In 1892, the United States Supreme Court declared America to be a Christian nation. The court recognized that not all citizens were Christians. The court also understood that Christianity was not the established religion. But the Supreme Court identified this country as Christian because Christianity “has so largely shaped and molded it.”
Even an honest, cursory view of our history will bear this out. The Mayflower colonists enacted a compact stating that their purpose in travelling to this new land was “for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith.” Harvard University, founded in 1636, intended that every student should “ know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life and therefore lay Christ at the bottom…”
In the late 1700s, Congress approved the printing of Bibles for use in America. Bibles were used in early America as readers that would assist students in becoming literate. Presidents since George Washington have declared national days of prayer. Even Thomas Jefferson, the poster boy for non-religious folks these days, attended religious services at the nation’s Capitol.
Our currency bears the inscription, “In God We Trust” (just take a look at the $100 bills you carry around). Our Pledge of Allegiance declares that we are one nation “under God.” Even our Constitution concludes with the founders’ affirmation that it was written “in the year of our Lord.”
As grandma used to say, “My, how times have changed!” Our current President has said that we are no longer a Christian nation. Prayer is no longer allowed by public school officials. The Ten Commandments are barred from many public settings. Abortion is protected by law. Pornography is permitted under the guise of free “speech” and, as we are all aware, our current Supreme Court has redefined the definition of marriage that has stood for millennia.
What is a Christian to do? We could throw up our hands and declare that the end is near (again). We could make accommodations and agree with the prevailing secular mindset. To be sure, many religious leaders now concur that same-sex marriage can be justified on biblical grounds. Many within the Church doubt that humans originated from Adam and Eve in the Garden. They reject historical events recorded in Holy Scripture. Science, Psychology, Sociology and Human Reason have become the ultimate authority for many. The words of Scripture no longer shape and mold our society.
Another option is to remember and heed the words of Jesus. He told us to go and make disciples of the nations and to teach them to observe everything He commanded (Mt.28:19-20). This means that we must continue to engage our culture with boldness, humility and confidence in God.
As opportunities arise, or as we create them, individually and corporately, the Church is to act and speak on behalf of the God who rules sovereignly over the nations. We are to graciously present the truth of the biblical worldview, understanding that it is this truth that demolishes “arguments and and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God.” It is biblical truth that is able to “take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ” (2Cor.10:4-5). And we should pray. The prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective (James 5:16).
Some would say that the challenge is insurmountable. After all, the humanists and secularists are the current gatekeepers of society and culture. They dominate our educational institutions. They filter their secular perspective through the media. They control vast amounts of our entertainment. They have infiltrated the Church.
All these things are true. And yet, our God reigns. God has previously brought reformation and revival to many lands and nations, including this one. He has extended His hand of mercy and grace. He can do so again. Let’s always remember that His dominion is eternal and that His kingdom endures from generation to generation. “All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand…” (Daniel 4:35).
So, let us act. Let us pray.