God and Country Christians

I’d like to recommend a book entitled, “The Unsaved Christian,” written by Dean Inserra. The book’s focus is cultural Christianity—those who think that they’re “fine with God” because they have familiarity with “Christian things.” The entire book is eye-opening and frankly, very disturbing. It’s a call to action on the part of true believers. It’s our responsibility to challenge cultural Christians with the reality of their unregenerate condition and to proclaim the explicit, unaltered Gospel in ways that will bring them to true salvation. As we approach the Fourth of July, Inserra’s chapter dealing with “God and Country Christians” will be our focus.

Rev. Inserra explains that Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, and The Fourth of July are the “High Holy Days” of “God and Country Cultural Christians.” But even though it’s right for Americans to celebrate freedom, and honor those who made it possible through their military service, “things get blurry and dangerous when we mingle American patriotism with theistic language.” He insists that we need to be careful about seamlessly blending “God and Country” in with apple pie and ice cream, or baseball and hotdogs. We need to realize that when we sing, “America, America, God shed His grace on thee,” that we’re talking about common grace and that God sheds His grace over the entire world. And we need to keep in mind that many who get goosebumps when Lee Greenwood sings “God Bless the U.S.A.” don’t realize that God’s blessing of eternal life isn’t conferred with their American citizenship. Equating American citizenship with citizenship in the Kingdom of God can be an eternally fatal misunderstanding.

To millions of Americans who have tears in their eyes as they sing “God Bless America” at baseball games, the God they’re singing of functions more like a national mascot than a God who demands our repentance and faith. It’s our job to awaken them to the reality that they’ve boughten into a false gospel with eternal consequences. If we truly care about the souls of our friends, co-workers, teammates, neighbors, and families, we need to see them as a unique mission field full of people who in many cases think that they are already Christians. It’s a delicate and sensitive endeavor, but we’ve been called to “make disciples of all nations,” and especially this one, where so many think they’re citizenship saves them.

Rev. Dean Inserra summarizes the situation with this commission to us all:

“Jesus claimed He would tell those religious people (Cultural Christians) to depart from Him because He never knew them. What a statement, and what a tragedy! Understanding this mission field and knowing the [God and Country] Cultural Christian landscape must keep us focused on Gospel-centered efforts to see people move from being ‘Christians’ by culture to Christians by conviction.”

On this Fourth of July, let’s remember that we are, indeed, blessed to be Americans, but being so has nothing to do with our eternal citizenship.

Written by Jim De Horn