Recently a New Jersey judge ruled that the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Alligence does not violate the rights of athiests or other groups. This follows a similar rulling last year in Massachusetts. I have heard folks sing the praises of these judges, standing up for the “traditional Christian values” of America. Then, in my home state, the public display of 10 Commandments are under fire. They are coming down across the state. Earlier this year, an elemetary school in Valdosta removed its 10 Commandment display.
It is safe to say that the fight to keep “under God” and allow the public display of the 10 commandments in America has captured the American Christian churches attention. There are petitions, websites, news hours, speaches, and endless debate on the topic throughout television and the internet. I have heard numerous good hearted Chrsitians working tirelessly on these issues. Christians have focused a tremendous amount of time, energy, and effort to keep the pledge, schools, and court houses Christian. As I see all of this effort, fight, struggle, resources, and money, used by Christians to fight for the Pledge and the 10 Commandments, I am left with one over riding thought…
What if we cared as much about our neighbor being “under God” as we do the Pledge of Allegiance?
What if we cared as much about our co-worker’s life displaying the 10 commandments as our local court house?
Allow me to let you in on a secret. Having children say “under God” before their school day begins does not a Christian nation make. Having a 10 commandments poster on the wall does not a Christian nation make. Filling our nation with Christians is how America will be a Christian nation!
To be honest, I could not care less if children at school say “under God” or not in the Pledge of Allegiance each morning. I do care a great deal if those same children’s lives are under God because of their faith in Jesus Christ. I could not care less if a judge displays the 10 commandments in his or her court room. I do care a great deal if that judge, the lawyers, the plaintifs, the defendents, attenders, give their hearts to the author of the 10 commandments.
I believe whole heartedly that the Pledge of Alliegence debate and the 10 commandment debate are distractions from the enemey to steal our time, effort, and resources away from sharing the gospel. Do you realize, we are fighting like crazy over the salvation of a building?! While our attention is so focused on court rooms and a handful of sentences, people, people, PEOPLE are not hearing the gospel. Let’s remember what is important.
I want to see Christians work as tirelessly on leading their neighbor to Christ as they do these issues.
I do not want to attack the good hearted Christians that have taken up these fights. These Christians have the best of intentions. They passiontely love this country. They passionate love God, but we have been duped by the enemy. We are focusing on the less important thing.
Here are some facts about Christianity in America that are far more scarier than the removal of a 10 commandment poster. An indepth study on actual church attendence in America, not just a survey, discovered that from the 1960’s through the 1990’s only 26%, give or take a few percent, of Americans faithfully attend church. Just think, we were suppoose to be more Christian back then. From 1990 to 2000 there was a significant decrease in attendence. Church growth has plateaued. Church planting has declined. You can read about all of these facts here.
I hope you find that more disturbing than “under God” in the Pledge because those numbers invovle people. If you think the 10 commandments are coming down fast in court rooms, open your eyes and look at how fast their coming down in people’s lives.
You might read this and think, I cannot believe this preacher is against the Pledge and 10 commandments, but nothing it farther from the truth. I believe wholeheartedly that being under God is the greatest blessing any person can receive. I believe whole heartedly that the 10 commandments guide people toward a better life. It is because of my strong belief in being under God and in the 10 commandment that I want my life dedicated to leading other people to being under God and showing others the benefit of having the 10 commandments up in their own lives.
If you want America to be a Christian nation, stop fighting to save buildings and start fighting to win souls.
I can promise you that “under God” will be removed from the Pledge of Allegience if we do not start getting serious about sharing the gospel with people.
If we take that 26% of people who faithfully attend church and we turn into 30 or 40 or 60%, imagine in this democracy of ours, what our nation will be turned toward! It is not through petition, but through the gospel going forth that our nation will change. Let’s reach out to our neighbors, coworkers, classmates, family members, team mates, that guy on the bus, our waittress, the elderly lady who needs help loading her groceries, and fight and struggle for the salvation of their souls. Trust me, each person is much more important to God than two words in a Pledge or a picture on a wall.