American Christianity
St. Benedict Orthodox Church
Celebrating in the Western Rite
of the Antiochian Jurisdiction
When one examines the spirituality of ancient Christians [say from the first to the eighth
centuries], one finds it quite different from the understanding of Christianity in 21st century
America. The earliest Christianity was corporate and community oriented, appreciated the
virtue of patience in learning how to live Christianity, viewed faith as an assignment to be
worked out in fear and trembling, developed the virtue of repentance, and didn’t mind
identifying and rejecting anything that was contrary to the ethics of Christianity. Many 21st
century American Christians, on the other hand, seem to dwell on private and
compartmentalized faith, want instant spiritual progress, feel the need for religion to border
on entertainment, want a positive approach which tends to ignore repentance, and don’t like
being told that they may be mistaken [called “judgmentalism”]. I suppose that this
perspective is not unique to the United States, or to the 21st century, but it certainly does
appear that a goodly number of American Christians follow this line of understanding.
Because of this inclination, and the fact that it seems to dominate American comprehension
of religion, I like to call this “American Christianity.” It has its own unique version of what it
perceives to be “Christianity,” yet its spiritual tenets are not in harmony with ancient
Christian spirituality.

For example, “American Christianity” tends toward what I also call “compartmentalized
spirituality.” This means that one’s Christianity is just one of many individual facets of his life,
and is categorized along with work, politics, entertainment, sexuality, etc. In
compartmentalized spirituality, we keep each “compartment” separate from the others,
attempting to keep each from influencing the others in any significant way   
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The Orthodox Church is evangelical, but not Protestant.
It is orthodox, but not Jewish. It is catholic, but not Roman.
It is not non-denominational, it is pre-denominational.
It has believed, taught, preserved, defended, and died for the Faith of the Apostles
since the Day of Pentecost nearly 2000 years ago in 33 A.D.
St. Benedict of Nursia Orthodox Church
St. Benedict of Nursia
St. Benedict of Nursia Orthodox Church