“Tim Keller on the Disappearing Umbrella over Conservative Christians” by Trevin Wax – A great assessment on our shifting culture and evangelicals place within it.
The number of the devout people in the country is increasing, as well as the number of secular people. The big change is the erosion is in the middle. … You don’t so much see secularization as polarization, and what is really disappearing is the middle.
Similarly, see my sermon from around a year ago – Christian Living in a Post-Christendom America.
The following is a modified manuscript/outline from a sermon I preached on 1 Peter 2:11-25 at Lake Drive Baptist Church in December 2013.
I’ve entitled my sermon, “Christian Living in a Post-Christendom America.” What do I mean by “christendom”? “Christendom” refers to the “Christian Empire,” where Christianity is associated with the state, promoted by the state, or the dominant religion within the state.
In a sense, one could have previously referred to America as a form of this Christendom. But now days, it’s quite clear that we live in a post-Christendom America. –Not only non-Christian, but even increasingly anti-Christian.
A mere casual awareness of the news makes one aware of the rapid pace of secularization in our country. For example, only 17 years after President Clinton signed DOMA into law, President Obama successfully pushed for its repeal. And keep in mind, he entered office opposed to gay marriage. And the rapidness of this shift only mirrors trends in the general population. Or again, it only takes a brief glance at recent headlines to demonstrate this:
- “Starbucks Enters Same-Sex Marriage Boycott Wars.”
- “Supreme Court Will Consider Hobby Lobby Contraception Mandate Case.”
- Referring to Chick-Fil-A: “‘Eat More Ignorance’ Is More Like It.”
- “Southern Baptists Convention Fighting ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Repeal.”“Should the Boy Scouts of America Lift Its Ban on Gay Members?”
- “New Mexico Supreme Court Unanimously Rules Against Discriminating Anti-Gay Photographer.”
- “Judge Orders Colorado Bakery to Cater for Same-Sex Weddings.”
- “‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Suspended for Anti-Gay Remarks.”
And without necessarily endorsing any of the parties in these conflicts– And no matter what you think about these controversies on a political level, they nonetheless indicate an increasing hostility and threat to Christian thought and values. … We live in an ever-increasingly secular culture.
So, how are we as Christians to respond? What does Christian living look like in a post-Christendom America? 1 Peter has much to say about how Christians should live within a non-Christian and even anti-Christian society.
There are several areas of theology about which I find myself thinking on a consistent basis. One of those topics is the integration and relationship between the Christian worldview and political-economic science. (This probably isn’t terribly surprising given the fact that I entered college as a social studies major.) Lately, I have found myself thinking about these issues again… and on a frequent basis as well. This has much to do with some recent studying I’ve been doing on Dietrich Bonhoeffer. His views on government and the Christian’s relationship to government has sparked this internal conversation ablaze within me once again. …Well, some of these thoughts will now be spilling out in this post.
One of the many Gospel Coalition Q & A videos–Bryan Chapell answers the question, “Was the United States ever a Christian nation?”
See for yourself how he answers.
See also a past post of mine in which I answer this question and a few others: The American Christian and Politics.
Is Americanism Christian?
Was America founded on Christian principles? This is a question of much debate today, and in Christian circles we often run to our answer “yes” as if it will work as some sort of trump card, winning all moral issues in politics.
When the Articles of Confederation were tossed aside and the Constitution was being formed, our founding fathers established for us a Democratic Republic. In addition, America has tended to be very capitalistic. Our founding fathers also established for our nation various rights such as the right to bear arms and religious freedom.
Are any of these things inherently Christian? No. They are not. They are political ideologies. Our founding fathers may have been influence by Christianity, may have been Christians, and/or may have had Christian values, but that doesn’t make the political system Christian any more than Tony Dungy’s (a Christian NFL coach) football playbook a “Christian” playbook. Capitalism is no more Christian than Marxism, or vice versa; republic is no more Christian than a dictatorship, etc. So, when we say that out nation was founded on Christian principles, we cannot be speaking anything of government or political ideologies, for God does not describe any type of Christian government. He only describes one type of government—the God-given type (Rom 13:1).