A Christian Nation?1
As far back as I can remember I have heard this country of ours referred to by some as a “Christian nation.” When I was pretty young, I was skeptical, but assumed that I had just missed something. In more recent years the mantra has become that we were once a Christian nation. This seemed to fit better but, to me, never seemed to be a satisfactory description of the history of these United States. This week the Supreme Court took further steps to solidify my now concrete conviction that we are most certainly not a Christian nation and has strengthened my cynicism about the notion we ever were.
To reach this conclusion, I assume that to be a Christian nation, we would have to reflect, at least in part, God’s nation of believers: the Kingdom of God (1 Pt. 2:9). Unfortunately, there are several places where they diverge:
Our country was founded to be a nation of independent people.
The Kingdom was founded as a nation of dependent people.
Our country holds to the principle of rugged individualism.
The Kingdom is a community where others are put before self.
Our country holds to the rule of law.
The Kingdom holds to every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Our country encourages justice that is blind.
The Kingdom has an omniscient Savior who is just.
Our country encourages her citizens to follow their dreams.
The Kingdom says deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Jesus.
Our country promises the “American Dream.”
The Kingdom promises a resurrection to life.
Our country confers equal protection under the law.
The Kingdom proclaims that no man is secure except through Christ.
Our country gained her independence with muskets and cannons.
The Kingdom was inaugurated with nails a cross and an empty tomb.
My friends, as believers, we are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession.” However, he has made us these things not to instill nationalistic pride or to encourage sociopolitical warfare, but so that we “may proclaim the excellencies of him who called [us] out of darkness into his marvelous light.”