What Happened To The Christian Nation?
Though some, even within the Lord’s church, may decry it, the truth that America began upon Christian principles is axiomatic. The statements of the Founding Fathers and early leaders to this end have been well documented in many recent works (one of which is Dave Miller’s The Silencing of God). Suffice it, for sake of space, to say here that the framers of a new government, seeking religious freedom and escape from tyrannical taxation, were attempting to form a body of law that was based upon the Judo-Christian system of ethics. Samuel Adams said, “The only true basis of all government is the laws of God and nature. Government is an ordinance of Heaven, designed by the all benevolent Creator.” With this agree the Scriptures (Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Pet. 2:13-17; John 19:10-11). While no one claims the founders were all perfect New Testament Christians, it is worthy of note that they recognized that the best governing principles of the affairs of men come from the religion and teaching of the Christ.
This belief was widespread until the inculcations of conspiratorial detractors in the last half of the 20th Century. Since then, the move to take God’s name out of public places and godly principles out of legislative and judicial considerations has been mounting to a currently frustrating climax. The new President has articulated the mood of a syncretistic populace: In a 2009 speech in Turkey, Barack Obama said, “Although … we have a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation; we consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.”
Granting, for the sake of charity and argument, that he is correct, the cautious student still wonders what set of ideals and values those would be. It seems in the history of man that any government not founded upon the just and merciful principles of the Christian religion ends in tyrannical despotism. Some countries rule themselves by Islamic Shari – a law, and it is a fearful thing to witness. Other countries, after excluding Christianity, elevate a person or a party to effective all-powerful infallibility. They determine their own ethics and their own set of ideals and values. Oppression of those in disagreement most often follows, murderously, not far behind.
The Christian’s citizenship is ultimately in heaven (Phil. 3:20), and his prime allegiance is to that peaceable kingdom not of this world, the church (John 18:36; Luke 17:20-21; Matt. 16:18-19). Nevertheless, he is authorized by inspired, approved example to exercise his earthly citizenship rights for the good of the brotherhood (Acts 16:35-40; 22:22-29), and, by extension, for the betterment of the “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” (Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address). Should not those members of the New Testament church, who view themselves as the humble servants of truth, be active in preserving the Christian tenets of their people’s-voice-driven republic?
Some object that politics must be separate from religion. How so? Does not one’s Christian commitment rule over every area of one’s life? They object that the government cannot legislate morality, but that is what a government does—rewarding “what is good” (Rom. 13:3) and executing “wrath on him who practices evil” (Rom. 13:4).
In the spiritual warfare against evil (Eph. 6:12), the front is not always individual, but sometimes societal (cf. “principalities and powers” connection with “thrones and dominions” [Col. 1:16-17] and Dan. 10:12-14; 12:1). Still, the weapons of that warfare are not worldly shedders of blood, but mighty arguments that defeat the atheistic and idolatrous philosophies of men (2 Cor. 10:4-5). Christians must simply be more active in the exposition of falsehood (Eph. 5:11) and the proclamation of the light, even though the darkness shuns it (John 3:19-21). -327 Suzanne St., Washington, WV 26181.
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