“Win Back America for Christ” – The Wrong Starting Place
It’s been said that he who frames the question wins the argument. In similar fashion, perhaps he who creates the headline frames the conversation?
There is a growing movement of fellow believers promoting the idea of, “Take back America for Christ.” Are they trying to say that somehow Christ lost America? Has Jesus been actively working hard to win a culture war in the United States only to find Himself on the losing side of the issues? Was Jesus driving down the road of time and in a distracted moment lost His grip on the steering wheel of our nation? Is Jesus now calling His saints to lead the charge with the banner of the cross with the Constantinian motto, in hoc signo vinces (in this sign conquer)?
I applaud the desire to influence society with godly ethics, morals, and values. After all, who loves Jesus and His Word and is not grieved by the sin so flagrantly being celebrated in our courts and culture? But I have to wonder if Christians are better off when we have the majority rule in our nation. We desire to see God’s truth promoted in the public square. After all, Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people (Proverbs 14:34). But does this mean that we need to try to recreate a majority nation of Christendom in America? Is “Win Back America for Christ” the new “Moral Majority”? Are we heading toward the establishment of a re-made religious right movement? Is that what this is? If so, I surely hope it has better lasting success than past iterations!
It is much more comfortable to live in a land where Christians and Christian principles are at least respected. It’s challenging to experience minority status as followers of Jesus. Evangelical Christians (and others claiming the moniker Christian) are now treated with suspicion or outright rejection. But so was Jesus. Is that so surprising?
Perhaps one unintended consequence of the national casting off of restraint and God’s Law is that, as other commentators have opined, the true church will be purified. Maybe the grace of God in Jesus will shine more brilliantly against the flaming darkness of despair – the inevitable end of sin, though at first delightful? Perhaps the sharper contrast between the path of right and wrong will open a door of light for sinners seeking escape?
It is my contention that as we move back toward the moral and religious climate experienced by our fellow travelers in Jesus of the first century we might be increasingly in a position to see the gospel spread rapidly. We who are American Christians need to reframe the headline to read: “Bear Witness to Jesus.” Maybe we need to start with Jesus and continue on with a commitment to winsomely share His good news despite the ire of those in majority culture. It’s not a culture war but a heart war we’re fighting.
Let’s not miss the fact that this nation has always been filled with sinners on their way to a Christless eternity. We have had a veneer of Christianity in our land, and, when it shined brightly we felt as if we were respected and heard. Perhaps we should accept the Spirit’s invitation to go outside the camp where Jesus is and worship and serve Him there. Maybe we’ll discover millions of other Christians already persecuted and waiting to welcome us.
Victory is not for the boldest, brightest, and brashest (or the most politically influential). Victory in Jesus is won person by person as the Holy Spirit draws sinners to repentance.
While we seek rightly to bring justice to our nation and morality back to the public square let us not forget that even if our country becomes more moral that doesn’t mean Christianity is winning! It just means that people who are morally cleaned up and ethically correct are going to split hell wide open as they enter into eternity without Jesus. Let’s keep the gospel the main thing even as we seek to influence the culture.
How I long to see truth on the rise in our nation! I desire to see abortion outlawed and homosexuality and greed denounced. However, whether these things are repudiated nationally or not, Jesus has not lost America and He doesn’t need our help winning it back. But we do need to seek for the souls of men and women, boys and girls and win them to Jesus.