Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The American Dream

I'm currently being challenged in a few areas of my life due to a study I'm walking through entitled Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker. The study began with a look at the contradicting concepts of the American Dream (AD) and the Gospel.

Let me just borrow a page out of Wikipedia in order to sum up the concept of the AD:

The American Dream, sometimes in the phrase "Chasing the American Dream," is a national ethos of the United States in which freedom includes a promise of prosperity and success. In the American Dream, first expressed by James Truslow Adams in 1931, citizens of every rank feel that they can achieve a "better, richer, and happier life."[1] The idea of the American Dream is rooted in the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence which states that "all men are created equal" and that they are "endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights" including "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."[2]

Home ownership is sometimes used as a proxy for achieving the promised prosperity; ownership has been a status symbol separating the middle classes from the poor.[3] Sometimes the Dream is identified with success in sports or how working class immigrants seek to join the American way of life.[4]

Sounds good right? Nothing wrong with wanting success and a nice comfortable life right?

The concept of the Interrupted study is to interrupt this pursuit of the AD, and realign our perspective, attitudes, and ideas into those that are compatible with an eternal mindset. You see, the AD is a set of goals completely focused on one’s self without regard to others. While the focus of the gospel is the exact opposite, dying to self and pouring out your life in service to Christ, the needy, the outcasts, and fellow believers.

Watch this video for a preview of Interrupted, but BE WARNED:

“… Interrupted will frustrate you, make you uncomfortable, and challenge your sensibilities. It’s the Bible study no one wants to do because everything might have to change.” – http://threadsmedia.com

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Wikipedia Footnotes:

[1] Cullen, 2004, p. 6.
[2] Kamp, David (April 2009). "Rethinking the American Dream". Vanity Fair. http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2009/04/american-dream200904. Retrieved June 20, 2009.
[3] William M. Rohe and Harry L. Watson, Chasing the American Dream: New Perspectives on Affordable Homeownership (2007)
[4] Thomas M. Tarapacki, Chasing the American Dream: Polish Americans in SportsThe Boys from Little Mexico: A Season Chasing the American Dream (2010) is a true story of immigrant boys on a high school soccer team who struggle not only in their quest to win the state championship, but also in their desire to adapt as strangers in a new land. (1995); Steve Wilson.

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