I am taking my queues from the Reflector, a Mississippi State University campus paper. The article’s author seems to think that Christians in American have Americanized Christianity.
My insight is that most every culture adapts the writings of the the Holy Bible to their culture. In some ways God through His Word encourages that. In fact, His Word was written over a period of hundreds of years and comes through people from several cultures and from several nations.
However, what Ms. Lindsey comes to as the thrust of her article is not cultural adaptation but sin.
Ms. Lindsey says “I identify as Christian. I read my Bible, but I do not go to church anymore. I have gotten to a point in my life where I have stepped back and realized church has become more of a social gathering place than a place of solace and worship.”
It is commendable that you read the Bible and that you seek solace and worship. It is another to “identify” as Christian. Many people identify with parts of Christianity. They take what they like and leave the rest. That is not enough. The way God created this Word is amazing! You can’t take just part of it. This is an all or none proposition. After all, even from our frail thinking, shouldn’t it be? This the God of the Universe speaking. Listen up!
I rather more “identify” with one of your classmates, Gabe Miles, who is a believer and follower of Christ and one who is not afraid to proclaim it. Based on what that article states about Gabe I believe he knows Christ and follows Him.
Ms. Lindsey moves into her main point by saying: “The fact of the matter is we live with a very Americanized version of Christianity, used for people’s personal gain and as a justification of their hatred.” And this is where she strays of course.
I don’t know what you have experienced from others who claim to be Christians BUT, even an American adaptation of Christianity is not Christianity if major tenets are exploitation for personal gain nor hatred. Both evils are condemned in this Bible, God’s Word, therefore, any adaptation that validates either evil is faulty, false.
I live in the South also, but I don’t think the Southern culture is the issue, nor is Christianity the issue. Christians sin. If a Christ follower denies that he sins, he is lying. And, the fruit of the Spirit is the way we know there has been real heart change and real faith has taken root. If you see a group of people who allow hatred of others to be a norm or use of Jesus Name for personal gain, I’d say stay away from them. They are evil and is very questionable whether they’ve seen or experienced the ‘read deal’, Jesus.
Lastly, there are many authentic groups, communities and churches thriving in this country and around the world. I have had several grands(I like to call them) go to Mississippi State(MSU) and they’ve found community and other believers at Reformed University Fellowship (RUF). There are also several great churches in the city as well. Mississippi is in the Bible Belt and great things are happening there in Christian communities. It is also a haven for the KKK and I am sure other hate groups. So, I say clarify/verify labels and understand what is authentic and what is fake.