As Independence Day approaches, I thought we needed a dose of truth when it comes to our country. Before anyone panics with what my topic is let me say this; yes, the United States does a lot of great things, but that alone doesn’t make us a Christian nation. My goal here is not to offend anyone, my goal is for us to honestly look at our country and ask, should it bear a Christian name tag?
As a pastor, I must tell you that I get disheartened, when I hear the arguments being made after prayer was removed from schools or the ten commandments being taken out of the courts. I have to respond to respond to these arguments with how can you be upset with these people who don’t know Jesus. Why would they want prayer in schools or the ten commandments in courts. Then it is said, “The Liberal left is destroying our nation that was founded on Christian principles”.
Founding of the Country
As a person who loves history, I know that most of the earliest pilgrims from England did come here for religious freedom. Outside of that, please don’t tell me we are founded on christian principles. For the Shawnee, Cherokee, Seminole, and many other Native tribes would disagree. Most of the early settlements infringed on native lands and we seized them by force. Seizing many lands by force seems like the Roman thing to do, not the Christlike thing.
Then there are those who might say: true the native population was treated poorly but our constitution is what brought forth the christian principles. The Constitution guarantees that religious liberties of all religions should not be infringed on. Nowhere is there founding principles in the Constitution or Declaration on loving God above all or loving our neighbor as ourself. Nowhere does it say that a portion of the collected taxes will be used for furthering the Kingdom of God.
Are We a Christian Nation?
The United States being identified as a Christian Nation is a misnomer. Yes, in 1850 most American Citizens identified as Protestant or Catholic, therefore since our constitution serves the people, through its representatives, most things that happened were pleasing to the Christian. We now live in 2016 where 70% of the population identifies as Christian. Thats down 7% just from 2007 (Source).
There is at minimum 30% of the population that does not identify with Jesus or the principles of the Christian faith. I do not expect the 30% to just be like, “yeah prayer in schools is a good thing”. No one complained about this in the 1930s, because there was only a handful of people that weren’t ok with it. Now there are a multitude of people that are not ok with Christian Prayer in school. Guess what our constitution states that we will infringe on no ones’ religious rights, even if your religious belief is atheism. The conclusion we must take from that is: we are not a Christian nation; we are a nation made up of a majority of people that identify as Christian.
What Should We Do?
I say all of this to come to this point: Stop fighting the wrong fights. If the government wants to remove the ten commandments from the courts that is their right. When is the last time a sitting judge issued a sentence on the breaking on the Law of God? Lets be honest, it was there because somebody gave money and they saw that as a service to God. A service to God is not another monument or slogan embedded on our monetary notes. A service to God is you and I building relationships with people and showing them the light of Christ.
If the Country wants to take down the huge crucifixes that stand throughout this country, let them. When we fight these fights, we manage to turn more people away, for the 30% see us as bible thumping hypocrites, where we need to be seen as their loving neighbors who would do anything for them. These monuments are not going to save people, so please stop holding onto them like they are the key to the countries salvation.
Salvation will only be found through the grace of Christ. It will not be found in our loyalty to a earthly nation, or what our nation becomes. Christians should not worry about the outcomes of elections, or the minuscule matters of the country. Our only focus should be on our ability to grow our relationship with Christ, and love others.
Food for thought: more and more people are identifying as non-christian, maybe we are not as good at evangelism as we thought. For the worthy struggle we should embrace is the one where we come along side the 30% and live life next to them, where they can see the fulfillment and happiness Jesus can bring. America is not, and has never been, a Christian Nation. It has been a nation that is made up of a majority of Bible believing individuals, and that number is decreasing drastically.
Food for thought: more and more people are identifying as non-christian, maybe we are not as good at evangelism as we thought.
The fault lies on Christians. We need to do better at teaching our kids to spread the faith, not isolating the light in a private Christian school, or a Christian sports team. We need to be engaging people where they are. We need to show our coworkers, neighbors, relatives, and friends Jesus. If you want the Country to follow God more closely; The solution starts with us carrying out the Great Commission. When we start carrying out the Great Commission more effectively, I believe that is when you will see the changes you desire in the nation.