When tragedies strike around the world and in our country, it isn’t uncommon to hear many Christians rise up and say “We need to be a more Christian world or nation!” Then, they reference bringing prayer back in schools and doing away with sinful acts.
However, when I hear these words, I wonder if people really know what it would mean for us to truly be a Christian nation? What would it mean and how would we know if we were a Christian nation?
Jesus answered that for us in His famous “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew chapters 5 through 7. He laid out a plan for all who followed His teachings to maintain a healthy walk in Him.
In the opening verses of chapter 5, He shares: “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (v. 3; NIV)
Instantly, Christ establishes that humility will be a sign of a Christian nation. A Christian nation would not boast in it’s power or wealth. A Christian nation would not look to be more in control, but willing to empower and equip other people to be strong as well. A Christian nation would be known for looking for ways to lift other people up, regardless of race; religion; culture; etc. in order to be humble in power.
Then, in verse 6 He says: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
Righteous is defined by Merriam-Webster as “acting in accord with divine or moral law: free from guilt or sin”, but also defined as “arising from an outraged sense of justice or morality.” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
A Christian nation will long for people to do things morally right. We would long for real justice to be served; to see homeless people under a roof; to see hungry kids and adults fed; to see people suffering from addiction to be broken from that bondage; and much more. We would not settle for a society with social levels, but equality. A Christian nation would be built upon righteous justice and not personal opinion or bias.
He continues in verse 7 saying: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” A Christian nation will rise up first with an open hand of mercy. Expressing forgiveness and not payback. Responding in love to those who do us wrong and not looking for ways to shut down their internet…I mean, responding with another wrong.
Finally, He encourages His followers by saying: “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (v. 10-12; NIV)
A Christian nation would embrace persecution and not be afraid of what is to come, as long as we are doing things in the name of righteousness and not selfish gain. Persecution will come for anything we do, but as long as we are doing things in the name of Christ, then the persecution should be expected and accepted because of the reward we receive in the glory of The Lord.
A Christian nation is a great concept. It is something we should be striving for. However, we need to know what we are asking for when we call for the nation to come back to Jesus.
We can only hope that if we truly do become a Christian nation, we can actually live up to the standards set by the One we want our nation to follow.
QUESTION: What does a “Christian Nation” mean to you?