Monday, June 30, 2008

White Christianity

More and more I see that the Christianity I grew up with is sooo tainted with Americanism that it is often very hard to see what The Way -- as Jesus' disciples called the religion Jesus taught-- would have turned into.

So I read Pastor Richard Twiss' "One Church, Many Tribes." I listen to Henry Lao of the Elijah Challenge. I listen to Christian ministers from other countries.

And I can only say I feel a strange excitement in the air. The Christianity we have is so euro-centric and the evangelical charismatic religion we have is so influenced by televangelist and American culture that I stand amazed at what this religion will be like when non-whites, non-Americans, finally get an influence in our church. I'll admit I'll be a little scared too. After all, I'm American and some stuff I hold to will also be challenged. But I'm open.

One of the weird things about this movement toward indigenous Christianity and a Christianity that moves away from American suppositions, interpretations, telvangelism, racism, etc....is that I am CONTINUALLY getting into fights with American Christians who simply do not want to grow. They are sooo committed to the American interpretations of certain verses and of certain ways of being that you can see their fear that you have fallen into heresy when you mention something. It's like telling some Christian man who is into authority that the perfect woman of Proverbs 31 -=- the woman who is far above rubies-- is shown in the Bible as buying property without asking her husband's permission. They just look at you like.....

Or when you tell someone that new believers in countries where new believers are persecuted for changing their religion shouldn't have to leave their religions...that God will work with inside believers from within those religions, that Jesus called believers to a relationship with him, not to "change religions" or "become Christians"...they look at you like......

Or when you tell them that evangelism without the miracles of Christ isn't gonna cut in in some countries....they're like.....

I have to admit that my patience with normal American Christians is running pretty short. Perhaps because they are so connected to American ideas such as patriotism, The US is God's country, etc, or their addiction to fame and large churches...and "issues"...and whatever the latest hip thing Christians are studying (christians and being feminine, christians and bad girls in the Bible, christians and yadda-yadda... or whatever...) well, it just makes me very snippy and "short" with people. Mercifully, the census bureau states that in 30 years the country will be primarily hispanic -- mostly immigrants. Honestly, I am looking forward to this. (I'll be 78, then.) How will anglo-white Christians deal with a United States that is no longer what they picture in their writings? Hopefully, all those Janet Oke pioneer stories will be long gone!

And when it's another Christian writer telling me that my story is too Christian, too heavy-handed (although my atheist friends and my Moslem friend and my new ager friends loved it) I feel like saying, "Idiot! Don't you know folks are going to hell? And you are upset with a book because it's too Christian or it doesn't fall into the type of Christian fantasy you want (Elves, knights, etc.) Oh, it really just p*sses a person off!

Am half-curious to see how my new WIP Inheritance with those sex issues will play among Christians. Will they say I have made my demon too sexy and scary for Christian audiences?
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