This past July Fourth, the 245th birthday of our nation, the retail giant Hobby Lobby ran an ad in several national newspapers. The ad’s headline was “One Nation Under God,” a quote from the Pledge of Allegiance to our nation’s flag. The ad then quoted the Bible, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,” Psalm 33:12. These were followed by various quotes from our founding fathers and leaders in government and education.
The ad did not advocate anything, it was just quotes. But that did not stop the anti-Judeo-Christian Chicken Littles form claiming Hobby Lobby was calling for a “theocracy” and the dismantling of the wall separating church and state. One citizen from Oregon said the ad was “absolutely frightening.”
Despite the rhetoric and opinions shared in the press, Hobby Lobby did not suggest at any point in its ad that America should have a “Christian-run government.” And what is so “absolutely frightening” about quoting the Pledge of Allegiance, the Bible and some of our nation’s historical leaders?
What I found alarming was how far our people have drifted from their historic Judeo-Christian moorings. Although this is not a sudden thing; our nation’s religious nature and conscience have been ebbing from high to low tide for generations now.
Here’s a news flash, historically speaking it was not governments, the state, that called for a separation of church and state. It was the church, religious groups like the Anabaptists, that called for a separation between the church and state, because the state was persecuting them for their religious practices.
I want a high wall separating church and state; I do not want a state that is 23.3 trillion dollars in debt dictating fiscal irresponsibility to the church, nor telling it how it should respond to sexual immorality. I do not want a church influenced by the acrimony that characterizes congressional infighting and the inability to work together for the common good of all Americans.
The closest thing to a theocracy recorded in Scripture is when Moses led the nation of Israel out of Egyptian bondage. This is because slaves who had never known liberty needed God’s guidance in the practice of their newfound freedom.
I believe that is what our founding fathers and others were saying to our nation’s newly independent states. They were not suggesting America should be a theocracy. They were saying that living by biblical principles are the only way to ensure we remain free. When freedom of religion is lost, the other freedoms we enjoy will fall like dominoes.
God told Moses, “I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him,” Deuteronomy 18:18. Jesus was the fulfillment of that prophecy, and he will return soon to usher in, not a man-made theocracy, but one that is heaven sent. We will then be one nation under God.