As Christians, our hope and our faith — all of it — is supposed to be in Christ. Everything else — our behaviors, our desires, our perspective — flows from that. It’s not Jesus and … that gives us security. It’s just Jesus. This is important because when things get hard — and I mean truly hard — people’s real idols will show. Traditional American comforts are nothing but a false sense of security. They’re a nice sense of security, for sure, but they’re still false — just like every other idol in history.
Christians should not make an idol of national pride.
The prosperity gospel is fooling a lot of people.
The one that doesn’t have an official name, but that’s more popular than ever.
It’s the one that worships America, the one that worships freedom, the one that worships “rights.” It’s a gospel premised on the idea that Christians should have an easy existence, and it’s as false a gospel as has ever existed.
You might call it the Patriotic Gospel, the American Civic Gospel or maybe even the “Duck Dynasty” Gospel. Whatever the name, it’s way more American than Christian, and it’s ultimately just another prosperity gospel that promises security through something other than Christ.
This form of American Christianity is a frustrating faction of the faith. There are passionate but generic references to God, calls for fervent prayer and public pleas for “morality.” But the alleged No. 1 devotion to God is usually tied to a No. 1a devotion to the Stars and Stripes, as if one must always be tied to the other.
It’s a gospel that pays lip service to a god that’s in control, but it’s heavy on emotions that say man is really the one who protects us. In other words, it’s a gospel that downplays or ignores the complete sovereignty of God.
Among its other tenets:
It’s a gospel that suggests living out and sharing your faith is dependent on having the freedom to do so.
It’s a gospel that looks to the government, rather than the church or the home, to do the heavy lifting on matters of faith.
It’s a gospel that suggests without conservative Supreme Court justices, or without guns, or without a strong military that life will be unbearable for Christians.
It’s a gospel that suggests one’s greatest source of identity and value can be found in one’s nationality.
It’s a gospel that laments the loss of prayer in schools, rather than the lack of prayer at home.
It’s a gospel that dreads a future in which Christians are persecuted for sharing their faith, but puts no real emphasis on sharing it now.
It’s a gospel that says it’s better to silence opponents than minister to them.
It’s a gospel that looks to Fox News for truth, rather than the Bible.
It’s a gospel that says it’s OK to put biblical teachings aside to “make America great.”
It’s a gospel that calls for blood when someone “disrespects” the national anthem.
It’s a gospel that says persecution is having to hear someone say “happy holidays.”
It’s a gospel that says eating at Chick-fil-A counts as living out your faith.
Friends, it’s simply a false gospel.