“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” (Luke 6:38) This is a divine directive for a divine way of life.
Many Americans insist that the USA is a “Christian” country. One might do well in one’s quieter moments to contemplate, “What do I really mean by that? Does it mean that all Americans love God with their whole heart, soul, strength and mind, and others as if they are themselves? Does it mean that they’re all truly born again and filled with the Spirit of God, and as the manifesting sons of God are led by the Spirit of God? Does it mean that they know and embrace the Great Commission, especially in terms of the last part of it – “…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you”? (Matthew 28:20)
Or does it mean that in general, a lot of people seem to be good eggs who tend more or less to abide by what we could call “natural law” and support the Constitution, the right to carry a gun, and the right to cuss and swear (freedom of speech) and do as they please? Personally that’s my conclusion. But in my opinion this falls far short of naming the USA as a particularly “Christian” nation!
There are a lot of ways to consider this question, but let’s look at it in terms of American dollars and… divine sense.
We could consider it in terms of the worldly golden rule – the one who has the gold rules. Truth be told, the one who has the gold makes war to attain more gold. Think it’s not true? Please view this documentary before reading any further. “All Wars Are Bankers’ Wars”. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33903.htm Check it out and see if it matches with the clear teaching of our Lord as to where our priorities are to be. Then kick that idea of “just wars” to the curb!
The way of Jesus Christ is not the way of the world, or especially the way of the banking system of the world. Remember? Who did He kick out of the temple on that fateful day? The money changers, the “banksters” of the time!
Our Lord was quite clear, that where His people are concerned, He proclaims, “… It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves .” (Matthew 21:33)
Our Lord was unquestionably clear on this – “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” (Matthew 6:24).
Back to a different slant on the initial question, do we serve God or mammon? Jesus asks us to really get honest about this. “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46)
Clearly the divine economy is of a much higher order of magnitude than the compete, crush, kill, and control system of this world, where it’s dog eat dog – to see who has the gold and gets to rule. John echoes this through the directives in his epistle: “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone should love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15) Oh John, you cannot be serious, can you?
Is the “American dream” love of the world, love of money?
Well, pilgrim, who runs the world? “We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” (1 John 5:19)
Jesus is clear: “My kingdom is not of this world,” (John 18:36) He says to Pilate who was about to crucify Him on behalf of the Jewish religious leadership. Even from a very young age, He says to His parents – worried because He was “missing” from the crowd, “How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49).
We’re directed by St. Paul to put on the mind or attitude of Christ (Philippians 2:5). Are we with Him or against Him, or is it that our understanding needs to be cleared a little more, as patriotism often gets confused with our ability to wholly embrace our Lord’s teaching? “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” (Matthew 12:30)
The question is, Does my patriotic inclination actually serve the interests of the Lord, or has it become another god with a 21st century face?
As far as the American propensity for amassing wealth, Jesus’ prescription again calls out to us, as many anxiety disorders unfold in a society where the pursuit of “having it all” reigns as God. He has a cure for that too – “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:24-33)
Check out the first few verses at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. It was not for the masses, but for disciples – for a people separated out of “the world”! (Matthew 5:1)
I don’t know about you, pilgrim, but I look forward to the day when, at that seventh trumpet, the kingdoms of this world shall have manifestly and fully become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, when He shall have taken His forever reign – one heart, one soul at a time, from the inside out. (Revelation 11:15)
One last thought – Paul says it, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:6-9)
Until then, as Bob Marley put it … Don’t worry ‘bout a thing!