In God We Trust?

In Search of Christian America

By: Mark King

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Continued from Page One

The third book that has influenced my thinking is Beyond Culture Wars: Is America a Mission Field or a Battlefield? by Michael Horton (Moody Press). Horton makes the case that Christians are often using political means to try to accomplish what can only be accomplished by the preaching of the gospel and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. We think that if we can pass laws that will enforce conservative morality, that we will be a Christian nation once again. This is an incredibly polarizing attempt as secular people recoil at the thought of living under what they would consider to be Christian oppression. It causes us to go to war with people we should be trying to persuade with a loving presentation of the truth. Horton agrees that America has never been a Christian nation. He proposes that the reason God has blessed us is because of grace, not our good works — we never deserved it!

This understanding has influenced my reaction to the Supreme Court decision regarding gay marriage. This did not come as a shock to me as public opinion has been evidently shifting on this issue for quite some time. While I hate to see any change in law or policy that is in such clear opposition to Scriptural guidelines, I don't have to react in fear or disgust as if this was the first time it had ever happened. I need to simply continue to share the gospel, speaking the truth in love.

I do not believe that this decision is the final straw that will require the judgment of God. Romans 1:26-27 gets a lot of exposure in the debate over homosexuality:
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
If you look at the passage in context, the initial sin that starts the downward spiral is a smug self-sufficiency and a failure to acknowledge God and to give thanks to Him. Romans 1:18-23 says:
the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Although idol worship, strictly speaking, has never been an issue in the United States, it would be quite easy to make the case that money and the things it can buy are our modern-day idols. To be completely candid, I believe that this decision might actually be the judgment of God on a nation that was founded in rebellion and has committed itself to personal autonomy and the pursuit of wealth and prosperity. God's abandonment to all kinds of sexual immorality is the result of our insistence upon independence from God, although we have always maintained a nominal "In God We Trust."

I am saddened by laws that run contrary to God's law. I am thankful for the many blessing that God has bestowed upon me and my family through this nation, including the freedom of religion. But most of all, I am reminded that my trust is not in the United States, any of the branches of government, or in the political process. So, the recent decision and the celebration of Independence Day remind me that I need to reaffirm my declaration of dependence and trust in God Himself — the God who has saved my by his grace through the redemption provided in Jesus Christ. And while the United States will pass from the scene one day, the kingdom of God will last forever, and I must never be tempted to confuse the two.

Image Credit: Marcus Williams; "Memorial Day"; Creative Commons

TagsBiblical-Truth  | Church-Issues  | Controversial-Issues  | Current-Issues  | History-Apologetics  | Political-Issues

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Published 7-13-15