The Decline of Christian Values is a Danger to America
by Lindsey Jensen, My Faith Votes, 6/11/2020
Growing up, love of God and love of country was part of my home. Whether it was stories of my grandfathers’ many missions while flying for the Air Force, or stories of my grandmother caring for their family while he was away, I was reminded about those who sacrificed for the liberties that make America so unique. I also knew America afforded my father, and therefore my family, the opportunity for the American dream. I knew he was raised without privilege or material wealth, but because he worked hard, America opened her doors and he walked through them to earn the title CEO and business owner.
As we celebrate another Flag Day, it is important to understand what makes this nation so unique and why this flag is worth fighting for.
Flag Day is a tribute to the day that the SecondContinental Congress met to create a united fighting force, The Continental Army. Prior to this day, the colonists weren’t fighting under a single flag. So in the midst of the American Revolution, they met to create the first American flag in hopes of unifying the people in their fight against their oppressors, Great Britain.
On this Flag Day, we are in another battle against the ultimate oppressor. Because what makes this nation so different is that this nation is rooted in the belief that our ultimate freedom comes from God, not the government. As Christianity declines and people lose sight of these truths, we are in serious danger.
One of the greatest historical events occurred when Thomas Jefferson and the Continental Congress penned our Declaration of Independence in 1776. This revolutionary document states that in this country, we believe our rights are “unalienable”, meaning they cannot be taken nor given away. It was God who introduced the idea of equal rights and justice. When we open the pages of Genesis, we find that God created man in His image. We are not God, but we were deemed valuable above all other things. This concept alone impacts human rights. If we live by this, we see others as worthy of love and respect. We do not have rights because we deserve them or have earned them. We do not have these rights because of our skin color or gender. We have these rights because God deemed that we were made in His likeness.
We see this in the very fabric of America’s history. As Thomas Jefferson wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This does not mean America has lived this out perfectly. But it is the hope that God has for us individually and the hope that our Founding Fathers had for this Nation. Jefferson clearly states that natural rights are not a gift from our government. Jefferson further explains natural rights to include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This doesn’t mean you have the right to – or will have – complete happiness at all times, but you have the right to pursue it. You have the right to be free from government coercion, confiscation, and redistribution. Not the right to a life which you feel entitled to, but the right to live your life as you want according to your own consciousness and within the boundaries established in the Constitution of this Republic.
Without the belief in God or the natural rights given to us by God, the Constitution wouldn’t exist nor could it be upheld. The first amendment speaks directly to our individual rights to express ourselves in speech and in faith. It states that Congress will not take away the right of men and women to speak their minds freely and to choose their God. Our Constitution does not specify rights to one group and not another, but to all men. Our 15th amendment addresses the right to vote: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” These rights are not ideas first formed by man, they are repeated throughout the Bible.
Being called a Christian nation was never about the number of citizens who practiced Christianity. America was known by this title because it was shaped by Christianity.
The very foundation of this country is built upon Biblical ideas, such as protection for religious liberties; a republic form of government rather than a theocratic form; and a free-market approach to religion, to ensure religious diversity and rights of religious practice. In 1776, when America was founded, the majority of Americans were Christians. Every European American, with the exception of about 2,500 Jews, identified as a Christian. This is no longer something America can claim to be true.
In a recent Pew study, research indicates: “The religious landscape of the United States continues to change at a rapid pace. In Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019, 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians when asked about their religion, down 12 percentage points over the past decade. Meanwhile, the religiously unaffiliated share of the population, consisting of people who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” now stands at 26%, up from 17% in 2009. In stark contrast, only half of Millennials (49%) describe themselves as Christians; four-in-ten are religious “nones,” and one-in-ten Millennials identify with non-Christian faiths.”
As Christianity declines, we see that more people in our nation look favorably on the idea of more government involvement. Instead of turning to God or the church, they want the government to solve their problems.
The danger of the decline in Christianity and the push towards government reliance is evidenced by countries like China. They continue to place restrictions on religious freedom and in turn create government reliance. According to UCA News, “the new Administrative Measures for Religious Groups, will control every aspect of religious activity within China, and will mandate that all religions and believers in China comply with regulations issued by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which must be acknowledged as the higher authority.”
In 2018, China placed more restrictions on religious freedom. Online retailers were barred from selling copies of the Bible. Muslim communities are not allowed to wear traditional religious dress and the Chinese government even reserves the right to deny baby names that may hold religious meaning. The Chinese Communist Party is not accountable to voters and denies the public any meaningful influence or participation in political affairs. All internet use is censored by the government and all forms of media are highly restricted. As the government gains power, the people lose power.
The answer to America’s needs is not a bigger government. The answer is to embrace what our founding fathers hoped for this nation. They knew that our rights came from God, that we are all equal in His eyes, and that Biblical ideas are what made this country so unique.
As we see fear and hostility grow in our society, it is important that we do not reject God, but that we seek God. And for those of us who are Christians, it is time to step up. Not only is there a decline in those who call themselves Christians, but there is arguably a decline in those who actually live out their Christian beliefs.
Our nation is feeling the repercussions of Christians who ‘check the box’ and attend church but don’t actually want the Word of God to inform their daily life and change the way they live. Our nation needs the kind of people that reflect Christ in all they do.
We need to redefine “church” because Jesus intended His church to be a people. America needs people who will stand up against what current culture says is good, but what inevitably brings pain. We need people who fight for life in the womb but show grace to women who have chosen abortion. We need people who uphold the sanctity of marriage but give compassion to those who have endured divorce. We need people who will give to the poor, but not take away their dignity by making them reliant on the government.
Our foundation as a Christian nation cannot endure without people who fight for the very ideas that gave us the right to this title. And holding fast to this foundation is not only for America’s gain but for the world. As Eric Metaxas stated, “When God blessed America — and he has blessed us all these years — he didn’t do it to bless us. He did it to bless the whole world through us.”
If America places hope in the government and not God, we will forever regret it. The government cannot carry the weight of the world, but God can. So today, as you look up at “Old Glory” waving, remember what she stands for and that she is worth fighting for – and pray for America.
Lindsey Jensen is a Pediatric Speech Therapist, Realtor, and occasional author with a passion for America, our military, and conservative values. She is a Brand Ambassador for Turning Point USA and on the Board of Directors for the Boots for Warriors Foundation. Originally from Colorado, she now lives in Dallas, Texas. Although her geographical roots have changed, her roots in Christ haven’t. She cites her strong faith as the driving force behind her convictions. Lindsey can be reached at: email@example.com.