Featured in the July, 2016 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News
It has been debated whether or not the United States is a Christian nation.
Certainly, the United States is not a Christian nation in the sense that all the citizens are Christians. A person is a Christian only when he definitely and personally receives the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.
Our nation is not Christian in the sense that the government supports or endorses any particular Christian denomination.
Neither is our country Christian in the sense that non-Christian people have fewer rights, because there are equal rights and there is the equal application of the law to all people.
On the other hand, it is a fact of history that our country was not founded by Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims or Atheists. Benjamin Franklin said, “I believe in one God, the Creator of the universe. That He governs it by His Providence that He ought to be worshipped.”
At the Constitutional Convention, Franklin said, “I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth . . . That God governs in the affairs of men.”
Furthermore, the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence talked boldly about “Nature’s God”, the “Creator”, the “Supreme Judge of the World”, and “the protection of divine Providence”.
The public speeches and personal statements of our Founding Fathers run rich with references to the Bible and the God who reveals Himself therein.
This is a Christian nation in the sense that the Bible holds a unique place in its founding and in its history.
For nearly 200 years, Bible stories and moral teachings were part of public school lessons. Our presidents and other high officers are sworn into office upon a Bible. Bible quotations adorn our Liberty Bell and numerous public buildings. In 1780, the Congress made provision to import 20,000 Bibles.
It should also be noted that the day recognized by Christians as a day for rest and worship is the day on which federal, state, county, township and municipal offices are closed. In Muslim countries, it is Friday and in Israel it is Saturday, but there is some significance to the fact that in the United States it is Sunday.
Note also, the general and extensive observance of Christmas Day in our nation. Though, this day has been secularized and commercialized, yet it marks the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our nation is Christian in that this significant Christian day is a holiday for everyone.
Because this nation is Christian, there is freedom for all to worship as they please or not to worship. Only Christianity allows such freedom, for real, historic Christianity is not propagated by force but by persuasion, and those who follow it do so by choice. This freedom does not exist in Hindu India nor Jewish Israel nor in Muslim Saudi Arabia, and it certainly did not exist in the atheist U. S. S. R.
If there are any lingering doubts about ours being a Christian nation by those who are unfamiliar with our history, then the words of the Supreme Court (1892, Church of the Holy Trinity vs. the United States) certainly settle this matter, “Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian. This is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation. . . we find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth. These, and many other matters which might be noticed add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation.”