God of no nation

God cares deeply about you, about us, about humanity. We see this love story told over and over throughout scripture, but I feel like I needed to say it up front because I’ve seen too many people equate God’s love for humanity with God’s love for America. The first type of love exists; the latter type does not. 

 

America is not a Christian nation, and it is certainly not a theocracy - a nation run by God. And it’s not supposed to be. The promises you’ve heard as either foreshadowing or assurance (depending on whether the glass is half-empty of half-full) that God will be victorious in America if the right people do the right things - they aren’t promises for us. 

 

America was never set up to preference Christianity, it was never set up to be led by God (or even, necessarily, to be led by people who believe in God). It was set up to provide a refuge from imposition of religion, a freedom to worship who and how you see fit. It was set up to provide a separation between church and state. 

 

The only time we see God set up as the head of a nation is in the stories from ancient Israel. Aside from the texts we have tying God to ancient Israel, and vice versa, I’m not sure God even recognizes our notion of nations. Like I said - God cares about and loves all people. What makes us think God cares about the nation we come from? If anything, I think God actively does not care. God isn’t giving America preferential treatment.

 

You know who does get preferential treatment in scripture? The poor. The oppressed. Not because they are inherently any more worthy or because God loves them any more. But because throughout scripture we see stories of God showing up when people had nothing left. We see Christ’s example of giving voice to the voiceless, pushing boundaries of the accepted norms to expand the understanding of how high and how wide and how deep is God’s love for us. 

 

This should give us a gut check when we want to claim some sort of special national status as a chosen or blessed country. Not only is there no biblical or historical reason for this, there is every reason to think God does not prop up the already-powerful. There is every reason to think God expects us to be concerned with service and advocacy and self-sacrifice. 

 

America is a nation, and I don’t think God cares about nations, at least not in the way we think God does. What God cares about is how we, as citizens of America and citizens of heaven, use our power to raise others up.