I will preface this post with the following information: I am a Christian—meaning that above all I follow the commands of Jesus Christ in Matthew 22:34-40 to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and will all your mind,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Until recently, I assumed all Christians followed these two commandments in all aspects of their lives: their relationships, their careers, their behavior toward strangers, etc. However, it seems evident to me that as of late, some American Christians have re-interpreted scripture, somehow, to reflect some new commandments they deem more important than the ones Christ gave during his time on Earth.
It seems as if American Christians have adopted the following commands:
- “Remember that your safety, and the safety of your family, is more important than the safety of anyone else.”
- “Do anything and everything necessary to ensure America is a Christian nation in which Christians can live comfortably and without strife.”
- “Spend, invest, and save in a way that no only ensures the material wealth of your family system, but also makes sure that you have enough money in the bank to rely on no one but yourself.”
- “Resist any change that threatens your way of life—remember, Western Culture is the best culture.”
- “Some people deserve our help more than others”
The intermarriage between American Nationalism and Christianity has created a generation of ethnocentric entitled members of the body of Christ that want nothing more than to achieve the prosperity that comes with the ultimate realization of the “American Dream.” We create missions boards to handle our tithes, and truly mean well in doing so, yet when it comes to actually sacrificing we are frozen in place. We’re so scared of having to rely on non-material things for happiness that we cling to them as if they we essential to our very livelihood. With the combined resources of American Christians, we could very well end poverty and live in a world in which people did not have to go without while others prospered, but instead we focus on legislating morality and ensuring our own prosperity over others’ livelihood. I am as greedy as they come, don’t get me wrong. Capitalism has left its mark on my spending habits and I live well beyond my means in the hope of happiness—but happiness isn’t the end game toward which we should strive. Instead, we ought to strive in all aspects of our lives to follow Christ’s two most important commandments stated in Matthew 22.