Should America be Labeled as “Post-Christian”?

A flag and an open BibleThroughout history, America has been regarded as a Christian nation. This denotes that the dominant core beliefs and worldview of the majority of her citizens are Christian-based.  But that characterization is becoming increasingly less true of America. We continue to move in an opposite direction. Some argue that we are now living in a post-Christian era.

Why is this important?  Because the dominant core beliefs and worldview of the citizens of a nation will drive her politics, public education, ethics laws, etc.

Based on the findings of a 2012 survey performed by the Pew Research Center, nearly one in five of all adults, and one-third of adults under 30, have no religious affiliation. These 2012 percentages were the highest ever in Pew Research Center polling. These findings strongly suggest an increasingly secular America. But do they support the idea of a post-Christian America?

In June 2015, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages.  The ruling requires all states to recognize such unions. The implications of the ruling are far-reaching. Some Christian ministers feared being jailed if they refused to perform same-sex marriages. The public school system and prime time TV show producers felt empowered to more openly promote the idea of same-sex relationships. And those of us who held fast to our biblical view of marriage were deemed homophobic. But even in the case of such a historic ruling of the Supreme Court, does this mean we are living in a post-Christian America?

The problem lies in our loose definition of a Christian nation. What the heck is a Christian nation, anyway? In the strictest sense of the term, the United States of America is not a Christian nation and never has been. For instance, the first Amendment to our Constitution prohibits the making of any law pertaining to the establishment of a religion. That includes Christianity. So if America was never a Christian nation, how can she now be post-Christian?

America is not in covenant with God as Israel was and currently is. We may claim to be. But Israel’s unique relationship with God was not merely the result of self-proclamation. Rather, it was a unilateral choice on the part of God Himself.

I thank God for the United States of America. No other place in this world exists where I would prefer to live. I do believe that God’s hand was strongly upon the founding of our nation. The abundant blessings we enjoy are the direct result of our Christian-based core beliefs and worldview. Sad but true, our nation continues to stray from these.

But this is not about whether or not we are living in a post-Christian America. Actually, we need to consider two viewpoints here. For those involved in advancing other worldviews such as secularism and nationalism, they may joyfully label our nation as post-Christian because of our current social status. But from a Christian perspective, the current social status of our nation reflects the Church’s failure to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. This is mainly a serious wake-up call to the Church that by and large has fallen asleep.

Copyright © 2017 by Frank King. All rights reserved.