America The Idol

In the past year or so, the Lord has been dealing with me and idolatry. No, I don't have some crazy statues around my home that I pray to, nor do I leave sacrifices at the feet of any figures in my garden. In simplified Christian terms, idolatry means anything that we as individuals value more than we value God. Idolatry can present itself in the form of personal pride, where or with whom we spend our time and money or even our spouse or children. In the last year or so, the Lord made it very clear that certain relationships and focus in my life was of more importance than my relationship with God. He removed those things from me and for that I am grateful and by far blessed more now than before.

Now, I might lose a few of you in the next few paragraphs but hear me out, if you will. This week the Supreme Court made some monumental decisions. The entire world watched and waited and as I sat back and watched the reactions of friends and family something swept over me. Idols are falling all around for everyone. And I dare say that for many people, including some of the most devout Christians I know, America is an idol.

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Look, I'm one of the most patriotic people I know. I love the Fourth of July and I get goosebumps when the color guard marches down Main Street in my hometown. Tears prick my eyes when the first notes of national anthem are played at sporting events. My grandfathers both served in the United State Marine Corps and I am fiercely proud of them. But putting all of my faith and confidence in my country, government or military is a form of idolatry. No president, no upcoming candidate, no government document replaces my God or His word.

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And if I truly believe that God is who He says He is and I am forever grateful and in awe that He would send His one and only son to die for the entire world, then I had better act grateful and love those He told me to love. No matter where any of us stand on the current issues, we have been commanded to love our Lord with all our heart, mind and soul and out of that love extend it to everyone. It means that our patriotism takes back seat no matter how passionate we may be.

Not only has the country become an idol to many but so has sexuality in all forms. This is not new, humanity has contended with this from it's beginning. Again, regardless of where you stand on the issues, both sides have placed all focus and energy on sex. I believe God's word and study it regularly. If we are all honest, there are sexual sins among all people, men and women - gay or straight. Jesus dealt with those who had sexual issues and He did not shame them, embarrass them or cast them straight to hell. I feel like many of my Christian brothers and sisters would gladly do the latter if they had the chance and that makes me sad.

I can't decide today what I am grieving for. I believe the devil is having a field day at the moment and not in the ways that we think. I believe he has set things before our eyes that have taken the place of our love for Christ and while some think they are fighting for the noble things, they are neglecting Kingdom things. I'm leaving in a few days to serve in Haiti. I'm looking forward to caring for the children and the poor. For taking healing words of love to the least of these and forgotten people of the world. It's not that what I am going to do makes me better, it's that I believe that if I can get back to those basics, I might be able to see God's hand at work because even among my own people, I'm missing it.

I love America, but I love God more. I will not be made to believe or think that if this country changes that God will change. He never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. He is a Mighty Fortress, my Strong Tower, my Rock and my Redeemer. He is the Name Above All Names, above citizens, politicians, courts, presidents, kings and queens. He is the Word and the Word Made Flesh. He is the Door. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

My faith and my love is for God and His son Jesus and with His help, I will love those that He loves.

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