In this corner, a very large and increasingly vocal subset of American believers want to portray as "Christian" their corporate retail merchandise chains, and their NFL quarterbacks, and their fast food restaurants, and their republican presidents (when possible) and whatever comes next on the pop culture radar. God is pleased by *our* culture and values, which should return to dominance just as quickly as possible, hopefully once again marginalizing and re-silencing those obnoxious liberal malcontents.
And in the other corner, an increasingly large and very vocal subset of American believers want to repaint as "Christian" their permissive values, and their alternative lifestyles, and their dreams for reordering social and economic arrangements, and their democratic presidents (when possible) and whatever comes next on their progressing agenda. God is pleased by *our* culture and values, which should gain dominance just as quickly as possible, hopefully turning the tables on our intolerable conservative overlords.
The battle shall rage on, quite surely. But whatever it is someone next labels as "Christian"... if it becomes clear that their actual goal is to increase the power of *their* group against others... if the agenda starts focusing primarily on what's allowed and what isn't, or what's good and what's bad... and if the rhetoric consistently lacks a significant sense of either grace & mercy or morality & sin... and if the program focuses heavily on either excluding or condemning... then that goal, that agenda, that rhetoric, and that program...
Well, they might not necessarily be entirely un-christian, but they probably are very deeply confused.
Very well said.
You mention the phrase X-Mas, but only in the title. I assume (and if I'm wrong, I am willing to be corrected) that you see X-Mas as an example of society taming Christian tradition to fit its uses. I agree with the latter point, but would remind you that the origin of X-Mas is with Christians who also used the shorthand Xian to mean Christian. The use of the English X to represent the Greek Chi, which is the first letter of Christ is easily seen. Modern Evangelicals didn't carry on this tradition so when we see it, we assume that it's because they don't want to use the name of Christ. When you realize that this is a Christian shorthand, I think we would do well to ignore that one. There are so many better examples of what society has done to Christianity.
You're correct on all points, Bob. I was merely using those three points as a way of referencing the overall 'culture wars'.
Jesus is powerful, so everyone wants to claim he's on their team. I'm pretty sure he's more interested if I'm on his.
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