I know it is popular for Christians to proclaim that our nation is Christian. To fight for Christian values based on that premise, but is it true? What is it about our nation that makes it Christian? Is it that which it was founded on, or that which defines it now? It is almost as if a lot of Americans think there is special blessing on America as God’s own, as if our nation is the ‘New Israel.’ I know it is not spoken aloud, but is spoken in our behavior.
Does it really make sense for us to expect our neighbors to act like Christians, when they are not? To love God, when they hate Him? To love God’s law, when they hate it? We ask the ungodly to stop having abortions. We ask the ungodly to not be homosexuals. We are essentially asking the ungodly to act like the godly. Would it not be more productive to be out proclaiming the gospel with the same vigor that we protest abortion?
I have a difficult time with this issue. Of course I want to continue to have religious freedom, and yes our country was founded on that. I want the freedom to worship the way I see fit, to educate my children in the way I want to, and so on. But was our country really founded on Christianity, or was it founded on freedom? If our country really is a Christian nation, what kind of Christian nation is it? Baptist? Presbyterian? Lutheran? Anglican? ‘Non-denominational’? Catholic? If we are a Christian Nation, does it not take away our freedom to worship the way we want? Many of our Christian Churches already disagree on that.
Where does this leave us, as Christians, in our current political climate? To the same thing that we have been called to all along. To worship the way God has called us to. To love our neighbors as ourselves. To preach the gospel, to all the world, which includes those who are all around us. And maybe, just maybe, with a revival of hearts in America, the conversion of souls to Christ, we will see the right kind of change. For at the end of the day, our hope is in Christ, not in our nation.
Update: It is important for us to remember The Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms. You can be a citizen of the U.S. and still protest abortion. (Thank you to my sister Courtney Rosenbladt for reminding me of this.)
And in the words of Martin Luther on the subject:
God has ordained the two governments: the spiritual, which by the Holy Spirit under Christ makes Christians and pious people; and the secular, which restrains the unchristian and wicked so that they are obliged to keep the peace outwardly… The laws of worldly government extend no farther than to life and property and what is external upon earth. For over the soul God can and will let no one rule but himself. Therefore, where temporal power presumes to prescribe laws for the soul, it encroaches upon God’s government and only misleads and destroys souls. We desire to make this so clear that every one shall grasp it, and that the princes and bishops may see what fools they are when they seek to coerce the people with their laws and commandments into believing one thing or another.
2nd Update: Linked at The Tree of Mamre – thanks!