A Truly Christian Nation

Last week’s blog attempted to open up our thinking a little. It sought to open it hopefully in two ways, one in how we see the “other” side when we disagree, but also in how we see this country. You likely did not know that people were killed in our land because of their religious beliefs.

To some this will be blasphemes, but what if this country was never truly a “Christian nation”? Do not worry. I know all of the arguments for this. Yes, I even agree with a lot of the arguments that support that, as a nation, we were founded on our belief of God.

I only raise the question. Notice I did not answer it one way or the other. It really does not matter for the rest of this conversation.

Most will agree that the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage is counter to traditional Christianity’s view of marriage. I am not sure why some people seem surprised by this. Regardless of your views on this recent decision, there are many reasons to say and to realize that we do not live in a nation filled with Christ followers.

Watch the television for a while. Compare church attendance with local populations. Consider the headlines in our newspapers. Consider, yes, the ongoing debates about what is right and wrong in our country. How as a country are we deciding what is right and wrong? Do we decide by what gets the most “popular” sentiment in its favor? Again, these questions have been valid long before the Court’s decision on marriage.

Galatians 5:17 says: 17 A person’s selfish desires are set against the Spirit, and the Spirit is set against one’s selfish desires. They are opposed to each other, so you shouldn’t do whatever you want to do.

I often paraphrase this to say, if we are always doing what we want to do, then we are not following Jesus. When was the last time you did something, even something you did not want to do, because you new that is what it meant to follow Jesus?

Consider the blue laws. How many times do we hear the implication that things were better when the blue laws were in place? People did not have as many choices, so more went to church. But, as I read through the Scriptures, I clearly hear that God does not only want right actions, but He very clearly wants a right heart.

God has no desire for us to look the part of being a Christian, however we define it to be, because it has been legislated upon us. Does it really seem pleasing to God that we choose to do something or not to do something because it will get us in trouble with the law? Or, does it not make more sense that we choose to do something or not to do something because our heart has a longing to please God?

We do not live in a country that 100% follows Christ. I am guessing most of you reading this will say, “Well, duh!”

And yet, does that reflect itself in our living. I do not think it does. I think our individual living still looks like we live in a country filled all with Christians. If our underlying assumption is that we live in a Christian nation then why do we need to share our faith? Why do I need to be concerned about my neighbor or friend’s eternity? If we are a Christian nation, then everyone is a Christian and everyone dies and goes to heaven. How could it be any different?

Honestly, when was the last time you thought differently?

Maybe it is time to start distancing ourselves from the country. No, this is NOT retreating. It is refocusing on what we should have been focusing on all of the time. Maybe as we live for and focus on God, we can then, yes, see the country transformed from a country blessed by God to a country totally and unequally reliant on God.  We can be transformed from a country founded under God to a country given over to God, our hearts and all, truly then a Christian nation.

Blessings,

Pastor Matt

(All scripture cited above from Common English Bible Copyright © 2011)

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