Why America Is Not A Christian Nation

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63 Responses

  1. Em says:

    Just finished the little O.T. book Nahum this morning and the thought occurred, as i read, that sounds like our nation….

  2. Em says:

    I recall the little church on the corner of our block beginning each Sunday morning service spontaneously standing during WW2 and singing “Onward Christian Soldiers.”
    i do think that God used the United States to further His plan. “God shed His grace on thee?” Perhaps. But that does not make our citizens Christians .

  3. Michael says:

    There are Christians in every nation.
    God uses all things in His providence to accomplish His will.
    The question before the house is whether or not God has or has had, a specific, special relationship with America that He does not have with other nations.
    The answer is biblically…no.

  4. Michael says:

    This isn’t a question of whether or not one can love this country.

    I love the state of Oregon, the Minnesota Vikings, and the boogie woogie, but I don’t baptize any of them…

  5. Em says:

    Well said, Michael, well said.. and clear. 😇

  6. Em says:

    WAIT… you can’t baptize boie woogie? LOL

  7. Em says:

    Okay i should proof read before hitting “send”

    God give me wisdpm and discernment

  8. Plankeye says:

    “Christ, not America, is the best last hope for mankind” – Amen to that!

  9. Duane Arnold says:

    Those who have embraced Civil Religion have, in my opinion, abandoned what it means to be “Church”. They may use the language of the Church, they may appropriate the symbols of the Church, but they have forsaken the reality of the Church.

  10. Jean says:

    Horton’s address is accurate biblically, thorough, yet succinct. He not only refutes Christian nationalism, but explains and affirms that the worldwide Church is the only holy nation, created and sustained by King Jesus, consisting of believers from all races, ethnicities, temporal nations, etc.

    It is Jesus who holds the keys to His kingdom and only He decides on what basis people are granted citizenship in His kingdom.

  11. Steve says:

    Amen! Michael Horton speaks the truth. He authored the book “Christless Christianity” that I’ve been wanting to read. He wrote that book long before Trump ran for office so this issue has been brewing for awhile in our churches in America and has nothing to do with left or right on the political spectrum.

  12. Jean says:

    I hate to say this, and am not oblivious to its assertion, but I think in America (I have no experience of other countries), one can literally make up (i.e., invent) any type of Christianity one desires to proclaim, while professing to hold to the inspiration of Scripture, and in so doing will gather to him/her self lots of followers.

  13. Linn says:

    What I find so interesting is that many European Christian immigrants came to the United States to specifically flee a state religion. That would include the Puritans, the Quakers, the Mennonites/Amish, some Baptists…they rejected their countries’ state religion to follow their desire to worship as they pleased in the New World. No state religion was imposed upon immigrants as occurred in Latin America. I know it wasn’t a seamless transition from the Old World, but there was still much more freedom to practice preferred forms of Christianity without persecution. Besides the excellent explanation given by Mike Horton with the problems with Christian Nationalism, believers in this ideology are also pedaling backward historically.

  14. Em says:

    Freedom of worship WAS dominated by Christian denominations for a long time …. that may have some influence on those who now see us as a “Christian nation…”
    not disagreeing with the fact that we aren’t that…. often wonder why we do not have more Michaels among us pointing us, the Church, to what is factual. ? ? ?

  15. Michael says:


    What I’m saying is very unpopular and will cost a church money and people.
    It is also the only truly Christian position.

  16. Steve says:

    Curious, how many folks in America really consider themselves Christian Nationalist? It’s a label some put on others but not sure they would identify themselves that way.

  17. Michael says:


    Any mixing of a political party or nation with the message of the church is Christian nationalism…however folks want to identify it.

  18. Steve says:

    Michael,. That’s a very broad definition. Complete separation of church and state would require a massive overhaul of America. Everything from swearing on the bible in the court room to removing ” In God we Trust” on all our currency to pastors not acting as agents of the state in performing marriages and the list goes on and on. This may be exactly what the church needs to purify itself but at the same times it’s frightening what will happen to America as a nation.

  19. LInn says:

    I think there is a difference between being patriotic (honoring the flag, swearing on a Bible-which can also be done on the sacred texts of other faiths, praying for those in in leadership like Scripture encourages us to do) vs. worshiping its symbols or regarding that our country is in some kind of partnership with God to lead the world. An example: several years ago the church I attended decided to remove both the Christian flag and the American flag from the auditorium. Our neighborhood is very diverse, and we wanted to let visitors know that they are all welcomed no matter their country of origin. Some of the members almost suffered strokes over the fact that we were no longer honoring God or the country. There was a lot of discussion, but the elders stood firm, and I’m glad hey did. I love my country and its flag, but it does not equal to Jesus’ death on the cross for my sin and the sin of the world. There is just no comparison between a flag and the cross.

  20. Steve says:

    Linn, I agree about the flag. However, when I see all the flags of the world represented in a church that reminds me that His church is to go everywhere in the world making disciples which is pretty cool to see. But even the parade of nations is no comparison to the cross.

  21. Michael says:

    At some point, perhaps we will consider that maybe God is disgusted with our idolatry and that’s why what’s happening in America is happening.

    The biblical political definition of a Christian is a person in exile…

  22. Linn says:

    Both flags, along with all the others, come out for the missions conference.

    I lived in South America for 7 years and always teared up the couple times I came home and saw the flag. I lost a nephew in the Iraq war an another was severely wounded in Afghanistan. I love my country, but I love and worship Jesus.

  23. bob1 says:

    I think in America (I have no experience of other countries), one can literally make up (i.e., invent) any type of Christianity one desires to proclaim,


    Thinking of the cowboy churches in my neck of the woods…good grief.

  24. Steve says:

    Living in exile as an adult I can deal with but when you have no other choice but to send your child to a public school, it’s a different story. There is only so much you can teach the young and impressionable at home.

  25. CM says:

    One need only look at what happened to Christianity in Germany in the 1930s and the toxic mix of nationalism and faith and be reminded of the dangers. What has been happening in American Christianity (especially Evangelicalism) over the past 20 years (even more so in the last 5) and the church in Germany is are far too similar.

  26. Jean says:


    It is not Christian nationalism to desire, promote, advocate for and promulgate laws based on the Ten Commandments. There is nothing uniquely Christian about the Ten Commandments. Not only are the Ten Commandments taught by the other two Abrahamic religions, but the Ten Commandments are a revealed form of natural law that are written to a certain extent into the heart of all men.

    When one reads in the Declaration of Independence, phrases such as “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” and “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” what one sees from the founders is their appeal to natural law.

    Thus, the non-establishment clause in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights is misconstrued if one interprets it as requiring a “separation” of natural law from the laws of the nation.

  27. Michael says:


    You demonstrate the problem here.
    You are thinking ideologically and culturally instead of theologically.
    The identification of Christians as those in exile has nothing to do with the state of public schools.
    It is a biblical description that the NT assumes you understand as part of the overall biblical narrative.
    The state of the culture and institutions that a Christian finds themselves in is irrelevant.

  28. Steve says:

    There is nothing uniquely Christian about the Ten Commandments.


    Jean. What is unique is the God who inspired them. The Abrahamic religions you mentioned don’t worship the same God that Christians do so it’s in inevitable that the interpretation and practice of the Ten Commandments will be fundamentally different.

  29. Steve says:

    Michael, I completely I agree with Michael Horton. I gave him a huge Amen. What exactly is my problem? I’m not a Christian nationalist at all. However the problem is some may label us that way by how we vote. And that is why I asked how many self identify as a Christian nationalist?

  30. Michael says:


    The fundamental issue is that people are thinking ideologically and culturally instead of theologically which means that their identification as a Christian will be warped by ideological and cultural ideals.

    For example, I state the the true political identification of a Christian is actually a person in exile in whatever nation they find themselves in.
    You respond with that doesn’t work for you because of the public school system.
    I’m telling you…that is irrelevant .

  31. Michael says:

    It is my belief that one cannot fully identify with any political party without compromising the faith and identification with one party as being representative of Christ is vulgar heresy.

    I will use the example closest to my heart.

    Jesus tells us that we must love our neighbor.
    When asked “who is my neighbor?” the response is the person who needs your neighborliness.

    If I go down to the border and see the crushing grief of the refugees…who is my neighbor?

    Yet, I cannot serve them because of political and nationalistic concerns and must therefore compromise my faith.

    Further, to support my political beliefs, I must demonize and persecute my neighbor to fulfill my obligations.

    Perhaps the other party will treat my neighbor bettor, but demand I compromise my beliefs on tradition, biblical sexuality.

    I despise my faith either way….unless I accept my exile and act and think as a Christian despite the political and ideological demands on me.

  32. Duane Arnold says:


    We talked about this for an hour yesterday. As much as we (that is, you and me) try to approach the issue theologically, the response is cultural, ideological and, ultimately, who one votes for in a secular election. This religious world that is dominated by culture, ideology and secular politics is, in my opinion, not Church…(II Cor.11:4-5)

  33. Michael says:


    I’m going to try to keep pushing back to the theology…perhaps some will have ears to hear.

  34. Em says:

    Michael is back. 😊 Granny still says, “go slow!!!”
    I had a Jewish stepfather who told of not being allowed inside the Coronado Hotel in San Diego prior to the end of WW2 and my husband and i bought an older house in a community north of Seattle that had in the recorded covenants, “no Jews or Negros!” Illegal when we bought it in the 1960s.
    A Christian nation?
    Now my Christian grand parents (born at the turn of the century) raised me to deplore racial prejudice. EVERY race has good guys AND bad guys. Something about evaluating folk by the content of their character? Sometimes easier said than done.
    My question, which i haven’t resolved is, do i take bread out of my child’s mouth to feed a stranger?
    Thanking our Lord today for a break in the 100+ heat wave…
    God keep all here

  35. Michael says:


    I get real tired, real easily and I heed what my body says…a bunch more anesthesia wore off this morning, so I’m frisky and in pain. 🙂

    “My question, which i haven’t resolved is, do i take bread out of my child’s mouth to feed a stranger?”

    Thank you for asking that question.

    The point of Christian mercy is that we desire that no child be hungry or suffer from neglect.
    This country has wealth beyond measure and some who hold that wealth may choose to use it in ways that demonstrate love of neighbor.
    Those who follow Christ also trust that God will magnify and expand those mercies in ways we cannot see…10 loaves, five fishes.
    The main concern is the bent of the heart to those in need…does it reflect the ethos of the church or the state?

  36. Xenia says:

    >>>do i take bread out of my child’s mouth to feed a stranger?

    This does not even remotely apply to the vast majority of American who frankly could profit if a little extra bread (pizza, hamburgers, etc) was taken out of their mouths.

    But if I had 2 children in my house, one mine and the other a stranger, and I only had one slice of bread, I’d give each child half.

    Our God is the God who can multiply the loaves and fishes, one way or another.

  37. Xenia says:

    I posted what Michael said without realizing it. 🙂

  38. Michael says:


    Great minds… 🙂

  39. Steve says:

    Michael, I didn’t say that. I think you misunderstood me. I said as an adult I can live in exile. However, what I meant to say is I’m not sure how a child can understand that concept. As a father of a 5 year old that will be entering public school in the Fall, it concerns me. Can a Christian child understand and deal with being in exile? My response is not how an adults thinks theologically but rather how a child processes this.

  40. Michael says:

    Can a child process any aspect of Christian theology?
    A child will receive and process what it is given…are you catechizing your child?

  41. Xenia says:

    We are just going to have to get used to being exiles in our own country and model this life to our children, and manage to make it seem like a joyful adventure and not a punishment.

    The whole world has lost its mind. The venerable Tolkien Society, which I have been a member of, is having a conference this week and the agenda for the weekend indicates that there are at least 4 presentations celebrating Tolkien and queerness. Tolkien could not even, as a good Christian, attend the conferences of a society which was established in his honor. The Tolkien Society’s FB page has forbidden any discussion of Tolkien’s Christianity. Naturally, I am no longer a member, and some online friends have started up a Christian society. I was following a thread on Twitter where a few people complained about the queering of Tolkien studies, and you would have thought they were drowning puppies in battery acid the outrage was so great. So we just have to get used to the idea that we can’t really be part of some stuff that we used to hold dear. Institutions, churches, clubs, schools, businesses- they are all falling for The Lie*, one after the other. But there are still holdouts, and we should support these places, or create our own.

    *The Lie is not limited to the homosexual agenda, it encompasses many wicked things.

  42. Steve says:

    Sure, children certainly can understand Christian theology to various degrees. It’s actually amazing to witness and yes I do my best in catechizing my daughter. And you are exactly right a child will receive and process what they are given. I can’t think of a more important job as a father than to teach my child the faith. This isn’t theologically but more practical now but the public schools certainly can undo a lot of the hard work Christian parents have invested in.

  43. Michael says:

    “But there are still holdouts, and we should support these places, or create our own.”

    Yes. we have to carve out a place where we can live as Christians in the world and despite the world.
    America (or any other country) is not going to change and follow Jesus.

  44. Michael says:


    No one said it was easy.
    I said it was biblical.
    We have to make real choices.

  45. Em says:

    I have lived nearly a century now (botn on 1936)
    The changes in the group think of our nation have brought it dangerously close to an apostasy that God condemns.
    We, who name the name of Christ may be facing some testing…
    ? ? ?

  46. Steve says:

    Michael. Very true. We may have to make decisions like home schooling or putting in Christian school which I never thought I would have to do before. In fact this is the first time ever considering it. Of course, contemplating these decisions also informs how I would potentially vote. If we could get a school voucher from our propert tax to attend private school that would seal the deal for me. I hope talking like this doesn’t make me a Christian nationalist. I’m not married to a political party at all. I just give one example that hits home for me personally.

  47. Xenia says:

    I think Christians are going to have to abandon the public school system.

    I have mixed feelings about home school but I think churches ought to band together to establish high-quality Christian schools and churches should spend their dough on scholarships instead of electronics so every family can opt out of the public schools and have a good place to send their children. Like-minded Christians need to cooperate with each other.

    And I don’t mean more church basement academies that were established in the South back in the day to get around integration, using sub-par curriculum.

    It may also be that some mothers might have to stay home with their children, even if it means a lower standard of living, maybe a small house or apartment and not a McMansion with SUVs and eating out several times a week. We want to live like kings and queens but we can reject this mindset, with God’s help.

  48. Nathan Priddis says:

    As a former political junkie and Conservative, I completely agree that political affiliation is incompatible with affiliation with Christ. Such affiliation does not alter a person’s legal standing in the Kingdom of God, but an inevitable transfer of influence and loyalty has begun. It did with me.

    My primary fear has evolved to a question of the afterlife. Will s person carry forward their ideologies of race, nationalism, gender and class into the life to come? I now believe we will and these questions have never been explored.

  49. Em says:

    Good comments to ponder here. One of my daughters home schooled all five of her children and they’ve all done well… Well, the smartest of them is a little wonky, but he always was a little off beat.
    Xenia’s suggestion for our churches to offer schooling is spot on – IMV…
    Church! It’s not showtime anymore ! ! ! !

  50. Xenia says:

    Em, we homeschooled until our local Calvary Chapel established a very nice private school, and I taught there in exchange for free tuition for my two youngest children.

    I used to be the director of a large homeschool group and I saw some very sad situations where the parents were just not up to the task, for various reasons, so I think private school is the best option, but everyone should follow their conscience. I think homeschool for very young children is a great idea.

  51. Steve says:

    Xenia, unfortunately for me if it’s between Calvary Chapel and any other alternative I’ll choose any other alternative for schooling. I hope I don’t take away from your positive experience. I’m glad some folks had a decent experience, but Calvary Chapel is definitely not for me at this stage.

  52. Jean says:

    FWIW, as a parent of two children, the vast majority of children are solidly heterosexual. The vast majority of children understand perfectly well what their gender is.

    It doesn’t take any work at all by a parent to affirm heterosexual relationships and sexuality between married people for the vast majority of families. It doesn’t take any work at all for parents to affirm the maleness or femaleness of their children for the vast majority of families.

    Public schools do not try to convert children to the opposite sex or to homosexuality. They just don’t! At worse they teach acceptance of others who experience their sex or sexuality differently or who are confused. Is that such a big deal, or does being a Christian mean one has to bully, make fun of, or demean someone who is confused or in some sexual error?

    At the end of the day, your children are going to have to work in society and learn how to get along with people who are different from them, unless you want them to be preppers or live in a commune somewhere. The world is diverse; White Christians have to deal with that. It’s shocking that one has to even repeat that in reference to Christians. What’s wrong with us?

    Maybe teaching children a little kindness and empathy towards others isn’t such a bad thing. What is the downside of being nice, polite, caring of others who are different than you or your children?

    A proper theological understanding is that unbelievers live and walk in spiritual darkness. That is their default position. Why would we expect pagans to be morally upright citizens, when I bet that plenty of crime, immorality and abuse is conducted by self-professing Christians. (Just look at the articles that Michael is continually publishing, as if many American churches are cesspools. And we haven’t even talked about the forced Christian boarding schools that are currently in the news in Canada!)

    Christians are supposed to be light in their communities. By word and deed Christians can bring light to people living in darkness.

    Living as exiles does not mean going out of the world, but marching to the beat of a different drummer in the world. It literally is an exile in the midst of spiritual darkness. But as Jeremiah wrote, at God’s behest, to the exiles in Babylon, exiles pray for their cities, they get married and have children, and their prosperity is bound up with the prosperity of their pagan neighbors.

    One always must remember that God doesn’t call sinners to repentance and faith because of anything meritorious in the sinner, he makes saints out of the ungodly for his own sake. So there is nothing for us to boast about or be arrogant about.

    Horton made a very important point in his video, speaking of Christian nationalism: “For, as it is written, ‘The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.’ ” When Christians are jerks, when they engage in violence in the name of Christianity, when they corrupt Scripture for political reasons, all these activities result in the name of God being blasphemed among our pagan neighbors.

  53. Xenia says:

    Jean…. do you still live in the midwest?

  54. Jean says:

    Xenia, yes in the Madison area of WI. As I might have shared before, I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. While in the active duty Military for 6 years I lived in the South and for 3 years in Japan.

  55. BrideofChrist says:

    One of my best friends sent both her children to the Calvary Chapel Vista private school ( k thru 12)that I attended for 39 years. I taught Sunday school there, but my children both attended excellent public schools and they both received academic scholarships to U.C. California schools. They are both happily married to college educated Christian young men. One has a Masters degree. They have wonderful careers, husbands and children. We are so blessed. My dear friend’s daughter ( same age as my oldest) and they were childhood friends for years MARRIED the principal of her school ( a man 9 years her senior) immediately after graduating. Yikes! That is so, so wrong. Calvary Chapel knew it, too, because he was no longer the principal of Calvary Chapel Vista Christian school after that. Also, this young man was given the job of principal by his father, the former school principal. Nepotism often leads to sin… beware of private schools, because there is much less oversight and your children might suffer harm.

  56. Steve says:

    Jean, you have wonderful points and I agree with almost all of it. Here is the issue:

    “The world is diverse; White Christians have to deal with that. It’s shocking that one has to even repeat that in reference to Christians. What’s wrong with us?”


    White is a pejorative reductionist label. It doesn’t have much meaning anymore other than negative. My daughter is mixed race and who knows how others would categorize her in this crazy world we live in. I will encourage her not to go with the “White” label if she wants to self identify.

  57. The New Victor says:

    Christian Nation doesn’t necessarily mean Christian nationalism.

    When the space shuttle blew up, President bush’s eulogy included a quote from Isaiah:

    “In the skies today we saw destruction and tragedy. Yet farther than we can see there is comfort and hope. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, “Lift your eyes and look to the heavens. Who created all these? He who brings out the starry hosts one by one and calls them each by name. Because of His great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.”

    A man wrote into the San Jose mercury news saying that this was a Christian being offensive to the Israeli on board and to Jews. What ignorant tripe.

    I asked my Indian colleague if she thought that offensive since one of the other crew members was a Hindu. She replied, “no, America is a Christian nation. Besides, it is wishing well. Why would I be offended?”

    She is a practicing Hindu and a proud Desi, but she appreciates the opportunity the USA has provided for her family and also the lack of endemic corruption here as opposed to India. Likely the result of Christian values?

  58. Em says:

    TNV – makes some good points….. IMHO

  59. Just Sayin' says:

    Fascinating…TNV brings up the example I always hear of various minority religions saying “I’m Jewish/Muslim/Hindu/Buddhist and I don’t mind living in the USA, a Christian nation…”

    …and couple that with Rev. Dr. Arnold’s and Michael’s (in my view, correct) contention that Christians should live in metaphorical exile in whatever nation they find themselves in…

    …perhaps the best attitude of the Christian in the USA should indeed be the same as the minority Jewish, Hindu, Muslim believer in the USA, i.e. enjoy the secular protections and the right to worship as one chooses, as though one were a minority, and not expect to see their creed’s values legislated for all (not eating pork, for example?)

    Ah, but there’s the pesky politics again….Typically those who most want to trumpet the idea of a Christian nation are themselves not content to live in exile, or in the minority, etc. If the nation decides it’s OK for everyone to vote, women to be able to initiate divorce proceedings and inherit property, for slavery to be abolished, there’s bound to be some theological pushback. After all, none of those rights we accept today existed when the Declaration and the Constitution were written to found our Christian nation…

  60. Steve says:

    Happy independence day! Can’t think of a better country to live in than in America. Perhaps it’s because I live here and I am just super thankful for the over abundance God has given me and especially the freedoms we have. I can’t help but also think that abundance is shared with every American but I know that is not possible. But even saying that I think it’s probably better in America for most than in any other place in the world. This definitely explains why folks are risking their lives and coming here illegally on our border to hopefully escape their own country to find greener pastures in United State. I honestly don’t understand with the freedom we have in America why people would trash our flag. Yes, I agree it doesn’t belong in our churches and I think it’s a distraction during a worship service but if I’m going to the Olympics to represent The USA, you need to question what country you are representing before turning your back on it. That is speaking culturally. With that said, America’s history is dark and we are still far from perfect but I think the goal is to make it a more perfect union for everyone. As a Christian, the church transcends our country and borders. It even transcends those in the womb and those outside. That is speaking theologically.

  61. Michael says:

    Just Sayin…well said…

  62. Michael says:


    We are blessed with comfort and freedom.
    The question before the house has always been about how we use that comfort and freedom and insure that all who live here benefit from it.
    It seems good to me to be grateful to God for what we have while listening to the prophetic voices calling us even higher.
    Migrations to escape poverty and oppression are happening all over the world…we’re not special in that regard.

  63. Michael says:

    I try not to comment on purely “patriotic” issues as I have never had a strong feeling that way.
    I have always wondered about the obsession to be the “best”…especially after being in Europe where I was automatically suspected of being an ass because I was an American.
    I loved Switzerland…and could easily see how people in those countries could have great pride in where they live as well.
    I’m content to thank God He put me in Oregon and keep my focus on my place in the kingdom.

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