According to the Huffington Post, a third of Americans want Christianity to be the country’s official religion. I disagree – here’s why:
We’ve Tried That Already – It Doesn’t Work
This is why history books are so important. Cultures with a state religion find more reasons to go to war, more reasons to torture their citizens, and more reasons to ignore corruption in the church. As governments stepped away from religion, churches found the freedom to express their faith without fear of reprisal. When our country was founded, our wise forefathers decided to avoid an official religion – they were not far removed from a time when their own churches were persecuted by a state government. (Of course, not all of the so-called “founders” attended protestant churches, but most of them did.)
Are you truly prepared to put someone in jail for not following the same religion as you? The founders of our nation weren’t so cavalier.
We Can’t Agree on What a Christian Government Should Look Like
Take a look at the members of a local church and notice how different they all are. I attend a small, Baptist church in Texas – fewer than 100 in attendance – and there is a surprising amount of variety concerning theological opinions. (Calvinist and Armenians, complementarians and egalitarians, exclusivists, inclusivists, etc.) Now, imagine the amount of variety that must exist within all of the churches in the nation. Who’s version of Christianity will become the “official” version that the government uses? Will a congressional committee exist to decide how to interpret the Bible?
Not to mention, my little church has Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, moderates, and some who won’t tell us what they are. Which brings me to the most practical point…
It Won’t Fix Anything
Christians are not of one mind on political issues. Should we have invaded Iraq? Can we lower taxes? How do we handle the issue of rising interest rates and the housing bubble? There’s no “Christian” consensus on these issues. (It might seem like there is to some of you, but visit another city and notice how the Believers there follow different trends.)
We will still struggle with the same government problems – and we will have to deal with a Federal committee telling us how we should interpret our faith. Do you think that the government is qualified to understand theological matters and dispense faithful leadership to us? I certainly don’t.
(More articles at www.ThinkingThroughChristianity.com)