Before continuing on I would like to share what I learned from my readers. Last week’s post was whether America, in the true sense of the word, was ever a Christian nation. I concluded it was not.
Two readers made comments that clarified this subject. From Jarillissima I learned people say America is a “Christian nation because the Western world was founded on Judeo-Christian principles.” From MaryJo I learned “America has fallen away from its heritage.”
This made me curious. What does “Judeo-Christian Heritage” mean? The following is a definition from thefreedictionary.com:
An “adjective of or pertaining to the
beliefs, values, or traditions
held in common by Judaism and Christianity.”
What religious writings, beliefs, values or traditions do Jews and Christians hold in common? God, ethics, Old Testament history, the Law¹ and the Prophets.
What writings, beliefs, values or traditions do we not hold in common? There is one. Jesus Christ. Using the above definition, the Lord Jesus Christ, has nothing to do with our American Heritage.
By scrolling the internet I continued to look for definitions of the phrase “American Heritage.” ChristianityToday.com uses this in connection to American Heritage: “Christian Cultural Heritage.”
I don’t need to find a definition for this phrase. I can tell you from personal experience what a cultural Christian might look like. I was one for a number of years. See here for details.
A cultural Christian looks, sounds, acts and believes² like a real Christian. They believe in God. They believe in Jesus. They believe in heaven and hell. They know Psalm 23, The Lord’s Prayer and the Apostle’s Creed by heart. They celebrate Christmas and Easter. They regularly go to church, attend Bible studies and sing in the choir. They read their Bibles. They teach Sunday School. They would be considered Evangelical. They adhere to conservative politics and ethics.
The trouble is this: Although they try, they cannot keep the ethics they adhere to.
It has been said that God does not have grandchildren. What does this mean? Every individual must believe in Jesus Christ for themselves. Christianity cannot be passed on to another person like a last name or an inheritance or the Covid-19 virus.
I am sure some of America’s founding fathers were true Christians. What I mean is this: They had a personal relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. However, their children were not always Christian. Nor were their children after them.
As a result, what Americans have passed on is an empty culture void of the Lord Jesus Christ. And so, America has faltered. We have failed to live up to our heritage because faith in Jesus Christ has been missing.
Why? Oh why? Why are Christians spending time passing on a culture that cannot save? Why are Christians asking people to practice ethics when they have no power to live it out? Why are we wasting time on anything short of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ?
Paul, the apostle, passed this advice on to Timothy, his son in the faith. American Christians would do well to heed it:
“No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs,
but rather tries to please his commanding officer.”
2 Timothy 2:4 (NIV)
If you are not sure how to please God with your life, ask Him.
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