Alibris Secondhand Books Standard

Monday, March 06, 2006

the united states of christianity

As if last week's story of Thomas Monaghan's plans to create a Catholic town in Florida weren't bizarre enough (hat tip: Richard at Connexions), now comes news of a proposal to make Christianity the official religion of the state of Missouri (hat tip: Dwight at A Religious Liberal Blog).

I can understand the desire to make a safe, wholesome place. As the father of a two-year-old, I would love to live in a perfect world where parents would never have to worry about what their kids might be exposed to. But the real world is not perfect, and any of our attempts to perfect it will inevitably end up missing the mark.

I can see two ways in which these attempts miss the mark.

First, both the Missouri legislation and Monaghan's plans seek to use the rule of law to promote Christianity. However, if there's one thing the apostle Paul makes clear throughout his writings, it is that Christianity is rooted in grace, not in the law. Granted, he was talking about the law of the Torah, but it seems obvious that he would not have thought any more highly of man-made laws. Jesus certainly didn't.

Second, both of these are attempts to promote a sort of cultural Christianity. Monaghan wants a community where Catholic values will predominate. The Missouri legislation seeks to "protect the majority's right," believe it or not. By giving official state (or municipal) sanction to Christianity, they have taken the first step along the road so many have traveled through the centuries, ever since the emperor Constantine decided to Christianize Rome. Whenever those in power are prepared to bless Christianity, it is a sure indicator of a Christianity that has lost its prophetic voice. Any church that has an interest in maintaining the status quo -- and in a "Christian" community or state it certainly would have such an interest -- is a church that will eventually find itself compromising its principles in order to keep the authorities pleased.

It seems to me that we have enough cultural Christianity in the United States already. We don't need to officially sanction it.



At 3/07/2006 5:55 AM, Blogger James Fletcher Baxter said...

The missing element in every human 'solution' is
an accurate definition of the creature.

The way we define 'human' determines our view
of self, others, relationships, institutions, life, and
future. Important? Only the Creator who made us
in His own image is qualified to define us accurately.
Choose wisely...there are results.

Many problems in human experience are the result of
false and inaccurate definitions of humankind premised
in man-made religions and humanistic philosophies.
Many problems in human experience are the result of
false and inaccurate definitions of humankind premised
in man-made religions and humanistic philosophies.

Each individual human being possesses a unique, highly
developed, and sensitive perception of diversity. Thus
aware, man is endowed with a natural capability for enact-
ing internal mental and external physical selectivity.
Quantitative and qualitative choice-making thus lends
itself as the superior basis of an active intelligence.

Human is earth's Choicemaker. His title describes
his definitive and typifying characteristic. Recall
that his other features are but vehicles of experi-
ence intent on the development of perceptive
awareness and the following acts of decision and
choice. Note that the products of man cannot define
him for they are the fruit of the discerning choice-
making process and include the cognition of self,
the utility of experience, the development of value-
measuring systems and language, and the accultur-
ation of civilization.

The arts and the sciences of man, as with his habits,
customs, and traditions, are the creative harvest of
his perceptive and selective powers. Creativity, the
creative process, is a choice-making process. His
articles, constructs, and commodities, however
marvelous to behold, deserve neither awe nor idol-
atry, for man, not his contrivance, is earth's own
highest expression of the creative process.

Human is earth's Choicemaker. The sublime and
significant act of choosing is, itself, the Archimedean
fulcrum upon which man levers and redirects the
forces of cause and effect to an elected level of qual-
ity and diversity. Further, it orients him toward a
natural environmental opportunity, freedom, and
bestows earth's title, The Choicemaker, on his
singular and plural brow.

Human is earth's Choicemaker. Psalm 25:12 He is by
nature and nature's God a creature of Choice - and of
Criteria. Psalm 119:30,173 His unique and definitive
characteristic is, and of Right ought to be, the natural
foundation of his environments, institutions, and re-
spectful relations to his fellow-man. Thus, he is orien-
ted to a Freedom whose roots are in the Order of the

Let us proclaim it. Behold!
The Season of Generation-Choicemaker Joel 3:14 KJV


At 3/07/2006 7:13 PM, Blogger Questing Parson said...

And they are planning to make my version of Christianity or that other fellow's the official religion?

At 3/07/2006 8:50 PM, Blogger BruceA said...

questing parson -

I'll give you one guess.

At 3/08/2006 7:07 AM, Blogger jason said...

this idea worked well in colonial mass. - that is unless you were not a puritan, oh yeah and if you were a witch

there's a group trying to do the same thing in South Carolina

At 3/08/2006 7:46 AM, Anonymous Brian Russell said...

Hi Bruce,
Thanks you for visiting my blog and taking the time to post a substantive comment.

At 3/11/2006 7:22 PM, Blogger John said...

Whenever those in power are prepared to bless Christianity, it is a sure indicator of a Christianity that has lost its prophetic voice.

Bingo! Then the Church acquires political power, it seduces Christians like a drug.

At 3/12/2006 3:21 PM, Blogger LadyGunn said...

This post is in this week's KS blogger roundup at


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