Dying to the World and the American Dream Lie by Shawn S. Grandstaff

by Shawn S. Grandstaff
Guest Writer, Dandelion Salad
July 23, 2008

Excerpt from Chapter 3, I’m Tired of Being a Hypocrite
Naked Christianity in a Demoralized Democracy

“He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” Matthew 10:39

“Jesus said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23

Contrary to popular opinion about finding our place in this world, Jesus taught that he who tries to find his life will lose it, but he that loseth his life for His sake shall find it (Matthew 10:39), which is amazing when we begin to truly understand that principle. He also explains the process of how this is done, “Let him deny himself in order to follow Him by taking up your cross daily,” which simply means the will of God for your life. The cross is the symbol of God’s will. It was God’s will for Jesus to die on the cross, so we must take up our cross, “God’s will for our life daily,” and follow Him.

In order for us to have true peace and experience, what the Bible calls the fullness of Joy, we must first die to who we are and understand who He was and is so that we will know who we are in relationship to Him. So it’s not death to self, because that happened when we were born again; it is rather the new life in Christ that we live out. Jesus says his kingdom is not of this world, that we are not to trust in riches or serve two gods, stating very clearly that we should take no thought for tomorrow and that God is to be our source (Matthew 6). He also says where your treasure is, your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21). Then how can we take money from the government (faith-based organizations)? Wouldn’t that be giving the government a foot in the door and vice versa? An avenue to where things could be corrupted and abused, thus making the political realm feel justified in their actions because God is on their side, when in reality (a word that most politicians have forgotten or changed to fit their worldview), Jesus stated His kingdom is not of this world. His kingdom is the Kingdom of God, of which love and grace are the foundational realities. So by stating that God is on their side would mean they would have to be doing the will of God, and either they really believe they are and just don’t know better or they are deceiving the ignorant and using it against them through religion. In that case, ignorance makes for a great controlling factor; therefore, ignorance and the “Christian right” religion is not bliss, but bondage.

As a result of that, we have created a different Gospel, because the true Gospel for those is bad news. We’ll change it to make it fit by mingling it with money and tainting it with pride and call it capitalism. I guess it is always better to be on the side of the bully; that way we don’t get picked on.

Capitalism has become our interest above the interests of others, thus making it the opposite of what Jesus taught. He said we should put others’ interests above ours. I didn’t say it, He did. The idea of us thinking this was or is a Christian nation, when you know our history, is historically absurd and, on top of that, a slap in the face to Jesus and true Christianity because “freedom to pursue self-interest stands diametrically opposed to the Christian understanding of freedom, for the Christian understanding of freedom ultimately means freedom from self-interest in order to serve the neighbor,” as Richard T. Hughes puts it in Myths America Lives By.

This is also where performance-based Christianity comes from. It’s ultimately rooted in self-centered capitalism, so we should refuse to soft pedal the Gospel and see what we have allowed to be created, which are corporations exploiting nations so that we can have our happy little America with the freedom to make as much money as we like because that is the American Dream—a freedom at the expense of enslaving others all over the world and in America so that Americans from all walks of life can be sold out by the corporate agenda, whose root is the love of money. Those are our rights, this is freedom, they say. We should stand up and declare that they can’t define freedom anymore. They’re the same people who become upset about socialism because, according to what they say, “We wouldn’t be free,” but I say, “Look at what capitalism has created.”

“The devaluation of the human world increases in direct relation to the increase in value of the world of things.” – Karl Marx

(C) Shawn Grandstaff 2008

from the archives:

Jesus Christ, Revolution and Socialism (subtitled)

7 thoughts on “Dying to the World and the American Dream Lie by Shawn S. Grandstaff

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