Was America Ever a Christian Nation?

Nearly every day, I see some post on Facebook or Twitter mourning how far America has fallen from its Christian founding. I understand where many of these people are coming from, they sense that Christian principles are not as respected as they once were in our country. This is something that we have weighed in on numerous times in recent days here at Christ and Pop Culture. Alan has refuted the idea that is pretty prevalent in American evangelicalism that America is the new Israel and that God has somehow specially blessed our country because of its Christian founding. I recently weighed in on how this concept is tied to many Christians’ belief in American Exceptionalism.

As Christians, we ought to be people who value the truth, so if we are going to promote this idea that we were founded as a Christian nation, we ought to be sure that it is true.

Respected Christian historians Mark Noll and George Marsden were recently interviewed on the idea of America as a Christian nation. Having closely studied our founding fathers and the political and religious developments in our county through the ages, Marsden and Noll both believe that American is not and has never been an evangelical Christian nation.

So what should we do about all this rhetoric about America leaving its political roots that is thrown around by Christian writers, pastors, and public figures?

In short, if such notions are not true, we should stop promoting them.

I also think Marsden and Noll’s answer to this question is incredibly important in terms of how we see our role in Christ’s kingdom.

In other words, while America may be becoming more and more secular, we need to be aware that this idea that America is abandoning its Christian roots just isn’t historically accurate. It seems that message is more a measured type of political maneuvering rather than a call for Christians to serve Christ more faithfully.

I hope you watch this video and pass it on to your Christian friends, my prayer is that it will help more Christians see their role in Christ’s kingdom in a more personal (discipleship/evangelism) sense and less political.

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  • Thank you for this thought provoking video. Happy New Year.