by Robert Flores
God Bless America
What is this statement even supposed to mean? it’s such a cryptic and generic statement.
Is it a command? God Bless America (Now!)? That mentality is straight out of Joel Osteen’s “Seven Steps to a Better You!” Who commands God? He is no one’s genie. He answers to nobody.
There seems to be this sense of entitlement mentality, too: “God, Bless America (because we’re nice people and we deserve it). In other words, we deserved God’s blessings because of who we are, as if there is something inherently holy in Americans, as opposed to other people in the world. What a joke. Do Americans really think they are holier than Nigerians, Icelanders, Sudanese, Portuguese, Georgian, Ugandan, Tibetan, etc? Give me a break. Americans are sinners just like the rest of the world. There is nothing inherently holy about Americans.
It could be a question: “God, Bless America (?) As, in, please bless us, even though we don’t deserve it. This question works for those who know that America has sinned and yet still wants God’s blessing. Much like a toddler in the store who has acted up all day, and yet asks his mom for a special toy. “God, please bless us (w/ material things) even though we haven’t deserved your blessing.” it’s still an audacious question to ask–you know you’re a sinner and yet you’re still asking for God’s blessing (i.e. His mercy). How about changing your ways first, then asking for His mercy? God wants to see repentance through action–not just “We’re sorry for what we’ve done” and then move on.
Let’s examine each of the elements of this phrase:
There is only one God, according to the Bible. The Bible-believing (even if Deists) signers of the Constitution believed this. But, not all Americans believe in the one God of the Bible. Let’s face it, “god has become such an loaded term that any American can fill with any meaning. Anyone can believe anything about God. They can make God out to be whoever they want Him to be (and that is usually just a mirror-image of themselves). Just because I am a Christian and know who God is (Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world), that doesn’t mean everyone else does. Christians, when coming across this statement need to ask clarifying questions as to who the person thinks “God” is. To Christians, we know who God is, but everyone else, using the same term, doesn’t. So, because “God” doesn’t mean the God of the Bible to everyone, “God” works as a good generic first word of this generic phrase “God Bless America”.
The Missing Comma
When addressing God (or any person) there needs to be a comma after the person’s name. Again, the fact that the statement never includes a comma after God just speaks volumes that the requester could care less that God is actually a PERSON (and just wants to get to the point). In live conversation, you say the person’s name, pause, and continue. God never is even given this respect. He is just blended in with the rest of this statement: Godblessamerica–as if “BlessAmerica” is God’s last name. it’s completely ridiculous from an English standpoint, but also disrespectful for the Creator of the universe.
To “bless” means to shower with gifts. But, from a Biblical perspective, these blessings only come if you’re obeying God. See, America has taken God’s grace for granted and they still want more and more and more to heap it upon their lusts. They take His gifts, and worship the gifts more than the Creator. Imagine if your children did that to you on Christmas morning? They loved the gifts more than they loved you. The only blessings we should be asking God for is spiritual blessings–Gal 5:22-23. America is the opposite of these: unloving, unjoyful, at war, not patient, ungentle, evil, unfaithful, strong, hot tempered. Why would God keep blessing a rebellious nation such as America? If He loves us, as any loving father will, He will discipline us. And, I think we are seeing that discipline take place in the form of: economic crisis, government takeovers, broken homes, etc.
I’ve also seen a sticker that says, “America Bless God”. That statement is so true. We want to get get and get, but we don’t want to give, give give. In other words, we don’t want to love our neighbor as ourselves. We don’t want to do what God wants us to do. We don’t want to forgive–we want to hold grudges and ignore God. In fact, most of America doesn’t even attend church on Sundays. But, that doesn’t mean they are not worshiping something. No, Sunday is still a day of worship for: exercise, groceries, hanging out with friends, watching football, playing video games, going to the movies, etc. We don’t worship God and yet we ask Him to keep blessing us. That shows the depravity of America’s greediness.
America is simply the 50 United States of America (along with its various territories throughout the world). In other words, “America” is “us”. We are asking God to Bless US! Not anyone else–us!This is the height of arrogance and selfishness, particularly since America hasn’t really done anything for God. America is bunch of consumers who consume everything in their path. They don’t just consume material things: they consume ideas like traditional marriage, sanctify of life, small businesses, missionary work, living a godly life, purity before marriage, The Ten Commandments in public places, the Bible in public schools, etc. Once consumed, America then poops out ideas like: homosexual marriage, evolution, pro-choice, communism, prosperity gospel, emergent church, seeker-friendly Christianity, materialism, etc. However, “God bless ‘us’” is not a wrong statement if it has the right motives. For example, it’s right and good and just to ask God to bless you, so that you may grow His kingdom here on earth. Or, it’s OK to ask for God’s blessing, if you’re seeking to glorify Him back. (see the many biblical references to godly people asking for God’s blessing). Usually, a godly person will ask for God’s blessing while being persecuted for doing good. America is never persecuted for doing good–they are persecuted for their own stupidity–not following God. They are persecuted for throwing off His Law and creating a Law that is made in their own image. And, then confused America asks, “Why all these school shootings, cancer, taxes, failed marriages, rebellious teenagers, gang violence, greedy corporations, greedy politicians, etc?” Perhaps it because these people and businesses, who are the cause of a lot of heartache in this country, are the same ones who have been taught “there is no God”. How can America say on one hand “God Bless America”, and on the other hand say, “There is no God”? It makes no sense. Don’t throw God a bone, and hypocritically act like there is no God. America’s actions speak louder than its pompous quasi-religious saying.
America claims to be the freest nation in the world. That’s not true. There are any things Americans are enslaved to. For example, Americans are not free form a corrupt banking system. Americans are not free from the evil media, pornography, self-righteousness, idols, sexual deviancy, materialism, evil politicians, evil medical associations, drugs, alcohol, Facebook, health and exercise, the latest technology, addictions, self-worship, etc. God knows America is enslaved. He warned us about following idols. Isaiah 42:8 says, “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”
Regardless of the crypticness of “God Bless America”, it still remains a generic statement (that means nothing), a command (that displays America’s arrogance) or a question (that knows we don’t deserve blessings, but still asks for them anyway). “God Bless America” is a very selfish statement for a very selfish people –namely Americans. Americans want God’s blessings like a drug addict wants drugs. Why? Because they are addicted to God’s (material) blessings. Americans want their houses and cars and careers and stocks and retirement accounts and their moralism–so they throw a bone to God in hopes that “Hey, it can’t hurt my portfolio!” Americans love their stuff and they want to keep their stuff–so they ask God to keep giving them stuff. “God bless America” is all about Americans keeping and getting more stuff. Never does the person saying “God Bless America” mean “God, please bless us with the Fruits of the Holy Spirit”. No, it’s always about them. And, Americans are united in this goal. That’s why everyone can get along with their materialistic neighbor who is just like them. Why? Because they serve the same god as they do! That’s a friendship meant to be! “Money is a means to happiness through toys–not God”. “Money is a means to making me a somebody–not God.” God Bless America has been revealed for what it is: an arrogant slogan that typifies everything America stands for: themselves. They want their happiness and no one else’s. And, they want God to put His seal of approval on their materialism! “Well, God gave me this stuff! He must approve of my life!” God Bless America just perpetuates the “me-mentality” of America and is just another reason why America will be judged by God someday.
The solution to all these woes is that all Americans submit their lives to Jesus Christ wholeheartedly, turn from their idols and repent from their sins. Jesus will have mercy if we do this. If not, we will continue to suffer because of our own sins. Americans need to quit following our own selfish, sinful desires and start following God’s desires. Americans need to quit being hypocritical: don’t say “God bless America if you a) don’t believe Jesus is God or b) He has the power to show us grace and c) if you’re not willing to turn from your sins and turn to Christ yourself. This isn’t a 10-step program to be sin-free. You simply turn to God, and in doing so, turn away from your sin.
“But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.”–Psalm 50: 16-19
“And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.” (Luke 12:4-5).
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” (Matthew 23:25-28)
“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:24-32)