One of the things that happened between the War for Independence and the Civil War was a growing influence in the Northeast of Unitarians and the new breed of Charles Finney-type revivalists. The Northern evangelicals (not all of them of course) wanted to distance themselves from the public square. As long as the State did not interfere with the preaching of the gospel and the winning of souls, the churches would dwell in peace and harmony with the State and ne’er the twain shall meet. The Unitarians, on the other hand, wanted to replace the church with the State. They were the liberals of the day. I’ll give you two guesses what happened after the South was defeated and reconstruction began in earnest by these same forces.
This is not to say that the South was without its faults. God is sovereign over history. There is a reason why He ordained the outcome of the war as He did. However, the fact that one side lost in the judgment of God does not mean the winning side was the right side. Remember, Israel was judged many times by nations worse than they such as Assyria and Babylon. With that said, there seems to be this growing tendency among evangelicals, particularly pastors, to preach the Bible in such a way as to keep it individual-focused and personally applicable. To hold the leaders of a nation to the same standard is to overstep their bounds. What if word actually got back to those leaders? We Christians would lose all that respectability and influence we’ve worked so hard to build. Our fearless shepherds would no longer be invited to news interviews or government prayer breakfasts.
One of the clear signs of a Christian nation is the ability to understand and maintain the three spheres of government established by God. The family, the church, and the State are all given as blessings to His people and will be so to the extent that we see them in their proper relation to one another. We do not know how to keep these various spheres as separate in function but united under God’s rule because we have lost a great capacity to think as Trinitarians. It is no coincidence that the Unitarian liberals who shaped our nation after the Civil War are still influencing us today. We have churches growing soft and silent about the cultural sins of the day. The idols of sexual perversion, nature worship, evolutionary thought, infant sacrifices, and feminism remain in our midst without more than a passing glance or muttered disapproval. One of the things we see in Scripture is that God judges nations as well as people. This is because He rules nations as well as individuals. His kingship has no borders or boundaries. We must reestablish that rule in our homes, our churches, and our civil magistrates.