Editorial Comments from Previous Lessons
I noticed that when someone asks a question during my English Bible Study, I will sometimes give sweeping over generalizations in response, and will get defensive or really preachy (in the annoying way) while speaking, especially if it's a touchy issue for me. However, in the first three sections of this paper, I want to provide my original statements from previous lectures, my reason for the argument and my restatement. As for the last section, it will be about how modern America is not a Christian nation.
Original Statement 1: Where are all these philanthropists? I haven't met any of them.
The Argument: I couldn't remember anyone who gave large contributions to charity. I figured that most of the large charitable contributions come from wealthy people for tax breaks.
Restatement: Okay, after walking to work on Monday, I remembered some genuine, rich Christians who have given large contributions to charity and to the church. However the percentage seems follow the 20/80 rule. The 20/80 rule means that 20% of the people in any type of volunteer community does 80% of the work, and it even applies to the American church.
Just imagine if everyone in the church actually gave 10% of their income. The local church could drastically help change their community for God's Kingdom.
Original Statement 2: Thomas Jefferson is probably the most pagan person ever.
The Argument: He has been speculated to have slept with one of his slaves. Furthermore, he would cut paste the Bible.
Restatement: I don't think Thomas Jefferson is the most pagan person ever. I can think of people are who are far worse. However, having a mistress and not believing in Jesus is contrary to living a Christian life, and in I John it is very clear that anyone who is against Christ is an anti-Christ. So pretty much, anyone who wishes not to follow Christ is an anti-Christ. That's a pretty harsh statement, however it's in I John 2.22 and 4.3.
With that said, Jefferson would consider some of Jesus' non-miraculous teachings, as good ethics to follow. For more information about Jefferson’s cut and paste life with the Bible, read American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon by Stephen R. Prothero.
Original Statement 3: America wasn’t founded by Christians.
Argument a: Puritans were seeking freedom from the Church of England and to develop a new Christian community, not America.
Argument b: Some of the American Patriarchs were Christian, but not all of them were Christian, such as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. .
It can be argued that America was founded by Christian principles and values, and I can agree to some extent; however I can’t say it was founded at the core essence of Christianity, except when the Puritans came. Their purpose was to gain religious freedom, and create a Christian community called the 'New Jerusalem' or "a city upon a hill" and to my understanding, they never wanted to build America like it is today.
As for the Founding Fathers, not everyone was Christian so there had be some type compromise to how the government should run. My understanding is that they wanted freedom from the English monarchy and wanted to create a society similar to the Greco-Roman government. Furthermore, Alan Taylor implies American Colonies: The Settling of North America that the country was founded under a plutocratic principle, which is not the same democracy America has today, however, it can be argued that wealthy still run America.
Statement 4: Today, America is not a Christian nation.
Argument a: Today’s America is contrary to what Christ taught, therefore how can it be a Christian nation? Philip Yancey said this:
Jacques Ellul makes the comment somewhere, "How is it that the Christian gospel produces societies, the values of which are the opposite of the Christian gospel?" If you just ask somebody, around the world, "Tell me what stands out to you about the United States," they'll say, "military power, unbelievable wealth by the world's standards, and sexual license." All three of these are radically anti-Jesus. So how is it that we're viewed as the most Christian country in the world and yet characterized by the least Christian characteristics?
Argument b: Even in Kansas, arguably the most U.S. conservative state, had people walk out during Joe Wright’s prayer. Here’s what basically happened, taken from the Patriots Herald:
When Pastor Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas House of Representatives on January 23, 1996, everyone was expecting the usual politically correct generalities. But what they heard instead was a stirring prayer, passionately calling our country to repentance and righteousness.
The response was immediate - with a number of legislators walking out during the prayer. In six short weeks Central Christian Church logged more than 5,000 phone calls, with only 47 of those calls responding negatively.
Commentator Paul Harvey aired Pastor Joe Wright's prayer on the radio and received a larger response to this program than any other program Paul Harvey has ever aired.
In addition, Central Christian Church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa, and Korea.
The prayer is reprinted below:
Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and seek your direction and guidance. We know your Word says, "Woe to those who call evil good," but that's exactly what we've done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values.
We confess that we have ridiculed the absolute truth of your Word and called it moral pluralism. We have worshipped other gods and called it multi-culturalism. We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have neglected the needy and called it self-preservation. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable. We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building esteem. We have abused power and called it political savvy. We have coveted our neighbors' possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our fore-fathers and called it enlightenment.
Search us O God and know our hearts today; try us and see if there be some wicked way in us; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent here by the people of Kansas, and who have been ordained by you, to govern this great state. Grant them your wisdom to rule and may their decisions direct us to the center of your will. I ask it in the name of your son, the living savior, Jesus Christ.
Furthermore, besides me actually reading the prayer from Central Christian Church’s newsletter at First Christian Church in Dodge City, Kansas; About.com has labeled it authentic.
Argument c: The Ten Commandments are removed from a judicial building.
Former chief justice Roy Moore was fired for not removing the Ten Commandments from the Alabama state judicial building.
Argument d: The abundance of free sex in America.
Ever since the American sexual liberation, it seems that sexual sin is spiraling downward the same way it is said to be done in Bible (cf. Lv 18).
|The progression of sexual sins listed in Leviticus 18.20,22,23.|
1. Adultery 2. Homosexuality 3. Bestiality
| The progression of sexual sins in America.|
1. Adultery 2. Homosexuality is becoming more accepted in the American culture. 3. There are jokes now in television shows about bestiality.
My statement hasn’t changed. I think modern America is becoming more postmodern, rather than Christian. Furthermore, I think there really can’t be Christian nation in the sense of a political community because God designed the church to be a community of Christians. Aaron’s homework is to study how the church, heaven and Kingdom of God is presented in the Bible, and do some further study on the subject of separation church and state.