Saturday, June 27, 2009

Is the USA a Christian Nation?

There’s been a lot of talk lately about whether the USA is a Christian nation.
I wonder what brought that up? Oh yeah, Barack Hussein Obama!
He was telling some people of Muslim nations that we aren't a Christian Nation. Do you think they understood that coming from their culture and worldview? Probably not.
If anything they probably though, "Good, its not Christan, that much easier for it to become Muslim."
Anyway, I guess it depends on what you mean by Christian. Is the country made up of born-again Christians? No. Is the charter and constitution of the USA the Bible? No. Does the constitution state we are a Christian nation? No.
Were we founded by a group of people whose views of the world and what government should be were informed by Christian teachings? Absolutely Yes. This does not mean that each founding Father was a born again Christian. But even the Deists among them were surrounded by, and respected the Christians. This does not mean philosophers like Hume and Locke weren't influential as well. But then, we might trace their influences back the Reformation and rediscovery of scripture.

Listen to these quotes:
Sam Adams, the father of the American Revolution wrote: “I…recommend my Soul to the Almighty Being who gave it, and my body I commit to the dust, relying on the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins.” That doesn’t sound like a deist to me but a Christian.
John Hancock, remember his large signature at t5he bottom ofr the Declaration of Independence? “I, john hancock, … being advanced in years and being of perfect mind and memory – thanks be given to God – therefore calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men to die (Heb 9:27), do make …this my last will and testament. Principally…I give…my soul into the hands of God that gave it: and my body I recommend to the earth…nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mercy and power of God."
Then Patrick Henry, remember, ‘give me liberty or give me death’?
“This is all the inheritance I can give to my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed.”
I know that Jefferson and Franklin said and wrote things that were less than Christian, but they were definitely influenced by the teachings of Jesus. Ben Franklin used to go hear Jonathan Edwards preach his famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of and angry God.”
I also know that not all the people that came to America came for religious freedom. Some came to worship the way they wanted to but didn’t want to give others the same privilege. Roger Williams, the first American Baptist, had considerable trouble with the authorities because he wasn’t an Anglican or a Congregationalist. And also because he thought the gospel should be taken to the Native Americans and they shouldn’t be treated as 2nd class humans.
But by the time the framers of the constitution came around, some important things had bubbled to the surface of the American experiment. Just like crude oil would change the world a century later something else was changing the political status quo: Namely Freedom. And where did they get it?
I don’t think they got it from the ancient philosophers who supported freedom for the elite ruling class. I don’t think they got it from the Muslims or Catholicism.
I believe they got it from scripture.
How about Freedom in Commerce?
Leviticus 25:14 says, “And if you sell ought to thy neighbor, or buy ought of thy neighbor’s hand, you shall not oppress one another:
Or Rom 15:26 For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make contributions for the poor saints at Jerusalem. So they gave as they “Pleased.” That means voluntary.
How about Freedom in Justice?
Ex 23:6 "You shall not pervert the justice [that is] due to your poor in his lawsuit. Says the poor person whould get what is justly his. But 3 verses before it says, Ex 23:3 nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit. In other words the rich, the poor, and anyone in between ought to receive true justice. So I guess it doesn’t matter what your status is, how much money you have, or whether you’re white, black, or Hispanic. Justice is justice!
Now there was a problem interpreting the freedom that the US constitution provided and we fought a war and got rid of the horrible blight of American slavery. That wasn’t so much an issue of freedom as it was respecting our fellow man as a human being. As a result it became a terrible affront to freedom. But we began to fix that in the 19th amendment!
We also have the Freedom to be poor just like in the Bible.
Pro 21:17 Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine … will not be rich. And, Pro 14:23 In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.
In one verse of the Bible you find the freedom to own property and the freedom to work! Lev 19:9 "When you … harvest your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. 10 And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, nor shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God.
You see God provided for property ownership – YOUR harvest and YOUR vineyard. But He also provided for the poor, And He provided that the poor should Work. We need to be careful though, because God also said, Pro 14:31 Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him. There is a time to give to the poor, especially those who cannot work.
God is a champion for the poor. Jesus came and preached the gospel to the poor. And He is especially concerned with the poor and oppressed. And when the government oppresses its own people so that they cannot enjoy the fruit of the own labors1 its still oppression. But our constitution calls for freedom.

And we are free from Tyranny. God didn’t want His people controlled by Tyrants, And we get to vote and change our government regularly so that no one gains a hold on power to the detriment of the country and its freedoms.
And if anyone does become a tyrant and oppress the people, we can vote them out, or even impeach them and remove them office if necessary! THAT is freedom, and it is consistent with the word of God.
And maybe most important of all, we have the freedoms to believe and say what we believe. In ancient Israel God expected all the descendants of Jacob to believe in Him and obey His laws. But He knew that unbelievers would come into their land so He said, Lev 19:34 You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

That is how we as Christians should treat the alien in our land as well. I’m not saying ignore the law, but we are to love our neighbor as ourselves!
And all of this reflects the Freedom we have in Christ!
Free from the Moses’ Law which is like a tyrant to the soul.
Free from the bondage of sin so we are not slaves.
Free from to try and fail because we are forgiven.
Free to be poor, but we’ll pay a price for it.
And Free to be blessed coming in and going out!
And all of this freedom was purchased not by the blood of soldiers on a battlefield, but by the blood of our savior on a cross. Is He your savior today? Are you truly free?

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