Op-ed by David T. Crum
In the history of the United States, Christianity has always been a fundamental component. Those familiar with Pilgrim and Puritan studies know that religious and political freedom drove American settlement.
In the past, a Christian patriot was the ancestral norm for the majority of Americans. Although America has become a melting pot of cultures, traditions, and religions, the inseparable connection to liberty, justice, and freedom derived from the Christian worldview still leaves a lasting stamp that nobody can erase.
It is hard to fathom that a Christian patriot is now considered by many on the left as an alt-right, right-wing extremist. More staggering is the attempt to connect Patriotic Christians to terroristic labels because they adhere to the nation’s founding principles and view the Scriptures as the literal, infallible Word of God. Believers affirm morality, and the standards of righteousness derive only from the Lord and not liberal politicians who ridicule the Scriptures and ideals of living sought by followers of Christ.
Believers should proudly accept the title Christian patriot as the Puritans embraced their name, though initially formed as an insult. A Christian patriot is an individual who first and foremost follows their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This alone results in attacks from the far left. However, the believer is unapologetic as their life standards and worldview derive from the Bible. The Christian community does not follow the world’s ways or liberal political ideology, no matter their beliefs.
The term patriot likewise serves as a fundamental tenet as these individuals love their nation and everything for which it stands, most notably religious freedom and personal liberty. Knowing the history of the United States, of course, matters as the nation came into existence and flourished on the principles of liberty and freedom.
Apart from the Pilgrims and Puritans, Baptist, Reformed/Presbyterian, and Lutheran followers were some of the earliest to arrive in the New World. Baptists correctly acknowledge that their idea of congregational independence influenced the American Revolution. Attendees of the first Baptist Assembly in Philadelphia later shared the same standards of individual freedom with politicians considering independence from England and those forming the Declaration.
Likewise, the late theologian Loraine Boettner shared, “It is estimated that of the 3,000,000 Americans at the time of the American Revolution, 900,000 were of Scotch or Scotch-Irish (Presbyterian) origin, 600,000 were Puritan English, and 400,000 were German or Dutch Reformed.”[i]
Episcopalians and Methodists, too, played a role in the fight for freedom. Two important preachers during the Great Awakening, George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards, helped spread ideas that contributed to the American Revolution.
American Christians have served in every major conflict from the beginning of the United States, always seeking deliverance from evil in the name of Christ.
Undoubtedly, the reader is familiar with Patrick Henry’s famous speech proclaiming, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” That same sentiment lives on in generations of freedom-loving Americans. During World War I, Texas Southern Baptist George Truett preached that several things were worth dying for: “Sanctity of womanhood, Righteousness, Defense of helpless childhood and Honor and freedom of the United States.”[ii] Red, white, and blue are much more than colors or a flag to believers; our nation’s flag highlights their liberation from autocracy, and the colors lay the foundations of salvation and freedom from sin.
Make no mistake, Christ’s teachings assisted the Founders in creating the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. They further brought forth equality and assisted in abolishing slavery in the name of freedom and righteousness.
The Christian patriot is aware of his history and refuses to yield to the progressive socialistic and communist teachings of the current Democrat Party. Regardless of denominational identity, these patriots unite as believers in Christ, embracing the idea of the invisible church. They aim to praise their Savior and maintain America’s founding principles: a government free of tyranny, religious freedom, and dedication to small government, all while finding salvation and autonomy through Jesus Christ.
As much as the Christian might prefer to remain neutral in a heated political environment, neutrality is not an option. The Republican Party embraces evangelicals, realizing they continue to be a considerable part of their voting bloc. President Trump, too, knows this and has always welcomed Bible-believing Christians into his circle. His policies protected believers, and his administration fought earnestly to protect both the original components of America’s founding and Christianity.
Christian patriots refuse to yield. People may hate them, and they may become a minority in the nation’s demographics, but Christian patriots are as American as the birth of the nation itself. In the woke culture of today, Christianity is needed to combat secular humanism and the radical ideological teachings of many on the left. Billy Graham once shared, “Communism was the political ideology of the devil.”[iii]
May the Lord bestow His kindness, grace, and guidance upon the United States.
[i] Loraine Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 1932), 382.
[ii] George W. Truett, “Worth Dying For,” February 21, 1919, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/634430510/?terms=george%20truett&match=1 (accessed August 23, 2023).
[iii] Alan Scot Willis, All According to God’s Plan: Southern Baptist Missions and Race, 1945-1970 (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2005), 58.