God Bless America
The expression "God Bless America" is a wonderful and most needed prayer. Irving Berlin wrote, "God Bless America, Land that I love. Stand beside her, and guide her, Thru the night with a light from above. From the mountains, to the prairies, To the oceans, white with foam, God bless America, My home sweet home." Many sobering questions now face our nation. Will God bless America? Should God bless America? Can God bless America when our people are leaving Him out of their lives? Can God bless America when our nation is so immoral, unholy and ungodly? Can God bless America when you consider our sad spiritual condition? God's word, His worship and His church are totally disrespected and disregarded by our people. Can God bless America and still be a holy and righteous God? When it comes to blessing, He has clearly and repeatedly set down conditions to obtain them. The same principles of obedience and disobedience that God used in dealing with the Jews fit today. "See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them." (Deuteronomy 30:15-20) Israel knew there was no mystery to as to the standard for receiving God's blessings. In Joshua 1:8 we read a principle that opens the door for God's blessings, "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." "God Bless America." But how can God bless America when He is left out of our daily lives?
A moment of silence for Congresswoman and other victims: Barack H. Obama is the 44th President of the United States. I did not vote for President Obama because of his very unbiblical views on abortion and homosexuality. When a woman has an abortion it is not that she is no longer pregnant. She is just the mother of a dead baby, a murdered baby. (Luke 1:41-44) Homosexuality is not just some alternate, acceptable lifestyle; it is abomination to God. "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." (Leviticus 18:22) When Mr. Barack H. Obama was elected President he became my President and I have prayed for him! Now I want to say, "Mr. President I am so disappointed that you do not use times of tragedy to stand up for the God you claim to believe in!" Our President claims to be a Christian man. He is not a Christian according to our understanding of what it means to love and serve God. A shooting near Tucson, Arizona, occurred on January 8, 2011. Nineteen people were shot, six of them fatally, during an open meeting that U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords was holding in a supermarket parking lot. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was among those seriously injured. In an amazing act our President led our nation in a "Moment of Silence" on their behalf. But, "Mr. President you say you are a Christian. If it is the case that you are a New Testament Christian why not led our nation in prayer, to the One true God in the name of Jesus Christ, for the victims and their families." Oh, but I remember now, we do not wish disturb the atheist who do not believe in God, the Jews who do not believe in Jesus, the godless who believe in nothing, the Muslims who believe in hatred and the Hindus who believe in thousands of gods. Let us have enough moral and spiritual backbone to stand up for the one true God and then we can truly pray, "God Bless America."
The "alleged" shooter was caught: Several times I have heard the news media talk about "the alleged shooter" or the "suspect in the shooting." Here is a direct quote from the media. It was under the bold heading "SUSPECT." "Jared Lee Loughner, the primary suspect, was 22 years old and lived with his parents in Tucson, about 5 miles (8.0 km) from the site of the shooting." A 22-year-old Tucson man, Jared Lee Loughner, was arrested at the scene. The shooting was caught on video by a store security camera. The weapon Loughner used was a 9 mm Glock model 19 semi-automatic pistol with a 33-round magazine. After Loughner ran out of ammunition in the first magazine, he stopped to reload, but dropped the loaded magazine from his pocket to the sidewalk, from where bystander Patricia Maisch grabbed it. Another bystander clubbed the back of the assailant's head with a folding chair. Loughner was then tackled to the ground by 74-year-old retired colonel Bill Badger, who himself had been shot, and was further subdued by Maisch and bystanders Roger Sulzgeber and Joseph Zamudio. How can he be a suspect or alleged shooter? He is guilty and he should be punished. The Old Testament said, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man." (Genesis 9:6) The same principle is taught in the New Testament. "For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." (Romans 13:3-4) Job said that if he sinned God would not acquit him from his iniquity. (Job 10:14) Now those involved with this horrible deal will make millions; this includes Judges, lawyers and doctors of all kinds, prison people, physicist and many others. Loughner is guilty. He should have already paid for his crimes by being executed. If he had sense enough to do the shooting he had sense enough not to. It is past time that criminals are punished. God will not acquit the wicked and why should we? "The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet." (Nahum 1:3) Let us have enough moral and spiritual backbone to stand up for God, for right and for decency; then we can truly pray, "God Bless America."
You are not my brother. Newly elected Alabama Governor Robert Bentley told a church crowd just moments into his new administration, "Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I'm telling you, you're not my brother and you're not my sister, and I want to be your brother." This was shocking to some critics of the Governor. A Rabi and others were very critical of the Governor's statement. It was a statement that applied to spiritual matters. While we might not agree with Governor Bentley's religious views this statement is absolutely correct. If you are not in Christ you are not part of the family of God. If people were insulted by the Governor's statement they would have been angered by what our Lord said. "Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he spareth a lie, he spareth of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not." (John 8:43-45) How can a person who is a child of the Devil be my spiritual brother or sister in Christ? Does this mean we would not love and serve those people? Absolutely not! Jesus served everyone and He loved everyone but only the obedient were His brothers or sisters. Jesus said, "For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." (Matthew 12:50) Sadly, because of pressure our Governor said he was sorry for speaking this truth. Let us have enough moral and spiritual backbone to stand up for right and true; then we can truly pray, "God Bless America."
God can bless America when we become Christians and when we live the Christian life. To begin your Christian life hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of sins (Luke 13:3), confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10) and be baptized into Christ. "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Galatians 3:26-27) After being washed in the blood of Jesus at baptism we are among those who are brothers and sister in Christ. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA