Americanism Is Not Christianity

Many Christians in America have adopted a bad theology in regard to freedom and civil liberties. They have confused Americanism with Christianity.

What we need today are brave preachers who understand the sovereignty of God over all of life, and not some two-kingdom preachers who appeal to Americanism for civil rights and see Christianity as only dealing with the soul. It is easy to see how bad theology lost America to secular humanism.  I believe that the Church is to blame.  Americanism is not the same thing as Christianity.

 

Americans believe in democracy.  They believe in “We the People.”  Most American Christians appeal to the United States Constitution to defend their freedoms. We believe in the Bill of Rights.  I call this Americanism.

Christians in America have enjoyed many years of freedom in the public square, but now we are being marginalized.  Biblical Christians are even considered dangerous. Yet, most of them still hope that the Constitution will continue to preserve their freedom.

Some Christians think another political election might change things.  A new president will take us back to the days of glory.  Trump will shake things up!  If we can only change the make-up of the Supreme Court, then it will be like it was in the old days.

The First Amendment guarantees us the right to say things that are politically incorrect. Or so we thought!  We are quickly learning that Americanism under of the rule of secular humanists does not give us free speech.  Free speech that is judged as offensive to some is now being limited on many college campuses.  Off the college campus, you can lose your job or your business if you are politically incorrect.   We all walk on pins and needles anymore.

The appeal to the Constitution and to human rights may be helpful at times, as Paul appealed to his Roman citizenship, but most church leaders in America have adopted a bad theology in regard to freedom and civil liberties.  They have confused Americanism with Christianity.

Under the old Puritan-Reformed theology the right to freedom was ultimately guaranteed by God’s Law.  The civil magistrate was a minister of God to insure justice as defined by God.  This was the root of our civil liberties, not a social contract like the U. S. Constitution whose authors omitted any reference to the God of the Bible.  There was a time when the men of God would call to account the civil magistrate when he deviated from his responsibility to uphold God’s Law.  It was the duty of every preacher.

The Bible condemns slander but not free speech.  Christians are to speak the truth in love.  Christians must not bear false witness (9th Commandment). The right to life in the womb is not merely a civil right.  It is protected by the 6th Commandment.  The right to marry someone of the same sex is now a civil liberty protected by the Constitution, yet it is disobedience to the 7th Commandment.  The right to debase the money supply is considered to be a pathway to prosperity, however it is disobedience to the 8th Commandment. It is legalized theft.

Appeal to the U.S. Constitution alone is pure Americanism.  That’s all it is. Contrary to Americanism, our freedom is rooted in the Law of God (which is not opposed to the grace of God in Christ).

What we need today are brave preachers who understand the sovereignty of God over all of life, and not some two-kingdom preachers who appeal to Americanism for civil rights and see Christianity as only dealing with the soul. It is easy to see how bad theology lost America to secular humanism.  I believe that the Church is to blame.  Americanism is not the same thing as Christianity.

Larry E. Ball is a Honorably Retired Minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and is now a CPA. He lives in Kingsport, Tennessee.

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