Wednesday, December 20, 2006

"Christian Americanism"

"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...Those who have been influenced by the advocates of this nationalized gospel are often led to believe they will fail their God if they do not participate in campaign and voting processes and an ungodly candidate should happen to win. The implication, if not the actual teaching, is that it is always God's plan to have leaders with the right kind of values in power, and when his people fail to get them elected, his perfect will for that nation cannot be accomplished. Dear believer, the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will (Ephesians 1:11) is not so easily thwarted, and that includes the role world leaders play in the unfolding of his eternal purposes in Christ. It may have been hard to convince the oppressed Jews that it was God who placed Pharaoh on his throne. And yet, God proclaimed, I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth (Romans 9:17)...Many Christians have been duped into thinking that some sort of national renewal will come if we simply get more people registered to vote, elect the right candidates in office and pass legislation in line with the 'Judeo-Christian heritage'. Christian political activism is viewed as critical for the future of our country. For the Christian to place any hope in political systems is naive at best, and will only bring disappointment and disillusionment. Our confidence must not rest in such human devices, but in the power of the gospel to transform hearts in any culture." -- From The Dangers of Contemporary Christian Americanism by Jon Zens

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The new birth transforms hearts. Beloved, love one another, for love is of God, and he that loveth is BORN of God, and knoweth God.