At the time of Christ’s coming, the Jews had 2,000 years of tradition. The Roman Catholic Church has had 1,700 years of tradition since Constantine. Evangelical Americans have two hundred years of “traditional American values,” and somehow we think it is a virtue and a grand heritage. Our traditional values include Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Norman Rockwell, Thomas Kincaid, Santa Claus, John Wayne, the Easter Bunny, and trick-or-treat.

Jesus said, “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men” (Mark 7:8). You may have another list of traditionalAmerican values than the list above, but they are still “traditional.” They are not biblical; they are not Christian.

I grew up in the 1940’s. The values then were decadent. Our current values are even more so. To solve this problem, let’s go back to the Bible, not to an era in our history that we worship as an idol. Let’s consider the phrase “traditional American values” a dirty expression.

*Excerpted from Being Christian. To purchase, visit