Culture can be defined as a particular society at a particular time and place. Culture can also be defined as the attitudes and behaviors that are characteristic of a group of people. It is true that American culture in this place and time is significantly different from American culture in previous times. Religious freedom was once an idea in American culture that seemed impervious to change, redefinition, and even rejection. But here we are, in a culture now that is on the precipice of changing several basic ideas that served as the anchor and ground of the American experiment. The right to bear arms, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion are all in serious jeopardy, just to name a few. I admit that it is undeniably true that American culture is changing and depending on how one defines secularism, she is become more secular. What I don’t buy into is the alarmist response. I reject the concept that it really, really matters that America should not become more secular. I reject it because she is not becoming any more idolatrous than she has been for centuries now. And I think that Christians ought to be concerned, not with the shallow religious hypocrisy that exists in their culture as much as they should be concerned about the pure idolatry they witness. American culture has never been predominantly Christian, at least not since the very beginning if in fact she really was then. Its time for Christians to let go of that myth. American culture celebrates sexual promiscuity openly now while in the past she practiced it in private. She honors the greedy openly now and she has been doing so for a very long time. American culture openly murders millions of babies in the name of women’s health and women’s rights. American culture perverts biblical Christianity, rewriting Scripture through a hermeneutic that allows them to create the sort of Jesus and the kind of Christianity they can tolerate and embrace. American culture is an idolatrous culture, filled with every kind of greed, lust, lie, and disgusting vice imaginable. And what is more, many American Christians vary from being indifferent to accepting, participating, endorsing, and even celebrating this rebellious culture.
2. Christian Community
A. Christian Defined
So what then does it mean to be a Christian? If one wants to defend the idea that American either is or was a Christian nation, they will have to define for us what it means to be Christian. To be a Christian is to be a disciple. Jesus said “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” (Matt. 16:24) Self-denial is at the heartbeat of what it is to be a Christian. Self-denial is also the antithesis of Americanism. American is all about elevating the self, preserving the individual. Christianity is all about the other, all about denying the self. In America, we have men taking other men sexually, calling it love, and then demanding that Christianity accommodate their selfish and perverse lusts. And we have pseudo Christians not only tolerating and celebrating these activities, but demanding that Christianity be reinterpreted to accommodate this disgusting behavior. Christians are children of God while pagans are children of the devil. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. (1 Jn. 3:10) Christian’s live a life that is defined primarily by practicing righteous deeds, honoring God’s law, albeit imperfectly. Pagans live a life that is defined primarily by debaucheries, rebellious, and selfish living. Christians love God while pagans do not. “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (Jn. 14:15) Jesus was clear – if you love me, you will keep my commandments. But we have arrogant American Christians turning this upside down on its head and then having the unmitigated gall to tell us that we are the arrogant ones. It is simple: Christians love God. Those who love God will keep God’s commandments. Those who pervert God’s commandments in order to avoid keeping them are clearly not Christians because they do not love God. And if one does not love God, they hate God.Christianity then is defined, not be modern, western, American culture. It is defined by the divine revelation of Christian Scripture once and for all to ancient Jews living in Palestine who were regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit and who were the very first Christians. Americans, with all their money, their technology, and the accomplishments are utterly unable to change what it means to be a Christian.