You might be a Christian Statist if….

Having grown up in the Church my entire life, I have come to recognize the influence of the State on people who attend worship services. They are there ostensibly to worship God, but they actually belong to the American Civic Religion which, incidentally, is separate from the American Exceptionalism Civic Religion.

Followers of the American Civic Religion emphasize the following as virtues:

  • Obedience to secular authority under all circumstances*
  • Paying taxes
  • Supporting the local school district
  • Voting
  • Being nice to people, but not necessarily honest or kind
  • Avoid anything seen as “extreme” or on the “fringe” when it comes to any moral, social, political, or theological matters. Also known as “go with the flow.”

*Except when the authority doesn’t coerce others into doing what “they” want

Here are some signs that you might be a Christian Statist, if……

  • You regard resistance of any kind against government as unbiblical, but leave any church whose leadership tells you “what to do,” i.e. not gossip or spread rumors, cheat, swindle.
  • You consider criticism of single motherhood to be “judging,” but a marriage isn’t complete without a government-issued marriage license.
  • You employ the “Fear God, honor the King” verse in response to critics of the president, but you badmouth your pastor behind his back.
  • You proclaim that everyone must “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s,” but you never finish the rest of the verse (Give to God what is God’s).
  • You take time to thank veterans at church for “their service” every Nov. 11, but never those who have been persecuted for their faith.
  • You complain about the coffee at church, but when the government wastes $10 million dollars you say “They’re doing their best.”
  • You can name all the U.S. presidents, but who the heck is Jim Elliot, Richard Wurmbrand, Jon Hus, or William Tyndale?
  • You complain whenever the church discusses financial problems due to low tithing, but attribute every problem with government to a lack of funding.
  • You rarely tithe, but vote “yes” on every tax increase and call people “selfish” who vote “no.”
  • You think marijuana is evil for Christians to smoke, cancer or not, because the government says so, but you force your adolescent son to gobble down the pills your doctor prescribed him that come with the warning “may cause suicidal thoughts.”
  • Gun owners are crazy paranoid psychopaths, but police officers who point automatic weapons at protesters are just “trying to keep them safe.”
  • You believe the Beatitudes are legal ordinances the government is supposed to enforce.
  • You think “Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself” would make a fantastic name for a welfare bill.
  • The hymn “Onward, Christian Soldier” makes you think of the War on Drugs/Poverty/Terror.
  • You never wonder why it’s called the “Battle of the Hymn of the Republic,” not “Battle Hymn of the Church.”
  • You think sending your child to get a state-run education without any biblical teaching or perspective is exactly how God commanded Christians to raise their children.
  • You get uncomfortable when you see fathers discipline their children, but fathers shot by police after mistaking their no-knock raid for intruders just need to “stop resisting.”
  • You think the Bible is open to many interpretations of which there is no definitive “truth,” but if the Supreme Court say it’s OK for the government to do something, then that’s the end of the debate.
  • You donate eagerly to Wounded Warriors, but not the Voice of Martyrs.
  • You think involuntary servitude is wrong, but conscription patriotic.
  • You consider voting Republican/Democrat to be the sign of a true Christian.
  • You think those who don’t vote are sinning.
  • You hem and haw about a man beating a child molester caught in the act as engaging in “revenge,” but the government bombing a Third World country for the actions of a few individuals not even from the region being obliterated is “justice.”
  • You think a man who uses violence to protect his family needs to “turn the other cheek,” but anyone with a uniform and/or shiny badge must do whatever necessary if he feels his personal safety is in danger under any and all circumstances.
  • You think it’s perfectly acceptable for the high school health teacher to instruct your daughter on how to put a condom on a wooden knob, but her youth pastor at church needs to stop talking about dressing appropriately.
  • You think when a Christian does X, it is a sin, but when government does X, it somehow becomes an act of righteousness.
  • Your copies of the latest neo-con and liberal books are well-thumbed and sitting on your kitchen table, but the copies of Pilgrim’s Progress and the Westminster Confession your grandmother gave you are somewhere in the attic.
  • The NSA surveillance doesn’t bother you, but you sympathize with Jonah trying to hide from God.
  • You know the Pledge of Allegiance, but not the Nicene Creed or the Apostle’s Creed.
  • You struggle to understand God’s judgment against the Israelites after they murder one of his prophets, but shrug when you hear about the latest U.S. drone strike blowing up a wedding because there “might” have been a suspected terrorist attending.
  • God striking down Uzzah bothers you, but not the president when he eliminates someone from his “kill list.”
  • It’s more offensive to you for someone to curse the president than to curse God.
  • You enjoy conversations discussing the flaws in the Church, but argue as soon as the critiquing is directed at government.
  • You’re more concerned about obeying the law than obeying God.
  • You trust a politician more than you trust God.
  • You’re more concerned about your child getting good grades/good university/good degree/good career than you are about them getting into Heaven.
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One Response to You might be a Christian Statist if….

  1. Pingback: American Evangelicals Need to Stop Bleeding Blue | The Anarchist Notebook | Libertarian Anarchy

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