Secularists have it wrong when they propound that America does not have a Christian heritage. They are also wrong when they suggest that the majority of America's founders did not have a Christian orientation. No honest student of history can deny that the vast majority of the people in Colonial America were Protestant Christians. Furthermore, while SOME of America's founders might have been deists, the majority of the men who birthed this country came from Protestant Christian backgrounds (with virtually all of the various denominations and sects represented). These were, after all, the sons of the Pilgrims and Puritans.
Christians have it wrong when they propound that America was founded as a "Christian" nation. As already noted, America's founding generation (and the generations that preceded it) was distinctly Christian in belief and practice, but the independent nation called the United States was actually predicated upon the principles of Natural Law. Of course, Natural Law itself is intrinsic to God's law (much to the chagrin of ultra-secularists).
Thomas Jefferson (a Founding Father usually NOT included in the list of "Christian" founders--although Jefferson himself said he was a Christian in that he was a follower of the teachings of Christ) clearly enunciated the commonly-understood (to the founding generation) Natural Law principles predicating the creation of our country in our nation's birth certificate (the Declaration of Independence). Hear him: "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the LAWS OF NATURE AND OF NATURE'S GOD [emphasis added] entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are ENDOWED BY THEIR CREATOR [emphasis added] with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Our Constitution and especially our Bill of Rights are firmly planted in the soil of Natural Law, or as Emer de Vattel called it, "The Law of Nations." These laws are immutable and universal. They are centered in the eternal laws of God. These laws apply equally to Christians and non-Christians alike. In much the same way that the physical laws of Nature apply to all mankind equally, so do the moral and civil laws of Nature. This is what most modern Christians (including most pastors) fail to understand.
Hence, Christians and non-Christians alike share in the Rights of Man, i.e., the right to life, liberty, and property; the right to be secure in his or her home; the right to a fair and speedy trial; the freedom of speech, assembly, and self-defense; and the freedom from self-incrimination.
By definition, it is not the role of civil government to evangelize. The purpose of government under Natural Law is to protect and secure the Natural rights given us by our Creator. It is the role of the Church to evangelize people into a personal relationship with God and to educate the people as to the particular tenets of the Christian faith. Furthermore, if society experiences a moral and spiritual breakdown, the fault cannot be laid at the doorstep of government, but rather at the doorstep of the Church. In more ways than not, our civil leaders are merely a reflection of the moral character of the people. And the moral character of the people is a reflection of the Church, for, indeed, the people ARE the Church.
Herein lies the problem: over the last half of the Twentieth Century (and now into the Twenty First Century), the Church has miserably failed its assignment. First, it became legalistic and Pharisaical. Then, it became materialistic and self-centered. And in the process, it left millions of people in this country totally repulsed, not only with the Church, but with Christianity itself. After all, whether justified or not, those outside the faith often judge the merits of the faith by those who proclaim it. The result today is the reality that, in many respects, Christianity is collapsing in the United States.
There are millions of people in America who were raised in these legalistic, Pharisaical churches who have been so damaged that they refuse to darken the doors of anyone's church. And now we are beginning to see the damage being caused by these Joel Osteen-type, feel-good churches. It is to the point that most people in America today have no earthly idea as to what the basic Christian principles even are. Too many people today have the impression that Christianity is either represented by the legalistic, judgmental, holier-than-thou attitude of the modern Pharisees, or by the pleasure-mad, entertainment-driven mega-circuses of Osteen, Rick Warren, et al. Throw in the corporate structure of most churches along with a do-anything-it-takes-to-keep-our-tax-exempt-status attitude and it is not surprising that so many people find the modern American church so repulsive.
It has been over one hundred years since America's pulpits taught the fundamental precepts of the Natural laws of our Creator. Hence, the vast, vast majority of Christian people have absolutely no understanding of what good government is even supposed to look like. Myopic, self-serving, hierarchical rules and regulations of the denomination or individual church hardly prepare people for the greater responsibility of maintaining good government (ecclesiastic, familial, or governmental).
Does anyone not find it interesting that here in America our civil magistrates are rushing to completely remove the Natural Law principles from our public life, while in Russia, Vladimir Putin is enthusiastically embracing the Christian heritage of that country and is encouraging the Russian people to return to their Christian roots? Whether he actually is or not, the vast majority of pastors and churches in Russia today believe Putin is a wonderful Christian leader and happily support him. Meanwhile, look at the anti-Christian reputation that U.S. leaders have, not only here at home, but worldwide.
In so-called "Christian" America, our leaders embrace American hegemony around the world; incessant war; and the assassinations, attacks, and killings of hundreds of thousands of people in the Middle East--including thousands of Christian people. Believe me or not, but the average person-on-the street in most of the nations of the Middle East KNOWS that the U.S. is behind most of the violence taking place in their homelands, including the violence being perpetrated by terrorist groups such as ISIS.
Please watch this three-minute video of an elderly Muslim woman in the Middle East courageously rebuking some Sunni ISIS terrorists for their bloodshed (there is one curse word in the dialogue). Note, especially, that she is aware of how the ISIS fighters are receiving arms and support from the United States:
But what the people-on-the street in America do NOT know is that all of this death and destruction that we are raining down on the people of the Middle East only serves to ingratiate these people (and the people of Europe) to Putin's Russia--which more and more appears to the world to be the beleaguered victim of an overbearing and bullying United States. People who are addicted to FOX News may never understand this, but around the world Russia is winning the war of public relations BIG TIME. But none of this matters to the average pastor and Christian in America. As long as U.S. politicians keep Benjamin Netanyahu happy, all is well.
Think about it: the numbers of those who profess Christianity are in steep decline in the United States, while the numbers of those who profess no faith at all are rapidly escalating. It is already projected that in the next few years there will be more Christians in China than in America. In fact, the Church in China is mushrooming, while the Church in America is shrinking.
And consider this reality: the Church in China, more often than not, operates with a spirit of RESISTANCE to the socialist Chinese government (many even operate illegally and in direct opposition to the Chinese government), while in America the Church almost universally operates with a spirit of COMPLIANCE to an increasingly socialist U.S. government. No, the pastors of China (and other oppressed countries) do NOT universally teach the Hitlerian interpretation of Romans 13 as do the pastors of America.
See this report:
But the good news is, an anti-establishment tidal wave is engulfing America. Men such as Ross Perot, Pat Buchanan, and Ron Paul were the forerunners of this phenomenon, but Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are the ones who are currently riding that wave on the national political scene. And watch out: they might be the ones who have the potential to help break the back of the two-party establishment monopoly in Washington, D.C., in 2016. If so, it just might portend the most seminal moment in this country since 1776--or at the very least, since the end of World War II.
At the same time, unincorporated, non-501c3 churches across the country are beginning to ride the anti-establishment wave as well. This is not only a GOOD thing, it is a NECESSARY thing. And if I can be a small part of the development of this burgeoning movement, besides fathering and helping my wife to raise our children, I will consider it the most important accomplishment of my life.
Learn about the Liberty Church Project here:
The fundamental Natural Law principles of our Creator form the cornerstone of our country. And Natural Law itself depends upon the faithful dissemination of these time-tested truths by the men behind the pulpits. The Church is given the yeoman's task of being the "pillar and ground of the truth." (I Timothy 3:15) When the Church forsakes truth, the collapse of Christianity within a country is the natural result. And that is exactly what is happening before our very eyes here in the United States.
Thankfully, our Creator will never leave Himself without a remnant. I believe this remnant is being separated and called-out even as we speak. Part of the remnant is comprised of the stalwart separatist believers in other countries of the world. And part of that remnant is comprised of stalwart separatist believers within our own country.
To the remnant inside both the political and religious establishments: "Come out of her, my people." (Revelation 18:4)
Only a Church recommitted to the truths of the Gospel (including those truths that relate to our civil and political lives) and civil magistrates who are recommitted to the "Laws of Nature and Nature's God" can restore America to what was the apex of Western Civilization. But if America's spiritual and civil leaders continue to walk the current path, not only will we see the collapse of Christianity in America, but the collapse of America itself.
P.S. I am once again featuring my four-sermon video series on "The Church And Israel." This is one of the most-requested DVDs we have ever offered. Questions addressed on this video include: Does Genesis 12 ("I will bless them that bless thee…") refer to the modern state of Israel? Is the modern state of Israel synonymous with Biblical Israel? Are modern Jews "God's chosen people?" Should U.S. foreign policy favor the modern state of Israel on scriptural grounds? etc.
To order this DVD containing my four messages on "The Church And Israel" for yourself or someone else, go to:
© Chuck Baldwin