Christians And Politics

September 2022

America: A Christian Nation
In 1892, the Supreme Court of the United States determined, in the case of the Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, that an English minister was not a foreign laborer under the U.S. Code statute even though he was a foreigner.

Although the case dealt with the legality of contracts for other foreign professionals, the Court considered America’s Christian identity to be a strong support for its conclusion that Congress could not have intended to prohibit foreign ministers.

Justice David J. Brewer penned the Court’s opinion. He stated that the United States was a “Christian nation.” This statement is included as part of the dicta—a gratuitous statement that is not essential to the Court’s holding.

The Court had already decided before on giving its opinion as to the religious character of the nation. Included was a list of eighty-seven examples taken from pre-Constitutional documents, historical practice, and colonial charter, which all revealed America’s undisputed Christian roots.

Justice Brewer would clarify his position on a Christian nation as meaning that many of our traditions are rooted in Christianity, not that Christianity should receive legal privileges or is to the exclusion of other religions.

America’s Christian Roots
The Christian character and purpose of the United States of America can be found in its Constitution. The seventh article declares it to be framed and adopted “by the Unanimous Consent of the States, the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth.”

Two important dates in the Constitution: first it is dated from the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ and then from the birth of America’s independence. Any argument which might be supposed to prove that the authority of Christianity is not recognized by the people of the United States, in the first manner, would equally prove that the independence of the United States is not recognized in the second manner.

The 1619 Project is a current example of this manipulation. The fact is that the advent of Jesus Christ and the independence of the country are the two events, of all others, that we are most interested in—the former in common with all mankind and the latter as the birth of the nation.

Another fact in harmony with the purposes for which the Constitution was established with the intentions and results of Christianity as affecting nations and the temporal interests of men. The Preamble states this political and moral harmony in these words: “We, the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

These fundamental points of the Constitution are in perfect harmony with the revealed objects of Christianity. Union, justice, peace, general welfare, and the blessings of civil and religious liberty are the objects of Christianity, and they are secured under its practical and beneficent reign.

A third fact indicating the Christian character of the Constitution is that in multiple places it requires an oath: “No person can hold executive or judicial office under it, or derived from any State, who does not take an oath to support it.”

Webster’s dictionary defines an oath as, “A formal promise to fulfill a pledge, often calling upon God as witness.”

Some look back from today and say that if our Founding Fathers were so religious, then why didn’t they include a religious test for political candidates? To help explain why, let’s look at what Chief Justice Theophilus Parsons said:

“It has been objected, that the Constitution provides no religious test by oath, and we may have in power unprincipled men, atheists and pagans. No man can wish more ardently than I do that all our public offices may be filled by men who fear God and hate wickedness; but it must remain with the electors to give government this security. An oath will not do it…The only evidence we can have of the sincerity and excellency of a man’s religion, is a good life; and I trust that such evidence will be required of every candidate by every elector.”1

One more interesting fact to substantiate that Christianity was on the mind of our Founders is their recognition of the Christian Sabbath. Article I, section 7, says: If any bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be Law.”

What is clearly presumed by the people is that the president would not employ himself in public business on Sunday. Instead, they assumed he would find it suitable and customary to follow the observance without a requirement to include Sunday for public affairs.

Christian Responsibility
Many of us are told not to mix religion and politics in conversations. In nearly every conversation you’ll have with a liberal are worn-out statements used as a cliches to distract the conversation or to silence you.

For example, “separation of church and state” is very popular with those who claim you can’t mix politics with religion. Rather than a straightforward refutation, ridicule is oftentimes used instead to keep you from addressing the issues from a biblical perspective. True believers know that God is in control.

Daniel wrote, “And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings” (Dan. 2:21). God is sovereign, and His providence prevails in all matters. However, God does allow us all to exercise free will. In this regard we are responsible for the decisions we make and the consequences of those decisions, good or bad.

God created government, and good government provides true freedoms and blessings while bad government causes sorrow.

Oftentimes, it is not government alone that determines the direction of a nation. Proverbs 14:34 says, “Righteousness exaltheth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”

The moral direction of a nation is oftentimes played out in the realm of politics. Abortion, homosexuality, racism—these are moral issues. Their legality and boundaries affect society and are determined by political persuasion of the people, especially in a democratic society. The United States of America is a Republic. It is a representative form of government giving its citizens their rightful place by the will and consent of the people to form and maintain government. We exercise that wonderful privilege through voting. Although it’s not a perfect system, it is by far the best known and practiced in the world. Every true born-again believer should vote and vote according to the issues. Questions to ask yourself of the candidates are:

• How will this candidate vote the issues?
• Does this candidate support life?
• Does this candidate oppose sinful lifestyles?
• Does this candidate seek to promote law and order?
• Does this candidate seek limited federal government?

In other words, vote according to God’s revealed will in His Word on all the issues.

1 Benjamin F. Morris, The Christian Life and Character, American Vision, Inc., 2007.


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