Friday, July 18, 2008

Finding Faith in America

I’m not the first French visitor to America who has marveled at the faith of its people. De Tocqueville had the same observations, 200 years ago. It’s not hard to understand why. Those early Americans had to brave the wild animals, the uncultivated forests, the Indians who were fighting for their own way of life. It took six months to get a pair of scissors from the old world, they had to have faith in God.

I suppose that early spirit of the nation still has its influence. I can tell you that it is a refreshing innocence for a visitor from the land of Voltaire.

The fact is that I am now an American citizen, having waited fourteen years for the privilege of being sworn in by the Attorney General in his office in a private ceremony. It made up for all the years of paper chasing and it was a tearful, moving moment for me and my husband and children.

It hurts me to read other people criticizing people of faith. And it especially hurts to hear people of faith criticizing each other. Joel Osteen is now the target of many religious critics. And no doubt his popularity with the masses creates jealousy as well as doctrinal concern.

But I love to hear Joel Osteen. And I still love to hear Dr. Robert Schuller. Their positive messages of hope and inspiration help me and early in my life, the words of Schuller, gave me a thirst for God and drove me to His word. It astounds me to hear others accuse them of shallow doctrines. What can be shallow about coming to God?

I first started listening to Schuller in Canada. I was there in the 1980’s to learn English and his positive messages were a startling contrast to the legalism of Christianity in my French village. I have since met Dr. Robert Schuller and most of the leaders of American Evangelical Christianity. Many of them have flaws, as we all do, but I cannot find fault with the message of love, hope and faith. I need to hear it. My children need to hear it. Our marriages need to hear it. Our nation needs to hear it. The world needs to hear it.


linda said...

I really agree with your message, Myriam. Our country is built on the grit of faith, where people made huge sacrifices for their values and gave history huge gains. It always amazes me when people take pot shots instead of taking lessons or taking inventory. :)Linda

Bryce Raley said...

I have a problem with evangelicals attacking other evangelicals. Even though Joel Olsteen and Robert Schuler focus on hope and a positive message they were instrumental in leading me to Christ. Jesus uses them all. Sometimes I find someone whose doctrine has gone way to far. In a situation like this we are required to defned our doctrine but this should probably be the exception and not the rule.

Great post.

Matt Brown said...

Wow, incredible call to unity and hope! Michelle and my congratulations on citizenship!! : ) You guys are the best!

tillerjohn said...

Just found your blog...are you married to the same Doug Wead who sometimes speaks for Amway and other corporate conventions? I love his books and tapes. He has made a great difference in my life and in my business.

historioso said...

Tiller John: Yes! Myriam's husband is that Doug Wead that you remember! Here is a blog he wrote recently that you might find extremely interesting.