Friday, August 4, 2023

Reading Revelation Responsibly: Uncivil Worship and Witness

It has often been said that the most common idols in the West are Power, Sex, and Money; with this I am not in any profound disagreement. However, inasmuch as these idols are connected to a larger vision of life, such as the American dream, or the inalienable rights of free people, they become part of a nation’s civil religion. 

I would contend, in fact, that the most alluring and dangerous deity in the United States is the omnipresent, syncretistic god of nationalism mixed with Christianity lite: religious beliefs, language, and practices that are superficially Christian but infused with national myths and habits. Sadly, most of this civil religion’s practitioners belong to Christian churches, which is precisely why Revelation is addressed to the seven churches (not to Babylon), to all Christians tempted by the civil cult.

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