Christianity and a New America?


I read the following article at Front Porch Republic and it resonated with me:

Beyond Capitalism and Socialism: Rebuilding an American Economy Focused on Family and Community

What the article lacks, though it mentions G.K. Chesterton extensively, is a keen understanding how these ideas mesh with biblical Christianity.

I’ve written before how the 19th-century Church failed to understand the consequences of industrialism,  social Darwinism, and postmillennial eschatology. Recovering what the Church gave away may be the only hope we have in keeping America from sliding into yet more high-handed governance.

But how does the Church accomplish such a task while staying on the Gospel point? And given the unrest in our nation, are we more open to the ideas in the article or even less so?

The comments are open. What do you think?

12 thoughts on “Christianity and a New America?

  1. David

    Interesting take on some of what was suggested in the Front Porch Republic article can be found here

    I think that if we consider the core of what it means to be a Christian, we will do those things that encourage the building of interpersonal relationships. Our personal finances, our physical well-being, etc., are all in God’s hands, and He gives us one task: Love one another.

    What we do with our money, what we buy and how we otherwise go about life should be viewed in the context of loving one another.

  2. Interesting article from Front Porch Republic. I hate big government and big business so I enjoyed it.

    As to your question, the unrest in our nation seems to me more an issue of people trying to protect their piece of the pie as it is rather than clamoring for a whole new way to do pie. So no, it makes us no more open to the ideas in the article, perhaps even less so.

  3. Really good questions, but I think the question remains to be answered if it is the church’s job to guard society from an ever more heavy-handed government.

    I think the answer lies in offering people something better than what a giant government can offer. Only when people turn away from the government to satisfy their needs will they stop forfeiting their rights to the government.

    • Matt,

      The problem is that the Church abandoned many of the arenas that government later filled (to continue to meet the need now that Christians no longer did). And when confronted with this truth, Christians want to claim that we can’t shove the genie back into the bottle. While that may be true, almost no one has tried to.

    • Mark Van Norden

      I think that is a great question, Matt, and my answer is no. Our responsibility is to the body, to the Kingdom, and we should be primarily (or even solely) about our Father’s business.

  4. “the church can’t do it” is exactly what came up on another blog a week or so ago. The Church can’t tend to all the poor people, feed all the hungry, clothe all the naked, so we should support the government doing it.

    I cried. I do realize that we’ve let the genie WAY outta the bottle and can hardly imagine the political upheaval required to change things, but to say that government SHOULD be doing it just makes me crazy.

  5. Mark Van Norden

    The responsibility of the church (i.e. Body of Christ as a whole), is to seek after Christ, so that individually and corporately we express Him in all that we do. In that vein we are also to love one another, which means, among other things, taking care of the poor, etc. among us. This means the poor, widows, etc. that are part of the body, but does not necessarily mean that we are responsible to care for all the poor in this world. This simply would not be possible. I believe that the Father is more concerned about building His Kingdom, His people, than he is about what happens in American politics. In truth, the more we as the Body express the person of Christ, the more we will be salt and light, the more the world will take notice, and the more people will be drawn to be a part (thus fulfilling the great commission).

    • Trudy

      Matthew 25:31-46 The parable of the sheep and the goats…especially vs 40 supports what you are saying re: caring for others believers in the body of Christ. This is a passage that is misapplied almost 100% of the time. Christ uses the term “brothers of Mine”. “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'”
      The focus of the church has been too much on participating in an attack on the problems with our society instead of a deliberate seeking after Christ, and living out our faith that others may see the difference He makes in the life of believers. The way to change society has through changing the hearts of individuals through Christ.

  6. Mark Van Norden

    So having actually read the article mentioned, I have to say there are indeed interesting similarities between what was described and how I believe the Lord calls His people to live. It is likely unrealistic to expect a widespread national expression of this in America, but I do think it would be interesting to explore this as believers, to see where the Lord might be wanting to move in this respect.

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