I’m always on the lookout for balance and objectivity when it comes to viewpoints regarding the way American Christians follow our Lord while living in the United States. Logic. Rational discourse. Theological insights coupled with Christian hope. Who is able to prophetically call out the idolatry of combining God and Country and, at the same time, acknowledge the really good things about this country and the blessings we enjoy here?
Mark Galli, the editor in chief of Christianity Today, is one such thinker/communicator. His recent editorial, A Great and Terrible Nation, correctly observes that calling the United States a Christian nation founded on Christian principles is a bald-faced lie at best and probably blasphemous.
“Can we, in any way, shape, or form say that America was founded on Christian principles when its very existence and prosperity were set on a foundation of unimaginable cruelty to millions of other human beings?”
At the same time, Galli calls us to love this country and to pray fervently for the United States.
“Let us continue to love it as we love our flawed families and friends. Let us continue to serve it as God leads us to. Let us continue to reform it as has been the practice of every generation. And, most of all, let us continue to pray for it, that God would continue to have mercy on us and on our children, and on our children’s children to the third and fourth generation.”
The United States was founded the way all worldly nations are founded: violence, rebellion, power, and oppression — nothing Christian about that. Since then, the U.S. has, ironically, become a land of freedom and opportunity for untold millions — it is possible for people to prosper here in ways they just can’t in most other countries. In short, Galli’s piece concludes that the U.S. is just like every nation that’s ever existed on this earth, blessed by God in many ways and in many ways standing under God’s judgment. This seems like the right perspective.
I recommend his editorial, which you can access by clicking here. If you like that, you might also enjoy and be challenged by his editorial in the May 2019 print edition “Repenting of Identity Politics.”