Christianity is not to be equated with sociopolitical conservatism. There are some Christians who think otherwise, and these sincere individuals believe that societal reform can happen on the legislative level. Their aim is to see as many Christian officials elected to office as possible. They put their hope in it. Furthermore, they wish to conform society to Judeo-Christian norms—laws, if you will.
Sadly, whenever Christian groups get involved in politics, then politics get involved in Christianity. Whole denominations, especially the largest ones (like the Southern Baptist Convention), are so wrapped up in political agendas and strategy that one doubts if decisions are made solely from Christ’s being the Head of the Church. Ministry suddenly becomes a social or political minefield when one has favors to honor or diplomatic peace to keep. For shame! Has the Church of God taken on shackles?
Please don’t misunderstand. God has preordained good works in which believers should walk. Born-again Christians should serve the Lord Jesus wherever they find themselves called, especially in civil office (1 Cor. 7:17-24). When a Christian lets his light shine, people see those good works and glorify God in Heaven (Matt. 5:16; 1 Pet. 2:12). So, I am not arguing against aiding the poor, the orphans, the widow, the oppressed, the hungry, the sick or the imprisoned (Matt. 5; James 1:27). We Christians ought to do these things. BUT we must never think that the Kingdom of Heaven is like the kingdoms of mankind… to be legislated into and out of existence. Christianity is not sociopolitical conservatism.
In previous articles like Balancing God and Government: Same-Sex Marriage and Kingdom of Heaven and Its Keys I have tried to shed light on matters of morality while keeping a distinct line between freedom of religion and freedom from religion. Truth is Precious–Handle with Care also brings Christ’s warnings about judgmental hypocrisy to our attention, especially as his warning regards debating matters of morality in the sociopolitical forum. Moreover, where I (as a native resident of Indiana) have seen oppression at the social or even political levels in the name of God, I have broken silence.
These things being said, I stand firm with the assertion that the United States of America never has been and never will be “a Christian Nation” … and so, Christians must not take it upon themselves to return it to that categorization via political activism. Our government has been kind to all faiths, especially to Christianity, in times past. Christianity has seen some historically astounding influence in the nation, particularly the First and Second Great Awakenings and the Prayer Revival of 1857. As it was in those times of blessing, may it be so again! However, these were spiritual high tides brought on by the prayers of born-again believers and the graciousness of our Triune God. If we would see Revival and Awakening again, we must see America’s needs as primarily spiritual (a fight against the human condition at every level and “class”) and then engage in a spiritual solution—repentance and prayer and intercession for an outpouring of the Spirit of God, as at Pentecost.
For the reader’s further understanding of American History–in that we are not founded as a Christian Nation–I leave you with the following documentaries: