25 Comments

Christian America: God’s Chosen Nation/People


There is a lot on the internet concerning the erroneous topic of America being God’s chosen nation/people. Just copy the post title into google search, and check it out.

This week Im reading the excellent book by Richard T. Hughes, Christian America and the Kingdom of God. I highly recommend it.  What the author strives to do is debunk this myth by pointing to the teachings found in scripture concerning the Kingdom of God, (there are over 100 references found in the New Testament alone) and contrast them to America’s actions as a Nation: past and present. What is (even) more fascinating is the contrast made with what is known as “Christian America” today and the Kingdom of God.

What I found is the Biblical vision of the Kingdom of God and the American notion of a Christian nation are at extreme polar opposites of each other; Just as the Roman Empire was with the teachings of Jesus and the early Church,

Jesus counseled peace, but the [Roman] empire practiced violence. Jesus counseled humility, but the empire engaged in a ruthless pursuit of power. Jesus counseled concern for the poor, but the empire practiced exaltation of the rich. Jesus counseled modesty, but the empire practiced extravagance. Jesus counseled simple living, but the empire encouraged luxurious living for those with the means to embrace that way of life. And while Jesus counseled forgiveness and love for one’s enemies, the empire practiced vengeance.

Like that ancient empire, the United States abounds in Christian trappings. And yet the United States embraces virtually all the values that have been common to empires for centuries on end. It pays lip service to peace but thrives on violence, exalts the rich over the poor, prefers power to humility, places vengeance above forgiveness, extravagance above modesty, and luxury above simplicity. In a word, it rejects the values of Jesus.

How, then, can we claim that the United States is a Christian nation? (pages 185-86)

Though I’m not finished reading the book, (or posting about its contents) I’ve already been personally struck with the question, ‘What Kingdom am I a citizen of?’…

more later…

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25 comments on “Christian America: God’s Chosen Nation/People

  1. I have to say that I really learned a lot from “Hidden Faith of the Founding Fathers”. When you really go out and start to dig for verifiable information, you find little evidence in our past OR our present of the US being a Christian nation. You certainly find lots of trappings and symbols, but all that is accompanied by a great emptiness when it comes to substance. The REAL underlying religion in America is a surging and unrelenting civil religion that has its own strange rules of morality and civility that hardly resemble the gospel in even the most remote way. Only it’s superficial symbols and trappings sing the praises of “Jesus”, while all of the underlying elements deny Him.

    • civil religion, that is exactly right. Separation of Church and State, as now promoted is such a large part of the scam. Very good comment!

    • You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
      “‘These people honor me with their lips,
      but their hearts are far from me.
      They worship me in vain;
      their teachings are merely human rules.’”

      ~Jesus

    • George,

      thanks for letting me review that DVD “Hidden Faith of the Founding Fathers”. I too learned a lot viewing it.

      I have watched it three times now and have gained insights each time. I am thinking of suggesting that we introduce it to the history class Judy teaches at our school??

      I know, not intimately, but personally, David Barton and have had an eye on him since my days serving with him and his wife on the Advisory Board of the National Prayer Embassy back in Washington D.C. during the 80’s and 90’s.

      This video certainly gave me deep pause and concern for his spiritual welfare.

      It wasn’t easy listening to Pinto critique David so harshly. However, what he laid out in this video is clearly an indictment against David’s premise that the United States came into being as a Christian Nation and the original framers were for Christ. I don’t for a minute believe the United States is a Christian Nation now and ironically back in 1990 David, his wife and numerous others met for a week of intense prayer for the Washington D.C. Executive, Legislative and Congressional bodies that govern the United States praying that God would expose the deep corruption and deception that permeates the Federal Government system. So, in fairness, I am not so much against David’s way of teaching those things from his point of view. It is an open question as to what exactly David is doing when he only gives partial Truth of the matter of motive and belief that George Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Obama and Pelosi hold to True Biblical Christianity?? He does a good job exposing their position calling it into question from a Biblical mindset.

      The Apostle Paul teaches us:

      1Co 6:1 When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints?
      1Co 6:2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?
      1Co 6:3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!

      Some of Pinto’s interpretations of things, it seems to me, could be developed in a different light than he does giving an entirely different sense than the way he leaves it.

      As with every position, a man is right in his own eyes and argues from that premise until someone comes along and looks at it from another angle.

      Pro 18:17 The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.

      This applies to both Pinto and Barton??

      So, while I agree with your sentiments about Pinto and his thesis in “Hidden Faith of the Founding Fathers” there are a few areas he presents in the video that I would have to take exception with.

      The Kingdom of God is alive and well in every nation. God creates governments and those of us who are members of the Kingdom of God in this country, USA, might want to reevaluate just what kind of outspoken and bold Evangelical witness we bring into her public discourse in our local communities seeing we still have the freedom of speech generally; although, it seems it’s being eroded more and more these days with Judicial decisions of lone activist judges, setting aside the will of the majority. These judges seem to lean more to be free mason minded or extremely liberal in bent with philosophical and deistic views as was well established by Pinto that Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Paine and others operated with when founding the Federal Government of the United States.

    • The REAL underlying religion in America is a surging and unrelenting civil religion that has its own strange rules of morality and civility that hardly resemble the gospel in even the most remote way. Only it’s superficial symbols and trappings sing the praises of “Jesus”, while all of the underlying elements deny Him.

      George, well said! i agree with Don, that’s exactly right.

    • Michael, Personally I really LIKE David Barton’s interpretation of history. It is just too bad it doesn’t hold water. And while you seem offended by Pinto’s attack on Barton, I have LONG heard people like Barton attack rather stridently ANYONE opposing their views and declaring that ungodly people have “rewritten” history so as to remove evidence of our “Christian” foundations. So this attack goes in both directions. At this point I really don’t know what evidence Pinto is hiding, but it is obvious that Barton is either an ignorant fool or is deliberately hiding something as blatant as the Treaty of Tripoli which is an historical document signed by none other than John Adams way back in 1797. And quite frankly, until seeing this video, I myself have believed the David Barton crowd without questioning them. I guess I should really know better by now than to trust Christians to be honest. So even though I have been very much against the “Christian nation” agenda, I have been conflicted in a sense, since I really have believed that there was some degree of Christian consensus on the part of the founding fathers and now I am finding out that all that has been a lie. And it has been a lie which unfortunately permeated my children’s textbooks because I assumed that Christian educators could be trusted to be honest in these things. Are we to walk in the truth or are we to try to promote the truth through the use of deception?

      As for our civil duties as Christians, I would suggest that this false indoctrination of holding the US to be a “Christian country” has led us to abandon a biblical prophetic approach toward government for a more entangled political engagement with government assuming that we can somehow reform it instead of declaring it spiritually bankrupt and unredeemable and speaking out to it with authority as the oracles of God in matters of morality and justice.

    • As it turns out, Barton does have an answer to the Treaty of Tripoli. He has it posted here: http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=125

      In it he seeks to distinguish the “government” of the United States from the United States as a “nation”. And he points out a number of things regarding the Treaty that only serve to support Pinto’s position. Namely that the United States was attempting to paint American Christianity as “rational” and “civilized”, terms that would be used by a typical Freemason in describing their compromised version of Christianity. So in light of that I apologize to Mr Barton for accusing him of hiding the document. However I vehemently disagree with his interpretation of the context of the document. It is clear to me that the document was very much in line with the thinking of the founding fathers in practicing a shadowy chameleon like religion that is rationalist to its roots and bears no resemblance to orthodox Christian faith. And I believe that allusions to the United States as being a “Christian Nation” at the time are a reference to just that sort of “civil religion”. And I see that heavily compromised version of “Christianity” as being exactly what Mr Barton is attempting to entangle Christians with in order to “restore” something that was never really Christian in the first place.

  2. ‘What Kingdom am I a citizen of?’…?

    Dual citizens. Pilgrims. Resident aliens. ” But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. “

    • Lee,

      you point is well taken by me!

      Though we are in the world we are not of the world.

      When you go through the Book of Romans line by line the Apostle lays a sound doctrinal foundation for comments you make!

      We indeed have dual citizenship. The sad thing is the fact that many of the Church today live in countries without the speaking freedoms we have in the United States.

      I am reminded of these verses of Scripture regarding the opportunities we have here in the United States to speak freely of the things of the Kingdom of God:

      Isa 2:5 O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the LORD.

      Act 8:32 Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this: “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so <ahe opens not his mouth.
      Act 8:33 In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.”
      Act 8:34 And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?”
      Act 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.

      I have been to some very repressive regimes over the last number of years. The United States is still, by far, the freest nation to live in to “walk in the Light of the Lord and to open our mouths to speak for the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.”

    • When we become believers and enter the kingdom of God, we change our worlds. We are in the world but we are not “of” the world (John 17:15-16). We become citizens of the kingdom of God.

      Your citizenship has changed. You are no longer a citizen of this world. When someone changes their citizenship, they come under the rulership of the country they are in. When people come into this country and become citizens, they relinquish their former citizenship and come under the rules and regulations of this country. Once we become believers and enter the kingdom of God, we change our citizenship. We surrender our citizenship in the world to become citizens of a kingdom established and ruled by God, which will endure forever. We are “in” the world but not “of” the world.

      Entering the Kingdom of God

  3. Thanks for the tip about this book, which I will look for. You may like to take a look at Two Kingdom Theology, as opposed to constantiniasm–also called sacralism.

    Scroll Publishing, an anabaptist ministry, has interesting stuff and David Bercot has just completed a series debunking the myth of Christian America, which I haven’t read yet.

    I believe we live as pilgrims in Babylon. Seeking the good and the peace of “babylon” and praying for civil rulers, so we can lead quiet and peacable lives and go about true Kingdom business. But we will never transform babylon into “Jerusalem!” And we can never use the means of babylon to further the Kingdom of God.

    • Thanks for mentioning Scroll Publishing Vicki! I had the link on my old computer but not on this one. I looked it up and now have it (again) in my favorites.

  4. I am very sorry Christians today think that when they convert they are “dual citizens” or they are part of another Kingdom. This is in fact the big trap. You are just as much of the same civil jurisdiction as ever. Babylon and the Kingdom of God will not mix. Modern Christians keep attempting to make an entirely false government mix with the Kingdom of God. It will not work. Sorry guys wake up and see what is really going on around you and quit playing Jesus– trading an illusion for the real thing. If what you say is true I just as well go back to smoking pot. No need to though because God is real and so is His Kingdom which is not going to mix with the present civil religious regime. I rebel until the true Master rules and He will never tolerate the compromise we presently live in. Please hear it. He is real and entirely capable of ruling nations etc.

    • Don,

      I am not sure what your point is here?

      Can you rewrite it in another way and fashion?

      I am stupid in the sense of slow of heart to understand what your point is?

      However, with regard to Life, all life has to come under the dominion of His Life. God has so arranged and ordered creation as much and such as that is, God has conveyed to Christ all judgment upon creation.

      Here is the way of the Lord, Who has become Our Way, Truth and Life in this life:

      Luk 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.

      The foundation of the USA having been laid, the federal documents that form the Union, that the framers put over to the people, is subject to the sovereign authority of those fundamental and original documents that lay out the rules and regulations that embrace civil moral equality. That moral authority for this equality is being eroded and grows darker even still.

      This in no way affects the spiritual outcome of the True Believer so resides as a sojourner living and raising a family in the United States. However, the True Believer, like Our Leader, Christ, who did not start out as flesh and blood first under any civil authority, is subject to growing up and increasing in wisdom and stature finding favor with both God and man in that civilian government! That is why Biblical Christianity works under all sorts of governments; whereas the government of the United States, then and now, doesn’t always work well under all other forms of government. The government of the United States of America is being revised and extended to something it originally wasn’t in 1776. What was isn’t now in 2010.

      Our role, then as now, those of us who live under the rules of the government of the United States, as the True Church then as now, are to become salt and light to it and to the various factions and ethnicities that make up the several States of the Union, the United States of America.

      Sometimes the President and Congress do not see eye to eye. Corruption abounds in both austere camps. The Judicial persuasions are starting to be pesky as well to the people.

      Whatever the United States was and is, it is only temporary. What we are given, the True Church, then and now, while living in the United States, is eternal!

      Is it fair and only reasonable that some True Believers, living in the society of the United States, become politicians? Yes, I would say so, just as long as their right hand and right eye are not corrupted so that they need to cut off their right hand or plucked out their right eye!

  5. As I noted in a previous post. I believe in ONE conspiracy theory. That is that the devil is manipulating a conspiracy against God and his Israel. Of course God is not in the dark at all about this conspiracy. But all the other popular conspiracy theories are either simply subplots to the above or just plain old fashioned confusion. The whole nest of good and evil in this world is so confused that only God Himself has a handle on it. In light of all of this, our role as citizens of the US is SUBJECT to our pre-eminent role as citizens of the Kingdom of God. For sure we have certain duties and privileges as citizens of our country. But the institution of government in this world is chartered by God to maintain order in civil society, NOT to preach or even practice the gospel. That is the role of the church. In Old Testament Israel, there were really two Israels. The physical Israel ruled by a temporal King, and the spiritual Israel ruled by a different King and represented by the prophets. No mixing of the two was allowed and when it did occur the result was disastrous. In the same way today, the Kingdom of God is not to be mixed with the kingdoms of this world. There is to be a clear distinction with government fulfilling its role under God and the church fulfilling its very different mandate. It is the mixing that has occurred since the very beginning that is poisoning this country. The attempt on the part of government to co-opt the church for political purposes and the attempt on the part of the church to manipulate the government in order to gain temporal power. Not at all do I believe that spiritual leaders seek influence with government for the purpose of reaching people for Christ, they do it in order to gain power over the populace. And government leaders feign spirituality because they like to be re-elected. When will Christians ever figure this out? If powerful preaching in our churches is not sufficient to draw people to Christ, what good are moral edicts by the government going to do? People outside of Christ are serious sinners and they commit sins that victimize those around them. No amount of law is going to change that. Government in its proper role can LIMIT that damage, but not eliminate it. Many Christians today have the idea that if the church can gain control of the government much sin can be eradicated, but if the blood of Christ is not sufficient, no amount coercion is going to fix the problem. For sure we ALL need to vote our consciences at election time. I am not opposed to that. But we also need to see that the government is NOT the church and the church is NOT the government. We desperately need to discern between the two. Preachers are NOT gifted by God to be public officials and politicians are not gifted by God to lead churches. We need to radically change our expectations in both cases.

  6. George,

    “…And while you seem offended by Pinto’s attack on Barton, …”

    I am in no way offended by Pinto’s thesis. I apologize if my wording seemed to reflect any offense other than taking offense to myself for being so gullible with regard to Barton.

    I am grateful to both the presentation and PJ for finding it and bringing it to our attention!

    I hope to have an opportunity to sit down and discuss the divergent positions.

    I learned a great deal from Pinto’s presentation. As I wrote: “This video certainly gave me deep pause and concern for his spiritual welfare.“. What Pinto has done is raise a sincere suspicion for me now as to David’s spiritual welfare. I haven’t found David to be very ignorant and one would suppose he was well aware of all positions and sides when he brings forth his thesis for why the United States and the original framers were Christ pro and not anti-Christ deists and free masons and just plain deceitful or hypocritical when in public!

    I want to believe the best about David’s motivation. Now I just don’t have a peace about it anymore, which is sad!

    David has been up in our neck of the woods several times over the years so I am praying that he might be brought back up here so that I or we can address the “other” side of the argument he makes. At least we would have an opportunity to raise the questions raised by Pinto and give him a chance to clear up the present doubts about him and his work brought forth by the thesis, “Hidden Faith of the Founding Fathers”.

    Isa 7:9 And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah. If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.'”

    • Question: isn’t the David Barton mentioned the same David Barton who is closely associated with lunatic Glenn Beck and ‘teaches’ at Beck’s on-line university?

      Or is this a different David Barton?

    • Michael, My apologies. That post was over the top in some ways on my part. The comment I made about Barton in particular was off the wall and not well researched on my part. Beneath that comment I have, in fact, in fairness, linked Barton’s defense on the issue of the Treaty of Tripoli. In it he tries to distinguish between the “government” of the US which was NOT founded as a Christian government and the US as a nation which, according to him, WAS founded as a Christian nation. Chew on that for a while. It is the same chameleon like stuff as Deism/Freemansonry. It speaks one thing out of one side of the mouth and another thing out of the other. Barton OPPOSES separation of church and state. So is the state the nation? Or is the state the government? Separation of church and state generally refers to a separation between government and religion, not between “the nation” and religion whatever that might entail. So for me, no matter how much Barton tries to mealy mouth it, the Treaty of Tripoli can not do anything but reinforce the concept of separation of church and state. OF COURSE at the time of our founding our nation was a “Christian nation” since most of the people who settled here were “Christian” at least in some nominal form. But now things have changed as we have a large number of citizens who are patently non Christian. So to change ourselves back to a “Christian nation” in this sense, we would have to deport all the non-Christians. But that is NOT what Barton’s agenda seem to promote. Rather Barton’s agenda would seem to promote “Christian” political activism which is really contrary to both the spirit of the scripture and the spirit of the Treaty of Tripoli.

  7. PJ,

    it is the same David Barton that I know.

    It gives me pause to realize it is he that Pinto is showing forth as one walking in an error about the establishment of the United States causing me to tremble at His Word and to understand just how influential evil forces can be when moving upon someone thought to be sound in the Faith and the doctrines.

    I did not know David very well but the times I have had with him he seemed to me to have sound judgment back then. I felt the same about Michael and Cindy Jacobs too.

    It just goes to show me that we must be ever vigilant in the Faith once delivered to the Saints. Jesus warned a lot about being deceived didn’t He?

    I have often pondered these verses from the book of Psalms and 2nd Peter mindful of my own weaknesses and the daily struggles I have with my own flesh:

    Psa 143:1 A Psalm of David. Hear my prayer, O LORD; give ear to my pleas for mercy! In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!
    Psa 143:2 Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you.
    Psa 143:3 For the enemy has pursued my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead.
    Psa 143:4 Therefore my spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled.
    Psa 143:5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands.
    Psa 143:6 I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah

    2Pe 3:17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.
    2Pe 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

    • Michael, thanks for clearing that up. i’ve been following your and George’s conversation when it suddenly dawned on me that the David Barton you both were referring to, appeared to be the same person mentioned in a couple older posts on Glenn Beck.

      It just goes to show me that we must be ever vigilant in the Faith once delivered to the Saints. Jesus warned a lot about being deceived didn’t He?

      Michael, i believe becoming disheartened at seeing a brothers & sisters we have known, prayed with and worshiped along side of for years, fall away from sound teaching, is one of the saddest (and hardest) experiences we will go through during the great falling away.

      Amen. Yes, we must stay diligent in the faith.

  8. There is a huge attractiveness associated with the concept of “Christian Patriotism”. And it sounds very biblical since the Bible does admonish us to respect and obey government as it is established by God and receives its authority from Him. As I mentioned above, I have felt a certain amount of internal conflict about this issue in the past. But “Christian Patriotism” crosses the line when it mixes church and state. The scripture does not support the mixing of church and state and neither do the founding documents of the United States. But there is enough shadowy Freemason god talk in those documents to confuse us as Christians about this issue. And those with a Freemason mindset in government would like nothing more than to be able to enlist the church to do their dirty work for them when it comes to manipulating government. Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh and countless others fit perfectly into this picture. They are using “God” NOT to establish the kingdom of God on earth, because that is not possible, at least not without Christ reigning on an earthly throne. Rather they are using God as an argument to convince Christians to support and promote their Freemason type Deist framework for government with all its darkness as well as its apparent resemblance to the genuine Christian faith in some aspects. And they have captured the minds of many well meaning Christians. This really has to be a part of the end time Antichrist conspiracy and we as Christians should be avoiding it like the plague.

  9. It is indeed the consensus of the Christian world today that in Ancient Israel their was a separation between political and ecclesiastical which is entirely false and like ever so many other issues a projection of the present thinking and system into the old. We simply want to believe that what we have today is an evolutionary evolement to a superior system. Wrong. Back then society was stable and their was in fact and obviously no separation. Christians are ever making the bible conform to the present system which obviously does not work. When the same government ruled both church (ecclesiastical and sacred matters) and political or outward matters, then and only then will there be peace on earth, one Master….

    • Don, I would agree with you as to the period when Israel was under the Judges, but thereafter, when the earthly “kingdom” of Israel was established, which is the period most often cited by the theocrats, there was a definite separation and, for example, when Saul crossed that line to perform the duties of the priests and prophets, he faced God’s judgement. So if we were to go back to a simple system like that of the period of the judges, there would be no mixing, because there was no organized government. They were a simple society in which God was widely accepted as the one and only King. Who knows, that may be an example of pure theocracy, although we have NEVER seen anything like it since. All more recent attempts at theocracy are attempts to mix and earthly kingdom with a heavenly one, and that is a concept that I reject.

  10. I would agree with Michael here that we ARE a citizen of the United States with all the privileges and responsibilities that go with it. AND that we as Christians certainly may choose a political vocation. HOWEVER, many Christians pursuing a political vocation these days have lost the discernment to be able to distinguish between their earthly citizenship and their heavenly citizenship. As a result they are trying to pursue a heavenly agenda in an earthly context. This IS the mixing issue that is concerning Don and it concerns me as well. So I agree whole heartedly with Don that the “dual citizenship” concept is a trap. We are NOT dual citizens, since dual citizenship implies two equal and similar earthly citizenship. In our case as Christians, our heavenly citizenship ALWAYS takes precedence over our earthly one(s), which in turn are always subject to our heavenly citizenship. The term “sojourners” used by Michael is very descriptive. When we forget that we are sojourners and begin to set up camp with Caesar, we are drifting away from the Kingdom of God.

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