If you’ve ever wondered why community is non-existent in America, here’s your answer (from the Harpers story ““):
Here is a statistic that does matter: Three quarters of Americans believe the Bible teaches that “God helps those who help themselves.” That is, three out of four Americans believe that this uber-American idea, a notion at the core of our current individualist politics and culture, which was in fact uttered by Ben Franklin, actually appears in Holy Scripture. The thing is, not only is Franklin’s wisdom not biblical; it’s counter-biblical. Few ideas could be further from the gospel message, with its radical summons to love of neighbor.
Now there are some blatant inaccuracies about American benevolent giving in that article, but the truth still exists: We’re in love with the island fortresses we’ve constructed to keep others out—even if it is killing us all as a result. The truly sad part is that I would suspect that at least a third of those 75% who answered incorrectly will self-identify as born-again Christians. But if Christians can’t get freed from such devilish ideas, how can we expect anyone else to? If it doesn’t start with us, who then will start the revolution in Spirit-filled community?