(Christian Culture) -- Christians are quick to blame secularists and neo-pagans for the cultural marginalization of our Faith, but much of it is due to our own timidity, compromise, and cowardice. Before he ascended, our Lord charged the first Christians to disciple the nations (Mt. 28:18–20). It was a bold charge that demands a bold life and message. At the first post-resurrection Pentecost, a radically reenergized Peter, transformed from a craven Christ-denyer to a fierce Christ-proclaimer (Ac. 2), declared to thousands of Jews: “[K]now assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (v. 36). This is the basic message of the NT and the primitive church, and it is the first Christian creed: Jesus is Lord.
This message has impelled Christians whenever the Faith has advanced in the world. Despite relentless persecution, the primitive church marched boldly in that message. Finally, even the Roman emperor Constantine had to bow before him. Gradually Christian culture pervaded the West. In fact, Western civilization became roughly synonymous with Christian civilization. The Reformation sought to correct severe theological abuses in the medieval church, but it did not oppose Christian culture. Far from it. Its English-speaking heirs, the Puritans, believed that all society should be governed by God’s law in the Bible. England’s American colonies each had established churches or Christian establishment of some kind, as did every one of the first United States.