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Christianity & the American Dream

posted Jul 11, 2017, 10:06 AM by First Baptist

 

On Sunday, I mentioned that Protestantism has its own history of corruption & theological error – perhaps never more prominent than it is today.

 

One example is the degree to which Christianity has been made to accommodate (and indeed assist with) our pursuit of the American Dream.

 

The American Dream is defined as:

 

“A national ethos [philosophy] of the United States, a set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers.”

 

Many Christians today, especially Protestants, see Christianity & the American Dream as working nicely together, with Christianity (truth be told) taking the subservient role.

 

However, Scripture presents quite a different picture of the Christian life. Consider these three images of what it means to follow Christ:

 

 

Image #1: The Christian Life is a Daily Battle

 

The Bible wants us to know that the Christian life is hard, really hard. Paul reminds the Ephesians:

 

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the power s of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Ephesians 6:12

 

 

Image #2: The Christian Life is an Endurance Race

 

Two years ago, Rich Freml & I ran a half marathon together. At about the 6-mile mark, my mind & body were screaming at me to quit. The same thing happens in the Christian life.

 

Hebrews 12:1 says:

 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 

 

 

Image #3: The Christian Life is Like Childbirth

 

Obviously, I’ve never experienced childbirth, but I’ve seen it three times. I can only say wow!

 

Paul uses this imagery to explain our groaning as we await our redemption:

 

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  Romans 8:22-23

 

 

The Hope

 

As we consider the battle, the race and childbirth, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. If this is the Christian life, how can we be a people of joy, peace and hope?

 

Consider this:

 

§  A battle is fought in the hope of peace.

§  A race is run in the hope of a victor’s crown.

§  A mother labors in the hope of new life.

 

Jesus explains:

 

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

 

 

Pastor Dan

 

Adapted from an article by Melissa Kruger

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