Wednesday, January 14, 2009

One Nation Under God?

I saw something interesting while I was driving today. The car in front of me had writing on the back window. Something to the effect of "Pray hard America". But the sentences that really jumped out at me were, "America sets the standard for the World. One nation under God." It got me to thinking: do we really think that we set the standard for the World? And if so, why? Because we have more might, power, and money than anyone else? But aren't those qualities worldly, ungodly ways of "setting the standard?" Certainly we have influence over the world because of our wealth and military power. If you've read your Bible even once then you probably know how much Jesus relied on those two attributes saving the World. I can't recall His making a big deal out of either of them...except to say not to rely on them to be a part of His kingdom.

I'm not into the whole America-bashing thing although I think our country certainly has problems. But do we really think that God acts because of what America does? I think He certainly acts because of what His church does---but, I would seriously question anyone who thinks this is a godly country built on godly principles. I think domination and control were more prevalent than loving thy neighbor when this country was established. How many Native Americans died based on "godly principles?" What about slavery? Some slave owners justified their usage of slaves by saying they were bringing the gospel to heathen peoples who had never heard the Good News.

I remember when I was a kid going to church and numerous adult Christians talking about how Jesus was going to come back if Bill Clinton was elected president. It seems a little absurd now; not only because He quite obviously did not return, but because it's silly to think that God moves based on American political happenings. Innocent people were, and still are, dying all over the world from civil wars and poverty and illness...and yet, Bill Clinton was going to single-handedly usher in the return of the King? I was just a kid, so maybe there was more to it than that. Perhaps it had something to do with Israel and the fear that America would no longer be a powerful ally. Surely God doesn't hang His hopes on our political leaders doing the "right" thing.

Does He?

Or maybe it was because Clinton seemed so immoral to us Christians. Thank goodness we haven't had any high profile Christians exposed for immoral behavior! I can't recall anyone mentioning Jesus return looming imminently when a member of His body is publicly redressed.

I guess I say all of this because I really hope the state of the World is not solely dictated by America's standards. It should be based on Christ's standards and frankly, I don't see those as being very prevalent in America or anywhere else for that matter. I agree with the person who felt that urgent prayer is needed, but not so that our nation can get back to it's "godly heritage," but so that we can, as a people of God not affiliated with any nation, act more like Him and bring His love and His kingdom down here.


Bryan said...

I could not have said it as well myself! Love you guys. Oh, and I am not into America bashing either, just for the record.

I actually had someone tell me recently that she did not think that Obama was the antichrist, but that he would open people's hearts to "people of color", which would prepare the way for the antichrist, who is going to be a 'person of color'.

"God, please save your church."

Love you both,

Sarah Taylor said...

I recently saw a bumper sticker that was in celebration of Albuquerque's tricentennial and it said "God Bless ABQ". I had the same initial reaction. Of course His desire is to bless His people. We are His creation and He loves us. But, how audacious is that of us to ask for His blessing over our city when our city (just as most other cities in our nation) is more actively taking steps to REMOVE His presence from our lives. I'm not so sure if we can really have our cake and eat it, too.