What Defines a “Christian Nation”?
First of all, what defines a Christian? Is it anyone who considers himself a part of the Christian culture or is it someone who struggles daily to obey Christ (Matt 7:19-23)? What percentage of a nation’s population must be Christian to qualify it as a Christian nation? If it goes below that percentage, is it no longer a Christian nation? (How many Christian nations are there?)
Is it founded by armed rebellion (Rom 13:1-7) against a nation that acknowledges the lordship of Christ or does it refuse to war against fellow Christians? Is it a theocracy - God’s choice for the nation of Israel? Does it recognize that freedom of religion allows the worship of other gods, thus constituting a state-given right to violate the First Commandment of our jealous God? Do its founding documents establish Christianity as the state religion and cite the Bible as its source of law? Do they make reference to either "Jesus" or to "Christ"? Does its flag bear a cross? Does it require all immigrants seeking citizenship to be Christians? Is there a requirement that its leaders be Christian? Does its government literally adhere to the teachings of Christ (a basic requirement for any nation claiming to be founded on Christian principles)?
Does it place obedience to Christ above life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness (John 12:25-26)? Does it love its enemies and not resist evil persons or does it respond to them the same way as do non-Christian nations? If the latter, is its ruler infallible in all areas or only in the decision to go to war? Are its weapons different from the weapons of the world (2 Cor 10:3-4)? Does it refuse to possess weapons that can destroy entire populations indiscriminately, or to to export conventional weapons to other nations to use for their own agendas? Does it overcome evil with good? Does it feed its enemies when they are hungry and give them drink when they are thirsty? Does it refuse to rejoice at the downfall of its enemies? Does it trust in God rather than the pre-Christian rationalization that the end justifies the means? Does it reject torture regardless of its effectiveness? Must it have a strong military in order to “trust” in God? Or can it even be an authority that bears the sword if all who take up the sword will perish by the sword?
Does it love its neighbors as itself? Does it respect the lives and property of citizens of other nations the same as those of its own citizens? Does it extend the same legal protections to non-citizens in its custody as it does to its own citizens? Does it refrain from intimidating, coercing, or deceiving other nations? Is its foreign policy free of the vices that start most wars: fear, pride, vengeance or greed, masquerading as justice?
Does it need to convince anyone that it’s a Christian nation or is it obvious? Does it reject pride for humility? Does it resist the temptation to believe its Christians do more for the kingdom of God (and presumably deserve greater blessing) than Christians in other nations? Does it give all glory to God rather than taking the credit for its successes? Are its monuments to God rather than men (or Liberty)? Does it confess its sins and repent of them? Does it value cooperation over competition? Is it skeptical of economic systems that are driven by greed? Does it eschew the accumulation of wealth and status and instead seek holiness? Does it honor “those who do the will of my Father” above entertainers and sports stars? Is it diligent to avoid pagan traditions in its holidays (mixing the profane with the holy)? Is it exemplary in its low crime and divorce rates? Is it more interested in reconciling murderers to God than in putting them to death, desiring that none should perish? Do its citizens refuse to sue one another? Does its history reflect respect for ethnic minorities? Does its citizens’ love for one another make it stand out from other nations and draw them to Christ? Does it look like the kingdom of God?
Or does a “Christian nation” just have to be founded by “Christians”?