Evolutionary thought has accustomed us to think of polytheism, the belief in many gods or forces, as a mark of primitive cultures emerging out of animism. Polytheism is ostensibly succeeded by monotheism, and monotheism by science and reason. This construction is not historical; it is, moreover, philosophical and mythological.
In colonial America the church was the hub of community and social life. It was frequently a center for news regarding community, colonial, and international affairs. Not surprisingly, the signals across Boston Harbor to warn patriots of the approach of the British originated from the Old North Church.
Puritans also stressed divine sovereignty and sphere sovereignty. A sovereign God ordained all earthly authority. God also established different spheres of authority (state, church, family), and each institution had legitimate authority within its sphere. While the state was entrusted by God with the power of the sword, for the ends of lawful defense and the administration of justice, the state had no right to intrude on the affairs of the church or family.
My favorite anecdote about citizenship concerns a confederate soldier brought before General Benjamin Butler at the end of the Civil War. “We gave you hell at Chickamauga, General!” said the soldier.
In the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18–20 (“teach all nations…”), Christ calls Christians to be agents of social change in non-Christian cultures.
If we are honest and thoughtful, we will find that certain ideas we hold dear, and believe to be good and right, may be more the product of our culture than of a Christian worldview. Patriotism is one of them. Can we make our patriotism captive to the obedience of Christ?
What is the Christian take on movies? Can Hollywood be a part of Christian culture? And what about those “Christian movies”? Movie screenwriter Brian Godawa answers these questions.
Ask the average American pastor if you can have ten minutes out of the Sunday morning service to encourage the members to participate in the upcoming election, and he will probably look at you like you just spontaneously grew a third ear in the middle of your forehead.
Imagine a Roman Empire, in the 1st century, in which the public officials — from the emperor on down to the local tax collector — are elected by universal suffrage. Even the slaves vote.