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Is America a Christian Nation?

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Monday, July 3, 2017
Updated: Friday, June 30, 2017

Christians sometimes have difficulty linking the ideas of America’s Christian history and civil government. It seems to them they are being asked to yoke together that which should not be yoked.

They have assumed that the external separation of church and state, which the United States enjoys, means separation of Christian principles from our civil government, rather than believing as did our founding fathers, that our civil government is based upon and inseparable from Christian principles.

Noah Webster wrote that the moral principles contained in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws.These principles have immutable truth as their foundation, are adapted to people in every condition of life, secure the practice of universal justice and kindness, and prevent crimes and disorders in society. No human laws dictated apart from the principles of the gospel can ever secure peace, liberty, safety, prosperity and national security.

Many believe that civil government can secure these benefits, but government is an intangible idea that describes the flow of power and force in society. The structure or form of government (i.e., legislative, judicial, executive branches) is only the means by which power and force can operate in our nation.

Government operates in two spheres

Government (power and force) has two spheres of operation: internal and external. Internal (power and force) is individual self-government; external (power and force) is civil government.

The internal sphere is always the causative. Jesus taught that a good man brings forth good treasure out of the heart (Matt. 12:35). Natural man, because of his evil nature, cannot bring forth good government, or the good flow of power and force, because he can only bring out what is in his heart.

Whether man accepts the sovereignty of God or the sovereignty of man determines the quality of the good or evil in his heart.

Power comes from the consent of the governed

Our Founders stated clearly in the Declaration of Independence that governments are instituted by men and gain their powers by the consent of the governed.

What is in the heart of the “the governed?” We must forever link America’s Christian history and civil government to enjoy the benefits of Liberty, peace, security and prosperity.

Adapted from Verna M. Hall, “Introduction: Christianity and Civil Government,” The Christian History of the American Revolution, Consider and Ponder (Foundation for American Christian History, 1976), p. xxv.

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