Doug Wilson on 2 Chron. 7:14. My people . . . called by my name . . . heal their land.

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Aaron Blumer's picture

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If he had simply pointed out that, read in context, 2 Chron. 7:14 has nothing to do with America, I'd agree 100%.

He's also right that the Christian way of life begins with personal faith (so I take him to mean) and this is distinct from civil religion.

But civil religion is a good thing. There has never been a civilized society without it and never will be one... and there's no way to pass enough laws and deploy enough cops to maintain civil conduct on a society that doesn't have a "civil religion" to provide internal constraints. 

So... every society is going to have a set of answers to the ultimate questions. It's going to have a religion, or several. That being the case, the Christian-is version of that is to be preferred to the alternatives. If for no other reason, then just because we want our kids to be able to rest safely in their homes at night.

Rolland McCune's picture

Perhaps this is just a quibble, but for me a "civil religion" is mandated by a government and is incumbent on all its citizens. Ancient Israel had a civil religion, Yahweh worship through the Levitical forms and theology of the central altar.  This was  enforced by public executions; any form of idolatry was a capital offense. There was no freedom of religion. The same is true for Muslim governments today.

Still, I sympathize with what you propose. I would only call it a general sense of Christian values. I'm not fully persuaded that the USA ever was a "Christian nation" in its beginning. But it certainly had a preponderance of Christian ideas while at the same time having notorious non-Christians.  This all goes back theologically to the common grace of God and divine truth being distributed by many people in many different waysl.

 

 

 

 

Rolland McCune

Fred Moritz's picture

Thanks, Dr. McCune for your characteristic insight.  To one degree or another we have had "a general sense of Christian values."  And if God moved in the Great Awakening, at Sandy Creek, and at other strategic times in our nation's history, can we not ask Him to sovereignly do that again?

Rolland McCune's picture

Dr. Moritz

Yes indeed. Prayer and divine sovereignty are not incompatible. May it please our great and good God to send the USA a spiritual refreshing  of a sense of Christian values and more. Of  course our highest desires and ideals along this line must await the Millennial Golden Age. Thus I also pray in the interim, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is (being done) in heaven."

Rolland McCune