Darrow Miller and Friends

The Disunited States of America: A Columbus Day Reflection

I have written before that America is no longer one nation under God. Is it time to formalize the split?

Professor Lipsman asks "Time to disunite America?"That’s the question raised by Dr. Ron Lipsman, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the University of Maryland, in his article, Thinking About the Unthinkable – Disunion.

We are two nations occupying one geography. One nation under man, one under God. The nation “under man” is grounded in the atheist-materialist paradigm rooted in relativism. The other nation is comprised of those functioning from the Judeo-Christian roots upon which America was founded.

A moment in the recent Democratic National Convention provided a dramatic illustration of this divide. The platform committee had removed “Jerusalem” as the capital of Israel and “God” as the source of our intrinsic values. When this omission was discovered, a floor vote was called to return “God” and “Jerusalem” to the platform language. If you watched this brief video clip you have seen evidence, within the Democratic party itself, of the nation’s division.

America is at a tipping point. Only one moral vision will survive. As President Abraham Lincoln gravely repeated words from Christ, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

I can envision four futures for America. Only one is desirable.

One America Under Man

In one scenario, those who want a nation under man will win by default. Every generation, fewer citizens remember the story of America’s founding, the theological language of our fathers, and the Biblical principles that created America. Those who have forgotten will embrace the modern atheist paradigm, promoted by academics, journalists, Hollywood producers, and politicians. Rejecting God’s sovereignty, they want a sovereign state. Hasn’t the Democratic party tacitly acknowledged this in their video, The Government Is The Only Thing We All Belong To?taxation levels in America

Alas, their claim is truer than it should be. Today nearly half of US households are beholden to the federal government. And nearly half of all Americans pay no income tax. Note how steep the curve is during the last 20 years. More and more people are dependent; fewer and fewer are free men and women. We are approaching the mid-point between the earners and the takers.

President Thomas Jefferson observed, The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. Likewise, Alexis de Tocqueville, the French Social Historian wrote: The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.

Civil War 2.0

A second scenario is civil war. Gun sales are at record highs. People are angry and frightened. Who knows what might escalate the culture wars into civil war? Clearly this would be highly undesirable. The destruction of families and communities would exceed the devastation of our last civil war. But the level of animosity among the political class and the news headlines indicate that many people sense we are in deep trouble.

Friendly Divorce

Lipsman points to a third scenario: a peaceful division of America’s two countries. He notes a recent model: the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. Founded in 1918 as a sovereign state, its political and historic differences fueled the “Velvet Divorce”of 1993 into the Czech Republic and Slovakia .

What would amicable national divorce in America look like? Could the twin coasts, with their preference of a nation “under man,” live separately from the so-called “fly over country” with its moral vision of “a nation under God”?

Repentance, Revival, Reformation

None of these three alternatives is acceptable. Only one scenario remains. God is ready to heal the land. But His work is tendered by the repentance of his people. 2 Chronicles 7:14 reminds us: If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Revival and reformation are born in repentance. Our inward focused churches, with their feel-good programs for members, must be transformed into kingdom outposts bringing truth, beauty, and goodness in practical ways to the community and nation.

The German martyr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, The church is only the church when it exists for others. Bonhoeffer called the church to repentance in Germany at the time of the Nazi Third Riche and died a martyr in the process. Salvation Army co-founder Catherine Booth famously said, “If we are to better the future, we are to disturb the present.”

If we would save our nation, the church must awaken from her slumber, repent, and begin to disturb the present. Christ followers are to live lives of love, compassion, and beauty; we are to speak truth and do good so that our lives and communities might shine as a city on a hill.

Far better that the church repent and become God’s instrument of revival and reform than for the nation to fall into the abyss.

May God help us.

– Darrow Miller


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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).


  1. Mark Michaels

    October 10, 2012 - 9:39 am

    While our political division, and the rancor accompanying what passes for “political debate” are alarming, such dire warnings of America’s self destruction suggest, to me, that you have fallen victim to the fear-mongers on the far right.

    Half of Americans are “beholden” to the federal government? Well, perhaps, if you include today’s retirees, who paid taxes for decades to support their grandparents and parents retirements. I would say they are entitled to their entitlements.

    Half of Americans dont owe federal income taxes, but all those who work, and most of those who dont, still pay taxes (payroll, sales tax, local taxes, etc). The EIC for low income workers was a Republican bargain to reduce taxes on the working poor while keeping the minimum wage low. So go ahead, eliminate the EIC, and double the minimum wage.

    Suck talk about the founding fathers being so holy and Biblical Principles being the bedrock of our nation are mythical falsehoods. The founders were slaveholding landowning aristocrats. I dont know where in the Bible it says “thou shalt not be taxed by thy King without representation”.

    I am a Christian and a Democrat, but your talk about the Left wing agenda to make us a Godless nation of Athiests is nonsense. We believe in the right of people to worships as they please, not as they they are told. Muslim. Jew. Christian. Those who hold a cross while wrapping themselves in the flag, claiming divine guidance, as bequeathed to them by the Founders are the ones to fear, they have most of the guns. If America does fall into “1000 years of darkness” as GOP spokeman Chuck Norris warns, it will be because the right wing nutjobs start the Second Civil War, mowing down the Lefties marching peacefully in the streets demanding justice and reasonable limits to Corporate greed and political influence.

    • admin

      October 12, 2012 - 8:39 am

      Thank you for your response to our post the Disunited States of America. We are in agreement that the rancor accompanying political debate is alarming and, my guess is, we would both appeal for a more civil discussion. While the rancor is not justified, it is perhaps understandable given the depth of the differing moral visions for the future of the United States.

      President Obama has made this point clearer than his political opponents when he said in his September 6th acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention: “On every issue, the choice you face won’t be just between two candidates or two parties. It will be a choice between two different paths for America. A choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future.”

      The President is correct. But these different visions are not accidental, they are propelled by two very different worldviews: the modern atheistic-materialist paradigm and the historic Judeo-Christian paradigm. Because ideas have consequences, these worldviews not only “see the world” differently, they will predictably bring into being entirely different cultures, political policies and, ultimately, radically different nations. This is why I have argued that we have two different nations occupying one geography.

      So Mike, I would agree that the “style” of our discourse must be more civil, but we do not agree on substance. Let the debate continue. Indeed the future of our great nations is dependent on the restoration of our founding principles. And, I assume we would agree that the future needs to be decided by a free and responsible citizenry.

      Again, Mike, thank you for your comments.

      Darrow Miller