A Faithful Nation
By Michael D. Peabody
EXCERPT: Just because Christians believe something does not mean that the government needs to make a law to enforce that belief. To put it bluntly, in America it is legal to believe things that could compromise your own eternal salvation. The state will not stand in the way of incorrect theology. And it would be wrong for the state to assume such power, because, in Protestant thought, spiritual actions and even knowledge without an internal change of heart are worthless.
Conservatives who often express great concern about an emerging “nanny state” ought to take specific note of religious rules coming from the right as well as the left. If Protestantism is, as Santorum suggests, on life support, then it is in desperate need of revival as a belief system that recognizes that the grace of God can fall unfiltered on individuals. Protestantism, indeed Christianity and other religious beliefs, are here to tell the world that there is something more than what we see around us and to point to transcendental beliefs.
If American Protestantism wants to reach its potential, it needs to work to elevate humanity, not by conforming itself to secular society or forcing secular society to conform to its religion, but by pointing the world to a better alternative. If the Protestant faith community can truly embrace this calling—and it is a calling, not a prodding—it will achieve the transformation that it seeks to achieve in the hearts of Americans and people around the world.
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