We were founded as a church??? Really. Tell me that again!

I was involved in a discussion elsewhere about whether or not America (or for that matter, any other nation) was a Christian nation and was founded as a Christian nation. I joined in with the following argument.

If you are going to be adamant that America was founded as a Christian nation, you have to first acknowledge and make the claim that America was founded as a Church. For the only Christian nation is that of the Kingdom of Heaven, which comprises of every believer, regardless of race, gender, social distinction and age.

Now the mandate of the church is to go out and draw into the kingdom of heaven those who don’t believe so that they too may join in and celebrate the good news of the Gospel. This joining in was and is still supposed to be marked by “LOVE!” It doesn’t take long to look through the history of the U.S.A and for that matter any other nation, to find out that Love wasn’t its core priority nor was it its founding principal.

The first early Christian brethren made a peace treaty with the native Indians which was to be celebrated with a covenant peace meal. Only thing is they laced the food with arsenic and poisoned the whole tribe. The question to truly ask within the framework as to whether or not the U.S.A was truly settled on Christian principals and was truly founded as a Christian nation is what principals are you talking about.

Are love, forgiveness, justice and mercy among them? Is acceptance and tolerance of others among them? Was there a foundation of social justice inherent in looking after and accepting the poor, widow, orphaned, sick / lame, the shut in, the refugee. What about the foundation against that of usury and high debt interest. What were the driving principals of the nation in its separation of nationalities – Whites and the Blacks…and those in between like the Spanish and the Indigenous peoples. Does the nation as one of its core values have turning the other cheek when someone slaps you? Was the foundation of America (or any other nation) really settled in the name of and through the ways of Christ? Can we truly say that the fruit of the Spirit of God was made manifest through its history and foundation to all people?

I hate to say this folks, but there is no church of America. There is no church of Australia. There is no Church of…Europe and no church of elsewhere…But there is the church of Christ, that permeates through out history, through and accepting of all nations, all genders, all social class distinctions and all ages that both lives out and breathes out the ways of Christ in all it says and does.

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About Craig Benno

I'm an average aussie guy who has lived perhaps a not so average life.
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5 Responses to We were founded as a church??? Really. Tell me that again!

  1. tildeb says:

    America was not founded as a christian nation (those who argue it was are cherry picking their history) although the long history of christianity itself is one of expansion by whatever means seemed most conducive. Love was never the prime means in any historical sense; enforced obedience was by far the most common method… starting in the fourth century.

    • Craig Benno says:

      You are tight. The first 4 centuries Christianity was a deeply persecuted movement which was a real way of life of taking the claims of Christ seriously. Then from the 4th it become for the most part politically driven within a power hungry top heavy coercive way.

      Within those years however, there have been pockets of Christians who took the claims of Christ seriously in word and deed, and their efforts were and still are world changing today. I think of the Red Cross as one example which was started as a Christian movement. The Moravian’s and many of the Anabaptists who refused to go to war. The Pentecostal experience of Azusa street was another eye opening and ground breaking event, where people of all nations freely came together, worshipped and fellow shipped in a greatly segregated society. Martin Luther King is another who comes to mind.

      The simple truth is you cannot force or coerce anyone to follow the ways of Christ, it has to first start with the heart change from having met him.

  2. Anyone familiar with the nature of Deism, Masonry and Unitarian Universal-ism has a hard time claiming the USA is a Christ-centered nation. The funny this is – American Civil religion does create a “church” of spiritual individualism that would come close to the ideal of Jefferson.

    You might want to be careful, however, by using as a measure whether one will participate in war. Romans 13 comes to mind and if that is their vocation – then such measures can be necessary. (see the Civil War, or the battles against Tripolu. . Especially when some of those groups isolationism led them to condemn other believers. The Holiness Movements and the early Pentacostals were none for this – and that is the reason many have problems with the AoG and Foursquare today – even though they don’t hold to the same extremism. Saying a believer in Christ who doesn’t speak in toungues has no assurance of heaven, the forgiveness of sins or the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives is spiritual assault and battery at least….

    .

    • Craig Benno says:

      I understand what your saying about war and those who are under authority and called to go to war. My point was thought that the church / Christians are called to live a way of Christ that is counter empire and pro the kingdom of God.

      I think you might be reading something into my comment, post about the Pentecostals I wasn’t saying. My point about the outpouring at Azusu street wasn’t about tongues, it was about how within a racially segregated society – the remarkable social issue was suddenly all races came together and were all considered equal.

      I think racism and social class oppression of any kind is a blot upon the Kingdom of Heaven. And its a terrible indictment on the Church for having taught and practised it.

      • Craig,
        Agree on racism and social class oppression or any kind of oppression & discriminatio, my point was simply that some standards are equally run over by groups that are lauded for their position. (in this case being “anti-violence”.

        In the case of Azusa Street (20 minutes from where I sit) the interesting thing was that those who weren’t part of their blessed crowd were treated with great malevolence. Still a form of discrimination – this time based on what gifts or piety you did or didn’t have.

        We all seem to have our pet issues – but all are sinners and all in need of grace. Sorry I didn’t make that more clear.

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