June 29, 2011

Is America a Secular Nation or Christian Nation?

Many groups tout that America is a secular nation. They claim that Separation of Church and State is a fundamental part of the First Amendment. They don't want Congress to make any law respecting the establishment of any religion. They would rather have any mention of any deity forbidden within the walls of our government. Their claim is that government can only be neutral if it is secular. But what does that mean?

  1. of or pertaining to worldly things or to things that are not regarded as religious, spiritual, or sacred; temporal: secular interests.
  2. not pertaining to or connected with religion ( opposed to sacred): secular music.
  3. (of education, a school, etc.) concerned with nonreligious subjects.

Well, a secular government seems to support the ideals of 
Separation of Church and State... 
so it must be what we are.

The two ideals go hand in hand. But, Separation of Church and State was fabricated. We are not a secular nation. But, there are groups that want you to think so. They are pushing to have any reference to God/god removed from anything to do with local, state or federal government. From trying to remove the motto "In God We Trust" from our money and buildings, to trying to remove "Under God" from the pledge of Allegiance. They even want to change how we celebrate Christmas.

But, what they don't know, or choose to ignore, is that our great country was founded as a Theistic one. They won't stop to say that our forefathers did not wanted a purely secular government. If our forefathers did, then their wording of the Declaration of Independence wrong.
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
Does this mean that America is a Christian nation? I wouldn't go as far as to say that. Jews, Mormons, Protestants, Catholics and others included, only 14% of Americans actively attend church. How then can anyone call it this a Christian nation? Those numbers beg to differ. 

If we are not a secular nation and we are not a Christian nation, what are we? 
We are a melting pot. 
We are a nation that supports the ideals of a Creator. 
We are a nation of diverse beliefs. 
We are a nation of religious freedom.

God bless America.

June 3, 2011

Defining Atheism from the Bible

If you want to stir up a debate, just try to pin down a definition of Atheism. I often times mused over it's meaning within this very blog. A Christian typically sees it as varying in degrees from believer to disbeliever with Agnostics somewhere in the middle. It is thought of as "Yes, No or Maybe" there is a god. This is how I used to think about it. This "maybe"  is the heart of this argument.

Typically, an Atheist sees it as belief v disbelief - either you believe or you do not. Maybe disbelief is the wrong word - more accurately would be the lack of a belief.
An atheist is someone who does not believe in any deity. Atheist is the term for people who don't have any religious beliefs.
But is it that simple?

The sticky point comes in when dealing with Agnostics. To an Atheist, they still are lacking a belief in God or any god. To an Christian, they haven't denied the existence of God and are a class of their own that fits somewhere in the middle. But, how does the Bible define Atheism?  There are many verses that define what it means to be a Christian, but a verse that defines Atheism?
[He said to them,] Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
It looks pretty clear to me now. There are those who believe, or (mono)theists, and then are those who disbelieve, or atheists. There is no middle ground. To suggest that there is middle ground, is to suggest that there is an alternative to Heaven and Hell. There is no alternative... It is as simple as black and white.

But it takes more to being a Christian that checking a box on a census form. It takes more that filling out forms or celebrating holidays in church like Christmas and Easter. And that is the part that most people will miss. And, to God, these people will suffer the same fate as the Atheists, despite the label they embrace. For they are a "wolves in sheep's clothing."
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man..."