Imagining Society Without Christian Influence


Vance Voetberg

It is well understood that Christianity’s impression on Western culture and law has lessened considerably over the past half-century. The historic Christian values the public once elevated are now considered antiquated concepts obstructing progress. Out with the old, in with the new.  

But as a society, it’s important to consider the cost of exchanging Christian ideals for newer ones.  

Based on Christ’s revolutionary teachings and example, believers launched institutions such as hospitals, orphanages, homeless shelters, and universities. The abolition of slavery was forged by Christian ethics. The Puritans enacted the first laws anywhere in the world that criminalized domestic abuse and the Civil Rights movement was spearheaded by believers. Christians are the most vocal defenders of children’s rights and are twice as likely to adopt a child as the average adult.  

On the global front, Christians work relentlessly to protect every individual’s dignity, freedom, and right to life. The very concept of human rights originates in the Christian moral framework.  

Nevertheless, Christian ethics and convictions are increasingly less welcome in academia, politics, media, and the arts. And in the name of separating church and state, many government officials are curbing Christian influence in communities where it’s most needed.  

State Officials Sequester the Christian Influence

In Oregon, for example, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys recently filed a case on behalf of a Christian youth ministry that was stripped of its state grant funding because it asks its employees and volunteers to sign a statement of faith. The ministry, which provides various services and opportunities for Southern Oregon’s youth, is asking for equal—not special—opportunity to publicly available grants. Yet the state of Oregon has expelled the ministry from the program because it holds to its faith.  

In another Oregon case, we represent Jessica Bates, a Christian mother who is being excluded from adopting children because she believes in the biblical and scientific truth that sex is fixed, not fluid. To adopt children in Oregon, Jessica would have to abandon her beliefs and affirm a lie. At the heart of this case lies the fact that Oregon is attempting to prune Christian parental ethics from the foster care and adoption space.

In New Jersey and Washington State, the states’ attorneys general are actively harassing pro-life pregnancy centers, threatening to tarnish their reputation and limit their Christian influence.  

And last year, we represented Lorie Smith, a Colorado website designer, in a suit challenging a state law that would force Lorie to create messages that violated her biblical views of marriage. Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled for Lorie, citing that she has the right to not speak if the message violates her beliefs.  

State officials’ disdain for Christians living out their faith may seem enigmatic, considering that the Christian faith encourages us to serve others, cultivate beauty, and advocate for justice. Christians have not always lived up to these standards. We’ve made mistakes—some being dire. But Christians’ failures are tied to rejecting biblical truth, not to living by it.  

The truth highlighted in Scripture and lived out by ADF clients has and continues to be the foundation for flourishing societies. Do we really want to see what society looks like without a Christian influence?  

Recent Posts

How the Johnson Amendment Affects Churches

During his run for a second term in office, President Lincoln sought political support for his re-election from an institution that was otherwise...