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American Patriotism and Biblical Christianity: Are They The Same Thing?

…the ineffectual intersection of politics and faith
The goal of both the church and the state is to advance the public good.”
-Francis Beckwith

The ultimate goal of the church biblically
is not the public good,
but the glory of God in the proclamation
and advancement of His gospel of sola fide.
God, not the audience, is sovereign.
The “public good” is political speak for tolerance.
The gospel, however, does divide;
it is a stumbling block, offensive and foolishness
for those who are perishing.

Here we go again!

In the face of President Obama’s economic wasteland and political indecision vacuum concerning Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq; coupled with an abortion provision being slipped into the latest health care bill championed by Harr Reid yand company – the religious right has found reason again to try itself in the political arena through The Manhattan Declaration.
It is nothing more than ECT (Evangelicals and Catholics Together) and Justice Sunday revisited. Same framers and advocates of the benign philosophy of political remedy for moral malady. The religious right of the past 24 years has all but been silenced. And despite the grass-root efforts by many well respected evangelical leaders and politicians, our country remains unchanged on key social and family issues. So once again, those who are impassioned about important social issues from a “faith perspective” such as abortion, same sex marriage, and religious liberty and freedom, are all but silent about the real “faith solution” for these same issues. The solution being regeneration through the Lord Jesus Christ and not political legislation. The solution for the Christian must be Gospel-Centered; Christ-Centered; and Cross-Centered. Anything less is ineffectual in bringing real resolve spiritually to these concerns.

The lack of sea change in American society to a conservative political ethic for many of us has been frustrating. But attempting to fight spiritual battles with carnal weaponry is just as disappointing. Christians who in the past have sought real change on key cultural issues did so, in part, absent of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. IOW, the gospel became the afterthought, not the primary thought. That failed strategery to keep the proclamation of the gospel center in a righteous quest I have defined as Evangelical Co-Belligerence (ECB).

I offer the following definition:

Creating alliances with individuals or groups who do not share belief in or with orthodox biblical Christianity, in order to fight an agreed upon social, moral, cultural cause that seeks to undermine the traditional family and family values. This includes, but not limited to: gay marriage; abortion; euthanasia; etc. and those who aid, influence, or control such societal moral decline such as the Supreme Court, Congress, state and local officials, and a run-a-way Federal Judiciary. This is accomplished by using boycotts, petitions, picketing, legislation… any political remedies available to resolve the moral maladies in our nation.

This is further accomplished by organizing evangelicals/local churches as PAC’s, lobbyist groups, or as some refer to as “Christocrats”, as Christian voting blocks to threaten with militant tones sitting politicians with the prospect of not being reelected if they fail to adopt the ECB moral/family agenda. This tactic is being championed by many evangelical leaders, seminary presidents and pastors absent of the authority of Scripture, absent of the preaching of God’s Word, and absent of the heralding of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. -Steve Camp, July 14, 2005

Christianity in culture does have impact and does produce change. But it only does so as long as Christianity doesn’t become a political organization and remains at its very core deeply gospel-centered. Is it wrong for believers to enter politics? Of course not. Is it wrong for Christians in politics to use their office, driven by a biblical worldview, for the good of society and their fellow man as say Wilberforce did on the issue of slavery? Absolutely not. But the church itself is not driven by the brilliance of U.S. Constitutional ethics, but by the Scriptures of the living God.

So again, what is the solution to the plight our nation finds itself in? The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. And that brief answer is not about offering cultural reform back to an era of family values and more virtuous days. Jesus Christ did not come to transform America, but to transform Americans. The gospel is not the new nationalism for the conservative, but the hope for any sinner (like me and you) who by God’s sovereign electing love trusts that eternal life and salvation is attained only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord alone.
IOW beloved, in this hour in our nations history may I propose a simple mandate: it is time for the church to be the church.

Gospel-driven Worship:

Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.

Gospel-driven Welfare:

44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,

Gospel-driven Witness:

47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.