Perhaps you’ve heard one or more of these statements:
“America is a Christian Nation”
“America is a God-Fearing Nation”
Actually, neither statement is totally true. If so, God would prefer one nationality or people group over another. I for one am glad that my country cannot inherently impose a “religious” control over my identity. If it could, I believe such reality would cheapen the value of faith in God altogether! What is true is that our founding Fathers did; on the whole, have reverence for God!
Certainly, freedom of religion in America was never codified in such fashion that all citizens had to be Christian. For that matter, there is no law that any American has to be deeply religious! However, it is fair to say that, for most of her history this nation has been described as having a dominant level of its religious influence from a Christian cultural ethic. The Bible has long been regarded as the religious work of prime influence in this nation’s framework and cultural infrastructure.
That having been said, there are no laws or legal precedents which would codify a particular sect of religion as a control factor in our national ethic going forward into the future. As a devoted follower of Jesus Christ; in some ways, my heart grieves over that reality. In other ways my thoughts are being challenged as to the opportunities this reality might present.
I grew up in what was known culturally as the “Bible belt.” Frankly, the immense impact of Christianity upon my southern culture was outwardly delightful. However; as I’ve contemplated what being a genuinely born again, follower of Jesus Christ actually entails, I wonder if the religious façade of my upbringing may be somewhat counter active to what Jesus actually came to do! Within the NT, there is no sign of Jesus trying to make the government of His generation – religious. Please don’t get me wrong! The protection of religious freedom in government law is wonderful. However, the purpose of the work of Jesus was not to put a sheen or veneer upon the outer appearances of an individual, community, society or culture. He came to give people life and life more abundantly. Frankly, it was easy to be a “Christian” in my world. It still is. However, Jesus did not come to create a “civil” religion. In fact, I do not believe that He is impressed with its existence.
If He came to “give” life, there must be some barriers to us regarding what true life is and what power for change is invested from heaven into our humanness. A human government can give us political freedom and empowerment; however, said government cannot set the sinful heart and soul of man free.
ONLY A VIABLE AND PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH
JESUS CHRIST AS SAVIOR AND LORD CAN DO THAT!