Eleven years ago, the United States Supreme Court rendered a decision on a First Amendment case which captured the interest of the nation. I was also intrigued by the case, but I had a different opinion about it than most people I knew. It was difficult to explain my opinion without going into detail about American history, legal interpretation, and biblical exposition, so I wrote a book. I called it One Nation Under God because the Supreme Court case it was based on looked at the constitutionality of including the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag.
I was told no one would buy my book. There were two kinds of buyers in the Christian book market: those who wanted nothing to do with political issues and those who were eager to read anything supporting their own political beliefs (usually right-wing conservative). I published the book anyway in 2005. A handful were ordered by Christian book stores, but eventually they were returned for a refund. It seemed my critics were right: No one wanted to buy a book that was a Christian argument in favor of separation of church and state in America.
Yesterday, I released a second edition of One Nation Under God with two new chapters. It is available as a paperback book or a Kindle eBook from Amazon.com. For two weeks only, the Kindle version will be priced at $1.99.
Do I think people will buy the book this time? I don’t know.
Do I think people should buy the book? Absolutely.
Christianity in America has been under attack for some time now and many of the battles Christians have undertaken have been lost. We lost the war for prayer and Bible reading in schools. We lost the war for decency in movies, TV, and music. We lost the war against abortion. And now we’ve lost the war against same-sex marriage.
Along the way we lost something much more important. We lost sight of what it means to be a Christian.
That, more than anything, is what my book is about. From the time the Puritans first landed in Massachusetts, many Christians have looked on this land as a gift from God, a special blessing to his chosen people who would become a blessing to the nations. But instead of sharing with the world the blessing of God’s salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, we talk about sharing democracy, capitalism, and equality (something we still haven’t obtained in our own country) –as if any of these things had the power to redeem mankind. We talk about morality and following God’s law—as if obedience to a hand-picked set of morals could change our relationship with God. And now that we losing ground to atheists and secularists who challenge our identity as a nation “under God,” many Christians are fighting back to regain their political influence before they lose everything that makes them comfortable, happy, prosperous, and safe.
Jesus never promised his followers they would be comfortable, happy, prosperous, or safe. He never promised us political power. He never promised us victory over our enemies. He told us we would be persecuted and hated. He told us to trust him to work out everything for our good. He promised to prepare a place for us in his Father’s house—not here in a temporary nation.
Please take advantage of the $1.99 Kindle price and buy my book. Read it through. Write a review. Help me take this message to Christians in America that we are fighting the wrong battles. Instead of fighting to reclaim America for Christianity, let us fight to reclaim Christ.
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What is my mission as an author? The goal dearest to my heart is to help Christians think about what they really believe and then to act as if they believe it. It all begins with understanding what it means to be a Christian. Then we have to learn to live like a Christian.