Sunday, November 11, 2007

God Bless America

This past week we were going to show a video for Veteran's Day in church to honor those who have fought for our country. In the past, I have struggled with displays of honoring America during church. But I thought this was going to be really good because Sunday was actually Veteran's Day and also the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. So what we were going to do was show a video honoring vets and then pray thanking God for them and acknowledging that without their sacrifice we might be like one of the persecuted countries. Then we would spend some time praying for those who are persecuted for their faith. (I'm typing this before church so I'm not saying how it went, just what we were going to do).

At the end of the video for veterans it said, "God bless America." I raised my hand and asked if we could change some of the wording to be more about thanking veterans for allowing us to have the religious freedom that we have. I also said, "Could we take out 'God bless America' too because I don't understand it. Don't we want God to bless the world?" People don't understand me sometimes and I think most disagreed with me, but they thought it would be ok to take that out. I just saw the edited version this morning and it still says, "God Bless America" at the end. Oh well. People don't understand me. But I would rather sing and pray that God blesses the nations and that God blesses the oppressed, the hungry, the diseases, the less fortunate, the persecuted, and the hopeless of all nations rather than just saying "God bless America."

Trevor said to me that by saying "God bless America" we are not saying "and forget about everyone else." That has some merit. I do pray for God to bless my family and my children and my ministry, but I'm not praying for God to curse other families or churches. But I still just think there is so much American Pride in evangelicalism that it gets confusing to people. We should be focused on our purpose of loving God through loving people...all people...not just Americans.


Melissa Brosch said...

I agree. I agree. I agree. Don't get me started (or you either) on pledging to the American flag in Christian School chapel.

In Christ there is no Jew or Greek...When we celebrate Christ (in church or chapel), we should be celebrating the transcultural/transnational nature of our God.

Kim Tostada said...

That didn't sound confusing to me. It made perfect sense. I don't understand how someone wouldn't get that point of view.

I would further say that we don't deserve to be blessed since the majority of America wants to take God out of everything.. ok.. ok.. I'll stop there..

Anyway, those are some good thoughts for me and others to ponder.

Matt Doan said...

My dear jacket wearing brother,

How can God blessing America be offensive in any way?

Shouldn't we want God to bless the richest country in the world,
so that Christians in this nation will then use these resources to futher the worldwide effort of justice, mercy and the Gospel?

Shouldn't we ask God to bless this nation which still allows freedom of religion and a free market economy which stimulates trade and employment to people and nations all over the world, therefore ending the cycle of poverty and oppression for millions perhaps billions?

I for one will continue to sing God Bless America at every Anaheim Angel Sunday afternoon game I ever go to!


Chris Goeppner said...

every time i go to another country i am convinced hat God HAS blessed our great country. i kiss the ground when i get home.

Anonymous said...

God Bless America, hasn't God Blessed America already. Your comment reminds me of a Rob Bell DVD I really liked and I understand your comment.

Peter Pizzuto said...

Eric, I loved the jacket but I don't see your point here. Trevor nailed it and I'll be singing with Doan on this one.

JLoft said...

I wish more people understood you. America (and the church) would be more blessed if they did.