One thing that annoys me about many American Christians, of which I am one, is our tendency to confuse America with the Biblical “Promised Land”. That’s what the ancients called Israel, which God set aside for his chosen people, the descendants of Abraham, the Jews – and they have had an on-again, off-again relationship with that land up from the Mediterranean ever since.
But I feel like a lot of American Christians have put America up there on the same plateau. They assume we’re the country God loves most no matter what we do, and that Americans are the Chosen People of today. More than once I’ve been in church on Boy Scout Day or something and the Scouts marched up and down the aisle carrying the American Flag and everyone applauded and cheered. Or some young Marine from the congregation was going off to Iraq and was up onstage in his new dress uniform and everyone clapped hooray hooray how brave and noble he looks in his fine new uniform.
Not that I’m against that young guy. He was doing what he felt he had to do. But what freaked me was the feeling in the church that somehow he was doing the Christian thing as he marched off to make Iraq safe for democracy.
Over the years I have read every word of the Bible and I can tell you without hesitation that there is not one word or prophecy anywhere indicating that in three thousand years God was going to raise up this amazing, wonderful country across the ocean that would then become his new Promised Land that he would smile on more than any other country.
Same with capitalism. Same with democracy. A lot of American Christians get these all mixed up with their faith to where they think there is something holy about them. Well, my researches prove otherwise. Ain’t nothing in Scripture indicating that either capitalism or democracy are anything more than an economic system and a system of government. They’re as good as the people who use them. No more.
You can fight to make the world safe for democracy if you want to, but please don’t wrap it in Christian clothes. Cause it ain’t true.