‘Christians who are citizens of the United States have as much right to advocate for their side of a given issue as anyone else’
August 8, 2022
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — A common pro-abortion response to the Supreme Court ruling on the Dobbs v. Jackson case that overturned the infamous 1973 Roe v. Wade is that Christians are determined to make America a purely “Christian” nation and should therefore stay out of politics. For believers who are looking for the best way to address these accusations and better understand how to reach the lost with the Gospel in these trying times, D. L. Moody Center (moodycenter.org) President James Spencer recently released an innovative guide titled “20 Questions: Christians, Abortion, and the United States.”
The guide presents 20 questions that Christians might be wrestling with in light of the Dobbs ruling, as well as well-reasoned, thoughtful responses.
Spencer commented, “‘20 Questions’ is intended to help Christians adopt a posture of compassion toward those who are committed to a pro-abortion stance, as well as offer biblical and theological insights regarding the topic of abortion overall. It seeks to offer a unique take on the abortion question by evaluating the relationship between the church and state, taking a decidedly theological approach to the way Christians should respond to those in the pro-abortion camp, and offering key insights from the Old Testament about abortion.”
For those wondering if America really is a Christian nation, or the role of Christianity in the political sphere, Spencer clarifies what would make America a “Christian” nation and why it is inevitable that religion and morality affect politics.
“There is a difference between keeping ‘Christianity’ out of politics and keeping ‘Christians’ out of politics,” Spencer explains.
“First, keeping Christianity out of politics is largely governed by the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause and precludes governmental manipulations through religion. The Establishment Clause does not preclude religious groups from coordinating around issues they deem significant to express their desires to those who represent them in government.
“Second, Christians who are citizens of the United States have as much right to advocate for their side of a given issue as anyone else. Such is the nature of a representative democracy. Our democracy is by, for, and of the people — as long as there are Christians among the people, I think it will be difficult to keep ‘our Christianity’ out of politics.”
Spencer continued, “When people suggest that the United States is a ‘Christian nation,’ they may have in mind that (a) some of those who founded our nation were Christians, (b) throughout our nation’s history, biblical terminology has been part of our national discourse, (c) there is some perceived alignment between the principles coded into our nation’s governing documents and the teachings of the scriptures, and/or (d) there was a period in history when many, if not most, of the citizens in the United States held to a Judeo-Christian ethic.
“While it is certainly true that some of our founders were Christian and that the Constitution aligns, to some degree, with the moral and ethical teachings of scripture abstracted from their theological context, the simple fact is that the United States has no particular loyalty to Jesus Christ.”
Spencer concludes, “We don’t advocate for certain moral rules (like abortion) because we believe our nation is ‘Christian.’ We do so because, as Christians, we recognize that God sits above our political leaders. Advocating for the institution of certain moral rules (like abortion) is one of the ways that we express our faith in Christ and urge our political leaders to fulfil their function as a ‘secondary theatre of witness.’”
For more of Spencer’s thoughts on the role of Christians in politics, see his recent op-ed in ___________.
“20 Questions: Christians, Abortion, and the United States”is offered at no cost from D. L. Moody Center as part of its “Shine Bright 365” initiative. “Shine Bright 365” is a year-long comprehensive campaign designed to encourage believers to shine bright for Christ in a dark world.
Spencer concluded, “As Dwight Moody once said, ‘In the place God has put us, he expects us to shine, to be living witnesses, to be a bright and shining light. While we are here, our work is to shine for him.’ We have recently been placed in a post-Roe v. Wade world. Our task now is to shine brightly for Christ in this new world.”
The D. L. Moody Center is also pleased to announce the launch of its new eight-day Bible plan, Useful to God, on the YouVersion app. Drawing on Spencer’s book titled “Useful to God: Eight Lessons from the Life of D. L. Moody,” this Bible plan examines eight characteristics evident in the Scriptures and in the life of D. L. Moody (e.g., surrendered, prayerful, humbled, undistracted, and studious). Thousands have already completed the plan, with hundreds more subscribing daily.
The D.L. Moody Center is an independent non-profit organization located in Northfield, Massachusetts. Dedicated to preserving and advancing the legacy of Dwight Moody, the D. L. Moody Center is a catalyst for spiritual formation in New England and beyond through evangelism and discipleship.
As a destination for spiritual renewal, the D. L. Moody Center is not a school. Nevertheless, there is much to learn by studying D. L. Moody and what God accomplished through his life which began in New England, at the Northfield, Massachusetts campus, the heart of Moody’s ministry as well as his childhood home.