Is there such a thing as a Christian nation?

Posted on April 3, 2012


Is it possible for a nation or people group to enjoy special blessing because of an early leader’s personal commitment to God? We see this with Israel under the Old Covenant, but is there room for this idea under the New Covenant?

Tonga's much revered 1st King Taufa'ahau Tupou. A strong Christian who gave his nation to God to avoid colonization.

I work among tribal people in the South Pacific Islands who love to say that their nations are Christian nations. And it seems many Westerners have a similar idea. (I hear Westerners quoting Old Testament verses like Proverbs 14:34 “Righteousness lifts up a nation, but sin is a shame to any people” and advocating the legislation of Christian values and lifestyles into law for non-believing people.) Is there any merit to this idea?

Does God bestow special blessing on a nation because of it’s history? When few of its people have a personal allegiance to Jesus Christ?
What do you think?

Recently, following last week’s death of the King of Tonga, I wrote an article for Pacific Partners, the ministry I lead in the South Pacific Islands. In it I tell some of the fascinating history of Tonga’s first Christian king. The article is around this question of national salvation and blessing.

Here is some of what I said . . .

It’s commonly said (especially from pulpits) “God chose Israel, but Tonga chose the God of Israel.” And there is the problem. Tonga makes it’s own way to God (works), rather than taking the way God has given through Jesus Christ (mercy and grace). As a Tongan leader in our ministry said, “We have a zeal to please God and His representatives (ministers) through our own righteousness.”

Funeral procession for Tonga's 5th King Taufa'ahau Tupou - March 2012

Tongans see themselves as Christians, but usually that’s more to do with . . . . [what] their beloved king has done, instead of what Jesus Christ has done.

In many ways Tonga remains like Israel of the Old Testament – strong religious authority; strict rules to regulate life; and duties to please God.

Read my full article – A Colony of Heaven

So what do you think?

Is there such a thing as a Christian nation?
Does God bestow special blessing on people with no personal allegiance to Jesus Christ, just because of the  personal commitment of an early leader?
I’d love to hear your view.