Jim Wallis Rants on American Christians

Assembled for the meeting were theologians, pastors, priests, nuns, and lay church leaders. At one point a Native American stood up, looked out over the mostly white audience, and said,

Regardless of what the New Testament says, most Christians are materialists with no experience of the Spirit. Regardless of what the New Testament says, most Christians are individualists with no real experience of community. Let’s pretend that you were all Christians. If you were Christians, you would no longer accumulate. You would share everything you had. You would actually love one another. And you would treat each other as if you were family. Why don’t you do that? Why don’t you live that way?

11 thoughts on “Jim Wallis Rants on American Christians

  1. JB

    Well, since I’m not American I can’t speak for what it’s like in the US, but three “impressions” of religion have stayed with me for years:

    1) The next-door neighbour of my parents used to be very religious. She also was well-known as being repulsively unpleasant towards people and fell out with our family almost as soon as we had moved in (I was about 2 at this point), for reasons unknown. From that point onwards she refused to speak to us and treated us like dirt. She occasionally would block our driveway for short periods, but if anyone parked outside her house she would come out and chase them away immediately. This came to an end a few years ago when, for reasons unknown again, she committed suicide.

    2) My sister used to live in a flat opposite a church carpark. Every time there was a service these people would descend on the place and fill the carpark. When the service finished they would leave, clogging up the little road for what felt like hours. During this period they would show incredible manners to each other. “You go first,” “No, you go first, I insist,” as they slowly cleared the carpark. Anyone unfortunate enough to get caught up in this who was NOT from the church, however, was treated as if they didn’t exist by these people and made to wait until they had ALL left.

    3) During my first job I got into the habit of going to a local carpark to stick my recyclables in the appropriate bins. This carpark just so happened to be by a church. If I happened by the place when a service was starting or ending, I was subjected to piercing glares of hatred from the various old baggages attending, as if I was in their “territory” and in their way.

    For these reasons, and others, I have very little time for religion. I try to live my life as best as possible and I try to treat other people right all the same. I’ve seen far too much of this us-and-them mentality, far too much of supposedly morally-superior religious types walking all over others, and just far too much nastiness and self-centredness from these people. Obviously not everyone religious is like this, but I really wonder how much of an effect this has on peoples’ perceptions. Feel free to flame the crap out of me…

  2. JT

    For every one of these examples of “bad” Christians, I’m sure there are many more examples of “good” Christians who are polite and helpful and giving. I find it sad that we are so quick to judge others without truly finding out more about them or who they represent. I don’t judge all Christians on the few I may encounter just as I don’t judge all homosexuals on the few militants out there.

  3. scudder

    Amen. Having been involved with many a “lay person” in the church who then threw me out of bed when they returned to the Fold, I’m all for “Christians” taking a cold, hard look at themselves and getting down off their high horses.

  4. JB

    “For every one of these examples of “bad” Christians, I’m sure there are many more examples of “good” Christians who are polite and helpful and giving.”

    Oh, sure, I agree entirely. It’s just difficult not to get pissed off with it all when I haven’t seen enough of the “good” Christians and have seen far too many of the “bad” Christians. But then I suppose that’s just my experiences.

  5. Tobin

    Did anyone see Changing Spouses? The “Christain” should be the new poster-child for the so-called Christains. This lady was NUTS – and so were her friends.

  6. kc

    Great post. Whoever came up with that “prosperity gospel” BS would burn for all eternity in Hell . . . if Hell actually existed.

  7. DC

    I’m a born-again Chrisitan and Native American. I don’t regret giving up my traditional Native American religion, Jesus is worth it all. I know there are people who say they are “Christians”, yet they act like ugly fools. It is at times hard to walk in the foot steps of Jesus and be as kind and wonderful as he is. it just is. have patience, life can be cruel.

  8. adetunji babatunde

    i need your help in that country
    i wanted to come to america and i need someone to help me through and if you can do i will highly appreciate it alot.
    and i will never forget you in my life by sending me an invitation letter
    i will be expecting your reply thanks and God bless
    tunde adetunji

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