Asceticism in America
This is not to mention the athletes in sports-crazy America. They put themselves on strict diets, do physical training to get into shape, establish practice regimes that test their limits of endurance and regularly risk their careers, family lives and serious physical injury for what? A few moments of glory and a plastic trophy? And they think religious people are insane?
The idea that one should make any sacrifice at all for one's religion is almost dead within American Christianity. Religion is there, isn't it, to make you happy, to make you feel better about yourself, to provide warm fellowship for you and your Christian chums, to reassure you that after a pain free victorious life in Jesus you will be on the express train to heaven and even more unimaginable happiness. Yes, American Christians do expect to make financial sacrifices as they tithe, but even then it is often seen as a form of investment. After all, "You can't out give God. If you tithe regularly you will receive much more back in return and be even more prosperous." Right?"
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