My take: Why my church rebelled against the American Dream
By David Platt, Special to CNN
December 23, 2010
We American Christians have a way of taking the Jesus of the Bible and twisting him into a version of Jesus that we are more comfortable with.
A nice middle-class American Jesus. A Jesus who doesn’t mind materialism and would never call us to give away everything we have. A Jesus who is fine with nominal devotion that does not infringe on our comforts.
A Jesus who wants us to be balanced, who wants us to avoid dangerous extremes, and who for that matter wants us to avoid danger altogether. A Jesus who brings comfort and prosperity to us as we live out our Christian spin on the American Dream.
But lately I’ve begun to have hope that the situation is changing.
The 20th-century historian who coined the term “American Dream,” James Truslow Adams, defined it as “a dream… in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are.”
But many of us are realizing that Jesus has different priorities. Instead of congratulating us on our self-fulfillment, he confronts us with our inability to accomplish anything of value apart from God. Instead of wanting us to be recognized by others, he beckons us to die to ourselves and seek above all the glory of God.
In my own faith family, the Church at Brook Hills, we have tried to get out from under the American Dream mindset and start living and serving differently.