Celebrating my 200th Blog Post – 10 Reasons Why Christianity Has Lost Credibility in North America
by Mark Votava
When Christianity becomes corrupt through our power, ego, wealth and arrogance it becomes very destructive, violent, colonial and unauthentic. It seems Christianity in North America promotes sin that is destructive to us all. Most of the world hates this kind of stuff and we are to blame for how others reject Christianity because we are so unlike the one we claim to follow. Here are 10 reasons why American Christianity is contributing to atheism in our world.
1. We have too much division over stupid stuff that doesn’t matter. There are thousands of denominations in the United States and most of them think they have a monopoly on truth. There is a lack of learning from one another and working together for the common good. We look at differences instead of similarities.
2. Hierarchies that feed off of power. Hierarchies are created by men to control and dominate in the name of God. Hierarchies exclude and instill fear in others. Jesus didn’t care about power so why does the church love power so much?
3. Making the church into a building. The church is not a building. The church is not even a service. The church is the people living in a particular place in everyday life. When there is no commitment to place, there is no expression of love in everyday life together.
4. Lack of love and compassion for the marginalized. The church has mostly abandoned the poor. We don’t understand that God lives in the poor. It seems we don’t care that much.
5. Overemphasis on vocal intercessory prayer and neglecting a contemplative spirituality of deep listening. It seems that our notions of prayer are not really about listening and reflecting deeply within ourselves, but about constantly asking God for things. When will we stop asking God for things through a Western mindset of comfort, security and success? We need to develop a contemplative spirituality that listens deeply and stops talking so much.
6. Compartmentalizing worship into music and not a way of life. Worship is not about music. Why do we have such an addiction to our American forms of church worship? We revolve so much energy around songs as worship, but whatever happened to community as worship, being neighbors to one another as worship, living in simplicity as worship, showing compassion as worship, living an intentional life of discipline as worship?
7. Living above place. We do not care about place anymore. This is making our services we call church damaging, manipulative and irrelevant. If we committed to place, this could bring us together to engage our culture in ways of love, compassion and grace beyond our services.
8. The abandonment of vulnerability and humility. We have become arrogant. We think we know all the answers. When will we show our vulnerability and some humility to the world who judges us most of the time as fake, ignorant and unauthentic.
9. Overemphasis on sin within us and ignoring the life of Christ within us. There is so much emphasis on sin and not enough emphasis on Christ living within us. We are not just sinners, Christ lives within us. We do not embody the life of Christ within us because we are instilled with a deep consciousness of sin that causes us to never discover our true selves as created in the image and beauty of God.
10. Lack of respect for all people. We think we are right and everyone else is wrong so we disrespect others if they do not have similar theological beliefs. What we think as the way, truth and life leads us to be judgmental, arrogant, proud and disrespectful. We do not realize that God is love and values all people so we should have a learning posture toward others who we think are different from us.
How can we establish a more credible Christianity in North America? What point do you resonate with most?