American Christianity: “Cheerful platitudes and advice for successful living.”

The United Kingdom’s The Guardian has published a scathing indictment of the American mainstream church that Ingrid Schlueter described as:

Imagine finding the most incisive, succinct description of empty evangelicalism you’ve ever seen, and finding it in the UK’s left-wing Guardian newspaper.

The entire article, Crystal Cathedral Had It’s Day, can be read here. It’s certainly an article worth the read, but if you’re still reluctant I’ve provided the following quote to whet your whistle.

But there is nothing new under the sun. Saddleback and the Crystal Cathedral, Willow Creek and all the other evangelical megachurches that have had their time in the sun sell the same product: mind-power through talk-magic, which in secular packaging is just what all the innumerable therapies and self-help programmes on the market promise. In the US, where school psychologists are almost as common as school nurses, we are obsessed with talk therapies because they are in fact ecumenical and secularised versions of evangelical Christianity, our old time religion.

3 thoughts on “American Christianity: “Cheerful platitudes and advice for successful living.”

  1. I thought this short paragraph summed it up well:

    “Schuller, Warren and other new-style evangelical preachers, who focus on this-worldly improvement rather than otherworldly salvation, have not sold out Christianity in favour of secular self-help. They have simply reappropriated those bits of evangelical Christianity that cycled through the secularisation process and emerged as therapies, having in the process acquired the veneer of science.”

  2. DavidW says:

    Interesting view from a “religious” person, as the author states:

    “Beyond that, as a religious believer I was disheartened. Was this all religion was: Cheerful platitudes and advice for successful living? Recipes for doing well in this world and the next? A pleasant place to pass an hour or two: an uplifting programme, brunch in the Welcoming Center and a stroll through the grounds? I thought religion was a window into heaven, into another world of power, glory and intensity, to the contemplation of divine beauty.”

    The sad thing is that those who seek “religion”, “church” or “Christianity” for what THEY can get out of it (whether it is a pleasant uplifting place, a friendly social club, a deeper mystical experience, etc.), are still missing the point, and will always be taken in by those who are more than happy to take their money and give them what they seek. The built-in benefit to this is that since it always caters to the fallen human nature (even if it’s a “deeper spiritual feeling”), it is never satisfied but always wants more. Therefore one is kept coming back for more, and paying to get it. It is but “religious” addiction. The only thing that can break such addiction is the power of the Cross, and the only truly satisfied life is in Jesus Christ.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s