Are We Making the American Church a Stench to Most Americans?

I was pretty angry when I wrote back in April about one of these “Justice Sunday” events. I titled the post “I Am Angry, and It’s Very Appropriate.”

I guess I’m pretty angry again.

Here are some quotes from that April article:

[The italicized selections are from an Arkansas newspaper article linked in that earlier post of mine.]

“Mark Pryor [Arkansas Senator] lashed out Wednesday at the Christian evangelicals who have joined the attack on Democratic filibusters of President Bush’s judicial nominees.”

“Their tactics threaten “to make the followers of Jesus Christ just another special-interest group,” Pryor said in a conference call with Arkansas reporters. “It is presumptuous of them to think that they represent all Christians in America, even to say they represent all evangelical Christians,” added Pryor, 42, a first-term Democrat who has considered himself an evangelical Christian for 25 years.”

Isn’t it sad that there are so many “Christians” in these watered-down ministries who think they can tell that Pryor is not a “true” Christian because he is a Democrat?

I am a Christian. I have problems with “the Democrats”. That’s a very broad term; it’s like saying I have problems with the human race. I am identified with the human race as well as with the Democrats. But I cannot imagine any way under Heaven I would allow myself to affiliate with the Republican party as it now stands. We know which party keeps the paid liars and addicts on the radio and tv. We know which party will lie about and destroy any and every person who interferes with their insane lust for total power. We know which party is EAGERLY shoveling the money from the schools and the wage-workers into the pockets of the already ridiculously wealthy.

“The Arkansas senator said he understands ‘how many people are frustrated with the judiciary’ but Christians ‘should represent the best in politics, not the worst in politics’.

Unfortunately, Christian churches and ministries are, as Pryor indicates, coming to represent the worst in politics – in the eyes of America AND of the whole world, and they seem to be proud of it. But it is an extremely painful fact for many of us, because it is such a profound corruption of what Christ stood for. And you know, when push comes to shove, it’s not usually the truly powerful, the “buyers”, who get shoved – it’s the ones who have been bought.


Now (January, 2006) they are going to broadcast this sham from Philadelphia to churches all over the country! They pretend what they are doing is church! They pretend what they are doing is worship! If we read the prophets and the Gospels much, it seems we have to expect that the Lord God is not at all pleased by the blatant political ploy that is “Justice Sunday”.

Here is one of many Divine complaints recorded in the Bible about the misuse of religious ceremonies and activities:


When you come to appear before me,
who has asked this of you,
this trampling of my courts?
Stop bringing meaningless offerings!

I cannot bear your evil assemblies …
When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even if you offer many prayers,
I will not listen.
Your hands are full of blood;

learn to do right!
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow …

Your rulers are rebels,
companions of thieves;
they all love bribes
and chase after gifts.
They do not defend the cause of the fatherless;
the widow’s case does not come before them.

from Isaiah 1

It seems these religious servants of the corrupt and radical “right” intend to go down with the ship of corruption that is this administration. Sadly, but inappropriately, they will take the reputation of Jesus and the Bible and Christianity in general right with them. Their stench is already apparent to over 2/3’s of the American people. But many members of these spoon-fed churches march right along, emotionally singing “worship songs,” in whatever direction their wealthy, power-lusting national religious “spokespersons” direct them. It is both infuriating and deeply, deeply sad.

WHAT will be the general American attitude toward churches and the Gospel in a couple of years – after this ocean of political and moral sickness has spewed out upon all of us as blatantly and thoroughly as it is bound to do? We will all be a horrible stench in the nostrils of our fellow citizens – even those of us who resisted the flood of eager obedience to secular corruption in the church.

Then the Scripture will be fulfilled, “the name of God is blasphemed among the unbelievers because of YOU.” Then the Gospel will be in a really bad way in this country – and so will any and all professing Christians.

But it won’t be because of “persecution” and lack of “religious freedom.” It will be because of the wholesale sellout of the churches for a mess of stinking political and monetary garbage.

Pardon my rant…

Visits: 27

Leave a Comment


  • Ah, its so alleviating to have some other person doing the rant that’s on one’s own soul, – even though in my case (from European distance) I catch only the tune, not the exact melody of the plaint. In these weeks, I am about starting in earnest to discuss with members and elders of my own congregation (because, I think, evangelical Christianity all around the western world is losing it innocence in these years of political power arrogance and pious relapse into quietism and adaptation), and I find it fulfilling, but also stressful and deeply disturbing and enervating an occupation. So, I am all too glad to have your strong voice to lean back to. Thanks for keeping up this site.

    And please, be also sure of my best wishes and prayers for a thorough recovery from your heart attack. The moment, I read the exact line where you talked of reconsidering your run for office, I had some awkward feeling of thinking: “Yes, of course, he’s right, that should be the sign for halting it.� But, surely things are not quite so easily made out. It’s only to say, if, and only if, you decided to renounce in favour of this fellow democrat you mentioned, I would make quite a lot of sense of it. And it’s to say that I really wish you wisdom and spirit to find out where you may serve best in these next years.

    Martin Bauer