Christian Nation?

July 1, 1998

With the Fourth of July nearly upon us, perhaps it's time to revisit the question of the Christian origins of this country. I have learned that if you want to start a fight these days, just ask a group of people if America is a Christian nation. You will get all sorts of answers with varying emotional states.

At the outset, let's clearly state that no major document like the Declaration or the Constitution claims that America is a Christian nation. People who attempt to make the U.S. a Christian nation in that sense are off target.

But it is true that the founders of this country, as well as the framers of the Constitution attempted to build a country on Christian principles. The New England Articles of Confederation in 1643 said, "We all came to these parts of America with one and the same end and aim, namely, to advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to enjoy the liberties of the gospel in purity and peace."

And for many centuries following, political leaders and jurists maintained the Christian nature of this Republic. For example, the U.S. Senate Judiciary declared in 1853 that, "We are a Christian people . . . what is to be expected, but that we should pay a due regard to Christianity?"

And in a famous case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1892, the judges said, "From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, Christianity is, and always has been, a part of the common law . . . not Christianity with an established church . . . but Christianity with liberty of conscience to all men." This Fourth of July let's not only celebrate our freedom, let's remember the Christian roots of our heritage.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.

© 1998 Probe Ministries International