Evangelism and U.S. Politics
America became the new world in which the protestant reformation was to be completed and Christianity would build a new world order. The relationship between the church and the state has always been a tumultuous one and this relationship was carried on into the New World. …
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The relationship between the church and the state has always been a tumultuous one and this relationship was carried on into the New World. Whilst evangelism is concerned with spreading the “good news” and proper ideals congruent to the Christian religion, its influence to American politics has been a positive one in which religion has long defended the values and norms of American democracy. Evangelism is a term mainly used by Protestants. Since Protestantism reigned at America’s founding, its impact on the politics of the nation is immense. When America was still young, Presbyterians, New England Congregationalist and Anglicans held a predominant position in the young’s country religion, social and political affairs. However, over time, the Methodist Episcopal Church grew at a very fast rate introducing new ideas and new methods in spreading the gospel. Methodism in the country embraced competition, pluralism and marketing of religion in every sphere of life (Cromartie 4). Evangelism was adopted by Methodist and soon different religions adopted this mode of preaching in order to survive in the new competitive religious environment. American Culture-Secular and religious Ever since the English settlement, Americans have always considered themselves as part of the great stream of salvation (Lambert 17). In the New World, the settlers were totally engrossed in their mission to complete the protestant reformation. The early experiences and victories of European settlers in America extended and strengthened the idea of Americans as God’s chosen people. The Protestants who settled in British North America were very diverse. People all over Europe sailed to America to escape the Catholic persecution in the 17th century. Dissenters from England, Lutherans and Calvinist from the Rhineland and Switzerland, Quakers and Anabaptists from different corners of Eastern Europe all flooded America for a better future (Lambert 18). North America turned to become a home and a refuge for individuals who covered the full spectrum of Protestantism. When the Puritans arrived, the new world was not only a refuge where they could practice their religion freely, they also considered in the Promised Land in which they could build a new covenant undisturbed by the corruption in the old world (Fowler 3). They named their mission “an errand in the wilderness” and considered it as divined by God. Americans have long carried out the puritan legacies by performing special missions and destinies. When the protestants arrived in the country, they embarked on setting up a different system of government and religion than that they had lived through. Due to previous dealings with the Roman Catholic Church, the new settlers craved religious freedom and a differentiation between church and state (Lambert 21). The Declaration of Independence in 1776 drafted by Thomas Jefferson was highly influenced by both the Protestant religion and from the Enlightenment (Lambert 23). Jefferson proclaimed that the country was forged by free individuals who were possessed several rights conferred to them by the creator. By acknowledging this, America foundation was thus based on religious freedom and politics in the country would be thus closely interlinked with religion. Although religion was quite important to the country, several important issues were raised by the evangelical movement. The first issue was the role that religion should play within American public
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