We have recently received a few questions that were not on doctrine, per se, but actually reflected a curiosity about current Christian culture in a specific geographic area.
Here are some examples:
- What Doctrine Supports The Christian Gun Culture?
- https://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/16883/what-christian-doctrine-supports-being-ultra-patriotic-in-america (My answer in the second one led the op to ask this one)
They are all closed right now. There is a reason given by Caleb on all of them going something like "This is more of a discussion starter for a forum." There also seems to be a sentiment in the comments that thinks these are better on Politics.SE. I kind of agree, but I ultimately think these kinds of questions can work well here on Christianity.SE and can lend a lot of good posts and make the internet a better place.
Here is a brief analysis of the three questions to support why I think they can be or are good for the site:
Well, I think this question brings up a very real issue. Most Christians are in fact politically conservative. This is currently outside of the site's scope (doctrine and history), however, I argue that this is culture, which is modern history. In a hundred years this question suddenly becomes on-topic: "Why were so many 21st century American Christians Republicans?" The asker only wants to see if things are roughly the same in northern churches as it is in his southern churches.
There is an obvious merging of patriotism and religion (Christianity specifically) in the USA today. The OP even showed a likely quote seen: "All I need is my Bible and a gun." Just today I saw a bumper sticker that said "I'm Catholic and I vote." I can't really say what this means, why it is happening, nor what it might mean for the future of the Christian church in the USA, but I can say assuredly that the merger of politics/patriotism and Christianity is very clearly evident for anyone living in that sub-culture. And the OP was asking about a doctrine that supports this culture, if one exists.
In my own answer to this question I was praised as having "hit it on the head" by a self proclaimed "gun-toting, right-wing, ultra-conservative, Christian patriot." I think that is clear evidence that there is an actual answer to the question that is useful.
Now we should look closely at caseyr547's answer. He illuminates a verse that some churches use to say that Christians should, not may, but should be armed in some manner. That is incredible! I think we are witnessing the birth of what might become a common doctrine in a few decades.
The OP was apparently ignorant about this sub-culture of "ultra-patriotic Christians" that I reflected on in my answer to question 2, thus, he made this question. Again, he did stick to the site guidelines and asked for relevant doctrine that supports this behavior.
Again, caseyr547 brings up that the church he actually attends preach what his answer gave, which is a version of "honor the king" applied to democracy. I can't speak about it, but I would guess that this doctrine would not call a person "King", but rather the law of the land, that is, the Constitution (this kind of thought is certainly in line with my personal knowledge of this sub-culture). I say again: I think we are witnessing the birth of what might become a common doctrine in a few decades. That is so exciting and I don't see how the community in general does not want the facts about this phenomenon posted on this site.
I think two of the three were on-topic as originally posted because they request specific doctrine that might support observed behavior. All three of the questions hint on something that I think the site is missing: the fact that Christianity is a living religion and is evolving daily. As conjecture and speculation become proven fact, questions like these become relevant and on-topic to this site.
Just so it is clear, because there seems to be concern over what I am saying, I do not in any way want to forge new theologies. As the site's purpose says, I want to see academic posts about extant Christianity only. I don't want to talk about what might be I want to talk about what is. Christian culture of various sub-cultures like the one mentioned in these posts is making doctrines about these issues. I only want to see posts that discuss those doctrine and can prove that they are indeed doctrines of a Christian organization.