Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Hypothetical Christian Nation: Immigration

The phrase "Christian nation" is tossed about very casually, perhaps without much thought as to what exactly a Christian nation would resemble. So I plan to pick apart the gritty details of what a hypothetical Christian nation (for brevity, henceforth "HCN") might look like. I realize that I may seem silly in taking the concept of a Christian nation to such extremes, but I wanted to provide a more thought out perspective on this somewhat oft-used phrase.

In my opinion, if a nation would have the audacity to call itself a "Christian nation," its ultimate governing authority would not be a body of men or a well-written document, but the Bible itself. All authority and all laws would be able to be simply(?) derived from it. Perhaps you would define it differently. Perhaps you would define a Christian nation merely as a nation composed solely of Christians, with no other stipulations. But how can a nation be a Christian nation if it does not have the Bible (and thus, God) as its chief authority? Take the U.S., for example. When Supreme Court justices are duking it out over this case or that, do they turn to the Bible? No, they turn to Constitution, unless they're activist judges (in which case they seem to turn to their feelings).

Ultimately, the whole issue of the HCN is muddled by the fact that almost everyone has varying opinions on some or all of Christianity. I don't believe any one denomination has a monopoly on the truth, so whose version of Christianity do we use? To which everyone replies, "Mine!"

All that finally leads us to the main point of the post: immigration in the HCN. I would maintain that a true geopolitical, "tangible"/physical Christian nation here on earth would have to be one that supports open and unrestricted immigration to any who labeled themselves as "Christian."

If this HCN consisted of Christians only, what would it do if non-citizen Christians wished to become citizens of the state? This would create an immigration nightmare, I would think. Based on Galatians 5:19-21, those who create factions will not inherit the Kingdom of God. If the immigration authorities did not let in Christians of all make/model/year/trim, I can imagine there would be some animosity. So since this HCN would ultimately be bound to the Word of God, it would have to let any Christian freely become an HCN citizen.

But then how does an HCN's immigration authority deem who is or is not a Christian? Surely not everyone who calls himself a Christian actually is one. Who is the judge of such things? Who can judge the heart of men? Only God. Perhaps small amounts of insight could be gleaned from watching how people live. But we are talking about an immigration authority here; they would have to send out one or more agents to observe the behavior of applicants for a period of days/months/years. How could you know whether or not applicants were putting on an act?

There's also the issue of the church caring for the sick and needy. Would an HCN be able to turn away a genuinely needly non-Christian family who sought refuge within its borders?

(If I have inspiration, motivation, and help from my lovely and smart wife, this could turn into a mini-series.)

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  • Alan

    There has never been a Christian nation in the history of the world, and I don't think there ever will be. There has been a Jewish nation, and we see how that turned out.

    The American continent was populated in part by people seeking religious freedom -- more or less the opposite of a state religion.