There are three kinds of culture; theonomous, heteronomous and autonomous.
The Definition of Theonomous is governed by God, subject to God's authority. The word Theo is a Greek word meaning God and nomos means law. Now the question becomes what is God’s law? In a Theonomous culture, the law of God reigns supreme in all of our minds and hearts and He is recognized as the King of Kings.
The Apostle Peter wrote in his first letter - submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right…Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor (1 Peter 2:13 & 17, New International Version). After reading this passage the question then becomes what is wrong and what is right? The only way to properly answer this question is to look at God’s law whom actually establishes what is wrong and what is right.
Six hundred and thirteen commandments were given to Moses then David reduced them to eleven (Psalm 15), Isaiah came and reduced them to six (Isaiah 33:15) and Micah reduced them to three (Micah 6:8) and Jesus then reduced them to only two; Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31, New International Version). If indeed we were seeking life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness I think these commandment would be fulfilled but then again since we have sought after the pursuit of happiness, liberty and life the law of God has taken last place, if that.
Heteronomous is defined as involving different laws. It is composed of two Greek words the first being heteros meaning another (of a different kind) and nomos meaning law; this is a form of Marxism. Marxism is an economic and political system developed by Karl Marx which simply states that the elite will control the meek. In the social and economic ladder, those on top will dictate for those in the bottom. We know for a fact this is not the American way. In the conception of America the idea was that all men are created equal and they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, among which are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. America is known as the land of opportunity, precisely because everyone has a chance at the “American Dream”.
America is not a Theonomous culture as it welcomes the idea of many gods and it is certainly not a heteronomous culture because everyone has a power given by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. On the other hand if it is neither then America must be an autonomous culture. Autonomous just like the other two cultures before it are two words coming together, auto meaning self and nomos meaning law; one's own law. This is precisely where America currently stands and it is a long way away from its humble beginnings.