Faith in the System

Listening to an interview with a foreign politician who has had dealings with PEOTUS Trump lead me to see another way that Trump and American Christians are very much alike.

The fellow said that Trump loves success stories and hates failures. He was worried about how that would affect Trump’s view of his own country since it is a former Soviet run country that, in American terms, is a failure.

American Christians love success stories and we don’t just hate failures, we ignore them so completely that we cannot be convinced they even exist.

When was the last time a person who tried all our methods, attended all our conferences, etc, yet still lost everything, never had that supposed mountain top experience, was invited to speak at your church? 

What sort of stories does your pastor fill your mind with week after week? Are they the typical “guy had a bad life, turned to Jesus, everything got better?” 

I ask you to examine each of the sermons and lessons you hear at your church and from other sources to see if this is not the overarching message.

If, at some point, the teacher says “life is never perfect,” or something along those lines, contrast that with the rest of his or her words. Contrast that, especially, with his or her life.

How does your pastor and elders and, for that matter, most of your Christian friends, deal with failure stories? Do they explain them away by the usual dismissive comments like “they just don’t believe right” or “we need to pray for them” or “if they would just read this book and put these ideas into practice in their lives then everything would be alright for them.”

Anytime someone says something like this, they are saying that the pain the other person is of no importance. It’s not real. Because in American Christianity the only thing that’s real is success. Acknowledging failure is not allowed because failure might cause the blind masses to begin to question our teaching.

So, don’t expect to be able to point your Christian Trump-supporting friends to his failures over the next four years, believing that will make them see reason. They can’t see the failures because failure scares the shit out of them. Failure means that maybe they were wrong. Being wrong might force them to examine their beliefs. Examining their beliefs might lead them to doubt what they’ve been taught. Doubt will lead them astray from said teachings. And if they don’t have the teachings to hold them, what will they have? 

Our faith is in a system. Our faith is not in God. 

In American Christianity the system is God, and to lose our faith in the system is to lose our faith entirely.

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