For Christians, our hope is not in politics but in the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Politics does not change men fundamentally, though we do have a name for political systems that believe they can change men: totalitarianisms. Marxist regimes believed they could inculcate virtue, creating "the new man." The aims of Christian democracies founded on Christian truths are more modest, chiefly protecting life, liberty, and property (in the view of the United States' Founders). Because our ultimate hope is not in politics, we should lower our political expectations and heighten our cultural expectations. We should work for cultural change by means of preaching the Gospel and applying God's truth in all areas of life; a Christianized political order will come incrementally, over time.
...civil religion is the misidentification of the nation of the United States with the covenant people of God. It is the casual assumption that America enjoys a special role in redemptive history. It is the confusion of the office of the political leader with the office of the spiritual leader. It is the frequent presumption of divine blessings without submission to divine judgment. It is the sublimation of Christian distinctives to a generic amalgam that conflates many faiths into a common national identity. It is as old as America itself. And it is not biblical Christianity.