Politics Needs a Divorce from Religion

 

If President Obama’s recent political support of same-sex marriage has done nothing else, it’s ignited discussion about the relationship between church and government. 

It annoys me to no end that so many in the Christian community want to equate American freedom with biblical doctrine. It’s so common to hear “America is a Christian Nation,” and “if we don’t go back to following God, we’re going to receive his judgment,” and other such, frankly, frustrating epithets that make for great sound bites, but have little to no real substance. 

Do we really think about what we’re saying before we say it? It’s no wonder a generation of free-thinkers and activist reject the “talking loud, saying nothing” nature of the Christian American church. 

So let this be a call to all of us Holy-Ghost-having, cross-bearing, Lord’s-Prayer quoting, little-Jesus’es. Politics has asked for a divorce. And we should acquiesce its request. Quickly!

Entitlement and The Church 

Well, here’s the unfortunate newsflash:  America did not accept Jesus as its personal Lord and Savior.

 It doesn’t matter the subject:  prayer in schools, legalizing abortion, same-sex marriage, capital punishment… the Christian church, in large part, has come to expect that its rules for life should also be America’s rules for life. Maybe not down to every detail (after all, we haven’t made fornication illegal yet, and we certainly don’t expect American government to take care of the poor the way Jesus asks his followers to). But for the most part, we expect the Bible to carry some weight in American legislation. For some unsubstantiated reason, we feel we deserve it. We don’t. 

Well, here’s the unfortunate newsflash:  America did not accept Jesus as its personal Lord and Savior. 

America’s view on Jesus matches its view for Allah, Buddha, even Satan. As long as your religion is peaceful, who “God” is referring to on our money is up to you. Jesus’ name is nowhere to be found in our Constitution. It is not America’s job to go out to the ends of the world preaching and baptizing in the name of Jesus. It is not the job of the American Congress to teach, or even exemplify, a life of “loving our neighbor as we do ourselves.”  We are not entitled to have our religion trump the others just because a few of the values in the Constitution happen to be in the Bible. It’s time we got over it. 

America’s job is to nurture freewill and freedom, to protect the innocent from the powerful, and to create an environment of opportunity for all its members in a fair, equal way. If freedom is America’s currency, then the government is merely an employer dolling out freedom checks. As recipients, the church has to cash their own checks and pay their own bills. America’s not going to pay our bills for us.

The Church and Responsibility 

This is the problem with putting too many eggs in one basket. When the bottom breaks, then we have an eggy mess all over the floor and we don’t know what to do. It’s time we took our eggs out of the political basket and got more creative with our mission. Not once, ever, do we see Jesus using any political system to spread his message. And when he did have to stand before Pilate, he spoke in riddles. And yet, we, his imitators, are so dependent on American government to back our stance, that when it doesn’t, we’re ready to say the country is on the way down; as if religious politics is the only way to fight. 

Here’s the real deal, so don’t miss it. If America is immoral, it’s because we have put our efforts in the wrong places.

I’m convinced that when God considers America, he’s not going to ask why the right laws weren’t passed. He’s not going to “bring wrath” on America because it’s leadership has turned their backs on Him. They never pledged allegiance to Jesus in the first place. Instead, he’s going to look at you and me. He’s going to look at Christians and the hundreds of thousands of Christian churches across this nation, and he’s going to ask, “How can a nation with so many professed Christians be so far from me?” He’s going to want to know why those who claim to love Jesus are so ineffective in their witness, when the one real Jesus has been shaking up the world for over two millenniums. 

Here’s the real deal, so don’t miss it. If America is immoral, it’s because we have put our efforts in the wrong places. It’s because we have not been the unified force, the slice of God’s kingdom pie to society that we are meant to be. Instead of depending on Congress and becoming frustrated with politicking, we should be concerned with the politicking happening in our neighborhood churches. We should be asking what’s in the way of Christians working together. We should be lighting the fires so that they can shine more brightly in an increasingly dark society. While men are marrying men, we can’t seem to get two churches a stone’s throw apart from each other to present a lasting, impactful, united front to its local community. 

The spiritual battle in this country is not for politicians to fight. That’s the job of the Christian church. And it’s time we came together as one body and empowered each function to engage. Let’s quit crying over a marriage that should never have been, get up off the bench, and fight our own battles. That’s what one man did over 2,000 years ago. He didn’t over-depend on government or religious people. I’m starting to see why.

Originally posted on Candid Christianity at http://antwuanmalone.com/unequally-yoked/. Copyright © 2012 AntwuanMalone.com. Republished with permission

About Antwuan Malone

Antwuan Malone is a Christian author and Lifegroup/Connect Associate at Legacy Church in Plano, TX. He believes in being authentic, open, and real. He exposes the concealed thoughts, doubts, fears, and contrarian, cynical opinions we keep in our heads by asking tough questions and engaging in meaningful, soul-searching "Candid" conversations. Read all of Antwuan's articles on his Candid Christianity blog at http://CandidChristianity.net.


Allow us to help you, by pairing you up with a spiritually mature Mentor in our email-based Discipleship Program. It's confidential and FREE! The lessons last 16 weeks and your mentor will guide you each step of the way. Just complete the sign up form below and we'll find you a Christian mentor ASAP.


Your Name

Sex (you will be paired with the same sex)

Age

Zip or Postal Code

Your Email

Phone Number (if not USA, include INTL code) or alternate contact such as skype id, another email, etc.

Where do you struggle the most in your faith/spiritual life?

Please read the Mentee Confidentiality Agreement and Statement of Understanding
Check the following box to affirm your understanding and agreement:

All fields are required for us to assign an appropriate mentor

Comments

  1. glenn says

    Mr. Malone, It is truly appalling, the whole premise of your article. In several places. First, these United States is unique in many ways. The first being that the very foundation of our country rests on the FACT that we began as a Christian nation. Even a LITTLE research would yield the True and Living God’s fingerprints all over this country in ways that are totally different than any other country in the history of the world. For example, just look at our founding documents. Have you forgotten about those? Nature’s God is NOT the god of Wicca. It is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. What about the Pilgrims and that nondescript document called the Mayflower Compact? Let’s also take just a LITTLE tour through the First Charter of Virginia. Ready? The purpose for which this great state was founded was to propagate the gospel of Jesus Christ, seeking to convert the heathen, which, if you would even read the Bible a LITTLE bit, you would find that, curiously (obviously from your perspective), somebody, oh I don’t know named JESUS told us to go and convert the heathen (insert the many Great Commission verses here). When it comes to “legislating morality”, two simple questions needs to be asked. First, you tell me just what law, even the smallest one, is not the reflection of SOMEONE’S moral value? Second, since SOMEONE’S morality is legislated, which person’s morality would you want to live under? Islamic Sharia law where honor killings are OK? Or, how about the incredible satanic Koranic verse that mandates that a husband beat his wife if she gets out of line? Would that please you? Or the principle of the the Judeo-Christian ethic, where equality reigns supreme? I could go on and on and on. But let me expose you to a little more of our history, since you are SO appallingly ignorant of it. In the 1892 Supreme Court decision of US v. Church of the Holy Trinity, Justice Brewer declared, because of his surmising of the actions and attitudes of the people of our great nation, that he declared, in his official written opinion, that we are a Christian nation. Politics needing a divorce from religion (oh, you mean Christianity, don’t you?)? Let’s not forget that the word of God tells us that the NATION (and the last time I checked, that this included politics) that turns their back on God will, AS A NATION suffer the wrath of God. May the true and living God have mercy on you and your ignorant views. Please, get saved–or if you are, please begin to proclaim truth. There are many people, no doubt, who read your posts. They need to hear truth.

    • Katie says

      Wow! What a nasty, sarcastic reply to Mr. Malone’s article, Glen. I can’t imagine Jesus responding in that way. Shame on you! It’s fine to disagree, but as a Christian, you have no right to be so nasty and hateful, especially to your brothers and sisters in Christ.

      • Anonymous says

        Katie, Let me direct you to Matthew 23. After you read and pray on it, then please come back and we can talk about it. A little hint. Jesus told His disciples in what we call the sermon on the mount that unless His followers’ righteousness surpassed those to whom He was railing against in Matt 23, then they would in no wise enter the kingdom of heaven. It is attitudes like yours that make us irrelevant. Our LORD and Savior told us to go and be His witnesses. Witnesses to what? All that He is. And just what is that? A little clue. Isaiah 6 and Revelation 4. A question: what is the only attribute of God that is mentioned three times in rapid fire succession? The aforementioned passages list it. And it is NOT love. Truly, God loves us dearly. But I KNOW that we have it so wrong precisely because we think, along with people like Rob Bell, that the essence of God is love. I have no doubt that the author of this article follows Jesus. But if we don’t get things right and live holy lives, with a vigorous godliness, then when the hard times come to us, which they will, then we will fold. Open your eyes, Katie! Our brothers and sisters in closed countries are suffering and dying for their declaration that they are followers of Jesus. And we are concerned that homosexuals don’t like us–that we are so worried about what they think of us? Lord have mercy on us. As the great reformer Martin Luther said, “one with God is a majority.” I think, Katie, that you ought to thank me for pointing out just how weak we really are. God bless you. Also let me direct your attention to Acts 2, when Peter preached the first sermon. When he gave the gospel, there wasn’t much in the way of gentleness and kindness, but a certain, absolute declaration of God’s judgment. When the word of judgment was given, along with Peter’s call for repentance and faith in Jesus, what was the result? 3,000 people were birthed into the kingdom.

        • Katie says

          Glenn, Are you really trying to justify your nastiness with scripture??? If so, you have completely missed the spirit and the message of the New Testament and are a part of the problem, not the solution. No one can heard what you are saying because of the way you are saying it. All I hear you saying is “might makes right” – real OT , crusades, inquisition stuff. Really??? Like I said, you’ve missed the “NT Boat” as far as I’m concerned. Your attitude and nastiness is why many non-believers hate ALL Christians. Please don’t speak for this Christian woman. My Jesus is nothing like you.

          • Anonymous says

            Katie, you beat me to the punch. Glenn, YOU are the problem. You are what non Christians dislike and sometimes fear. Not only are you so arrogant as to think you are right and anyone who disagrees is a poor Christian, but you are willing to impose your beliefs on others. I see no difference between you and the Moslem fundamentalists whose Sharia law you fear.

    • says

      The term “christian nation” means it is a government with an official religion (Christianity). However many folks use it to suggest we are a democracy that happens to have a christian majority population. I agree with this latter definition, but not the former. So anytime you use “christian nation” its important to define terms. I agree on the fact that while although our nation isn’t a government endorsing Christianity nation, it is hard to ignore the fact that many christian beliefs and values were interwoven into the fabric of our govt from the very beginning. Our founding fathers were smart to instill those beliefs and protect our religious freedoms while also protecting us from a theocracy or land where the non-religious can also coexist. We the people can follow God even if our government doesn’t. If our govt ever restricts our rights to follow God, then I think God would do what Glenn suggests.

    • sixgun98 says

      Amen Brother!!!! Katie and Anonymous need to get off their “Jesus is love” kick and understand that America is in serious trouble. If we don’t turn this thing around soon, there will be no open “Christianity” allowed anywhere in this world. God is love… but more important than that, God is Truth! There is nothing hateful about explaining to this ignorant author that America’s foundations were Christian and we started out as a very Christian nation. It is weak Christians like Katie that allowed the pagans to take over and transform this nation to a pagan nation who sacrafice their children to the god of pro-choice. There is always a time for righteous anger as evidenced by Jesus in the temple when he discovered that they had turned his house into a den of thieves.

  2. says

    Morning Glenn! I see you drunk your coffee this morning. That’s a spirited response to say the least. Let me first admit to my ignorance with regard to the First Charter of Virginia. I was not (and am not, as I will look this up) aware that any documents, from any state, makes reference to its purpose as one to facilitate a life of Christian evangelism (or as you say, to “propogate the gospel of Jesus Christ.” If such a statement is said in that document, I stand corrected with regards to my facts. However, with regard to the purpose of the American country, I stand my ground. History tells us that those who came to form America, did so to escape the tyranny of a government which told them what to believe. To be sure, America was founded on freedom, not Christianity. The purpose behind the formation of this great country was to create a state governed “by the people, for the people.” That means that the “people” are the major authority behind what laws pass, not the Bible — or even more important for this discussion, not Jesus Christ. So these “fingerprints” you say that are God’s all over the constitution… I don’t see. Too, let us remember, Christianity is not so much about God (Yahweh, Jehovah), per se, as it is about Jesus (God incarnate). Thus, Christian mandates must follow the words of the Jesus and the New Covenant. This is not at all what we see governing our nation… now or then. And if then, it is because most of the people then adhered to a Christian worldview. In other words, Christians had the majority back then, so “the people” spoke. Constitutionally, America in no way or form fulfills any aspect of the Great Commission. Period. As for your legislating morality comments. I understand. I also feel the semantics are getting in our way here. What I meant by “morality” is “Christian Morality.” The point you are making falls to the wayside in that no “person’s” view of morality stands out above the rest. Again, we are governed “by the people” not by any one person’s view… including Jesus’. It’s just not the way the country was meant to go about its business. Besides, “equality” is not exclusively Christian morality. So then, the point of the article is simple. “Christians” must sway the country a different way than through politics. The answer lies in no longer relying on laws to make Christians, and going about living out the “Great Commission” in our own lives. If this is done well, then we could effectively hold the “majority” and maybe do a few more things politically… you know, as a perk. We live in a generation where the Christian worldview is becoming less and less received. Our battle plans need revisiting. I can’t get into why the “as a nation” bit you commented on is something I disagree with. I mention some of it here (http://antwuanmalone.com/chick-fil-gay-marriage/) and I do have short video about America as a Christian Nation here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J3iMihSP20) Thanks for your comment. Love the conversation!

    • Anonymous says

      Mr. Malone, Don’t you get it? I guarantee you. If we don’t preach the gospel and work to pass laws, as in legislate the Christian morality on the lives of others, then some other morality will be legislated. And the way it’s going now, it will be Islam. If Sharia becomes the law of the land, then the US will be a MUSLIM country, and all followers of Jesus will either be taxed or forced to convert, or die. The very reason why we can have this discussion is precisely because we have CHRISTIAN religious freedom. Go to Saudi. Go to Pakistan. Go to Iran. And please, try to be open about your Christianity. How about North Korea, or Indonesia or Turkey (ask me how I know about that). See how far you go. Once again, our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, and its companion, the Constitution, speak about the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. And just so you know, let me challenge you to go back and study how the FACT of the God of the Old Testament IS the God of the New Testament. Is not Jesus the Second Person of the Eternal Godhead? The God of Old Testament, to include all Three Members of the Blessed Trinity were displayed then. In the New Testament, the same eternal Godhead is displayed (see Matt 4 and Matt 28, just for two passages among many). The fact that our founding fathers fought and died so that we could have Christian freedom of religion is the bedrock of our representative republic. BTW, just so you know, at least 9 of the original 13 colonies mentioned the importance of Christianity in their charters. I believe it was Ben Franklin, when asked what the founding fathers had given the citizenry said, “A republic, if you can keep it.” Mr. Malone, if you think for one second that our founding fathers somehow thought they were free of God’s laws and, unbiased and “untainted” by those laws, in order to make their own laws (of the people . . .) then your naivety is really showing. It is breathtaking to me how you can just throw away the entire world view of our founding fathers, or to imply that our Constitution is a living document that needs to change with the times. To say that even Jesus’ authority is not to be taken into account is incredible. Didn’t Jesus say something about all authority was given to Him in heaven and on earth? Jesus is KING OF KINGS! And He will be openly declared as such when He returns. But just because He hasn’t been openly declared as such right now does not mean that He is not King right now, and especially the King of all who claim to follow Him. And as such, Jesus is to rule and reign every facet of our lives; therefore, we are to work to put Him in His rightful place in our land. Or, as our Judge (See John 5), He will mete out His judgment–and perhaps He’s already in the process, through allowing Sharia to gain an increasing foothold in our land, particularly our judicial system. And militant homosexuality taking over so much of our entertainment industry. Don’t think that the gay community is a benign, meek, mild group of persecuted people. They–the 3% of our population–have the agenda of convincing us that being gay is OK. God help us because He said it was an abomination. And even in recent history bears out what happens when we don’t take Jesus’ words as authority in our nation. Remember 1963. That was the year prayer and Bible reading was declared unconstitutional in our public schools. Since that time look at what has happened to our kids. It used to be that the worst problems were gum chewing and talking in class. Now we have metal scanners at the doors of some of our elementary schools. Remember Columbine? Remember the one who was killed because she was asked “do you believe in God?” When she said yes, she was shot in the head by one of the perpetrators. It is illegal in some places for school authorities to inform parents that their daughters are going to get an abortion. And Heather Has Two Mommies, and Daddy’s Roommate are standard fare in some of our elementary schools. Could it be, Mr. Malone, that we have turned our back on the God of our Fathers, thumbed our noses at Him and now He has taken His hand of protection off us. I pray that He has not given us over, as a nation, to a depraved mind, ripe for judgment.

      • says

        I don’t think we’re going to agree on this. For me it is simple. Christianity doesn’t need government. It seems you presume that the only way to guard our nation from God’s wrath is the legislate Christianity (or Christian Morals). I’m saying two things. 1. We don’t need legislation to change the moral fiber of the country. We need churches and Christians to follow the lead of God’s Spirit in every day life. Do this, and the moral fiber will change naturally. 2. “Legislation” does not create Christians. Behavior modification is not what God wants from us. Relationships with him is far more like it. And I’m sorry, no relationship is forced. We can agree that we need to protect our freedom to practice any religion.

        • says

          Antwuan, my only correction for what you just said is that I do believe God wants us to modify our behavior. He wants a relationship for sure, but he also wants us to obey and walk in his ways which often requires a change in our behavior.

          • John says

            Mr White You will never modify your behavior enough to please God the Father. Relationship is founded on and maintained through faith alone. Behavioral changes are not a requirement for starting or maintaining a relationship with God. Behavioral changes come from a relationship with God, and that relationship comes from Gods love and mercy towards us while we were still sinners. Behavioral changes are a result of Gods forgiveness and thus James tells us that works are the proof of faith not the substance of salvation. Thank You

        • Glenn says

          antwuan, This has nothing to do with whether Christianity needs government. True, Christianity doesn’t need anything, except for followers of Jesus to follow Him more closely. I’m trying to point out that, like it or not, history clearly shows that our bedrock foundation is Christian, and the supreme court, for the first 140 years or so of our nation’s history considered, and declared us to be a Christian nation. It is obvious that the vast majority of us do not live for the glory of God. But we can rely on God’s promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14. If we pray and repent, God will show up, and will heal our land. You are correct, in that the government–at least ours–can’t legislate anybody to become a Christian; however we can, and have legislating . But you are also correct, in that we will not agree on this. But let me be as blunt with you as I was the first time. I assume that you are a follower of Jesus. So, it really befuddles me that you can’t see that God judges nations, not just individuals within nations. Remember Babylon? How about Assyria? And God Himself, in Genesis 15, when He and Abram cut the covenant, the God said that He was going to bring the emancipated Hebrews out of slavery, because the sin of the Amorites is not yet complete. In other words, God was giving the Amorite nation 400 years to make things right, for them to repent, or God promised to send His judgment, in form of God’s newly formed nation–to address their wickedness. No, you are grossly mistaken. God will judge GOVERNMENTS, to include ours as well. It is true that He will judge us indiviually as well. And actually, what is the purpose for governments and their laws? To restrain evil. Pure and simple. But what are we called to? To live a godly life, most definitely. But what will change the moral fiber of a nation is for a person to be told the bad news and the good news of the Gospel.

          • says

            I spell this out a bit in a blog that was a response to the whole Chik-Fil-A thing a bit ago (http://antwuanmalone.com/chick-fil-gay-marriage/) , but I’ll say it again here. The difference between the OT times of which you are speaking, and the today is that God had chosen a people/nation. Israel was God’s chosen through the covenant made with Abraham. The nations which rose up against Israel, based on how God was judging them at the time, received God’s wrath and judgment. America, today, does not enjoy such a position. As a nation, America is not God’s chosen people/nation. God has made not promises to the state of America, and our nation holds no special covenant with him. Jesus, with his ushering of a new covenant changed the focus from being God’s chosen people (after all, the whole point of that exercise was to bring us Christ through Abraham’s seed), to individual relationship with God. On to the next thing. I’m not sure we are on the same page when it comes to what “Christian” means. When I say Christian nation, I mean a nation that promotes the following of Christ as their way of living and governing. This is not America. A Christian nation would never have “freedom of religion” because it would understand that the bible says “thou shalt have no other gods before me” and that we should not have idols. Clearly this is not an issue with America, and never has been. A truly Christian nation would penalize sins including fornication, prostitution and other sexual sins. It would not have provocative ads per Jesus’ sermon on the mount. It would place caring for the poor a top priority, and on and on. No America was founded on freedom, not Christ. It may have borrowed some of its governing principles from the Bible, that doesn’t make it any more Christian than having a display of ten commandments in my home makes me a Jew. In practice, America in no wise promotes the following, and spiritual transformational power of Jesus Christ. That inherently disqualifies it from being Christian at any point in our history. Now, we can be a Christian nation by different means. Should we as the church affect the community directly (sans the political heavy hand) and only in engage in political agendas when it makes the most sense, then we can sway the majority (the people). This, then, can inform the laws that we make as a nation. It’s not top down Christianity. It’s bottom up for us in America. If the church does it’s job in affecting the hearts and lives of the communities in their communities, we could change the vote of the majority. I appreciate your passion. I do. I feel you want to do the right thing. I don’t appreciate your tone, but it’s an expected one all the same. I’m not offended. We just believe two very different things about our country and its relationship to Jesus.

    • Will says

      Before the United States of America was founded, no people on earth were living in the freedom that our creator had in mind for us, our constitution guarantees that freedom. This is a nation founded on the laws of the living God. We accept those in error but we the people shape the direction of the country here and as such have a responsibility to be a part of politics to shape the country in God’s direction. No nation on earth has ever been more blessed by God. I believe that is because the founders humbled themselves as a group and prayed for his wisdom and blessing. To whom much is given, much will be required. This was a Nation built with God’s wisdom and blessing. If we can’t influence our neighbors, in our actions and by the political clout we carry, where have we gone wrong. How will we explain our inaction and bad behavior at the judgment if we don’t use our clout to shape our destiny.

  3. Katie says

    Mr. Malone, I completely agree with you. We, as individual Christians, and together as churches, are responsible for spreading the Good News and changing peoples’ lives. I live in the midwest, and the churches I have attended, visited, and even become a member of, barely resemble the “church” spoken of in the Bible. Instead of caring directly for people in the community, they focus on tithing and growing and wealth. I could go on and on, but I believe the decline in our churches is a direct result of this feeling of political entitlement. It’s also the root of the hateful Christian attitudes and responses I see from my fellow “followers of Christ”. Many have become prideful and resentful, and are easily angered by ANYONE who disagrees with them. Is that really reflecting a Christ-like attitude to the world? I think not. Honest debate and conversation is wonderful, but the nastiness coming from Christians with this entitlement attitude sets back the cause of Christ rather than furthering it. I also can’t understand why anyone would want a religous government. Look at the Middle East. Iraq, Iran, and most other countries there are governed by religous doctrine, and look at the hate and violence there as the competing factions fight for control. If we somehow imposed a Christian Government here in the US, how long would it take before some other religion (Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, etc.) took over, or fought to take over? And which “version” of Christianity would we impose here if we could? There are over 30 different Christian denominations in my small town of approx. 3,500 people. The Christian churches can’t even get along with each other. Just as God gave us the choice to accept Christ as our personal savior, so did he give everyone that choice. The Old Testament proves, and the New Testament confirms that The Law only creates criminals: it exists to convict. It is the love of Christ that saves and it is the individual Christian’s duty to spread that love by sharing and showing God’s love by their words and their own behavior.

    • says

      Thank you Katie. It’s so easy to fall into a “us vs. them” mentality, and politics is the perfect forum for that sort of thing. Christians need to be aware of the trap and be ready to follow the Spirit into other venues of influence. So far, most Christians i know are resisting that change. It’s a bit frustrating and disheartening.

    • Anonymous says

      HMM, what about David who was a man after God’s own heart? I’m sure we will see him in heaven. Isn’t he the one who said, “how I love your law! It is my meditation all day long.” And don’t forget, which Bible did the early followers of Christ have? NIV? KJV? No, how about the torah? Or perhaps they had access to a few letters or perhaps a gospel circulated here and there. Revelation, the last book of the NT was not even written until 95 AD. And the gospel of John was written a short time before that. No, many followers of Jesus were dodging the spear and swords and escaping from the Roman soldiers because they declared “Jesus is Lord” instead of “Caesar is Lord.” These are facts. We don’t have a clue today as to what our early spiritual ancestors went through. You might want to read “Foxes book of martyrs”, to get a glimpse of what happened back then. Or websites like persecution.org to find out what’s going on with our brothers and sisters around the world today. Many of our brothers and sisters are even being crucified–that’s right, crucified, because they dare to name the name of Jesus. And we’re concerned about the negative stereotype American Christians have, afraid of what those who practice what our holy God calls an abomination? God have mercy on us for being so wimpy. And Katie, believe me when I say that the condition of the church deeply grieves me, as it does you. Are we supposed to love one another? Absolutely! Does that mean that we are not allowed to have strong opinions? Absolutely not! By the way, did you read Matthew 23 yet? Our Lord Jesus was none too kind here! And let’s not forget, HE is the one every person will stand before one day, for He Himself declared in John 5 that “all judgment has been given to the Son.”–that would be Him. And didn’t He say something about “departing from Him” because HE didn’t know US? I don’t think there’s an 11th commandment, which says “thou shalt be nice”. Also, didn’t John, who was, according to church history given the moniker “the apostle of love”, say this in regard to false teachers “Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (2 Jn 9–11). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society. Notice how he used the words, “Does not have God”, and “wicked works”. Pretty strong anti-PC hate speech if you ask me (insert sarcasm here). Just because I pushed back, admittedly hard, that doesn’t mean that I am being hateful. His opinion was forceful as well. Mr. Malone was, indeed being ignorant. That was obvious. I was trying to give him a little enlightenment is all. I was listening to a message this morning, the title which was, “America is a Christian Nation”. The preacher cited time after time that the founding fathers were dedicated Christians, and came to America to establish a country based on Christianity. In fact, our Supreme court numerous times declared us to be a Christian nation. And not that they were ignorant of other religions. In fact, religions like Islam were called by the Supreme court justices “impostor religions.” Those are facts. Finally, Katie, I’ll say it again. If we as followers of Jesus don’t wake up and take God seriously and declare His holiness by our lives and presenting the gospel in all of its power by boldness by pronouncing “repentance and forgiveness from sins” (and as exemplified by the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10), then we will be in trouble and God will allow Islam to take over and Sharia will become the law of the land, as it is in pockets of our country already. Again, God bless you Katie. May you follow Him wholeheartedly. But please, just because you don’t agree with the tone of something, doesn’t mean that it’s ungodly. Show me where I’m incorrect and I will declare it and repent from it. My desire is for me and all of my brothers and sister to live in holiness to our God.

  4. shirish says

    @katie I’m not from the US so this is not about that political debate you people are engaged in. Do you really mean to say that the “Law only creates criminals”? _NT book_ Rom 7:12 says “So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good”. So while the Law comes under the purview of an obsoleted covenant, it still remains God’s old, but His own, covenant and not to be treated lightly. Today, we all come under the new covenant. I think our brothers/sisters in Christ who adopt belligerent opinions must be called “hard hearted” or something, and not accused of being followers of the Law!!! And oh Samuel, David, et al were followers of the law (coming under the then current covenant) and they don’t look like criminals. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    • says

      I think she means that “criminals” in the sense that we have broken God’s law… not social criminals who badger society. I think she is saying that the law only reveals to us how incapable we are of actually following it. In this, all people are “criminals” except Jesus who knew no sin… including David, Samual, Solomon, etc…

  5. Glenn says

    Antwuan, You are absolutely correct in that we will not see eye to eye. This will be my last post, since I need to get on to ministry (I am a pastor). I have a hunch that you will never fact check historical statements and intentions of our founding fathers. I also fear for you that you arbitrarily divide Truth into OT and NT–and there is a fundamental difference between the two. That my friend is what we must NOT do. Indeed, that is, in my opinion why we have, as a church, sunk to such low levels in our influence in society. See, holiness was a watchword in the OT. So many church folk have taken that and discarded the OT emphasis on holiness because they have discarded the “mean and vengeful god” idea, and replaced it with the idea that somehow, God changed between the OT and the NT–to where now, the only thing on God’s mind is love–roughly defined as being nice and not offending anybody. God’s holiness had not changed. Neither has His love. Indeed, how did God expect His people to relate to Him? Holiness, absolutely, but what was the first commandment after devout Jews cited the Shema? “And you shall love the Lord your God . . .” Also, when Jesus was asked what the Greatest Commandment found in Scripture (again, it was the OT because when He said that, the NT wasn’t written yet), He quoted this passage. So, love and holiness are found between His people. Also, God was getting ready to judge Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, because of their wickedness. He sent Jonah, the reluctant prophet. When Jonah raised his voice and told them that God was going to judge them, the king got it, declared a fast and the town repented–and the Lord spared the city because of it. When Jonah got really ticked because he expected God to destroy them, He said to His disobedient prophet: should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle? The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Jon 4:11). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society. No, God had great compassion in the OT. Didn’t He reveal to Moses His character when He said, “The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Ex 34:6–7). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society. God did not change from the OT to the NT. His program never changed; His attitude toward sin never changed. BTW, didn’t God say in general through the psalmist, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord?” God is no respecter of persons; He is no respecter of nations. He promises in 2 Chron 7:14 that if HIS people will get right with Him, then He will forgive and heal their land. The God we read about who commanded His people to wipe out entire societies is the same God who is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are to love one another. We are to be holy, as well. Remember in 1 Peter how the apostle told us, how the Holy Spirit of God inspired him to write to followers of Jesus: “Be holy, because I am holy.” No, my friend, we serve the same God the Jews did. It’s the same standard of holiness and the same fount of love. We are to love Him–as demonstrated by keeping His commandments. It’s not enough to merely live our lives, sharing the gospel and hoping that it will “all work out.” No, there is REAL evil, and as a Christian nation we must work to establish just laws and overturn the ones that are unjust. Like the blight of abortion. Like homosexual marriages which have taken root in several states. Like the legalization of euthanasia that is in Washington state and is contemplated on the east coast. Like demanding that Sharia be outlawed where it is right now being implemented in several courts. Remember Romans 13: the purpose of government is to restrain evil. It is the most cruel thing ever to know that we can make a change to our laws but because of skewed theology we do nothing about it–and yes, any law that is passed IS legislating SOMEONE’S morality–under which morality do you want to live? Jesus said, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar but to God what belongs to Him.” What is our Caesar? Hint–it’s not the president or congress or the Supreme Court. It is the Constitution. Also remember that our Constitution was put in place by men, many who were devout followers of Jesus. I just heard a quote today, and looked it up to verify its accuracy. It was by John Jay, the first Supreme Court justice. Here’s what he said re: who we were as a nation and our duty to elect Christians to be our representative leaders: Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” BTW, besides being the first Supreme Court justice, appointed by George Washington himself, he was also also president of the American Bible Society in 1821 (talk about conflict of interest today). One final thing worthy of note: John Jay was at one time president of the Continental Congress. He was instrumental in causing the Constitution to be ratified by writing the federalist papers, in conjunction with Madison and Hamilton (from “America’s God and Country”, p. 317). So, you see, we began as a Christian nation, not founded on freedom as we presently define it. No, our freedom comes when we submit ourselves to the authority of God. That is the bedrock upon which our nation rests. We have drifted away but we cannot deny the fact that Christianity is where we began. And with that, I’m going to have to sign off. God bless you, Antwuan. I pray that you will see clearly the logical conclusion of your position. In Christ, Glenn Hawkins

    • says

      Glenn, thanks so much for being a part of this discussion. Being teachable is something we should all aspire to. And I have learned a number of things from you. I appreciate your historical and biblical perspective. One thing I’m unclear on is…would you prefer our country become a true christian theocracy? Or just return to its christian roots? Or something else? Thanks again for your passion and for being Gods servant as a pastor. Thanks!

      • Katie says

        Glenn won’t likely be back. I’ve met a lot of people like him. Look at how much talking he did here. I don’t feel he’s very interested in listening. I could be wrong. Anyway, thank you guys for your web-site and for the truly daunting task you’ve undertaken in trying to change the face of Christianity. I REALLY appreciate what you’re doing. May God bless you abundantly!

        • Steve & Terri Kroeker says

          Katie Must be nice to know everything………………not a very teachable attitude though, is it?

  6. PHJ says

    I know this is old, but does God want to simply change our behavior or does he want to transform our hearts.American wanted the “freedom of religion” and all people come to American to freely practice their beliefs. You can not legislate someone’s heart.. The nation is not the Land and much as it is the people. Christ gave himself up for a holy NATION. American has 79% of people who claim Christianity as their belief system. Before you can make any transforming social changes, Christians need to have their own transforming experience. Some of our own brothers and sisters in Christ voted against their own beliefs. Is the problem the American Laws or the Christian people who live in America? Righteousness, not simply moral behavior must being with the household of God. The problem lies with changing ourselves first, or what will happen to the ungodly and the sinner?

  7. PHJ says

    I think Pastor Glen gave some very profound arguments, but it we are honest I have seem, especially in the last few years, politicians use their beliefs and Christian stance inappropriately. I am ashamed of some of the behavior and misuse of scriptures being coupled with lies and to justify the wrong behaviors. If our nation is going in the wrong direction I still believe change begins in the household of God. At this point, Antwann might be right about it starting from the bottom up. America has changed and so must the Christian approach to evangelism. Its not as easy as it used to be to maintain a Christian nation, but nothing is impossible with God. We must examine our own hearts first and see where we are.individually. If you can’t impact your own Christian people with the truth, how do you expect to convince others of that truth. Pastor White, you discovered in your own research that 1 of our 3 Christians admit to not following the teaching of Jesus Christ, what does that tell us? In the book of Daniel the 3 Hebrew boys changed a nation by standing for their beliefs and was promoted to rule “that” Kingdom. The POWER of God has not weakened to change impossible situations, but the people of God have weakened in their own personal stand for righteousness. Some of these Christians Americans voted these laws, against their beliefs, into law. So where is it that we need to start to establish this Christian nation that we are speaking of?

  8. RLJ says

    To Glen and Anonymous Oct 23: You mentioned something about an 11th commandment, to speak “nicely” or in a “nice tone”. The New Testament does in fact say, “Speak the truth in love”. A person’s tone can make all the difference. Yes, our Lord Jesus did speak passionately at times, and He is the Master Teacher (not me – and believe it or not – not even you). But the response was anger from those to whom he was directing His righteous indignation. He directed his “harsh” words toward the religious leaders who insisted that their religion be followed (to the letter) by everyone else but they themselves lacked basic love for their fellow man. So again, one’s tone is also a sign (outward behavior) of one’s heart. Katie, I appreciate you bringing this point out. As far as the comments regarding working to “pass laws, as in legislate the Christian morality on the lives of others…”, you cannot legislate a person’s heart. God looks at the heart not the outward. I agree with Mr. Malone, that as your relationship becomes deeper and you fall more and more in love with Jesus Christ, one’s behavior follows by one’s actions becoming more and more Christ-like. Mr. Malone, thank you for pointing out that “Christian Values” and “American Values” are not one and the same. Glen and” Anonymous Oct 23”, you seem to have a great fear of Sharia law being forced on America. But if this were to happen, then you should be happy because your “morality” regarding no gay marriage and no abortion is shared by the extremists in the Muslim faith. And by your own words you admit that it is your goal to legislate “Christian morality” on the lives of others. The only difference is that you will be “legislating” your beliefs under the guise of “the name of Jesus” and the extremist Muslims under “the name of Allah”. In terms of so called, “Christian morality”, and this country being founded on so called, “Christian principles” or even on Christianity, you are only partially correct. Most of the early Pilgrims and religious groups who came here initially did in fact hold some varied forms of Christian “foundational” beliefs. But their primary purpose of coming to pre-America was to escape religious oppression and escape from the very thing that you want to “legislate” on the lives of others, religious oppression. Further, groups such as the KKK, considered themselves “Christian” although others considered them to be extremists and a radical “fringe” group. The founding fathers of this country, many who also considered themselves to be “Christian”, held similar beliefs such as the belief that Christianity condoned “owning” other humans and the belief that black people are cursed. They justified these immoral beliefs and their immoral behavior by mixing certain Biblical truths with man made legislation, resulting in a perverted and highly distorted version of Christianity. These same immoral beliefs remain at the core of American politics even today. Glen and “Anonymous Oct 23”, maybe you should rethink your idea of legislating your version of “Christian morality” on others. Katie’s very timely and appropriate question, “…which version of Christianity would we impose here if we could?” From what I have observed, the spirit behind “Evangelical law” and so called “Sharia law” are one and the same, unlike American values and Christian values.

Add Comment Register



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.