Real Hope. Real Change.

Earlier today I came across a blog post that I found a little disconcerting. From what I can gather it seems to suggest that America is an unchristian nation, and that the only way we can become a more Christian nation is if we adopt more ‘Democratic’ policies (in the political party sense).

You can read the blog post here.

Below is my response to the blogger’s post.

With all due respect, for my intention isn’t to insult you or make you feel small in anyway; but I absolutely disagree with your association of Democrats and Christianity in the sense that it seems you are implying if our government was more democratic then America would be more of a ‘Christian Nation.’ I don’t think America is a Christian Nation, or any nation for that matter. Nor do I think we should try to strive to be a ‘Christian Nation’ (but that’s another issue).

Anyway, politics aren’t going to change the world, only Jesus will. Certainly there are things we can each do to make the world better. But when it really comes down to it, being more republican or being more democratic doesn’t matter; nor will it ever matter. Not according to Jesus at least.

Seemingly, Jesus is rather apathetic about politics. The only instruction we receive from the God-Man on politics is in Matthew 22:21. Jesus says “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s.” And beyond Jesus, the smartest person to ever live, the only other instruction we get in the Bible regarding government and civil obedience is from Paul in Romans 13. Which, basically he is telling the Roman Christians to trust God and submit to the oppressive rule of the Roman Empire; even it means the infringement of your rights, persecution, torture of your own family, and death. This is counter-American and counter-Libertarian (I mean Libertarian in the way JS Mill means it).

What Jesus really cares about is that we become the kind of people who God intended us to be. The kind of people who each love God supremely and serve people wholeheartedly with all joy and thanksgiving. The kind of people who would walk up to Hitler and shake his hand and treat him like we would our fathers; not because we support Nazism, but because God melts people’s hearts through mercy and kindness (Rom 2:4). The kind of people who would seek out sex offenders and want them to be our friends; not because we are masochists and desire to be sexually abused, but because they need to be loved and have Jesus change their hearts.

What you want is peace on earth and goodwill towards men. I want those things too. It’s a perfectly good and right desire. But the thing we first need to recognize is that politics won’t accomplish this because you, myself, and everyone around us are wickedly evil and capable of evil beyond our most vivid imagination. To deny this is perhaps one of the greatest dangers we pose to ourselves and everyone around us. For example, Hitler did what he did because he thought it was right and it was just. He didn’t think he was being evil. He thought he was being good. Likewise, we run the risk of harming our neighbors if we should ever think we are never without fault.

What this country needs, what this world needs, is not the establishment and maintenance of some high and lofty political ideology. It needs a Savior capable of convicting people’s hearts of the evil they accomplish daily, so that they would seek forgiveness from God; and know that they have been forgiven because of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Only then once we realize we have been forgiven from the person whom we have offended the most (God) can we begin to forgive others and realize our own faults before other people. Only then can there peace on earth and goodwill towards men. No politician or group of people could ever make this happen. Fortunately, Jesus is making this happen and will eventually bring it to completion.

For the glory of God and our joy…


9 thoughts on “Real Hope. Real Change.

  1. Was the original poster actually claiming that “America is an unchristian nation, and that the only way we can become a more Christian nation is if we adopt more ‘Democratic’ policies (in the political party sense).”? I don’t think he or she was. I think they were simply making the point that Republicans claim that this nation has a Christian history that it never ever really did (or never lived up to), and Republican candidates shamelessly shroud themselves in that made-up history to make themselves more appealing to religious voters today. That makes me angry, and it should make everyone else angry too. I think the original poster would readily agree with you that ‘American is not a Christian Nation, nor should it be’. I hesitate to put words into the original poster’s mouth, but I thought that destroying the idea that America is a Christian nation was the central thesis of what they wrote.

    I’ll say ‘Amen’ a hundred times to your understanding of the Kingdom of God- Jesus came not only to teach us to protect the weak and live in harmony with one another, but he came primarily to give his life as a ransom for our sins. The Gospel changes lives. Gotcha. I’m on board. But surely the right-hand kingdom has at least SOMETHING to teach the left-hand kingdom. Hasn’t God provided governments as one of the means by which he richly and daily provides the material things we need to sustain our bodies and lives? And aren’t there many issues that this government has to tackle that are fraught with moral implications- including abortion, education funding, torture, gay marriage, health care, welfare, environmental policy, stem cell research, civil rights, worker’s rights, wars?

    That’s why I think ‘legislating morality’ is a red herring. Making legislation that is informed by morality is inescapable. You can’t just separate the secular and the religious and never the ‘twain shall meet.

    • You know Dave, I may have misread the original post. Now that I re-read it I am not really sure what the link between Democrats and Christianity is in the PJF’s blog post. Based on the concluding remarks of the post “…Jesus preached peace by peacefulness.
      I’m in favor of Democrats who believe Government is there to make this a better nation, and that was also a Republican philosophy,” I just assumed that the blogger was implying Democrats are the ones for ‘peacefulness’ and Republicans aren’t; ergo Democrats will make us more of a ‘Christian Nation.’ I suppose some clarity on the correlation between Democrats and Jesus would be nice.

      All that to say I think you’re right that PJF was “making the point that Republicans claim that this nation has a Christian history that it never ever really did (or never lived up to), and Republican candidates shamelessly shroud themselves in that made-up history to make themselves more appealing to religious voters today.” Obviously this is a horrible thing, and I share your anger. I suppose I got too hung-up on the notion that Democrats are morally superior to Republicans and vice versa. And I doubly suppose I was reading into the article that PJF was advocating that Dems alone have the power to make this country ‘more Christian.’

      Fortunately, everything I said still stands. I was just discussing a different topic. Alas, if only there was never any miscommunication. I look forward to this in heaven.

      And yes, you are absolutely right on your bit about ‘legislation informed by morality.’ Government is one means by which God has chosen to provide for us, we therefore have a responsibility to him to steward it well. But I am not going to die on the hill of Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, Socialist, Communist, etc policies. I am pro-whatever policy that glorifies God and honors human life.

  2. I happen to believe in the abstract idea of a God, based on the unmoved mover argument. But the assumption of the negative means you start off Tabula Rasa, like a caveman who had never left the cave. Another caveman says to him, there’s a tree out there. The first caveman doesn’t know anything about trees. To him, there is no such thing. Assumption of the negative. It’s the burden of the second caveman to convince the first guy that there is, in fact, a tree out there.

    • Point granted. But we are talking about God; we are not talking about trees. Humans and trees are both finite, and God (that is if we are to think of him as an ‘omni’ God) is infinite. How can the finite (humans) possibly conceive of the infinite (God) unless the infinite imposed itself on the finite? The notion that it’s possible for us finite creatures to conceive of the infinite on our own seems rather absurd. Descartes tried to do this and he failed.

      But that isn’t to say I don’t understand where you are coming from.

  3. Jesus actually did everything He could to seperate Himself from politics. He was always seeking to prove that He was not looking to create authoritarian leadership, but rather uninhibited relationship. When He walked the earth the government was cruel and injust. Nero believed that if he could keep his people fed and entertained, then they would follow him without question. And it worked. When Jesus fed the 5,000 and they pursued him across Galilee His response was to say, “you only follow because you ate and were full . . . I am the bread of life . . .” He was trying to seperate Himself from the political leaders. He never sought politics, just people.

    I agree that we cannot legislate morality. Law does not produce righteousness. I think Christians should spend less time trying to moralize the country and more time allowing their own morality to lead people to Christ.

    Great Post.

  4. Progressive Jesus Freak is quite correct. From an Aristotelian perspective, you must know that this argument begins with the assumption of the negative – meaning we start with the idea that America is not a Christian Nation, and the burden of proof is on those who profess that it is.
    Same logic applies to the existence of God debate.

    • Thank you for the qualification. I should amend to my argument that America is not a Christian Nation, nor do I think it should be.

      Also, for the sake of philosophical banter: Can you really call something ‘not X’ but then say ‘X isn’t’ or X doesn’t exist? How can we know what ‘not X’ is if ‘X’ isn’t real?

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