Is America a Christian nation?

People have presented several perspectives on this question – because no one agrees on what a Christian nation is. First, some believe America is a Christian nation because it was founded by people who fled religious persecution, and brought their godly values to these shores. Their basic values permeated the society and raised up men who created its legal structure and the Constitution, both of which contain biblical roots. In this view, America is Christian because of its legal structure and general suffusion of Christian principles throughout the nation. Some people are working hard to make this a Christian nation by political means. Some point out that God moves more freely in a nation when it has a Christian President of the United States of America who prays.

Second, some look to the nature of the population itself and claim that America is not a Christian nation because it contains people of many faiths, or no faith. They also look to many other aspects for proof: packed prisons, abortion, general acceptance of homosexuality and prevalence of pornography, political corruption, excessive materialism (which is idolatry), and America’s early harsh treatment of the Native Americans and slaves. Can a population which accepted these practices be called a Christian nation?

Third, some point out a conversation between Pilate and Jesus which clarifies that Jesus did not see any current nation as his own. Pilate told him, “Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me.” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:35, 36). In this interchange, we see that Jesus is responding to Pilates’ use of “nation.” Jesus did not see those who rejected him as his nation. Jesus always had a coming kingdom in view, of taking his rightful place as ruler over this earth with all people willingly in subjection to him. But he was rejected and crucified, so his kingdom is on hold until he comes again. No nation on earth can substitute for his kingdom to come. At this point, only individuals are accepting Christ, not nations, so America is not ruled by Christ.

What Do You Think?

a. How would you define a nation Christian so you can defend your view?

b. Is a nation Christian based on its laws, its people, or … ?

About Steve Husting

Steve Husting lives in Southern California with his wife and son. He enjoys encouraging others through writing, and likes reading, digital photography, the outdoors, calligraphy, and iced coffee. He has written several books and ebooks, and hundreds of Christian devotionals. Steve is also having a great time illustrating God's Word with calligraphy.
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