Lately, I’ve noticed something interesting in the writings of the Christian Right. A bullet point has crept in that baffles me, not because of its intrinsic value, but because of the insinuation that it’s a Christian value.
Don’t get me wrong, I like capitalism, but I’ve never thought of it as a Christian value. An American or personal value, you bet, but would it make Jesus’s Top Ten Values List? I don’t think so. Ever so slowly, ChristianISM has stepped to the forefront. Wikipedia nails it on its page describing Christianism. “Not to be confused with Christianity.”
“Christianism” is a term describing how some adherents of Christianity turn it (Christianity) into political dogma and use it for the pursuit of political power. It’s analogous with Islamism in that both seek to fuse religion and politics.
The “Prosperity Gospel” does something similar. It bends the message. God wants you to be rich! (I wonder why Jesus wasn’t rich…)
The whole scenario has become unrecognizable to me. J.D. Vance, who lists “Christian” as the first identifier on his Twitter bio, said this last week. “I’d like to hear zero about Afghan refugees until we get every single American out first.”
Zero. It’s all about us first.
Again, don’t get me wrong. I desperately want Americans to come home safely, but can we skip the tone? I really don’t think Jesus would distinguish between Afghans and Americans if he were helping people on the Kabul tarmac right now.
I’m so far from “Christianism” (not to be confused with Christianity). I don’t see America as a Christian nation; I see it as a secular nation that embodies religious freedom. I love that about our country. Christians aren’t better than anybody else. In fact, Philippians 2:3 says this. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”
If we really try to walk in Jesus’s steps, I think we’ll find ourselves not just to the Right or to the Left, but in unlikely spots, hanging out with unlikely people, and letting go of our own cravings for greatness.
WWJD about religion (faith)? Some of his early followers thought he was planning to set up a political kingdom. They were mistaken. James 1:27 says this. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”