Watch this from John Piper. I mean like watch it now.
To the Church in America Today from Desiring God on Vimeo.
That is some good stuff. I mean some really good stuff. I love how we describes how dominance and prosperity in America has distorted the church and how we understand not just the church but our very understanding of the Gospel.
Some keys things he said:
- The idea of Christianity in America implying a sense of "At home-ness in the world"
That is so true and also why the collapse of civic religion is so frightening and devastating to so many. Christianity, or at least what we call Christianity, in America is the opposite of what we see in Scripture and in history in virtually every way. Rather than calling us to come out from the world, our version of Christianity promises that you will be more at home, more successful if you become a Christian.
- The call to Christianity is the call to be a respected citizens in the community.
When the Anabaptists preached the unadulterated Gospel they did so to an audience that knew that following Jesus in that way was going to get them killed. People left behind Christendom in favor of Christ anyway. Not a lot but enough and this has never been a numbers game anyway. We can preach the Gospel as it should be preached and they will still come. Even if they don't it doesn't matter, it is better to be seen as unsuccessful by the world but faithful by God than to be successful in the eyes of the world by watering down what God has declared.
- “I don’t want to be a comfort-seeking,
entertainment-addicted, security-craving, approval-desiring Christian.”
Yet that is precisely what American Christianity is all about. Our message is so inoffensive, so based on being moral people and meeting your felt needs that it has no danger, no cross bearing at all.
Piper nails it in this video. Hopefully he will keep walking down that road and looking at ways that Desiring God and Bethlehem Baptist are, in some ways, more reflective of American Christianity than Biblical Christianity than he might realize.