Jay Sekulow posted this meme on the American Center for Law and Justice page. It’s a good organization that fights for the rights given to us in the Constitution. I’m grateful for what Sekulow does. It is not an easy battle.
However, I do take exception to the meme above. Ronald Reagan said “I believe that standing up for America means standing up for the God who has so blessed our land.” Reagan certainly was entitled to his opinion, but he was no theologian. He had no insight as to what God was doing through this nation or whether or not this nation was the special pet project of God. It is not. It is just another nation among many.
This is the type of quote that gets the blood going of so many people in our country because we have the misconceived idea that the U.S. is a second Israel of sorts.
We take it that since God raised up this nation, and He did do that, that we are holy, blessed and set apart from all the other nations of the world. We certainly have been blessed materially more than all the nations of the world. But that does not mean that we have God’s blessings above all the nations of the world. As for God raising up this nation, remember, He also raised up the Babylonians as well, in bringing about the judgment on Israel. He will also raise up another nation to bring about the judgment of the United States. What makes us think we should get a pass, as a nation, in avoiding God’s displeasure with us? If He was willing to judge the political entity known as Israel in the Old Testament, why should we not expect the same judgment?
It is true that God made a covenant with Israel, and that they broke the covenant with God, therefore, He brought judgment. Many would say that this is why God’s favored nation, Israel, was judged by God via the Babylonians, and later, the Assyrians and Romans. I guess the thinking is that since He did not make a covenant with us, and our government was founded on biblical principles, that we somehow will get a pass?
No, God has not made a covenant with the U.S. Therefore we have no reason to believe we are special above and beyond the judgment that comes about on all nations. Even Babylon was judged by God after He raised them up to judge Israel. No nation gets a pass, including our own.
As for actually standing up for God, we do not do so by standing up for this nation. Sorry, but Ronald Reagan was dead wrong on that point. We stand up for God when we stand for the gospel. We stand up for God when we stand for biblical truths in the face of a culture that is hostile to those truths. We stand up for God when we die to ourselves, worship Him as He has called us to do, and reject the things of this world. We stand up for God when we realize that He has called us to actually live out the Ten Commandments in our own lives, instead of worrying about said Commandments being displayed for “other” people on the courtyard lawn. We stand up for God when we admit and teach that we are Christians by His grace and grace alone, not by some misconceived American birthright. We stand up for God when we realize that the only Kingdom worth living for is His Kingdom, not this man made kingdom known as the U.S. Christ never asks us to die for our country. He does ask us to die to ourselves and live to Him. He does ask us to take up our cross daily, and follow Him.
But standing up for this country? That is not a responsibility found in scripture. Ronald Reagan was a great president as far as presidents go. But he was a terrible theologian and equating the U.S. of A. with the shining city on a hill, was misguided. We do need to stand up, but we need to stand up for biblical truth, not some dying idea of a nation. And please note, that standing up for biblical truth, will lead to the death of many believers at the hands of this nation. We already see the seeds of persecution being nurtured. Given that, why would we stand up for a country that is opposed to the gospel as it is? God will certainly judge this nation for that reason alone, never mind the other atrocities this country has committed inside it’s own borders.