By Editorial Staff
Published March 31, 2008
Have you ever stopped to wonder what this country would be like if Christian principles were indeed the basis of our public policy? I can imagine a country in which:
- a small, limited federal government releases the public from overbearing taxation;
- a sound monetary system completely rids the nation of inflation;
- an environmental policy based on the principles of Christian stewardship forces industries to stop raping the land and wasting valuable resources;
- strict and well-enforced justice codes bring swift sentences against criminals, and the crime rate is drastically reduced;
- families, freed from the tax burden, are able to save, invest, and pass on their estates to their children, thus dramatically raising the standard of living in just one generation;
- the welfare system, which has locked so many poor people into its cycle of dependence, is systematically abolished as local community service groups help to train the poor in job skills so that they can join the work force.
All of this is part of the vision for a Christian society. Doesn’t sound so bad, does it? On the other hand, consider the world that a small minority of Americans would like to create for us all. It would be a society without restraints, in which:
- free, state-funded abortions would be available to all women, bringing more emotional trauma, disease, and sterility to millions;
- the nation reaches a below zero population growth rate, thus drastically changing the demographics of the country, stagnating business growth, and forcing social security programs to end in bankruptcy;
- homosexual marriage is legalized, and laws against homosexual acts are repealed – breaking down the family unit as we know it and inviting more sexual disease to run a free course across the nation;
- continual tax increases to fund ever-growing federal programs reduce the ability for individuals to save or invest, lowering our standard of living and increasing poverty;
- more and more lenient sentencing of criminals, along with the legalization of many harmful drugs, invites a new wave of crime and violence.
Which scenario appeals to you? The society without restraints? or the Christian moral order in which justice, property rights, individual freedoms, and prosperity are protected within the secure confines of God’s law?
To most Americans, there is no question: the first scenario is the obvious choice. Throughout history, true Christianity has always brought positive, lasting benefits to society when its truths were embraced by a nation. But there are those people who would have us to believe that God’s laws have no place in public policy.
I recently received a letter from a young Spanish Christian who is interested in publishing a Christian newspaper in his country. He described the plight of his nation in this way:
“Spain today is a country in darkness with a socialist-atheist government which is openly anti-Christ. They control the main mass media and the only two television channels in the country. Spain today is the most leftist country in Europe. The socialist government scorns Christianity as an old, pre-scientific tradition while homosexuality and every other sin is promoted.”
Then this young man said something that shocked me about a prevalent attitude in Spain:
“They say the true plague in the world today is not AIDS but the puritanical/evangelical movement in the U.S.”
I was actually encouraged to know that people in Europe are very aware of the growing Christian revival in America. Apparently some Spanish people are afraid that such a movement will eventually make its way over to the continent and affect their lifestyles as well. It is indeed sad, however, to realize that some people view a Christian revival as a “plague” which would have negative results on their society.
Although it has not been as prevalent here in the U.S. because of our strong Christian heritage, there is a vocal minority of secularists in this country who have tried to spread the fear of a “Christian takeover” among the population. Political leaders, educational leaders, and even some evangelical Christians have expressed cautious reservations about the idea of Christians being involved in the political process at all – out of fear that the gospel might somehow reshape our society during the next decade.
This apprehension has emerged because Americans have bought the idea that Christianity should be relegated to a mythical“private” arena. For decades, Christians have taken the back seat in running our society; we have not served the nation, nor have we brought Christ’s principles to bear upon our institutions. As a result, whenever Christians show any aggressiveness in reclaiming lost ground, they are represented by the media as Ayatollahs or McCarthys who are on some type of witch hunt to rid America of the unfaithful. Christians are thrown into the same category with “fundamentalist” Muslims and Nazi storm troopers.
We are indeed entering into an intense time of debate over a very basic issue. The question all of us must face is this: How far does the law of God apply to an unbelieving culture? This is the issue of the decade. How we answer it is going to have far-reaching implications for the entire world before the year 2000.
Because Christians have abandoned their social responsibilities during most of this century, America – as well as most of the world – is falling apart at the seams. Our original understanding of self-government under God has now been traded for an omnipotent, omnipresent federal bureaucracy. Christian stewardship and the Protestant work ethic have been eroded by the growing welfare mentality and the tax-and-spend syndrome. Christian responsibility in the economic realm has been replaced by skyrocketing deficits on the government, corporate, and private level.
Meanwhile, the priests of the almighty state tell us that an insurmountable wall of separation has been erected between Christianity and public policy. Legal battles are now being waged on a daily basis as secularists attempt to push Christians further and further into a zone of non-existence.
Casting Off the Restraints
We need to realize that what the secularist minority doesn’t like about the idea of a “Christian society” is the restraint that such an order imposes on their personal freedoms. In Psalm 2, we read:
“Why are the nations in an uproar, and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His anointed: ‘Let us tear their fetters apart, and cast their cords from us!’”(verses 1-3).
According to the letter I received from the young Spaniard, there are people in Spain who are upset about the possibility of the “cords” and “fetters” of Christianity coming to restrain their nation.
But we do not need to make apologies for our “cords.” Moral restraints are the fibers which hold our society together. If the Christian gospel does not bind its benevolent influence on our nation, it is going to self-destruct. God never intended that His law be applicable only in some ethereal “personal realm” where it has no direct, practical application to society at large. God intends for His law to become the basis for public policy in this and every other nation on this planet.
The leaders of groups like Planned Parenthood, People for the American Way, and other anti-Christian organizations in the U.S. usually say that Christian activists only want to take Americans into another “Dark Age.” They warn that all personal freedoms (especially the sexual ones) will be forcibly removed by Bible-carrying believers who stone homosexuals and burn Communist flags. Their campaign is the ultimate in disinformation.
Americans – along with citizens from any other country – have no reason to fear a blossoming of Christian society. But we do have much, much to fear if we allow the secularists to remove all restraints and complete their national agenda.
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Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
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