“The love of money is the root of all evil.” -Jesus of Nazareth

[The following are exerpts of a new series of posts by jmallory. Emphasis is mine.]

…I want to say that I CRINGE when I hear that the US is a Christian Nation. It is not, nor will it ever be… not with the system that the forefathers have set up, anyway. Secondly, I will define what I mean, and I assume, what most people mean, when I say, “Christian Nation”.  

A Christian nation is an entire country of people, devoted to following the teachings of Christ, or an  Ekklesia (church) if you will. From this definition, we can already see that the USA, is not, and under the constitution, cannot be a Christian nation. We have the freedom to follow any religion (or lack-thereof) we choose. Of course, this isn’t a new concept to anybody. However, for the sake of my point, I feel it is necessary to reiterate that point strongly. You see, if we truly are a Christian nation this is unacceptable, as it is clearly written that if there are those who continue with unrepented sin, they should be removed from among the body of Christ. Now, if we are a Christian nation, which we are NOT, we would understand that we, living in a community of fellowship with Christ, should not let this body, this community, this ekklesia, show any wrinkle or blemish. We would have to remove the evil person from among us. 

This poses a problem to this country which, supposedly, had been founded on Christian principles. When the Bill of Rights was written, George Mason and James Madison (deists- not Christians) had in mind that Americans should be free to worship or not worship how they please, and the exercise could not be controlled by the state. <–It seems natural, based off of the first amendment, that there would need to be a separation of Church and State, yet, it seems as though it should be natural to a Christian as well, as we are to be in the world, but no of the world. 

So, just how are we, the United States of America, a Christian nation? How is it possible, under our constitution, to be a Christian nation? Is it the idea that the majority of the US claims Christianity as their religion? That doesn’t make this nation a “Christian nation.” Is it our principles? Is it the American dream that makes us a Christian Nation? Absolutely not!

Our entire system is corrupt. Capitalism and Christianity can not coexist. Especially, in this day and age, it is the most evil idea that has crept into the minds and philosophies of not only Americans, but internationally, as well… and the idea is still a growing one. The problem with Capitalism, as common knowledge suggests, is that as the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. The majority have to suffer so that a few can live as they please. Yet, if you grew up as an American, you were probably taught that Capitalism is the best economical system the world has had yet. I disagree.. but that is what I was taught too. I will agree that Capitalism works (obviously not too well, as we’ve seen in the economy)… but that is all it does. It doesn’t help.

Take this financial crisis for instance. A lot of the bailout money ended up going into the pockets of those who work to keep the businesses running, and it wasn’t used how it had been intended to be used, that is, it wasn’t used to actually help the businesses, themselves. That is what capitalism does. It keeps a corrupted heart corrupt, and it corrupts the hearts of those that are uncorrupted. 

Capitalism idolizes mammon (money). This entire country idolizes capitalism. And if the Empire is idolizing capitalism, which idolizes mammon, then WE ARE IDOLATERS. This is when we really need to look at what Jesus says, “A slave cannot serve two masters. Either he will love one and hate the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both, God and mammon.”

There are those that are reading this that will know exactly what I am talking about when they find themselves trying to defend mammon instead of God’s own words. There will be others who will not catch it… because no one wants to believe that something that has been a part of them for so long could, in all reality, be evil. [from “So You Want to be a Christian Nation? Part One“]

I find it ironic that you can find, “In God We Trust” on our currency.

What I’m saying isn’t a brand new idea, obviously, however, this subject is something that Christians ought to think about. Who is the “we” our currency is talking about? Not everyone believes in God. Some believe in a god or gods, but its (or their) name(s) isn’t (aren’t) “God”. However, our currency seems to suggest that we (Americans) trust in God. Not all of us do. In fact, many Christians don’t even put their trust in God. Many people put their trust in (drum roll please?) …MONEY! Again, I blame it on our system of capitalism. 

So does the phrase, “In God We Trust” really belong on our money? I don’t believe it does. I think that mammon is part of the world and should not taint the church. It is just another one of those things on the dollar bill that has become part of its intricate design- easy to overlook. Really, I don’t feel comfortable knowing that I will be trusting my money to put food on my table and not God. What I’m saying is, if “In God We Trust” is meant to be a friendly reminder telling us to pay attention to what we are investing in, it doesn’t work, and it really only serves as a contradiction. In a sense, this forces many people to live a lie. 

The solution to this problem is simple- though it may cost a lot. Take “In God We Trust” off of the American currency. It doesn’t need to be on our money and causes God to look at us and say, “Really? You trust me? You trust me, but you’ve refused to give that homeless man even a penny of what you’ve earned?” Remember–how you treat others is how you treat God. What you give others is what you give to God. If you want to be a Christian nation, trust God. Give away all that you have. See how God takes care of you. You may not have everything you want, but God will give you everything you need… and you would be doing this so others can have what they need. That would make one’s spirit beautiful.

I would also say that, along with taking “In God We Trust” off of our currency, we should take out “One nation under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance. But I’m not going to say that. I am taking it a step further. I’m saying get rid of the entire Pledge of Allegiance… if you want to be a Christian nation (you can read some interesting stuff about the Pledge of Allegiance on Tom’s blog).  The reason why I say this is because as you recite the Pledge of Allegiance, you are declaring the USA your home. Is it really your home though? I don’t think it is. We are citizens of another kingdom. This makes us ambassadors. We are here temporarily and our purpose is threefold. 1) Worship God–serve only him (when we serve “the least of these, we serve God as well). 2) To let the world know about Christ (this is something that is less of a duty and more of something we shouldn’t help. The spirit should be overflowing in us, so we would have no choice but to tell others the source of our joy). 3) Help bring Heaven to Earth (the work of an ambassador–to represent his home)

That is all we are here for- and it is only temporary. Soon, we will be with God in our true home- the kingdom of God, which we are to help bring to earth. However, if Heaven is our true home, why would we declare the USA as our home? Is it because the USA seems more tangible then the Kingdom of God? Is it because we have a group of rulers that we can see? Is it because here, we have a sense of “freedom”? I’ve said it before and I will say it again. The term “freedom” is relative. If all of our freedoms are ripped away from us, God is still in Heaven and Christ still died for us. That is all the freedom we really need–that is, the peace and rest Christ has given us in and through him. I could still feel free if I can’t speak my mind (granted, it would not be fun). I could still feel free if I can’t worship God anywhere outside my home (I would probably do it anyway–but that is an entire different blog altogether). I would still have my thoughts. I would still have my beliefs, and NOBODY can take that away. 

Anyway, back on topic, when you say the pledge, you are claiming that we are one nation under God…this is a dilemma. Saying this can equate to saying that if you are not “under God” you are not a citizen of the USA or if you are in the USA, you are automatically under God. I have a problem with this. First, I want to explain that I do believe the USA and everyone in it is “under God”. That is my belief and since it is my belief, I say this is an accurate statement. However, we dwellers of the USA have a freedom of religion which is protected by the first amendment of the US Constitution. Not everyone believes in God or they may believe in a different god. But when they recite the Pledge of Allegiance, they are forced to say that they are under God (spiritually, they are, but in their own mind, they are not). Perhaps “forced” is the wrong word, but there is only one Pledge of Allegiance for the USA. But when you are saying that you pledge your allegiance to the USA, you are pledging your allegiance to God. Otherwise, you are not really pledging your allegiance. This goes against our very constitution, making it a contradiction to what the US actually stands for, thus, technically voiding the Pledge of Allegiance. Which to a Christian, this should be ok… because this is not our true home. We are simply visiting and making the best of our stay.

But we are not a Christian nation. If we were, we shouldn’t have a pledge of allegiance. Our pledge of allegiance should be our constant prayers to God. He is the only one we should be pledging our allegiance to, anyway. 

So you want to be a Christian nation?

Step One: Rewrite the Bill of Rights
Step Two: Find a monetary system that does not cause us to put our money before God.
Step Three: Remove “In God We Trust” from our currency- unless you really are trusting God.
Step Four: Get rid of the Pledge of Allegiance [from “So You Want to be a Christian Nation? Part Two“]

Uh, now it’s me again.  Still on the subject of the phrase “under God” in the pledge…what really irks me about this phrase is that it automatically assumes the US, our “one nation” is God-approved. If WE are “one nation under God” and your country ISN’T, then yeah, it’s “logical” to make the leap to say that the war in Iraq is a holy mission and we’re on the right side of it. [GIBSON: You said recently, in your old church, “Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God.” Are we fighting a holy war? PALIN: You know, I don’t know if that was my exact quote. GIBSON: Exact words.] It’s a really scary place to be, assuming that God likes us better and is on our side because we go to Christian churches.

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