Tuesday, December 28, 2010

You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.

True or False: There is a difference between being a Christian who is an American instead of being an American who is a Christian.

  • If true, what's that difference?
  • If true, which, if either, would you use to classify yourself?



At 28 December, 2010 05:22, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 28 December, 2010 06:57, Blogger samurai said...

Two true options? 8)

I would say true. I am a Christian who happens to be an American.

Even though America has been very good to me and my family (going on fourteen generations now), my home is in Heaven.

I guess the difference is - what is your sense of identification. Is it in the nation you live in, or what you identify with foremost.

At 28 December, 2010 07:22, Anonymous Jeff Wright said...

True. The two choices reflect two different identities. A Christian who is an American is a Christian first and foremost. Their identity is found in Christ. Who they are as a Christian takes priority and shapes their thinking. Ideas and events are viewed through the "disciple of Christ" lens long and hard before the "American" lens is added to the mix (I understand it's not that easy). A Christian who is an American will ensure that it is our Christianity that is shaping what it looks like for us to be a disciple of Christ who happens to be an American at this point in history. Our Americanism, therefore, ought to look different than the Americanism of the rest of our countrymen.

Many folks might ask, "What difference does it really make?" The difference is a subtle one but it does make a difference. It affects our thinking which will eventually affect our behavior. It affects what we allow to stir our passions.

I'm going to respond further on my blog. Good question!

At 28 December, 2010 09:37, Blogger etoc said...

TRUE! A Christian American is primarily defined by what it means to be an American (rights, individualism, etc.) with a little Christian flavoring poured in as a nice accent. An American Christian means one is primarily defined by what it means to be a Christian with a hint of American flavoring. When this is the case, you've got more in common with an Iraqi Christian or a Peruvian Christian. When you're a Christian American, you have more in common with other Americans who aren't even Christians than you do other Christians around the world--which raises the question: Are you really a Christian? It's a pretty critical question to ask and answer on an individual basis: Which one are you?

At 28 December, 2010 10:19, Blogger Rev. said...

Heb. 11:14-16 - "These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city."

I'm a Christian who happens to be an American. I love this nation despite its egregious flaws, and am even willing to die for it, but the truth of the matter is that I'm simply a sojourner here. Heaven is my home.

At 28 December, 2010 14:54, Blogger Matt said...

Is "being a Christian" ever at odds with "being an American"? If so, can we be both?

I think the reason our gut reaction is to say "I am a Christian first and an American second" is because we think its only Jack-Bauer patriotism that makes someone an American.

If I reject nationalism, American exceptionalism, unbridled capitalism, and militarism, am I still an American? Are those things inherent to being an American?

I say no. I say being an American is about loyalty to America, loving America, and desiring to see America live out its God-given purpose. I don't think there is ever a contradiction between being an American and being a Christian, so I would say "Christian American" and "American Christian" are the same thing.

Is there a difference between "white Christian" and "Christian Caucasian"?

At 28 December, 2010 15:37, Blogger M. Jay Bennett said...

It depends on whether the "and" (Christian and American v. American and Christian) is meant to indicate logical sequence or it is merely conjoining. If the former, then TRUE. There is a difference that has to do with ultimate loyalty. If the latter, then FALSE. There is no difference beyond mere word order.

At 28 December, 2010 16:11, Blogger Matt said...

Is there ever a scenario in which loyalty to the best interest of America is in conflict with loyalty to Christ?

For the sake of argument, let's say that an American is someone loyal to America. If an American sees America acting contrary to the law of Christ, isn't it more loyal to America to side with Christ against America?

It's kind of like being in a relationship with an addict. Sometimes it's in the addict's best interest to show them tough love and separate. Constantly siding with them and rescuing them is detrimental to their well-being and is thus not the loving thing to do.

At 28 December, 2010 21:54, Blogger Glenn said...

Your quote: Maybe... Clint Eastwood in "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" ?
On your question: False, My nationality is American (physically born on it's "soil")and I am a Christian, Born Again, spirtually...so I am going to say I am either or.

Glenn Krejci

At 31 December, 2010 21:32, Anonymous Glenn said...

continued by Glenn...1+2=3 and 2+1=3 you could argue 1 comes before thress so it takes priority or maybe 2 is higher then 1 so it takes piority, but basically they are just different in themselves and combine together equal the same thing.

At 31 December, 2010 21:35, Anonymous Glenn said...

correction by Glenn...1+2=3 and 2+1=3 you could argue 1 comes before 2 so it takes priority or maybe 2 is higher then 1 so it takes piority, but basically they are just different in themselves and combine together equal the same thing.

At 26 January, 2011 17:17, Blogger GUNNY said...

In case, y'all missed it. Here's Jeff's Pursuing Truth blog post:

"Christian Americans and American Christians"


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