January 20, 2007

Most Influential Christians in America

The Church Report just published its list of the 50 most influential Christians in America. Note that this is a Christian publication so it is safe to say that these are the 50 most influential Christians in America according to Christians. I think we can learn something from this list.

I suspect that your first question is something along the lines of "What the heck is The Church Report?" According to their website:
"The Church Report is a national business news magazine that is distributed to over 40,000 senior pastors and Christian leaders from across the United States. Published by Christy Media, headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona and founded by Jason T. Christy, CEO of Christy Media, The Church Report is the leading magazine Christians turn to for news and information on a range of topics from theology, politics, business, books, music, education and much more!"
With that out of the way, lets look at the list. I'd like to start by drawing your attention to numbers 5, 37, and 40. Here we have three well-known Christian extremists: James Dobson, James Kennedy, and Jerry Falwell. I highlight this because I repeatedly hear from Christians that these individuals do not represent their views, that they are every bit as horrified at what these men say and do as I am, and that these men have little resemblance to "real Christians." If any of these common objections has merit, then I can't help wondering what they are doing on a list of the 50 most influential Christians in America. Also, if these objections have merit, I must ask how the "real Christians" allow their President and other elected officials to regularly seek counsel from these men.

Now look at numbers 11 and 41. Here we have President Bush and Senator Sam Brownback, prominent American political figures who just happen to be counted among the most influential Christians. Are you starting to understand why many people are concerned with maintaining the separation of church and state? The views of these two individuals on many social issues places them squarely in the Christian extremist camp along with Dobson, Kennedy, Falwell, and other members of the American Taliban.

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