Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Myth of A Christian Nation, Part 1 (Introduction)

       Earlier this year I went through a major paradigm shift. My story was documented in my previous post From Soldier to Pacifist, earlier this year. In that post I cited two major influences in my journey. The first was a teaching podcast series by Bruxy Cavey entitled Inglorious Pastor's. I was introduced to Bruxy's teaching and ministry by my now good friend, mentor, and Brethren in Christ pastor, Kurt Willems. Kurt's friendship, patience, wisdom, and guidance has been such a tremendous blessing and I can't thank him enough. *bro hug* .......  .......  ....... Excuse me, sorry...ahem..
       Where was I ? Oh yes, the second influence that Kurt pointed me to was the book: The Myth of A Christian Nation, How The Quest For Political Power Is Destroying The Church, by Gregory A. Boyd. 


I love this book ! I could rant and rave about it forever but I don't think any of you would enjoy that very much. So, I'm going to attempt a book review. I hope to give you a glimpse inside this great book and to perk your interest in what I believe is a very important and relevant topic for us today. Well enough of me, let's get to the book and what Pastor Gregory Boyd has to say.

Myth of a Christian Nation, Introduction Chapter:

So, I'll let Greg speak for himself as to the central thesis of the book :

" I believe a significant segment of American evangelicalism is guilty of nationalistic and political idolatry. To a frightful degree, I think, evangelicals fuse the kingdom of God with a preferred version of the kingdom of the world.......many of us American evangelicals have allowed our understanding of the kingdom of God to be polluted with political ideals, agendas, and issues. " (page 11) 

Ouch !!! Those words sound very harsh. But are they true ? What kind of "nationalistic and political idolatry" is he talking about ? Again, I'll let Mr. Boyd speak for himself:

" Many believe there is little ambiguity in how true Christian faith translates into politics. Since God is against abortion, Christians should vote for the pro-life candidate......since God is against homosexuality, Christians should vote for the candidate who supports the marriage amendment act-and a Bible-believing pastor should proclaim this....since God is for personal freedom, Christians should vote for the candidate who will fulfill " America's mission" to bring freedom to the world." (page 10)

Greg goes on to say that there is a myth which gives this strong connection between Christianity and politics in America such a strong emotion. He calls it, The Myth of a Christian Nation.
" This foundational American myth is, in fact, untrue, America is not now and never was a Christian nation, God is not necessarily on America's side, and the kingdom of God we are called to advance is not about "taking America back for God." (page 13)

      Again, very strong words from a very confident man. This myth of America as a Christian nation has hindered the cause of Christ. It has led many around the world to associate America with Christ, so that "they hear the good news of Jesus only as American news, capitalistic news, imperialistic news, exploitative news, anti gay news, or Republican news". (page 14) I couldn't agree more !

Well that's it. Since you have the review of the introduction you can stop here. No need to read the follow-up posts about the rest of the book. Um, no ! Totally 100% kidding. In the days to come I plan to share with you my thoughts about each chapter in this great book. I hope you will stay with me on this journey. I also hope you will not just take my word but get the book and see what Pastor Boyd has to say for yourself. We'll end with a question.

Do you know anyone who has been put off by Christianity because of American Christians' tendency to link their faith with their politics ? What messages do you hear repeated ?


  1. Definitely sounds like an interesting book! I agree that Americans tend to think that God is greatly concerned about our country. God doesn't really care about any earthly kingdom. He only cares about His people and His Kingdom. We too often twist God's agenda to match ours. Agree?

    1. I definitely agree ! His people happens to be everyone, not only us but our political and national enemies. It's so sad that we have come to adopt the "us vs them" mentality that Jesus calls us to set aside !

    2. Is it high time to seriously examine those who espouse and purvey "Kingdom Now"? I will never compromise my belief that Almighty God inspired the creation of our great nation. We've not always lived up to His plans and purposes but we've come closer than any other in history.

    3. Thanks for the comment, Matt. I'm curious, what are "His plans and purposes" for the nation of America ? Where do you find those "plans" in scripture ? Also, which nation did "Almighty God" inspire ? Did He inspire the nation that overlooked Romans CH 13 and rebelled against the government with the primary reason being high taxation ? Did he inspire the nation that promoted slavery and racial bias for over 100 years? Did He inspire the nation that promotes self-elevation and prosperity at the expense of others ? The point I'm making (and that Greg makes in the book) is that the kingdom of God, it's purposes, plans, and methhods of advancement are ALWAYS separate than the kingdom's of the world. As followers of Jesus, we should be more concerned with getting the church to act more like Jesus, than trying to make our worldly country into the church. peace

  2. Just got out of the Air Force myself. Similar journey... mostly due to Greg's book "Myth" I guess there is also a follow-up book entitled "Myth of a Christian Religion" that I want to read eventually.

    1. I haven't read Myth of a Christian Religion yet's definitely on my list. Peace bro !

  3. I think that most Americans think that Christianity is not relevant. I think they believe we are stupid, uneducated and easily led.

    If I hired someone to take out the trash and clean up my office building. I paid them every week. I provided them with health insurance and a fantastic retirement. I employed them for 28 years, but this person, never once took out the trash. What would you think of me?

    That is what has been done. Christians vote for a "pro-life" candidate thinking he will change the law. Nothing is done, nothing is accomplished.

    It is ignorant to believe,because we are paying them they will do it this time. This week, maybe, they will finally take out the trash. This week, maybe, they will finally put together a constitutional amendment to include the unborn as a person.

    Why would Congress do that? If there were no abortion, then they have worked themselves out of a job. No more re-election.

    I think that we should all remember these things.

    1. Jesus does not believe in democracy.
    2. Jesus is not an American.
    3. Jesus is not a Republican.
    4. Jesus is, was and forever will be King.
    5. Jesus is Sovereign.
    6. The Kingdom of Heaven is a Theocracy.
    7. The Kingdom of Heaven is here.

    I am a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven first and foremost. My responsibility is to love. I will love, have joy, have mercy and compassion. Anytime, I argue, hold un-forgiveness or complain, I am not showing my true identity. I choose to be under the Sovereignty of my King. That is what makes me who I am. I am a Believer in Jesus Christ. I will not apologize for loving Him or you.

    1. Amen friend ! I think alot of Christians forget that Jesus came as a poor baby in Bethlehem, NOT Ceasar's son...Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost through "power under" kingdom and living (which he calls us to), not the "power over" way of this world. Oops, haha...getting ahead of myself...that's for the following posts ;) Blessings

  4. Hi Matt! Do you and your family still live in El Paso? If so, our family just started a house church where we listen to Greg Boyd every week and have engaging dialogue. We would love to have ya'll join us! I haven't read every post so am not sure you're still an hour away. Please let me know if you'd like directions. We meet on Sundays at 10am. I'd also like to say that you have a lot of support...takes courage to do what you're doing! Kristy

    1. Hey Kristy!

      I'm so sorry for not having responded sooner. I've had a huge response on Facebook, Twitter and my blog, but that's no excuse ! Yes, we are still in El Paso. And YES I would be very interested in directions! I'm sorry again for the delayed response. Talk to you soon. Please feel free to email me at :