Something that Sam Harris said in Huffington Post on November 29th made me consider this:
How many more architects and mechanical engineers must hit the wall at 400 miles an hour before we admit to ourselves that jihadist violence is not merely a matter of education, poverty, or politics? The truth, astonishingly enough, is that in the year 2006 a person can have sufficient intellectual and material resources to build a nuclear bomb and still believe that he will get 72 virgins in Paradise. Western secularists, liberals, and moderates have been very slow to understand this. The cause of their confusion is simple: They don’t know what it is like to really believe in God.
I’d have to agree, most Christians in America don’t really believe in their God. If they did, they would show more evidence of it. I read a lot of talk about “God’s Law” on the Internet, but I don’t see much evidence that Christians have enough faith to follow said law in the face of possible ‘persecution.’ Let’s face it, many actions advocated in the Bible will, if followed, get you arrested and tossed in jail today. This fear of persecution, or should I say prosecution by American law forces Christians to be as milquetoast tentative as Jesus’ disciples in Matthew 17:14-20
14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Except for a small minority of Fundamentalist Christians who, like Reverend Paul Hill, have put God’s law before Man’s law; the faith of most Christians is miniscule compared to the faith of the least Islamic martyr. Christians could try civil disobedience as has Judge Roy Moore, or they could attempt martyrdom as has Eric Rudolph. However the consequences for these sorts of actions are just too severe for this “faithless and perverse generation” of Christians, who believe that true activism is encapsulated by a two-dollar Wal-Mart bumper magnet.
Perhaps the real truth is that you are a Christian who is a good, ethical person who is moral in spite of biblical teachings, not because of them. I certainly hope so, because a firmer turn toward true fundamentalism would give me little hope for the future of America, and the world.