Islands for a week on the “Pride of America” ship staffed completely by Americans and covered in American decor. How can we mix patriotism with Christianity like that? And a Christian cruise to see the beauty of our “God Blessed” nation- can’t Christians find better things to spend their money on- like perhaps ending poverty?
I could go on and on about how wrong I think ministries like Coral Ridge are… but other than becoming VERY frustrated and wanting to write some angry letters, what can I do? What do you do when you think another group of Christians is so incredibly wrong? Because they seem to think that they are right on track with fulfilling God’s will for America. And I completely disagree.
I have been wrestling with this. Jesus calls Christians to be united as he and the Father were united, and that means we need to get awfully close. But how do I do that when I think that other Christians are butchering the Gospel and following their own mission rather than God’s? Now we have me vs. them, and I know that we both think we are right. Do I drop my pride and accept that they may be correct, and therefore let them express their faith in the patriotic way they do? Or do I stand firm and oppose them because I think doing anything less would be allowing the message of Jesus to be mutilated?
I’m confused and I need help… and ask me questions if you don’t understand my dilemma… but how are Christians to be united? What am I supposed to do when I think another Christian is getting it wrong but they think they got it just right? And is it ever ok to think you have it at least partially right when it comes to God’s purpose or plan, or should I be tolerant to any other Christian interpretation- such as Coral Ridge’s?