TV-PG | TubiTV.com | 1 hr 17 min
Released in October of 2021
SUMMARY: Simply put, American Christians have been seduced by the conflation of the American dream with the Christian gospel. Many Christians, although using Christian language, cannot distinguish between the two belief systems that are diametrically opposed to each other.
“There is an elemental contradiction between the gospel and Americanism,” American theologian Walter Brueggemann says at the beginning of Postcards from Babylon.
The film follows Brian Zahnd, who authored the excellent book Postcards from Babylon, as he walks “the Camino” and ruminates on the church’s idolatry of nation and politics. Interspersed throughout are interviews and commentary from historians, authors, activists, theologians, and professors who articulate the current state of the American church.
The Gospel of Christ values self-sacrificial love and advocating for the poor and oppressed. Americanism values vengeance, self preservation, and at times, racism. The current manifestation of this confusion is the cult of Trump and the way many white evangelicals respond to the Black Lives Matter movement, critical race theory, and America’s checkered history among other issues.
Author and activist Shane Claiborne says the unrest is a Christian “identity crisis” as people struggle with their allegiance to country over their allegiance to God. Zahnd says that we are possibly in a time of reckoning with a nation that was built on stolen land and slave labor and a church that has gotten into bed with the American empire.
Ultimately the film asks the viewer, are we first citizens of the kingdom of the world or are we first citizens of the Kingdom of God?
KEY QUOTE: “When nations become empires they become rivals of the kingdom of God.”
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