by Jon Zens and Cliff Bjork
In recent years, a very vocal element within mainstream Christianity has been promoting a “nationalized gospel” — a gospel wrapped in an American flag. Unbiblical notions about patriotism and America’s “special” place in God’s plan abound in books, magazines, radio and TV programs produced by these religio-political zealots, as well as from their pulpits.
To equate nationalism, American or any other, with faithfulness to the gospel is a misguided perspective that can only serve to weaken our witness to the saving grace of God through Jesus Christ. When such nationalistic battle cries dominate our agenda, the true message of the gospel will be inevitably compromised, if not forgotten altogether. It is time for us to “test the spirits” urging us to “turn America back to God and traditional ‘Judeo-Christian’ values.”
This is not what Jude meant when he urged us to “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (vs. 3). We must not permit our minds to be “led astray from our sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3) by this biblically unwarranted call to promote a “God and Country” civil religion.
Christ did not call us to reform our country but to spread the only message that has the power to change lives. If we truly believe in the power of the gospel, we must not let it be weighed down by such unbiblical baggage.
The proposition that America as a nation occupies a special place in God’s earthly purpose (with the implication that America is better than other nations) is generally based on arguments much like those expounded in the following excerpt:
The United States is a blessed nation, founded on Godly principles by devout God fearing men and women. From the personal writings of the authors of our constitution, we learn that they looked to God for the wisdom to guide our country’s affairs. God has a blueprint for keeping our country great and it’s found in 2 Chron. 7:14 . . . As we approach the coming elections, we have a responsibility before God to pray for the candidates and to vote. As a citizen of the United States, it is up to us to make choices based upon what He has already said in the Bible concerning the issues that face our nation. No candidate is perfect, but Jesus said that you would know a tree by its fruit. Do our choices for leaders have track records that could be considered God fearing fruit? Do they support and uphold traditional Christian values? Do their lifestyles exude strong moral character? Do their choices point us to the ideals that made our country great? Let’s stand up for what’s right even if it’s not politically correct. God’s not through with our nation yet. We can still accomplish mighty things and see our country’s problems turn around because “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord (Psalm 3:12).
This is typical of the kind of reasoning that is common to most of the advocates of such agendas. The problem is that it is based on alleged facts that simply are not true. It is repeatedly maintained, for example, that God’s blessing upon America as a nation has its roots in the “godly” perspectives and objectives of its founding fathers. To make such an assertion demonstrates either a complete ignorance of America’s early history or, worse yet, an act of deliberate revisionism.
The truth is that a majority of our country’s founders were non- evangelicals and many were Masons . They may have indeed used numerous references to “God” in their writings, but most of them knew nothing of the grace of God in Jesus Christ. Thomas Jefferson, for example, the man who contributed more to the framing or our constitution than anyone else, was a deist and hardly a model of moral rectitude. Accounts of his philandering and marital infidelity are well documented. And the so-called “Jefferson Bible,” assumed by some to provide evidence of his commitment to Christian principles, was actually a bible lie had cut up with a pair of scissors to remove all references to such things as the shedding of blood for the remission of sins. He wanted nothing to do with the cross, and by the time he had finished with his “bible,” all that remained was a collection of platitudes he could use to add an apparent “godly” air to his political postulations. Benjamin Franklin, another major contributor to our founding literature, was a Rosicrucian who had no interest whatsoever in the truth as it has been revealed in and through Jesus Christ.
The notion that America has been blessed more than other nations because of her alleged “godly” beginning is not only without foundation, but it has spawned other errant teaching as well. Building on that false premise, we are told that the divine “blessing” America has enjoyed will be replaced by “judgment” if Christians do not do their part to bring about a national moral reform. God measures nations by their adherence to the Ten Commandments, we are told, and blesses or curses accordingly.
One well-known preacher has gone so far as to declare that God will even bless the unsaved if they faithfully tithe. That may be an effective fund raising tactic, but as a supposed biblical teaching, it is seriously flawed. The Scriptures teach that blessing comes upon people by grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ, not by works, so that no one can boast (Ephsians 2:9). Contrary to the idea that God blesses any sinner who renders partial obedience to the law, the Bible clearly teaches that “cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law” (Gal 3:10). And that is a requirement that no fallen descendent of Adam can meet apart from Christ. (Read Entire Article)