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American Jesus

Updated on July 3, 2019

Who is American Jesus?

American Jesus is the watered down, cut-and-paste Savior as painted by the opposing sides of the American Christian mainstream. To some, he is the all-seeing, all knowing hippie sky king, while to others he is the encapsulation of impending judgement and holy wrath that is soon to be poured upon the earth. Formed by rigid adherence to traditions crossed with fragments of Scripture that have been stripped of context and turned into Tumblr posts, this idol has captured the hearts of “Christian” America.

Does God dictate your politics or do politics dictate your God?

Politics: the new God the Father

The religious beliefs that one holds are sure to make a difference in the way that they view ethics. These ethical understandings are generally a pivotal part in what determines which political party that they affiliate with. However, the almost fanatical loyalty to the bipartisan system has lead to a reversal of that order. Whether one is discussing the Republican or Democratic party, it is fair to say that the values one holds is heavily influenced (if not dictated) by the party, and thus the individual’s perception of religious things.

Religious convictions, being shaped largely by the party leaders, is the key to understanding American Jesus. To some, America Jesus desires us to put aside our personal moral tenets in the greater name of tolerance of all, while to others he needs us to willing to publicly decry such things as homosexuality, abortion, rock music, and alcohol in the name of Christian values. To others, Christ‘s sacrifice is best spent within the safe haven of Christian community, with our own lingo, clothing, and music. This confusion has lead to increased division within the church.

“Who do others say I am?”

But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Matthew 16:14-15

Where I Fit

I admit that I don’t have the full picture of God. I acknowledge that I have much to lear, and that I will die having much of this never figured out. However, I have learned that I must grapple with the idea of the “true” Jesus if I am to grow in faith.

I was raised in a conservative, Baptist, republican Christian home. Alcohol, tattoos, and rock music were the biggest threats to my salvation, and true Christians could only be right wing. As I grew, I became increasingly dissatisfied with the apparent contradictions and circular reasoning that often accompanied conversations with my father. Though I knew the scriptures, had memorized much of the Bible, attended Bob Jones/A Beka academy for schooling, I went on to turn my back on faith as a teen. Rock music was my faith. I hated the church for rejecting me, for dancing around my questions, for shaming me for asking them in the first place.

Today, I am on a journey to make sense of the faith that I never could completely shake. I have been restored to Christ, and am now on a journey to see Jesus for who he was (to the best of my ability), and not settle for empty cliches and traditions that my family has raised me in (religiously, politically, and morally). It’s a struggle, and I admit that I’m uncertain on much and l‘m wrong about a decent amount of things. However, that is a risk one takes when he throws off his shackles of tradition and legalism and begins to seek after the true Jesus. So far, He is bigger and more complex than American Jesus ever was. That being said, it’s too late to turn back now, American Jesus has been revealed as an imposter. What I do know is this,

”The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.”

John 4:23

”The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.”

John 4:23

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