American World of Faith

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by Ben Huot

www.benjamin-newton.com

November 21, 2021

person in corn maze

We live in a world of faith. We just don’t call it that. We rely on countless technologies to work together seamlessly for life to work. Few have any idea of how they work, but we do know we are completely dependent on them because when they go down, we get little done.

We expect experts to run our society. We couldn’t rebuild almost any part of our society even with 95% of the population if we had no experts. We trust experts on many subjects including our health, in our jobs, and in our future. Most people do have great faith. It is just that their faith is in science and not God.

It is ironic that so many people outright reject the concept of God without question and are so critical of religion in general but even Christians accept science with blind faith and a lack of critical thought. The reason why is obvious - our society is based on science and atheism. It would be like arguing living without food or water.

Science is designed to work so that people are critical of scientists. The problem is you have no control over where others take your ideas and what parts they accept and reject. Christianity is based on sacrifice and yet much of the vocal church in America is very rich. Christ was a mystic and yet many in the Church still use His ideas to try to win empires.

Medieval Europe was created by the merging together of the German and Roman cultures but many might think they embraced the most violent parts of both cultures. In America our culture is being heavily influenced by Mexican culture, but we have no idea exactly what parts of American and what parts of Mexican culture will be chosen in mass.

So we do understand faith and so that is not the obstacle to spreading the Gospel in America. I think the biggest obstacle to faith is that life is too easy and people are too busy to prioritize God. It is just too easy to ignore God as the world shouts and God whispers. There are emerging obstacles as well as emerging opportunities in America today.

Feminism has become mainstream but so has science fiction. Feminism has historically been very anti-Christian probably because the Christian God is male. Science fiction deals primarily with what Christians would call the supernatural. Pagan or animistic cultures have been some of the most receptive to the Gospel.

One of the biggest problems in America is Hollywood. The way Hollywood portrays the life of Americans causes much suffering in the world. This is both because of how the world sees Americans as morally corrupt but also because it is aggressively marketed / propagandized throughout the entire world.

Our culture is now almost entirely based on entertainment and gathering information on individual people. There are still other things sold but they do not make as much money or employ as many people. Much of the world will never be a part of it because computers can only be made so cheap and advertisers / businesses have little interest in those users who can barely afford a phone.

So the logical step would be to form some sort of entertainment with Christian morality but that likely has us falling into the trap of just making a Christian version of something inherently pagan. The other angle is to try to get people to work harder and then really take a rest.

Christians should play to their historic strength - community. Christianity is one of the few institutions that will likely survive the information revolution (as a social thing, as religion existed long before the agricultural revolution). Christians need to return to education and critical thinking even as the world exits this area. It must be kept alive and it makes sense to get ahead of the game and be there when things go sideways.

But the best way to do this is not to try to do anything on a large scale or make any plans for it at an institutional level. If this is God’s will it will happen. We should work hard to make it happen as individuals but it will be better for us to let God lead. If we learn nothing else from our situation the world is in is that God needs to be our direct and primary leader.

Look at how Jesus or Paul ran their ministries. They didn’t get out a map and learn about the best strategies for spreading the Gospel. They just took advantage of opportunities that God opened up for them. No one would have thought of those particular areas would be effective areas to build the Church from.

Africa has been a very successful field for the Gospel although it started there as well in Egypt and Ethiopia, but they were boxed in by Islam to a large degree. The interesting thing about how the Gospel was brought to the rest of Africa was at both the same time as it was leaving Europe and America and it was spread by Africans to other Africans. The American and European missionaries converted very few people directly but a few converts who were former slaves ended up evangelizing millions of people a piece in Africa during the last hundred years or so.

Now Africa is at the center of world Christianity and future prophecy and no longer needs missionaries from America to be self sustaining. This is more recently been the case with American and European denominations as African Indigenous Churches have never had trouble spreading the Gospel. Ironically the bigger thing holding back Christianity throughout most of the world is its association with rich Americans with aggressive international political ideas.

Christianity in America suffers from the common problem that cultures where the Gospel has spread tend to associate Christianity with a certain part of their culture, tribe, or social group. In America, there is a strong connection between English speaking conservatives and Evangelical Christianity, which has been the most aggressive Christian group in American politics. One of the challenges to Christianity in America is to bring English and Spanish speaking churches together and bring Christianity to those with liberal political views.

In order to meet these challenges, we need to keep to our traditional theological roots and focus on the fundamentals. We can no longer afford to let politics, languages, or social norms hold us back. Whichever side you are on, the political landscape changes every few years so that whatever is decided on politically will switch back as fast and as hard as it went in to begin with. The future may be an apocalypse but Christianity will be strong.