How nations disciple...

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mattrose
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How nations disciple...

Post by mattrose » Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:53 am

It seems to me that nations are better at discipling than the church

Even many Christians are more patriotic than Christlike

This got me to thinking, what is the kingdom of the world (specifically, american patriotism / american civil religion) DOING to disciple the masses. What is making it so successful?

Here are some initial thoughts that my wife and I came up with, but I'd be VERY INTERESTED in hearing more perspectives

1.It’s easier to be discipled into american patriotism / civil-religion. It doesn’t require as deep a commitment/relationship
2.In the Kingodom of God, you might get persecuted for opting in. In the civil religion / patriotism, you might get persecuted for opting out.
3.There's a steady onslaught of brainwashing by the media (agendas done subtlety over time (even decades) until they are the norm).
4.The nation has a strong liturgy. Pledge of allegiance, songs, holidays, famous stories and slogans, etc.
5. People naturally crave belonging to something greater than themselves. The nation is a tangible/obvious option. People are constantly being reminded of their identity as an american.
6. People, by law, invest in the american project (taxes). They might as well put their allegiance where their money is
7. The state has, for the most part, control of the education systems and use it for indoctrination (among other things)

Meanwhile, the kingdom of God has settled for 'personal relationship' language, not even presenting itself as a viable alternative to nationalism. Many churches don't even talk about the 'kingdom of God' so people think faith is a private/individualistic thing and patriotism is our communal home. Christianity, for some, just exists to help make good citizens of the nation.

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jasonmodar
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Re: How nations disciple...

Post by jasonmodar » Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:27 pm

America, through its personal freedoms and technological advances, affords individuals and families incredible opportunities for success, health, security and happiness. The Kingdom of God may ask you to forego such things, or, in some cases, define those things differently. Spiritual success, for instance, instead of professional; finding security in God rather than a job or the government; happiness as defined by the Greek Makarios and the Beatitudes.

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robbyyoung
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Re: How nations disciple...

Post by robbyyoung » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:47 pm

mattrose wrote:It seems to me that nations are better at discipling than the church

Even many Christians are more patriotic than Christ like.
Hi Matt,

Christian patriotism and being "Christ like" most certainly conflate more than not. Our country was rooted in the Judeo-Christian philosophy. Therefore, most if not all of our time-honored traditions are centered around the spirit of this thought process. For instance, "The Pledge of Allegiance" clearly states that the nation is UNDER God, not above or equal too. This is an incredible realization which helps Christians not only work towards being a positive factor in this nation, but also remain respectful to the principles which make man's laws subordinate to God's higher authority.
mattrose wrote:This got me to thinking, what is the kingdom of the world (specifically, american patriotism / american civil religion) DOING to disciple the masses. What is making it so successful?

Here are some initial thoughts that my wife and I came up with, but I'd be VERY INTERESTED in hearing more perspectives

1. It’s easier to be discipled into american patriotism / civil-religion. It doesn’t require as deep a commitment/relationship.
I can't speculate on another's walk with God. Like I said, Christian American patriotism do necessarily conflate.
mattrose wrote:2.In the Kingodom of God, you might get persecuted for opting in. In the civil religion / patriotism, you might get persecuted for opting out.
This is an interesting statement because Christians in both camps occupy the role of persecutor and persecuted.

I'm out of time, but these are my thoughts for starters.

Blessings.

dwight92070
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Re: How nations disciple...

Post by dwight92070 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:02 pm

mattrose wrote:It seems to me that nations are better at discipling than the church

Dwight: I hear your point, but I think that is an overstatement. Are you referring to specifically the United States or other nations?

Even many Christians are more patriotic than Christlike

Dwight: I see some of that in this country and I agree, that is not the way it should be. But I believe it is just fine if Christians are also patriotic.

This got me to thinking, what is the kingdom of the world (specifically, american patriotism / american civil religion) DOING to disciple the masses. What is making it so successful?

Dwight: Speaking for this country, our country has been maligned, drug through the mud, apologized for, etc. and our flag has been disrespected and even burned, so it's no surprise that there is a backlash of patriotism and respect for this nation. I don't see that as a bad thing.

Here are some initial thoughts that my wife and I came up with, but I'd be VERY INTERESTED in hearing more perspectives

1.It’s easier to be discipled into american patriotism / civil-religion. It doesn’t require as deep a commitment/relationship
Dwight: I think you should qualify your opinion. The left in this country hate their own nation, it's flag, it's military, and also those of us on the right. Many soldiers have given their lives for their country. I would say that that is a deep commitment.
2.In the Kingodom of God, you might get persecuted for opting in. In the civil religion / patriotism, you might get persecuted for opting out.
Dwight: Who's being persecuted for not being patriotic? Football players who take a knee? I don't think so. And who is persecuting those who are not patriotic?
3.There's a steady onslaught of brainwashing by the media (agendas done subtlety over time (even decades) until they are the norm).
Dwight: The media is comprised mainly of leftists and they have successfully brainwashed millions into hating this country, not to love it.
4.The nation has a strong liturgy. Pledge of allegiance, songs, holidays, famous stories and slogans, etc.
Dwight: All of that is part of our history. Would you prefer that we cancel all that and rewrite our history?
5. People naturally crave belonging to something greater than themselves. The nation is a tangible/obvious option. People are constantly being reminded of their identity as an american.
Dwight: The lefists are constantly reminding us that we are citizens of this world, not this country.
6. People, by law, invest in the american project (taxes). They might as well put their allegiance where their money is
Dwight: True Christians worship God and honor their country.
7. The state has, for the most part, control of the education systems and use it for indoctrination (among other things)
Dwight: The education system is this country is largely controlled by leftists and their indoctrination is to despise patriotism, not encourage it.

Meanwhile, the kingdom of God has settled for 'personal relationship' language, not even presenting itself as a viable alternative to nationalism.

Dwight: Why does nationalism need an alternative? If we put God first, what is wrong with respecting our country at the same time?

Many churches don't even talk about the 'kingdom of God' so people think faith is a private/individualistic thing and patriotism is our communal home.

Dwight: I don't know any Christians who believe that. There may be some, but I doubt if there are many.
Christianity, for some, just exists to help make good citizens of the nation.
Dwight: I don't know any Christians who believe that, either, and again, there may be some.

dwight92070
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Re: How nations disciple...

Post by dwight92070 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:42 pm

If the majority of Christians in this country were not patriotic during our elections, we would probably have Hillary Clinton as our President right now.

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mattrose
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Re: How nations disciple...

Post by mattrose » Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:59 pm

Thanks for the replies everyone

The feedback was in such a different direction from where I was heading with these thoughts, that I don't really feel it's worth trying to steer it back on track. I didn't communicate well. No worries. God bless :)

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jasonmodar
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Re: How nations disciple...

Post by jasonmodar » Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:33 pm

mattrose wrote:Thanks for the replies everyone

The feedback was in such a different direction from where I was heading with these thoughts, that I don't really feel it's worth trying to steer it back on track. I didn't communicate well. No worries. God bless :)
That's too bad. I thought this would be an interesting topic.

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mattrose
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Re: How nations disciple...

Post by mattrose » Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:43 pm

Yeah, I really wanted to talk about methods of discipleship... but I wasn't entirely clear on that. My fault. I just don't feel like getting into another 'how godly is america? and/or 'what's the proper relationship between church/state?' debate. Others are welcome to use this thread to continue either discussion.

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darinhouston
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Re: How nations disciple...

Post by darinhouston » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:01 pm

Great topic. Need to find time to review and think and I’ll be participating


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mattrose
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Re: How nations disciple...

Post by mattrose » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:02 pm

darinhouston wrote:Great topic. Need to find time to review and think and I’ll be participating


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By the way Darin.... I am finally making my way through The Benedict Option. It's my 'home' book.... so I should be done with it sometime in October

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