Our Identity is Found in Christ, Not Dead Presidents by Shawn S. Grandstaff

American Jesus

Image by Chris Barker via Flickr

by Shawn S. Grandstaff
Writer, Dandelion Salad
June 26, 2018

I think this is an extremely important issue that should be addressed. It’s also a subject that people will fight you on defending their belief holding on to drawing life from it. Who wants to admit they’ve been believing something most their life that contradicts it, then be willing to change? Cognitive dissonance is a powerful thing. I could be wrong though but this is the simplest way to put it. If you’re preaching Jesus filtered through a national identity (when we’re pilgrims passing through) while coming from an old testament mentality putting the law on people using the political government (arm of the flesh) rather than preaching true freedom in Christ outside of it, one could say you’re preaching a different gospel. You got Jesus wrapped up into all kinds of things he had no part in. Also, it has caused many problems while pushing people away on top of it. I know it seems crazy today due to how indoctrinated we’ve been.

In reality if you really get serious breaking it down, you’re misrepresenting it. That’s why I think people should be knowledgeable about this not taking it lightly. Our identity is found in Christ, not dead presidents. It doesn’t matter what country you’re born in we’re just passing through when you really get down to it. The secular world has laws and government. You can’t push God on people with some agenda thinking you’re saving them. All it does is put you in that group making you a part of it, which leads to hypocrisy because the government is not Christlike. It completely misrepresents him. Those who we say are in the world don’t need to be saved just for heaven but to have real freedom in this life now.

from the archives:

Why Are the Poor Patriotic? by David Swanson

Howard Zinn: The Myth of American Exceptionalism

David Swanson: How American Exceptionalism Is Exploited to Justify War + How Suzy Hansen Lost Her U.S. Exceptionalism

Chris Hedges: Home Grown Hatred–Anger and Alienation in the US (2009)

The Early Christian Communists by Roman A. Montero

Abby Martin and Chris Hedges: Donald Trump and Christianized Fascism

Exclusive: Constantine Christianity by Shawn S. Grandstaff

A Letter to the Church by Shawn Grandstaff

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

see also:

Faithful America

Faithful America is the largest and fastest-growing online community of Christians putting faith into action for social justice. Our members are sick of sitting by quietly while Jesus’ message of good news is hijacked by the religious right to serve a hateful political agenda. We’re organizing the faithful to challenge such extremism and renew the church’s prophetic role in building a more free and just society.

20 thoughts on “Our Identity is Found in Christ, Not Dead Presidents by Shawn S. Grandstaff

  1. Pingback: Caleb Maupin: Socialism Will Save America! – Dandelion Salad

  2. Pingback: To the US Churches: Be Moved With Compassion Like Christ by Shawn S. Grandstaff – Dandelion Salad

  3. Pingback: Abby Martin and Chris Hedges: Christianized Fascism Is More Dangerous Than The Alt-Right – Dandelion Salad

  4. Gets to the heart of the issue for many in the US.

    I’ve been listening to a lot of Jordan Peterson’s online material lately, that is certainly deeply sincere and rigorously sifted. I think he is getting somewhere, mapping an ethically robust path through a profoundly complex and nuanced aggregate of cumulative psychological approaches, philosophical contexts, mutable hermeneutics, exegetic discourses and inquiries into our received esoteric traditions, both formal and vernacular. It is not a simple task.

    Personally, I think he’d do well to study more of William James.

    Then there is the radical work of Daniel Boyarin that still warrants very serious attention ~ Border Lines: The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity (Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion) ….

    The underlying concern I have, is this reflexive tendency to fall back on restrictive patriarchalist gestalts; when we have made so much progress in ‘feminist’ and especially indigenous women’s spiritual contributions in recent decades. The core of an emergent cosmopolitan ‘ecology of mind’ has to be this inclusive, universal, gender free & uncompromising, ethical and ethnic ‘ecosystemic’ diversity. Real freedom is the pure expression of (and the search for) authentic being ~ accepting mature responsibility for empowered becoming, fully embedded in sentient spirit.

    What’s wrong with that?

      • Thanks Lo. I’m not clear exactly though, what it is you actually disagree with; do you object to religious pluralism or is it the notion of authentic being, of spiritual self-determination, perhaps more explicitly with Self- capitalized?

        I’m not a follower of Peterson nor entirely familiar with his reading of Marx; I’m just interested in his capacious lucubrations concerning the Logos.

        Are you familiar with Boyarin’s views about ‘Zionism?’ I’m new to his work, but am tempted to get a copy of his 2004 book. Parts of it are available online; I haven’t yet decided if I should read the whole thing as I’m deeply into Stuart Kauffman’s ‘Humanity in a Creative Universe’ presently, that is very technically demanding & intellectually prodigious, but totally profound.

        • Caleb’s critique is sound enough; & Peterson’s views on Marx are/were clearly incoherent. It’s his approach to biblical hermeneutics that I find more interesting. Back in 2005 in the UK, Marx was voted the most important philosopher, so maybe J P ought to spend a bit more time over here to brush up on his inadequate ‘Marxism….’ https://www.theguardian.com/media/2005/jul/14/radio.books

        • Boyarin has some really excellent talks online, erudite lectures. I find him altogether admirable. A great mind, agile and deep enough to be open to change; sophisticated but modest.

    • Hey David thanks for sharing that. There’s a lot there to chew on and think about. I really liked what you said here, “Real freedom is the pure expression of (and the search for) authentic being~ accepting mature responsibility for empowered becoming, fully embedded in scentient spirit.”

      That’s really what it’s about. Thanks for sharing that.

      • Thanks Shawn. Lo has been gracious enough to let me leave comments for several years even though we do not agree about everything. I always try to be spontaneous and not repetitive, as I am uncomfortable with dogmatic certainty that I believe is restricting and unrealistic. I have come to realize that life-long learning is about challenging one’s assumptions or prejudices and internalizing experience ~ so I appreciate your acknowledgment.

        • You are very articulate. I agree 100% with what you said. I think there’s freedom in that. I’m going to share this with you and I hope it makes sense because it’s very hard to describe. It’s hard to describe what I think real freedom is. It’s just a picture I’m trying to paint. It kind of goes along with what you said. I believe or I really should say live out of being not doing 100% free from living life motivated by morals.

          What I’m getting at is my freedom I found in Christ has shown me my humanity and out of that I live treating others humanity with dignity and respect. Placing as much value on them as I do myself. I’m not bound by morality trying to keep rules to be better or having to please God because of something required of me. I’m living out of being not being a belief believer who just holds up signs telling others what to believe or else while never manifesting what they say they believe in. For the most part that’s where the church has been living since the founding of this country. It feels completely free from being under this hypnotic spell of consuming materialism at our own expense while losing ourselves in the process.

          I truly believe the condition the country is in has been passed down since the founding of it leaving us desensitized to our humanity. It’s also been a very dehumanizing ride along the way. We can see it looking at the slaughtering of natives over the land. Then slavery leading to serious segregation. On top of the US government going out of their way to destroy the black community.

          Let’s not forget women being oppressed. When they’re finally given some freedom they’re told to come to where man’s at. When man was the one who oppressed her he was in the wrong place. Who gave him the authority over her to begin with. Now to demand her to come to him when he wasn’t where he should have been is arrogant. He should have met her where she was at to bring healing. Think about that.

          So out of that we have built so much on a crooked broken foundation and have never healed of the past to truly move on being whole. We are capable of so much more than how we’re living today. But it really seems we’re only being held back. The church who really should be rescuing the oppressed and exploited crying out on humanities behalf is in bed with a government that is so inhumane.

          Anyways, I feel like I’m living out of being no longer under all of that mess and now my soul is free it’s no longer oppressed. I see people differently there is no democrat or republican. What I see is the mass under bondage being led to a cliff like sheep being led to slaughter. I’m an idealist so I got this wonderful beautiful future in my mind of how it should be. I’m always trying to articulate how it could happen taking certain steps. I was born with idealism in my soul and it’s like a conviction you can’t fully live by. One thing I do know the world looks completely different from the outside.

          I don’t know I just thought I would share that with you. It does kind of go along with the blog and not finding my identity through politics.

          Thanks for sharing your thoughts again.

        • Sorry, David for the long comment. I’m not trying to push anything on anybody or judge I’m just speaking where I’m at. Your comment inspired me it made me think of freedom.

  5. I don’t think most Christian America has a heartfelt belief in this Vision of Christ in their Bibles.

    “These things say the Amen, the Faithful and True witness, the Beginning of the Creation of God;

    I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot.
    So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.

    Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and don’t know that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

    I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

    As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
    Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

    To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
    He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

    The Revelation of Christ Jesus 3:14-22

    You never hear the TV Preachers living the lifestyle of the rich and famous expand on the words and vision in James 5 in their bibles.

    • Thanks for sharing that. I’ve thought about that being the church in America many times. I feel it could be but it could just be me and my frustrations with it. Only God knows I’m just I’m worried about it for the church. It makes me also think of come out of Babylon. Whether America is Babylon or not is it’s still could apply because the American church has gotten in bed with government. If it comes out of Babylon it also needs to get Babylon out of it.

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