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What does it mean to be a Christian nation?

Postby Revolution » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:38 pm

What does it mean, in your opinion, to be a "Christian nation"? Being an American, a common phrase I hear again and again is how America is a Christian nation. What exactly does that mean? What does it mean to be a "Christian nation"? In your opinion, does America meet your definition? If you're not from America, does the nation you live in meet this definition? Why or why not?

Thanks in advance.
Revolution
 

Re: What does it mean to be a Christian nation?

Postby Killebrew » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:44 pm

There is no such thing as a Christian nation. America is an earthly kingdom, and other nations are too. Jesus's kingdom is not from this world.
Killebrew
 

Re: What does it mean to be a Christian nation?

Postby Righteous One » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:49 pm

What does it mean to be a "Christian nation"?

I define 'a Christian' as 'a disciple of Jesus'.

I'll define (1): a Christian village is one where most of the residents are actual Christians - actual disciples of Jesus. Similarly for (2), a Christian town, and similarly by extension (3) 'a Christian city', (4) 'a Christian province/state', (5) 'a Christian nation'.

Over the centuries since Jesus' time on earth, I think it's likely that there were (1) and (2) in some places in the world at times; I don't know about (3) or (4), but I don't think there's ever been a (5), under my definition.

> In your opinion, does America meet your definition?

No.

As you probably know, other Americans may have definitions such as:

(A) "A Christian nation is one in which a majority of residents self-describe as Christians." (This is using a more lax definition of 'Christian' than I use.)

(B) "A Christian nation is one where its founders held Judeo-Christian values, (while those founders had various levels of religiosity themselves), where the national concept reflects those values, and where the majority of the people hold those values."

My thoughts on (B): In that sense, America (and possibly some other countries over the centuries) were "Christian nations" in contrast to "Islamic nations" or "Marxist nations". Over the past few decades, I think the percentage of Americans who actually hold Judeo-Christian values and who live accordingly has gradually declined. So America may have been a "Christian nation" by definition (B) up to some previous year, and now has declined out of that quality.
Righteous One
 

Re: What does it mean to be a Christian nation?

Postby jimwalton » Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:13 pm

There is no such thing as a Christian nation. I think that the people who use that phrase mean that our nation was formed on the basis of Christian principles, and that is correct to a limited extent. It was formed on Christian principles and there was a biblical worldview underlying American society, but I'm not sure there were ever a majority of people in the USA who were true Christians.

I guess the same label could be put on most of the European countries through the Christian era: England, France, Germany, etc. Their governments were, to a limited extent, founded on Christian principles, and there was a biblical worldview underlying their cultural values and perspectives. But I don't know if anyone considered England or France in the, say, 15th century, a "Christian nation."

"Christian" is most accurately a label for someone who loves Jesus Christ, obeys him, and follows his example. "Christian" is a noun, not an adjective. There are no Christian books, Christian music, Christian paintings, etc. There are books written by Christians, music written and performed by Christians, and paintings painted by Christians.

Ancient Israel was supposed to have been a theocracy, but America has never gotten close to such a concept (with clear directives that the government not be involved in establishment), and with good reason. The writers of our constitution had in mind a democratic republic, not a theocracy.

America is not a Christian nation. It never has been. There really is no such thing.


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