April 2008 Linn County Leader Column – “One Nation Under God…Or Something Else?”

Folks, it’s an election year once again; the presidential candidates are in full swing across this great country of ours, scrambling for votes in what appears to be one of the closest races in years (at least on the Democratic side). It’s a case of “he said, she said” as the accusations fly over who is the better one to institute change across out fifty states; who is the person who will most unify our divided nation; and who will be able to foster better relations globally with our neighbors. We see states bitterly split as fighting over each candidate reaches an epidemic of pettiness.

One has to wonder: when will this madness end?

And, the only answer that really counts is this: whenever we give our nation, fully and totally, back into God’s Hands; whenever we quit bickering about who is best suited to run our country based on previous experience, or oratory excellence, and instead ask which person follows the Lord in their actions and words; whenever we can forget about a person’s past and instead focus on what they want to do to further the Kingdom of God here in this nation.

Yeah, it’s a tall order to ask. And it’s a lot harder to do than to say with words. But, my friends, I believe the time has come for all of us to make a choice; are we going to, as Christians, stand up for Who we believe in and plant both feet firmly on the foundation of Christ…or are we going to just lie down and passively take the continuing garbage that this world throws at us? Are we going to get backed up into a corner and cover up while whimpering and crying…or are we going to stand tall and proud and come out “spiritually swinging”?

Persecution is part of the package if you believe in the Lord. After all, we are set apart to do His will, and since we are strangers in this land, we will be subjected to a lot of murmuring and finger-pointing. To these things we should say: bring it on! We serve a Risen Savior, and the entire Power that created our world and our universe is behind us if we choose to take a stand for Him. What’s a few bad words about us compared to helping foster change for this nation?

We need to remember that we are truly “One nation under God.” We were founded with the Lord as the centerpiece of all of our freedoms, and as the focus for our future. Sadly, we have veered far off-course, with prayer being taken out of public school; with evolution being taught as a standard course during primary education; with “alternative” co-habitation lifestyles being accepted as the norm in society. Our airwaves are saturated with death and destruction; with mayhem and malice; and with sex and slander. It’s no wonder that we’re in the mess that we’re in, because we haven’t had a whole lot of positive things in the world of today to encourage us to live better lives.

The only constant our United States of America has ever had is God. He has been there through our fledging steps as a nation; through wars and rumors of wars; through divisive issues such as segregation and abortion…He has been our steadfast Guide; and to be honest, we have failed Him miserably at times.

Where there is no vision, the people perish. And, as a nation, we are perishing without seeing, and doing, God’s vision for us. He wants our country to be a Lighthouse in this dark and subversive world, just like we used to be. The Lord wants His people to draw a line in the dirt and say, “This is OUR stand, and we’re going to fight for our God!”

People, all He wants is for us to turn our hearts back to Him…and He will truly lead us home. And, we will be a stronger, and better, nation with Him at the helm.

Trust God…because we ARE one nation under Him.

Richard is pastor of Purdin, Bear Branch, and Pleasant Grove UMC’s in northern Missouri. He is also a regular columnist for the Linn County Leader. You may reach him via his blog at https://sliceofhome.wordpress.com or via e-mail at sliceofhome@gmail.com.

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