Can Nations be "Christian"?
An English Debate
by Jonathan Chaplin (2009)
Nations today do not possess religious agency.
This is the sense in which nations cannot be "Christian."
In the age of the Gospel, there are no "faithful" or "covenanted" nations.
________________________Is England a Christian nation? Was it ever one? Should it remain so? Plenty of influential Christian leaders in the UK seem to think so. Here’s one pithy statement from an orthodox Catholic:
“The emergence [of England] as a nation coincides with its conversion…A Judaeo-Christian society is by definition not a multicultural one…” (Aidan Nichols, OP)The Christian nation stance is often, but erroneously, thought to imply many other positions. It does not imply that the church or Christian organizations cannot oppose the government; or that the civil or political rights of non-Christians should be restricted; or that other religions or worldviews should be marginalized in public debate or public institutions; or that we must adopt an authoritarian or “theocratic” view of the state. Almost all Christian nation advocates are committed to democracy. They are people who seek to advance their core objective through persuasion and mobilization.
[...]But what many Christian nation advocates seem to overlook is that this specific, covenantal character was only ever explicitly ordained by God for one people: biblical Israel. There is no biblical or other evidence that, upon the inauguration of the New Covenant, God mediates his redemptive activity in the world via any special relationship with a particular nation or political order any longer.