If you’re interested in why Christians are so confusing, it’s because most don’t know, quite frankly, the basic principles of core Christianity. Your beliefs about Christianity, though, (and even about most world religions, for that matter), are probably profoundly incorrect. You have the right to be apathetic, but you don’t have the right to be needlessly ignorant. Read on if you want to know what I think is going on…
The Christianity towards which most people profess disbelief or indifference is fictional, i.e. it is a relatively recent popular construction. It does not exist from within the historical-confessional narrative of faith. It’s very interesting to note that the hard-wiring of the European consciousness, since before the 19th century, was steeped in the biblical idiom. Here’s what I mean: Even if people responded to the Gospel by saying in their hearts, “I don’t care…” or “I don’t believe a word of this!” the manner of their expression was in biblical language and through Christian categories. This is not the case today, to the chagrin of most social conservatives. I will point it out as ironic, however, that most social conservatives with whom I’ve spoken have no idea who Jesus Christ is.
Today, we have so much teaching to do as a church body, not to mention so much ignorance, hatred, and intellectual violence to clean up, that it would be an absolute joy to get to the point where people can correctly say, “I still don’t care,” or “I still don’t believe a word of this!”
As far as I know, a country is an arbitrary social construction and therefore has no salvation-status under the New Covenant. However, I doubt I would exaggerate if I said that this country is one that does not know about Jesus Christ or the Gospel, generally speaking. It never really did, and though there have been times in which God’s providence has restrained evil to such an extent as to allow for the untainted preaching of God’s word (think of the Old Princeton era, or the periods of Christian mass-literacy after WWII), we are in a particularly concerning period of time—not because of “abortion,” or “gay marriage,”—but because self-proclaimed Christians have no meaningful idea who Jesus Christ is. Most religious people in this country subscribe to Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. Get in touch with me if you’d like to discuss this further.
Here’s the rub:
Stop listening to evangelical hand wringing about cultural decline; America is not a Christian country.
Theologically speaking, the only Christian ‘country’ that ever existed was Ancient Israel, which failed in its mission to bring God’s grace to a fallen world. God sent his Son to rectify this failure, and to be the second version of Adam to rescue us from ourselves.
Indeed, the gospel is profoundly unconcerned with this presidential election. Jesus Christ calls you to flourishing life by drinking from the cup of true belief in him. This faith is 2000 years old, and it isn’t going anywhere. Don’t be discouraged by all the ignorance, God’s heart has room for you too.