¨ If this is a “Christian nation,” then how come so many people in it are so evil, or so given over to non-Christian religions and cults—even brazenly endorsing them and their practices as harmless or of no real consequence? Why do so many give so much lip service to the First Commandment yet so readily disregard it? (Certainly many perceptive Christians may indeed truthfully acknowledge that, while very religious, the United States is not a Christian nation. That is not the question here though. The question is about how come so many are so strident about their conviction that it is “Christian” and what it actually means when they say that.)
¨ Why does the church always seem to be running in place? There’s talk of revival every once in a while, but on the whole the culture is still as wretched as it has always been, if not more so. And the excuse that this is just the World doing its worldly thing has always been so disconcerting, because shouldn’t our “light” be drawing people out of that world? Where is the fruit of that?
¨ If this is a “Christian nation,” then how come the government does so many evil things, attested to in spades by both conservatives (their concerns) and liberals (their concerns)? And yet, on the other hand, isn’t government supposed to be a legitimate force for good in a civilized world? This inconsistency has been extraordinarily troubling.
¨ Why is it that even the most intelligent Christians are all over the map about things of government and politics? Some brashly stay in ignorance about the most simple concepts, while others who say they know usually come off sounding crazy or cruel or both. Otherwise we just shrug and assume highly credentialed scholars know what is really going on out there (most don’t know either), and I still wonder, why doesn’t anyone who names the name of Jesus really know?
¨ What is the real deal with judging? The secular world roasts Christians about “judge not lest ye be judged,” but Jesus still said “judge righteous judgment.” While everyone must make moral judgments all the time, how can we do that without feeling like we appear to be foaming at the mouth, and at the same time not be considered timid, gutless milquetoast?
¨ How come some times I see so much difference in what Republicans and Democrats want and at other times I see so much similarity? What is it: are they different or are they just the same? What’s what?
¨ How in the world can so many Americans in a “Christian nation” endorse what Democrats want? Things like enabling the murder of unborn children and endorsing government confiscation of wages to reward irresponsible behavior are particularly repulsive. And how on earth can so many Republicans be so powerless, even spineless to do anything about those things?
¨ How could a “Christian nation” government, supposedly administered by good wholesome Christians, be so adept at pursuing, prosecuting, and incarcerating the most wicked evildoers, when everything about the gospel is about manifesting the fruit of the Spirit? Really, how is that possible if they are really Christians?
¨ What is “separation of church and state” really about anyway? Is there even such a “separation”? And why is there so much belligerence in the discourse about it one way or the other, and yet still it seems so few know anything about what it means?
¨ If I’m a devout Christian and I am physically attacked by an evildoer, or more urgently, my family is attacked, what do I do? Turn the other cheek? —That would be not loving to my family. Seek to harm the attacker? —That would not be demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit. (Indeed there are many fine philosophical answers to this age-old problem, but to be honest, none have been truly satisfying. Particularly disconcerting is Augustine's "Just War" treatise, something trumpeted by many scholarly Christians but still hideously ungodly in a number of ways.)
¨ How come so many endorse being good and doing good and they work so hard at it, even going around speaking about how good everyone is, when it is only God who is truly good? It seems we never cease taking to newer heights the glorification of man and his dazzling humanistic efforts to fix the world—what an offense to the God from whom all good things come.
¨ Isn’t evil certainly a worthy foe to wage a battle against? Shouldn’t we be joining the forces of “good” in the common cause? Isn’t the “culture war” worth fighting? If the answers to these questions are “yes,” how come so many “Christians” in the conflict simply do not seem to be very kind, empathetic, or understanding?
¨ Really, who should I vote for? Should I cast an impact vote (for the “lesser of two evils” because he has the better chance of winning) or the conscience vote (for the principled candidate who has no chance of winning)? And why can’t we talk about who should be voted for from the pulpit—or should we at all? In that vain, what has the 501(c)(3) tax exemption status really done to our churches—or does it even matter?
¨ Why are taxes so excessive? And in that, how come the U.S. Government and its people have such a codependent relationship? This just doesn’t make sense in a “Christian nation,” that as such should be filled with people relying on God for their provision and graciously thanking Him to the extent that they can’t help but actively love their neighbor. Are we really giving to Caesar what’s his, or are we giving more and in doing so bringing great dishonor to the God we claim to serve?
¨ From where does the government really get its authority to rule?
¨ Why do so many Americans (and others certainly) claim to be Christian, and yet have a near pathological desire to live under the burdensome weight of the law? Americans are obsessed with the parameters of the law, even to the smallest detail. The Bible, however, says that grace and truth are from Christ—that’s the way Christians should be living; the law is from Moses and is less “glorious” than the freedom that comes from the Spirit. But so many people are so wounded, so shredded by guilt, shame, confusion, denial, and fear. At the same time so many are flatly leading sickeningly immoral lives, and they have insatiable hunger for power in some form or another. The key is that they all want their sin to be “managed” by the law. And while many are touched, saved and healed by God, why is this “Christian nation” in such apostate condition? All the while we wear such smiling happy masks—frequently saying ultimately pointless things like “It really isn’t so bad, America is the greatest country in the world, so deal with it.” Why the extraordinarily profound inconsistency here? Even the very best “Christian” makes excuses like “Nobody’s perfect”—but he would never do that to excuse a thief or a rapist. What is the truth about all this?
¨ In this sense, it comes down to this question: Why are those in a “Christian Nation” simply not living out the true joy, peace, and love that Christ said we would? And how are they all so successful at pretending that they are?
For a start to see some of those answers, check out the Citations page
This page was originally posted by David Beck at yourownjesus.net on April 1, 2006