2005-08-10

In God We Trust


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On our bulletin board at work someone posted an article about post offices in Texas which were directed to remove their “In God We Trust” signs because they violated an electioneering ordinance. In righteous indignation, the article’s author implored all of his readers to write those words on every envelope that they mail. This was his idea of a way to “take back our nation.”

I’m sure the email cult will latch onto this, scrawling “In God we trust,” bible verses and other notes all over their monthly bills. Then they’ll sit back, satisfied that they’ve done their patriotic and Christian duty. Two days later their effort will be laying in someone’s trash can.

This kind of movement has always rubbed me the wrong way. I’ll concede that many enter into these things with the best intentions. But for many more there is an underlying “in your face” attitude that completely contradicts the good they pretend to do.

In Colossians 3:14 Paul writes, “And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony.”

I propose that if you care to write “In God we trust” on something, write it on your heart … and your mind … and your actions. That’s where the need is.

Even without the “In God we trust” signs in Texas, and the Ten Commandments sculpture in Alabama, we still have plenty of banners and flags and pithy attempts to bind God and country together. We are long on divisiveness and short on God’s love and harmony.

The author of the piece later supports his case by pointing out that 86% of Americans believe in God. Sadly, my guess is that the percentage of folks who think that by itself that statistic means something is almost as large. What did James say? “Even the demons believe – and shudder.” (2:19)

I have no doubt that on a survey, 86% proclaimed a belief in God. The thing is, it takes only a quick glance around our community to realize that even with all of the believing in God that is going on, the workers are still few and the needs are great and growing.

Paul continues in verse 15, “And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are all called to live in peace.”

The bold “we’re not going to take it anymore” stands, and the bumper stickers and the causes are all in fashion right now. What is really needed are lives that say, “In God I trust.” What is really needed is a church that reflects the peace and love of Christ, and that reaches a nation and a world in desperate need of both.

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