Christianity certainly did not start out in America but it did find a home here for free expression like no where else on the globe. Freedom and liberty allowed every individual to have an opportunity to go to church and declare his love for God and then go out into the community and freely witness his conviction to others. Many people in other nations with a great love for God cannot publicly express it for fear of persecution, imprisonment or death.
America was founded through faith in God by people with honor, respect and appreciation for the power of God. They freely acknowledged a Supreme Being above themselves that they called their God. To this God they gave honor as the Sovereign One above all creations and mankind everywhere. Upon their acknowledgement of God they established every other foundation for home, community and government. The honor shown to God and each other through their faith and respect prospered the nation of America above any other. America has been known as a super power while other nations have gone into decline and lost their former power and glory of yesteryear.
We saw America grow from a frail knowledge and identification of this God that led them to these borders and then blossom into a people with a profound knowledge and faith in Jesus Christ, God’s Son. While allowing other dwellers within its walls to find their own path to God, our leaders nevertheless held God and His Son, Jesus Christ, in the highest esteem before the people of America.
America has been known as a Christian nation because of the respect given to the name of Jesus Christ in its major religions, e.g., Episcopal, Methodist, Baptist or Pentecostal. Even though non-Christian religions were present, our government leaders and court system swore oaths on the King James Bible by the authority it declared in God and His Son, Jesus, as Sovereign over the people. This truth was “normal” for our nation as it was overwhelmingly declared in official writings, on walls, statues and currency. Because of the history of God’s Hand for us and the fear of God, few would dare challenge the foundation that supported our great nation without the outcry of blasphemy or treason.
Merely glancing back though over the history of America for the last fifty years, one would see times of compromise in this truth over and over again as truth came up for challenge by the weak and the strong. Individuals like the atheist, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, who protested bible teaching in school and the “Engel v. Vitale” Supreme Court case, which protested prayer in school, challenged American values and prevailed. Surely no one thought that these opponents would win in a Christian nation as we sat back and awaited someone else to defend our Christian cause and yet they did prevail.
Other losses to Christian principles such as removal of the Ten Commandments from the public square; acceptance of abortion; approval of homosexual status in public organizations, armed services, churches and marriage ceremonies all further chipped away at the foundation of godly principles upon which the nation has stood from centuries. While Americans are a people of varied opinions and a debate could be held on the validity and motive of these actions, these changes were great losses that deteriorated the strength and moral boundaries that held the nation together as a God-fearing people.
Since no nation has been as progressive in Christianity as America, it serves as the best effort to progress the Christian cause to the perfect will of God when He sent His Son, Jesus, to earth to liberate all men from bondage and captivity to Adamic sin. With every liberty and advantage to progress the cause of Christ, how did we fail? Surely it was the plan of the enemy of God and man, the devil himself that worked through people and circumstances to abort the plan of God.
Many that protest America as a Christian nation fail to see that though the nation may have decided to put the acknowledgment of it’s allegiance to God in the closet, American programs and the government itself are all based on godly principles, the bible and God at its core. Dismantling those principles would ultimately cause the failure of the nation through crumbling the strong foundation on which the nation stands.
We now find ourselves at a place in America where leaders and laypersons alike are afraid to stand up for the cause of Christ for fear of being called hater, homophobic, violators of new laws that protect anti-Christian sentiments or unchristian interference in matters of state. Failure to stand up when we could have defended our rights has allowed the enemies of Christ to prevail against many Christian liberties. Christians have been led to believe that standing up for laws and Christian principles in the government is not required of them even though we saw in scripture how Christ stood up for God on every occasion. He did not work as an insurrectionist to overthrow the ungodly Roman government but he came to establish a new godly government. And since we have already started a God-fearing nation, it would be foolish to let Christian principles be overthrown while we watch. Apostle Peter declared that we “ought to obey God rather than men” (Act 5:29). We have a civic and Christian duty to speak up for truth. Christians are always called to take a stand for righteousness and defend the cause of Christ and the defenseless. Many of our religious leaders have either not known or just failed to explain to the people how to promote Christ and a Christian society in our nation. The weakness of conviction at this time only lends itself to more losses while the opponents or Christianity have gathered strength from their successful exploits. Our leaders and promoters in various areas of the nation are now sympathizers for the cause of the enemies of the Christian faith. Opponents now openly challenge Christian virtue and motivations with great boldness that weakens the voice of righteousness. While our appointed leaders profess Christ and stand in the places of leadership, some are silently letting down wall after wall to those that promise them allegiance and wealth. The boldness of standing for Christian conviction has been lost while men favor compromise over integrity and Christian values.
Where did the Christian experiment fail? Christ says that those that are not for Him are against Him (Mat 12:30). Are silent Christians in this group? Christians are Christ’s body in the earth sent to do His will here in His stead. We were instructed to represent Him and fight the good fight of faith against evil, but not like the Christian Crusaders who abused their faith and other people. Where the crusaders had a zeal for God without perfect knowledge of the right way, we should be using our elevated knowledge and gifts to progress the cause of Christ with a godly zeal and Christ-revealed knowledge.
Christ illustrated that faith without works is dead: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Mat 5:16). But many in our church assemblies can attest to the knowledge of God and yet lack any true work for Christ and His kingdom. Christians have set back and let non-believers take the lead in major areas of community life, government and now in the church. There seems to be a lack of true understanding of the things of Christ with a misguided zeal. Many American laypersons do not know that they have settled or compromised the faith of Christ. They have been misled in churches to believe that church attendance and giving money fulfills their Christian duty while large portions of church resources have been used to increase the personal wealth of some religious leaders rather than true promotion of Christ and help for the poor. Our Christian experiment in America is failing because other motivations have taken priority over the love of Christ and churches are not truly pursuing after Christ. We are seeing Christians seek self glory rather than the glory of God. They have coveted being like the world rather than the world desiring to be like them. Following Christ does indeed lead to the maturity of the body of Christ in the earth. God has not diminished in power or love for the church. It is the people that have strayed from God. There will always be temptations and challenges to the faith but we must still be able to recognize when we or the leaders have strayed from God and pray for restoration. When prayers cease and the people are deceived or complacent how can we be restored to our former place? God, Himself, stirs the sleeping believers to action through the moving of His Hand in the earth to upset our comfort zones. There must always be a willingness to pray and a burden to rescue the lost. Who are those standing in the gap for the Lord? God is always working in the hearts of whom He can find willing to bring about a restoration of His people. Many are calling for revival or awakening, but where is repentance that must precede the awakening? Pride always comes before a fall. But repentance calls for a forsaking of pride, bowing of the knee to honor God and giving Him back His place as Supreme. Repentance must precede an awakening. Where is the repentance?
Many of the troubles we see in the land are directly related to our failure to lift up the name of Jesus Christ above every other name: above the dollar, above the president, above our family and personal wealth, and above the glory of our nation. God will not stand for us putting any man above His Son. God must be first and Christ must be glorified in the earth. Christ gave His glory to God and man must give his glory to Christ so that God is worshiped above all.
Shall the Christian experiment end here or will we be revived to the cause of Christ and finish our course to live a Christian witness to the nations of the world by uplifting Christ. What wisdom do we have to lead or advise other nations when we are prejudiced, divided, selfish and living in idolatry? Neither can a house divided stand. Shall we be hypocritical and tell others to pull the speck out of their eyes if we have a log in our own eyes. When our three levels of government that were set up for our defense are attacking each other, how dare we tell religious sects in other nations how to settle their arguments? Christ did not come to give political or religious leaders a marketing plan for wealth or churchgoers weekly entertainment. His life given on the cross was much more valuable than that. We must first be an example of what we preach and then go out and teach what we have learned. Christians are followers of Christ. We cannot become a car by sleeping in the garage and nor do we become Christians by sitting in the pews. Christ admonished us to love God and man and then go do His work in the earth. Everyone that Christ met along the way and instructed to follow Him had to get up from where they were and go do something different to promote their new faith in God.
We need to bring our flag down to half mast and mourn our losses and then get our own house in order before trying to lead the arguing sects of the world into peace. But trying to decipher their issues should at least show us our own hypocrisy, i.e. brother fighting brother. Christ taught pull the log out of your own eye and then see clearly how to pull the speck out of your brother’s eye. When the seven sons of Sceva (Act 19:14) thought to do the work of Christ without Christ they were brought to humiliation by the enemy. Christ taught His disciples to wait for the power from on high before going out to witness to the world. But our nation has given up on the power of God and gone out naked to other nations to settle their disputes. We cannot identify ourselves as righteous or Christian without the power of God to back us up. And we cannot hide behind a religious facade and prosperity as if we have already arrived at a level of perfection and maturity. Apostle Paul did much more than many of us and yet declared that he was not perfect. Charity must begin at home before going abroad. Our nation has grown but is far from perfect. We are united in name but not in spirit or practice. We have not perfected the Christianity we once professed. We have the witness of those nations that did not continue their Christian experience who drifted backward into discord. Christ came to perfect us and left us the power and model to show us the way. It is still possible. Shall we continue the Christian experience in America or is it that we believe this land is our heaven right here on earth?