Ain’t No Promised Land Round Here. Did You Try Over Israel Way?


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.

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3 thoughts on “Ain’t No Promised Land Round Here. Did You Try Over Israel Way?

  1. Thank you for writing this interesting piece, and for your frankness in expressing your observations regarding the likely/possible opinions of some members of the Christian community. It hadn’t occurred to me that this wrapping of nonChristian activities in the clothing of Christian activities was going on in the Church. Or if maybe I did notice it in the past, it isn’t bothering me now. We can get acclimated to ongoing occurrences, I know. You’re right about Capitalism (as beneficial as it is) not arising out of the teachings of Jesus. Jesus said, among his many teachings, as you no doubt know, “You cannot serve God and mammon,” and “Sell what you have, and give alms.” He also said, “Labor not for the meat that perishes.” Capitalism, I think, would not survive for long in this world if the majority of those who profess to be Christians were trustingly submissive to these difficult words of Jesus. You’ve given me some food for thought in more than one way. You’ve got me wondering about just what is the Promised Land today, not in literal terms (terra firma for Israel), but in spiritual realities (man’s mental territory). I like the idea of going in and taking possession of the land with the land being our own mind, our mental kingdom. Taking every thought captive: “… and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).Gary

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  2. Your Grandmother Meyer used to interpret messages found in the tea leaves settled at the bottom of a cup of tea, for our after dinner enjoyment. Now I’d like to make an attempt at interpreting this vision you had, for your after dinner pleasure. Perhaps this was actually a vision-like dream. The characters and scenery in your dream, if it was a dream, are products of your own thinking. There are no stage props or hired dream actors to play the parts of the Comanches, not to my knowledge anyway. They are from your subconscious mind, speaking to you in symbols.Anyhow, at the time of this vision you may have anticipated the PROMISED LAND to be in a high and lofty FAR FAR AWAY place ON TOP OF MOUNTAINS, while actually “the kingdom of God is at hand” and is down here below where the PLAIN people live (“the kingdom of God is within [or amongst] you”). This winter scene with no mention of actual snow seems to indicate to me the possibility of a rather uncomplicated journey to reach this RIVER LIKE THE MISSISSIPPI that flows beside the likeness of THE EMERALD CITY OF OZ (“New Jerusalem come down from heaven”). Since this river is not barring your way – you didn’t say you would have to cross over it to reach your destination – I will assume it is friendly and represents the “river of life,” an intricate life-giving blessing of the Promised Land.These COMANCHES, however, are indicators to me of your own inner awareness of hidden and difficult-to-fight-against obstacles in your path to reach your goal of the Promised Land. These could be symbols of some as yet unchallenged thoughts rising up out of the part of your mind called your old nature. You need to think more on this one. Your own mind will work on deciphering this important symbology, if you ask it to do so. Don’t think of these Comanches, at least not at first, as something outside yourself lurking out there somewhere, like the Wicked Witch and her winged monkey that caused fearful trouble for Dorothy along the Yellow Brick Road. Come to think of it, maybe Satan and his devils might be a good parallel to the Witch and her henchmen monkeys.Best wishes, G

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