Bad Religion -- "American Jesus"

"I dont need to be a global citizen
'Cuz I'm blessed by nationality
I'm a member of a growing populace

We enforce our popularity

There are things that
seem to pull us under
There are things
that drag us down
But there's a power,
a vital presence
Thats lurking all around...

We've got the American Jesus
See him on the interstate
We've got the American Jesus

He helped build the
presidents estate

I feel sorry for the earth's population
Because so few Live in the U.S.A.
At least the foreigners
can copy our morality...
They can visit but they cannot stay

Only precious few
can garner the prosperity
It makes us walk with renewed confidence
Weve got a place to go when we die

And the architect resides right here"

Bad Religion is correct: We Americans have our own version of Jesus. We have our own own spin on God's gospel.

God's gospel is preoccupied with unfading, heavenly riches while the American gospel is tied up with worldliness. According to the our gospel, wealth and security are of the utmost importance, worth obtaining at all costs. According to God's gospel, the ultimate riches we could ever obtain is simply to know Jesus Christ, no matter what our situation.

Americans have succeeded in spreading a gospel of worldly prosperity rather than God's gospel. Sadly this has also been the case for many American missionaries who intended on preaching God's gospel.

It's not that financial prosperity is sinful in itself... it is possible (albeit extremely difficult) to be rich and godly at the same time. But what is our motivation? What effect have our actions had on the world?

We Americans have inspired the rest of the world to work for a level of worldly prosperity that resembles our own. We have transformed nations not with our political or religious savvy but with our love for material gain.

While Jesus Christ spreads his message by winning people's hearts, we spread the American gospel through economic and military invasion. In other words, the message we have successfully preached to the world is not God's gospel.

If we want to infect the world with Christ's message, then we must be infected with this message ourselves. We should have learned by now from experience that we can convey spiritual truth only so far as our lives are transformed by God's Spirit.

"We've got the American Jesus
Overwhelming millions every day...

he's the preacher on TV
he's the nuclear bombs
he's the motive and the conscience of the murderer
he's the form letter that's written by the big computers...
I'm fearful that he's inside me.

It's easy to differentiate between the jesus Bad Religion speaks of and the real Jesus. Jesus Christ came "to serve, not to be served." He came to teach us a new kind of authority, which works from the heart outward. He came to establish a heavenly quality of government that will never fade because its foundations are in heaven.

1 comment:

Mike Perschon said...

There's a book on the subject actually. Really good. Called (gasp!) "American Jesus."