Paul Huse has been asking questions on his blog recently. Today he posed these questions:

  1. Is the US a Christian nation?
  2. Has the US ever been a Christian nation?
  3. What does the phrase ‘separation of church and state’ mean to you?
  4. What does religious freedom, as outlined in the Constitution/Ammendments, mean to you?

Is the United States a Christian nation? The US has never been a Christian nation, at least in the strict sense of that statement. The United States is a republican nation founded on principles that were first defined in scripture. Does that make it a Christian nation? I don’t think so. The people that are America are not mostly Christian, and the kind of society we have is most certainly not Christian in its character. What we do have, I think, is a Biblical form of government, not a theocracy by any means, but a form of government that is based on ideas and conclusions made in scripture first.

The separation of church and state is a highly misunderstood statement that can nowhere be found in our constitution or bill of rights. A statement written by Jefferson to a church, used to alleviate fears of governmental control, it has been misapplied to the point of removing all Christian influences from government. The first amendment only prohibits the establishment of a state religion, and the interference of the government in a religious activity. Our government should not so much be separated from religion as much as it should be restrained from interference.

I should have the right, as an individual, to exercise my religious beliefs in public or private, insofar as those practices do not limit or damage the freedoms of my fellow men.

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I have been writing on the web since 2000. I am a christian , a photographer, an occasional poet, a recovering dreamer, an occasional philosopher, a software developer, an autodidact, and i resemble the INFP personality type.

13 Comments

  1. You’re reading Symposium and Phaedrus? What a waste of time. You should read some G.K. Chesterton books, or any of the numerous books I have sitting around, instead. Ancient Greek philosophers had way too much time on their hands, in my opinion.

  2. I don’t like theology books… they tend only to confuse me. I’d rather just study scripture myself.

    Incidently… what does this train of thought have to do with this post anyway?

  3. Oh, it doesn’t have anything to do with this post. I just wanted to comment on your reading choice. If you want me to bring it back on topic, I could mention that Plato also wrote The Republic, a foundational work in the philosophy of government.

  4. BTW, if you don’t like theological books because they confuse you, then why are you reading non-Christian philosophy books? Won’t that only make things worse?

  5. I suppose it’s a matter of emotional preparedness. I have a greater affinity for philosophy than theology, and tend to think in terms of philisophical lines. I feel like I am better prepared to defend myself against a philisophical argument, than a theological one. My understanding of specifics in scripture is always limited by my short term memory, thus arguments about technicalities in scripture are hard to settle for me. I always end up with a vague feeling of uneasiness when confronted witha theological argument I think is wrong, but can’t prove because I haven’t spent any time studying that particular passage.

    On the other hand, philosophy tends to speak in terms of generality, and generalities I remember. I don’t have as hard of a time seeing the flaw in logic or the error in a presupposition, because I have a solid body of understanding gained from scripture, though where is scripture would be difficult to determine right away. Does that make sense?

  6. Philosophy, apart from Christ, is nothing but blowing in the wind. Sure, it’s fun to exercise your mind with arguments and syllogisms, but unless those things point to Christ, they are ultimately worthless. Plato does not intend to point to Christ, even though some of his ideas were later incorporated into Christianity. Theology is preeminently more important than mere philosophy, and is even built on philosophy. Theology is (in its best instances) baptized philosophy, because it uses the rhetoric and tools created by the philosophers for the cause of Christ.

  7. You are correct. Lets establish then a definition of terms. Because I think we are operating under incongruent versions of Theology and Philosophy. Both Theology and Philosophy can be found without Christ, and thus vain and pointless, yet again they both can be found with Christ and usefull. Theology is the study of God and His attributes, Philosophy the study of brotherly love or perhaps we could say it is the study of brotherhood.

    Perhaps one reason I find theology books uninteresting and in general not useful, is because I do not have any questions that they seem to answer, and because I do not trust what they have to say most of the time. I’ve stood under the teaching of to many people who are firm on what they believe and can argue convincingly and still not agree. I don’t have time or inclination to try and decipher the mistakes and errors in peoples writings about God. I do not trust them, and would rather spend my time studying the scripture first hand.

    Not that I trust Plato, but he intrigues me, and he does speak about things about which I have questions and in which I have interest. I believe that Plato wrote some works that are True Philosophy, and thus worth reading. I also believe that there are other authors who have writting works that are True Theology and also worth reading. Perhaps when I have reason and need, I will read them.

  8. Well, here’s what Dictionary.com has to say about philosophy:

    phi-los-o-phy
    n. pl. phi-los-o-phies
    1. Love and pursuit of wisdom by intellectual means and moral self-discipline.
    2. Investigation of the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based on logical reasoning rather than empirical methods.
    3. A system of thought based on or involving such inquiry: the philosophy of Hume.
    4. The critical analysis of fundamental assumptions or beliefs.
    5. The disciplines presented in university curriculums of science and the liberal arts, except medicine, law, and theology.
    6. The discipline comprising logic, ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, and epistemology.
    7. A set of ideas or beliefs relating to a particular field or activity; an underlying theory: an original philosophy of advertising.
    8. A system of values by which one lives: has an unusual philosophy of life.

    My definition of “philosophy” was always a mish-mash of most of these. I’ve never heard it defined as “the study of brotherly love,” though; I thought of it more as a logical system of explaining the world. But philosophy (as I define it) will never find the right answers unless it has a correct theology, because the world only makes sense once God is in his proper place. I’ve also been noticing that the current relationship between God and the world is to be found almost exclusively through the church, which acts as a mediator of sorts. If we do not have a correct philosophy of the church (i.e., ecclesiology), then our concept of how God relates to mankind will be incorrect.

  9. I posted a recent article on this very subject in my blog not to long ago wonder if it’s still there? Hehe I really need to get my Blog Archives up and running along with a search feature.

    By the way have you checked out my forum section yet jason?

  10. I really need to put some kind of general site comments up… 12 posts here… and none of them have anything to do with the post… <sheesh>

  11. Nice post. I don’t have anything to add or comment on right now, but I agree with everything ye said.