The Cross and the Sword

Having been raised in a religious family, and a religious community, I was always struck by the profound cognitive dissonance that exists between what Jesus says and what most Christians actually practice.

I’ve also long felt that modern American Christianity is much more a social movement than it is a spiritual one. As my friend Steve often says, it would be more accurate to call it American Civil Religion than Christianity.

Brad Hicks does a good job of examining the transformation that happened during the 60s that tied Christianity to the Republican party in a combined struggle to overcome Socialism across the globe. It’s a partnership that ultimately made Christianity resemble Satanism much more than anything Christ practiced or advocated.

Give his articles a read:

Christians in the Hand of an Angry God Part 1 Christians in the Hand of an Angry God Part 2 Christians in the Hand of an Angry God Part 3 Christians in the Hand of an Angry God Part 4 Christians in the Hand of an Angry God Part 5

Anyone confused about why modern Christians seem so little like Christ really should read those.

Now if Brad Hicks doesn’t seem like a reputable source for this kind of discussion, I encourage you to check out Greg Boyd who is the pastor at Woodland Hills Church. He wrote a book called “Myth of a Christian Nation” which, while not talking specifically about the deal made in the 60s, does talk about how heavily polluted by politics Christianity has become.

Greg’s general message is that Christians are specifically called to support people with love rather than dominate them and dictate behavior through rules. He contends that America had never been a Christian nation and we shouldn’t strive to make it one, because legislating beliefs was never something Christ himself endorsed.

The sermons that served as the basis for his book are available from this website. Because of their wacky formatting, I’m going to link to the MP3s in their correct order.

1. Taking America Back for God 2. The Difference Between Two Kingdoms 3. Abortion: A Kingdom of God Approach 4. Is the Church the Guardian of Social Morality 5. Be Thou My Vision 6. In, But Not of the World

There are more sermons available on the site, but these are the big ones that convey the main point.

I’ve listened to all of them, and I think he’s pretty much right on. While I don’t share his Christian beliefs, I do share his observations on what Christians are called to do by their own belief system, and how terribly off course they’ve gotten.

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