Earlier today I was driving to Jungle Jims – better known as the most amazing grocery store in the world – and the car in front of mine had a bumper sticker that said “God Bless America!” along with a Jesus fish (icthus). That’s not an uncommon sighting, in my neck of the woods (I usually see about three or four of those stickers a day) or anywhere else across America. It’s the basic tagline of patriotism, God Bless America.
So I see this car, and for some reason the sticker bothered me (more than usual). Perhaps it was the church I passed erecting a flagpole with an American flag majestically billowing over a Christian flag. Maybe it was the fact that I had just seen some shirts on sale at Family Christian with an American flag and a scripture snippet “By His stripes we are healed.” Whatever the reason, this “God Bless America” sticker really got me thinking.
If we (and by we, I mean the Body of Christ) can call on God to bless America, a secular nation, what else can we command his blessings upon? What about Playboy? Why don’t we ever ask (or command, depending on how emphatic one gets) God to bless Playboy?
Obviously, we don’t say “God Bless Playboy” because of what Playboy stands for (lust, fornication, voyeurism, etc.). It’s preposterous to call the blessings of God upon an institution that fights against the righteousness of God. It’s the same reason we balk at saying “God bless North Korea,” “God bless Afghanistan,” or “God bless the entire world!” So why do we persist in calling on God to bless America?
We should know better.
As the church, we’re supposed to stand apart from the sway of nationalism and represent our kingdom – the Kingdom of Heaven. When will we cry out for God to save America? Where is an Abraham who will recognize the sin of a nation (Sodom) and yet ask God for mercy on behalf of the righteous (Genesis 18:16-33)? America doesn’t need a blessing from Lord, the citizens of America need to repent and find redemption!
THE BOTTOM LINE: Let’s change our phraseology (and ideology); no more “God bless America;” instead, let’s lead Americans to God so that Americans will bless God.