Bush the Unchurched

Here’s an eye-opener that crossed my browser today: Why W. Doesn’t Go to Church.

Now as some of you may remember, I was once asked that, George Bush calls himself a Christian, what do you make of that? And I’d replied, I knew he went to church but didn’t want to make any judgments – your religion and relationship is between yourself and God.

But, as this article reports, one my central assumptions about George Bush seems to be wrong. He doesn’t belong to a congregation – Bush is unchurched. And as a Christian, that raises a lot of alarm bells.

First, I still don’t question if he’s a Christian or not. That’s everyone’s personal decision. But I do believe that despite all the platitudes you hear about the United States being a Christian nation, founded by fathers who believed in God and wanted to escape religious persecution, and everyone holding generally Christian values – I believe that most people who call themselves religious or Christian aren’t really “believers.”

I find that most people believe in a worldview that generally aligns with Christian morals. And I don’t think that you’d find anyone who would strenuously disagree with the Ten Commandments. But in the Christian community there are, as they’re commonly known, “CE Christians.” These are your Christians who profess faith in God but show up to church only on Christmas and Easter – the biggie Christian holy days. Most other Sundays out of the year, you won’t find them sitting in the pew next to you.

Yes, a Christian can take private time and introspection with God away from others. And yes, it’s actually encouraged that you have quiet, personal time of your own. But no Christian is ever told to “go it alone” in their walk with God. Being with other believers and being a part of the body of the church is essential.

I quote from the Bible:

  • Hebrew 5:12 “In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!”
  • Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you…'”
  • 1 John 1:6-7 “If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
  • Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
  • Bottom line, being a part of the body of the church – a part of a congregation – isn’t just a nice to have. It’s an essential part of Christian growth. You need to be a part of the church for your own growth, for fellowship, and for worship. And it’s pretty clear in the Bible that not everyone who merely professes to be a Christian will be recognized as one, and that you can tell Christians apart by their acts and attitude.

    So what kind of a Christian is Bush, a true Christian who walks with God and is recognizable by the fruit of the Spirit? Or an unchurched, CE Christian? I think the religious right who have flocked to Bush’s side should have a good long think.

    12 Responses to “Bush the Unchurched”

    1. hossman Says:

      And I don’t think that you’d find anyone who would strenuously disagree with the Ten Commandments.

      That’s a pretty bold claim, that depends largely on which ten commandments you are refering to.

      Personally, I take issue with: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth”

      …why can’t I paint pictures of fish?

      I’m also not all that fond of: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.”

      …my neighbor’s wife is pretty hot, and he’s got a sweet ass too.

    2. Craig Says:

      “Unchurched” is more accurately a term used for those who have grown up outside of any regular church involvement and of any real understanding of the Christian faith.

      As a Christian, and from what I know of his personal story of how he came to Christ and the importance of his Faith to him, I don’t question his committment to Christ or how he chooses his devotional time. In part because I don’t really know the extent of time which he does spend in prayer or devotion with God, either alone or with others. I know the White House has its own Chapel and there are likely others among his family and staff who spend worship time together.

      Yes, it is expected in the Bible to be a part of the “Body” in terms of church attendance and fellowship. But one’s own personal “walk with God” is still more important than marking off an attendance sheet in Sunday School every week.

      If the Catholic Church has an issue with Kerry due to some of his stated moral/personal beliefs, that is their business.

    3. Steve Wilder Says:

      The commandment about graven images is concerned with idol worship, not about being disallowed from painting fish.

      Though I think hossman missed the point of the article. I think the post is referring to “CE Christians” when it says people don’t have much problem with the Ten Commandments.

    4. Ethan Says:

      I strenously disagree with the Ten Commandments. Not necessarily all of them. But I have a real problem with the first four. To base our culture on these would make religion law:

      Thou shalt have no other gods before me…
      Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image…
      Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain…
      Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy…

      These first four basically say that we must all be monotheists, cannot pray to idols, not take your god’s name in vain, and celebrate your Sabbath (which was arbitrarily moved to Sunday by a council of men, against God’s word). Um, I have a huge problem there.

      The fundamental others, for the most part are excellent — don’t kill, don’t lie, and don’t steal. I don’t know about not coveting…much of our economy depends on this, but now I’m starting to sound like George Carlin, so I’ll stop now.

      The point is, that was a grand assumption that is a half-truth.

      I have a fundamental issue with those, since they’re not at all ethical, but dogmatic commandments.

    5. Me Says:

      “why can’t I paint pictures of fish?”

      You can. Most Christians believe that this commandment is only reffering to images intended for worship – meaning idols. Golden calves. And others think that all ten were fullfilled by Christ. We want them up in the courts because they were one of the first standards of law and order that Western civilization was based on – and don’t give me that crap about the Greeks, that’s not to devalue their contributions either.

      But you must have known that, right? I mean, you wouldn’t be going around making anti-christian statements without finding out what the christians actually THINK, would you? That would be bigotted, and I thought only conservatives were bigots, right?

      Now go and sin no more.

    6. Charlie Says:

      Bush is lying about his alleged faith in order to get Christian votes. This is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of his dishonesty. Joseph Gerbels would be impressed with what the “conservatives” have accomplished in the last 20 years.

    7. Patriot Says:

      (previously called “Me”)

      Who is being judgemental now?

      First you attack Bush for being a Christian and then you attack Bush for not being a “good enough” Christian!

      I’m a Christian and I’m not sure whether I’d attend services if I were the President of the United States. Too much publicity.

      The man’s a politician, not a saint. I’m voting for him so he’ll advance some of my political agenda, which protects freedom of religion, not so he’ll go to church.

    8. yian Says:

      hey patriot:
      don’t you think it’s slightly hypocritical that wears his faith on his sleeve so much, yet fails to display even the basic characteristics of a Christian? if you examine the “fruit” of his works and trumpted faith, the results don’t really inspire confidence in his claims to Christianity: his inability to admit one mistake (Christian humility and need of grace, anyone?), his lack of charity, his abysmal stewardship of everything he’s touched, even his lack of accountability on all counts of failure… we’re not describing anything that remotely resembles a compassionate Christian who truly walks with God.

      but i guess you hit it on the nail – we’re voting for a politician, not a saint. i’m not saying he’s not “good enough” – i’m saying he’s a hypocrite.

      what makes you think freedom of religion is in danger??

      and lastly, i completely hold the right to judge Bush. as you may well know from the Bible, we are called to judge our leaders and especially hold them to a higher standard, exactly because they are in positions of leadership and power. that doubly holds true even if we’re just talking about a citizen’s right to criticism and dissent.

    9. Patriot Says:

      Far be it from me to accuse YOU of being judgemental. I’m very judgemental myself. For example: Yasser Arafat is now justly burning in hell.

      “what makes you think freedom of religion is in danger??”
      This country is going in a direction.
      Consider today’s pubwick skrules in contrast with public education at the time of our country’s founding. At that time, the primary textbook was the Bible, which was used for both reading and (the main subject) religious instruction. Liberals may have a point in arguing that this model was a little too close to being a five-day church – which many, in fact, were. (using the same buildings)

      Today, a pubwick skrule student is debarred from making any comment that MIGHT be considered by you oh-so-sensitive athiests as the spreading of religion, citing the First Ammendment of all things! The mention of God is being censored while profane language of all kinds is winked at. Meanwhile prayers to Allah are allowed for the sake of multiculturalism.

      This is disturbingly similar to how the Nazis gradually stirred up anti-semetic hatred. As the more Jew-friendly of the German Christians might have observed, “If they wear the yellow stars today we’ll wear the yellow crosses tomorrow!”

    10. yian Says:

      “Yasser Arafat is now justly burning in hell.”

      Your Christian charity (from one to another, btw) overwhelms me.

      Corporate prayer is barred in public schools, not prayer itself. Christian, Muslim or students of any religion are free to pray as often as they want, as long as they aren’t forcing others to pray along with them, in say, assemblies or football games.

    11. Patriot Says:

      “Your Christian charity (from one to another, btw) overwhelms me.”
      As your liberal tolerance does me.

      “Corporate prayer is barred in public schools, not prayer itself.”
      Define “corporate”

      “Christian, Muslim or students of any religion are free to pray as often as they want,”
      Yes, to ban that would require Thought Police.

      “as long as they aren’t forcing others to pray along with them, in say, assemblies or football games.”
      It would be most difficult to “force” someone to pray. If someone is really so “narrow-minded” as to be offended from having to HEAR someone else’s prayer that they feel the need to censor/abridge others freedom of speech, they can cover their “intolerant” little ears.

    12. Robert Says:

      Hello All,

      For all those anti-George Bush people, leave the guy alone you knuckle heads!!!! you don’t know whats in his heart!!!

      He Ethan…why on earth would you want to pray to idols? are you that dense? and also take the lords name in vien, sounds like you just don’t have respect, and are ignorantly bliss of who created you, you need to start using that Brain god gave you, it’s inside your head, or for you it may be else where.

      And Charlie, what is it with you and bloody Gerbels and the Nazis? your barking up the wrong tree, no sorry, my mistake you couldn’t be barking up a tree, you’ve got your head under a rock!!!!

      Patriot, you know the real deal…you Rock !!!!!

      Hey YIAN, You use Muslim along with Christian in the same sentence, Did not you know that Muslims are the same type of Dip Shits that praised Alah as they flew 2 Boeing 767’s into the Trade Towers!! Religion is the problem!!!! there is only One God, and that is our Heavenly father who sent his only son Jesus to die for our sins, it is written, if people fail to see this then they will be judged. It is not Christians (the name taken after Christ, ie….Christ..ians)or God or peoples belief in himthat cause’s trouble and wars, it’s all these flammin’ turkeys who think their false God is God. where the hell does alah, Budda, Mahamid come from????? The devils very clever plan to brainwash mases of people, and take their souls with him into HELL.

      There is Only One God and he’s true followers, who happen to be called Christians, which is not a religion, but simply ones personal relationship with their creator and heavenly Father…………………AMEN.

      Love…..the good Doctor

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