Hi Matt, thanks for the clarification. I believe your inquiry/question directly correlates with 'thought #5'.mattrose wrote: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.
Thus, success on the surface equates to citizens finding their place within a society. However, contentment in a civilized society, such as America, is not all that unusual. Most societies are content, and discipleship requires a measure of control and discipline. Therefore, if OUR nation can master the balance of individuals exercising their freedoms; individuals submitting to the rule of law; and individuals being content in the process; a strong argument can be made for "America's unique freedom" approach being a viable and successful discipleship method. Your thoughts?What is the kingdom of the world DOING to disciple the masses. What is making it so successful? ... 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.