This year the Fourth of July landed on Sunday. This is fitting since we say God bless America.
I asked a few people how God blesses America. I had some interesting feedback. As I suspected, the view was that God blesses us because He has chosen us and because we support Israel.
I think as Christians there are some things we should consider. One thing that should be thought about is that God blesses the world and not just America. I know that I am sounding less than patriotic. I love America! John 3:16-17 tells me that God blesses more than America.
Yes, America is chosen, but God has chosen the world to be His too. So what makes America special? It is the way that God blesses America. He uses His Church. That’s right. As unpopular the Christian Church is right now, in the West, God uses His people to bless others wherever they may be geographically.
Another issue that should be understood in a better light, and I realize that there are other theological views, is that God doesn’t bless America because we protect Israel. We should be allies with Israel, but God doesn’t need us for this. We need Him to protect us. We haven’t brokered a deal with God as we tend to think sometimes.
Here is what we Christians need to ponder. Do we continue to serve God through our patriotism? Or, do we serve Him through humility? In the OT, I am as always taken back when I consider that Israel combined patriotism to their country with Temple worship as a way that made them distinct from other nations. Yet, in Nehemiah and Ezra, they were challenged to observe the Law to become distinct from other nations. After all, they did not have borders during this time.
Amazingly, churches likely preached sermons about how bad our nation has gotten all over this last Sunday. I can hear it now, “God will no longer bless our country because of homosexuality and the fact that prayer has been taken out of school. God is also mad that other gods are being worshipped and tolerated. He is mad because we have publishers printing of the a different Bible version than the KJV. Therefore, He is going to punish America.”
Now, I am being a little harsh and I know it. Nevertheless, is God not concerned with the state that the American Church has gotten to? How many church attendees all over are focusing material things that they can get their hands on instead of making disciples? How many even attend their churches on a regular basis? How many give to God others who have need? How many are practicing sexual immorality? How many are judging others on a regular basis? How many church attendees are striving to overcome sin?
So the threats that God is going to judge America if our political leaders don’t enact laws and mottos that say we support God may not need to be focused on. It would appear that God might have a beef with Christians because they are no longer willing to live for Him so that our country can be blessed.
These are some of the thoughts that I had this last week of the Fourth. Church signs everywhere talking about our God-given freedom and the threat that God may judge America because those who have not known Jesus are sinning. Maybe it is time the Church stood up and accepted her responsibility that God has given her. This is what makes us (Christians) distinct from those who lost in the world.