As I’m nearing the end of The Myth of a Christian Nation, some important points are standing out to me—particularly Boyd’s point on the over-reliance on government. 

First, people who believe America is in fact a “nation under God” may be inclined to view government as the handmaiden of God and thus inclined to rely on it to carry out the work God has called the church to carry out.  More specifically, as with most other Americans, many Christians assume it’s the church’s job to take care of the people’s spiritual needs and the government’s job to take care of its physical needs (153).

Kingdom people need to remember that the hope of the world doesn’t lie in government; it lies in Jesus Christ and in the willingness of his people to mimic his example (154)

This is interesting to me.  If the secular community’s reliance on government isn’t enough to be concerned about, now Boyd has pointed out how some Christians get swept into the mess.  Boyd keeps arguing that Christians need to worry less about what the government is doing and focus more on carrying out the Kingdom work—and that includes providing for the physical needs of others.  I agree that it is the church’s responsibility to take care of the poor and not the government’s, and that’s why we’ve gotten into the mess that we’re in.  The church was inactive for too long, and government has taken over.  But now we’re in a situation where the church needs to be politically involved to take back its responsibility.  I’m talking about lessening the government’s involvement in our lives—not forcing religion on people.  Christians need to be sensible and responsible with their political involvement and the way they behave and communicate with people.  They must never forget that they are Christ’s representatives. 

I was disappointed to learn about the recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church and their anti-gay, military funeral protests.  According to Comcast News, “The protesters carried signs that stated, ‘God Hates You,’ ‘You Are Going To Hell,’ and ‘Thank God for Dead Soldiers.’”  This is exactly why authors like Boyd feel that the church should not be associated with politics. 

But what’s really interesting about this whole story is that “the American Civil Liberties Union and more than 20 news organizations supported the church, saying free-speech rights protected even outrageous, offensive or unpopular messages.”  Isn’t that just lovely.  The good ol’ ACLU who never supports the church on anything is supportive of hate speech coming from the church.  The same organization that, at other times, attempts to have people sued for hate speech for saying, in a loving way, that homosexuality is a sin.  I bet you anything that if the church was holding signs that said “God loves you” the ACLU would be all over them in a heartbeat. 

Christians, don’t be like those from the Westboro Church.  What were these “Christians” thinking?  I’m sorry, but true Christians know that God does not hate anyone—even the vilest of offenders—and that to say someone is going to Hell, even if it’s apparent that they might be, is just plain wrong.  This kind of behavior does nothing to advance the kingdom of God or transform the lives of homosexuals—or anyone else.  Instead, it leaves them with a bitter taste for Christians and anything they stand for, particularly God.

Edit: The more I hear and think about it, I’m not disappointed in the Supreme Court’s ruling.  I’m just disappointed in the protestors.

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