Rebecca K. Reynolds

Honest Company for the Journey

Which American Christian Are You? (A Quiz)

I’ve seen several posts flying around, trying to assess why apostasy is evangelicalism’s latest soup du jour.

A few days ago, I threw out a kickback against one viral theory—proposing that the Trump movement had more to do with this exodus than a lack of Sunday Schools. But even as I wrote those words, I knew I was being a bit too extreme. Trumpworld is part of it. It’s not all of it.

As I’ve been sitting on the dilemma over the past few days, a certain parable has come to mind over and over again. The story of The Sower. Perhaps we can apply this parable to Americans leaving the faith. 

I’ve included a couple of categories below—interpreted from my vantage point. You might have seen something different. But as I look at these three categories of failed faith, I know which two I’m most tempted to embrace. The second one is my biggie. And even though I’m technically a conservative, my empathetic heart can also incline me toward the first one.

Anyway, for what it’s worth. Three types of faith failures and how I see them fitting into our present culture. Have at it.

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1. The seed that falls on the wayside before birds devour it.

This American hears the message of the gospel but doesn’t connect or apply it/ yield thoroughly—especially not where it pinches. (Note the verb “sunihmi” here. This is about more than intellectual comprehension.) So, the evil one snatches it away. 

(Is it fair to compare this to the overly-permissive, feel-good left?)

2. The seed that falls on stony places and springs up quickly but dies with the heat of the sun, due to shallow roots.

This American received the gospel first with joy but never developed deep roots. Spiritual optimism lasts only a short time. This faith crumbles with trouble (like isolation or disappointment) or persecution. 

(Is it fair to compare this to the disheartened idealist in the middle?)

3. This seed falls among thorns that choke it out.

This American hears the gospel and embraces it, but the worries of life and the deceitfulness of wealth and promises of earthly power choke out the word and make it unfruitful. 

(Is it fair to say this is the sold-out, politically-idolatrous right wing?)

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13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”


18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”    


Van Gogh’s study on Millet’s “The Sower”

Van Gogh’s study on Millet’s “The Sower”