How and When to Establish a Christian Nation
Dec 22, 2006
Legislators in Poland recently introduced a bill to make Jesus the honorary King of Poland. Some centuries ago they actually passed a law making Mary the Queen of Poland, so this is not without precedent. However, Jesus is not expected to be confirmed.
In another piece of news, Republican congressman from Virginia, Virgil Goode, Jr., who is a Baptist, sent out a letter recently warning about Muslim immigration to America. His position was that America should stop all illegal immigration and reduce legal immigration, especially from Muslim countries.
Fox News quoted the letter as saying it was "necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped."
Congressman Goode was responding to the recent election of (Democrat) Keith Ellison of Minnesota. He is the first Muslim to be elected to Congress. Goode's letter, of course, has only served to push the alarm buttons among Christians and to cause the Democratic Party to rush to the aid of Muslim's rights. Between this and Jimmy Carter's book on Palestine, the Democrat Party is being pushed toward an anti-Christian and an anti-Zionist position politically. More and more, the division (wedge) between Republicans and Democrats is being defined in these terms.
Congressman Goode objects to Congressman Ellison's plan to swear his oath upon the Koran, rather than upon the Bible. This is the primary "tradition" that Goode says is being violated. Of course, keep in mind that Congressmen are officially sworn in by raising their right hands. It is only in private ceremonies of their choice that they may do other things such as swear on the Bible. So his use of the Koran in that context is not part of the official "tradition" at all.
In fact, there was a Mormon who swore his oath on a Mormon Bible, and Jews who swear on just the Old Testament. But these are seen as versions or portions of the Bible. They are not the Koran.
So this has caused a flurry of outrage and indignation among Christians who see America's Christian heritage drifting further down the river. And it raises once again the issue about whether America is a Christian or a secular nation. More than that, it raises questions about religious freedom and about the use of the Bible (or Koran) at all in an official capacity. Secularists have long argued that atheists should not have to swear upon a Bible in court.
The overall question is whether or not we have the right (or even the duty) to establish a Christian nation upon the earth. Is a Christian nation incompatible with "freedom" and "democracy" as Americans define those words?
These are the questions that I want to address in the next few web logs.
It is only recently that the idea of a secular nation has gained credibility. This was largely due to the efforts and influence of the Masonic Order in France and America in the late 1700's. In France, thousands of Catholic priests were killed or driven out of the country during the "Reign of Terror" (1789-1793). Many of them went to Canada. But then came Napoleon, who felt he needed the Pope to bless him as Emperor in the year 1800, because this was precisely 1000 years after the crowning of the first Holy Roman Emperor in the year 800.
In this way the French Republic began to become a mixture once again and was no longer a purely secular nation.
In America, each colony had its own dominant denomination. In essence, they were Christian colonies. Pennsylvania was a Quaker Colony, Massachusetts was a Congregational Colony, and Virginia was an Anglican Colony. When they set up the Federal Government, they gave it only certain rights and duties, and all other rights were to remain with the new states or to the people in general.
They told the Federal Government to stay out of the religion business in order to protect each state from Federal interference in its particular brand of Christianity. In other words, the Federal Government was set up to be "secular," but they were not to prohibit the free exercise of religion in any of the states or among the people. In more recent years, however, this has been twisted around so that now the Federal Government seems to have a mandate to make the states conform to its own secular restrictions.
Hence, we now have a secular nation, something not intended by the founding fathers.
There are books written on both sides of this question by historians much more qualified than I. My intent here is to explore the question from a biblical perspective so that we have some idea of the mind of God and the divine plan in prophetic history. Only then can we have a clearer idea how Christians may conform to that divine plan.
My presumption is that, like me, you want to establish the Kingdom of God upon the earth. But does this mean Christians should become involved in politics or in political questions? Should we become alarmed when a Muslim is elected to Congress? Should we pass a law prohibiting Muslims from being Congressmen? If elected, should that Muslim be required to swear his oath upon a Bible?
First, let me say that we are dealing with two Americas. In today's Secular America, where we pride ourselves in "religious freedom" and "equal opportunity," no one has the right to question the people's right to elect a Muslim to Congress. In fact, given the idea of Secularism itself, it is a wonder that we still have any Christian traditions remaining.
There has been a steady movement toward TOTAL secularism, and Christians have been fighting this, for they see it as an attack upon Christianity itself. They feel that when the government is totally secular, it will ban Christians from evangelizing others in public (like in "democratic" ancient Greece). Christians themselves will not be able to run for office, because they will "undermine" Secular America.
Next, the Bible will be banned for its anti-homosexual statements, and when bestiality is legalized, it will find further reason to ban the Bible. Already, the Jews bristle over the New Testament's anti-Jewish statements. The book of Hebrews will be banned for making derogatory statements against Judaism as well as for arguing for Christianity.
There is a very real attack upon Christianity in its conflict with Secularism. So I can understand Congressman Goode's concern. But the problem cannot be solved by band aids. We could ban the Koran from all oath-taking, and this would not resolve the deeper problem. We cannot ban Muslims from government, while allowing atheists, Jews, and Buddhists to hold office.
If we dig deep, we find that the root issue is the recognition of God Himself. A secular nation does not recognize the existence of God or His authority over nations. But the Declaration of Independence--under whose authority the Constitution itself was written--recognizes the existence of God and appeals to divine authority as the reason for the original revolt against Great Britain.
Secularists do not like the Declaration of Independence for this reason. Their Secular America is established upon the Constitution alone, which does not mention God. Secularists must ignore the Declaration as the authoritative basis for the Constitution. But in 1976, when America celebrated its bicentennial, Christians began to react against the secularization of America.
This created a conflict between the two Americas, and the polarization process began which we see full-blown today. The Christians concerned with establishing America's Christian heritage began to take over the Republican party, while the secularists took the castle of the Democratic Party. A new political war began for the heart and soul of America.
This is the first part of a series titled "How and When to Establish a Christian Nation." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones