Podium II

"One Nation under God"… but what god?

(Revised 12-19-07)

For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an alter 
with this inscription, To The Unknown God.  Whom therefore ye
ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. - Acts 17:23  

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other
name (Jesus) under heaven given among men, whereby
we must be saved. - Acts 4:12
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a 
name which is above every other: That at the name of Jesus every knee
should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under
the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. - Philippians 2:9 through 11   

And He (Christ) is the head of the body, the church: who is the
beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things,He (Christ) 
might have the preeminence. - Colossians 1:18

      Among believers, could anyone deny the importance of the Precious Name of Jesus or disagree that in all matters of life He alone should receive the preeminence?  Among those who claim His Lordship, can anyone argue as to why His Name should not rightfully dominate every area of their life... for real, every area - personal, social, business, legal, political or any other?  And if America is really the “one nation under God” which so many claim she is, then why is the Name of Jesus Christ not honored and revered above all others as the Scriptures tell us It should be?  I’m sorry, but one nation under “God” is just a little too vague and ambiguous for me.
      While watching a television documentary on the Founding Fathers, the Lord brought to my attention something I suspect very few among the corporate churches ever think about while they pledge their allegiance to the flag and the government in seculo for which it stands.  The god of their pledge doesn't have a name.  He has a title - “God” - but... no personal name!       

       Although some might not consider this to be an issue of any real importance, in light of the verses above, I would strenuously disagree.  The Word of God teaches us that names are very important and very significant as they denote the nature and character of what and whom they represent.  Names can also signify a personal knowledge or relationship with the one we are addressing.  Rather than being called by your personal name as you were growing up, can you imagine having been called simply, "hey boy" or "hey girl"?  Truly, of all the names ever spoken by the lips of man, no other is greater than the Precious Name of Jesus.  Wouldn't you agree?     
      While it seems many of the Founders had a personal respect for religion, and some may have even claimed to be christian themselves, they chose to establish something other than a government where, as the Scriptures command, “in all things Christ might have the preeminence”.  Instead they opted for a “democratic republic” - a form of government that, being secular by nature, could not promote any particular deity over another.  And so the best they could do under the circumstances was to give the people an unknown god; a kind of generic deity with a blank space for a name like the one Paul discovered at Acts 17:23.  In their writings, they would come to refer to this unknown god as Nature’s God.  Along with this new “one size fits all” national deity, another secular humanist concept evolved known as “freedom of religion”, which also means freedom from religion - a political philosophy whereby everyone is afforded the constitutional right to reject the notion that there even is a God or, if they prefer, to fabricate one as they see fit from their own vain imagination.     

      However high and noble the idea may sound to some, you simply cannot find anywhere in Scripture anything like "freedom of religion" for those who are Called to salvation in Christ Jesus.  Because the church has been bought with a price - the Precious Blood of Christ - she simply has no right to choose another!  If the concept of "freedom of religion" was in harmony with Scripture and meant that all were free to worship and serve Jesus Christ without interference from the government, I would have to support it.  But unfortunately that's not the case.  Despite the good intent of the Founders, “freedom of religion” in America has turned out for the most part to be nothing more than a massive government sponsored incubator for idolatry.  Thanks to "freedom of religion", anyone or anything you wish can be worshipped as God.  As a result, judges and lawyers today routinely interpret the First Amendment in such a twisted and perverse manner as to allow the devil himself and those who worship him, constitutional rights and protections which are denied the church of Jesus Christ.  This being the case, should anyone be too surprised to learn that the word for attorney came to us from the French word “attorn” meaning literally to twist or turn?   

       Ever since the 9-11 terrorist attacks, the growing trend toward patriotism in most corporate churches has risen to the status of a near Bible doctrine.  Within these state created institutions exists a very dangerous mix of religion and worship of the state which those who engage in seem to be totally blind to the dangers of.  Ironically, the decision by the 9th District Federal Court declaring "one nation under God" to be unconstitutional got all the corporate faithful in a major uproar when in reality it was only their constitutional right to practice idolatry that was being attack!  Although I generally don’t watch his show, the day after the court decision I happened to be watching Bill O'Reilly.  One of his guests asked him how he would feel if the pledge of allegiance instead contained the phrase "one nation under Jesus" or "one nation under Krishna".  O'Reilly replied that the mention of any specific deity would be inappropriate.  However,  "one nation under God" he went on to say, was OK and essentially harmless because it referenced God only as a "ceremonial deity" and not by name whereby some might become offended! 

        What is a ceremonial deity you may ask?  Why it’s “The Unknown God” of Acts 17:23!  It’s that generic “one size fits all” national deity who the Founders called Nature’s God.  It’s the god who, in keeping with the First Amendment, must in all public settings always remain unknown and unnamed!  An idol with a blank space for a name lest anyone become offended!  Like it or not, this is the inevitable consequence of a nation whose laws, for the sake of inclusion and diversity, must accommodate every strange god who lands on her shores.  Like it or not, this is the foundation America as a secular nation is built upon and, for that reason, what she must always be.  Selah.

     This is why those of us who desire something better, now in this life, are actively pursuing the Kingdom of our God, the Lord Jesus Christ who taught us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven” -Matthew 6:10.  We cannot defer the promises of our God off to some future generation acting as though Jesus meant something other than what He actually said.  Contrary to what the vast majority believe, the Kingdom of God is real, and the Kingdom of God is now.  

     And so, while the slogan “One Nation under God” continues to hoodwink the masses who are content to pledge their allegiance to an unknown, “one size fits all” ceremonial deity, those who worship Christ in spirit and in truth will remain faithful, pledging allegiance only to the Name of Christ Jesus, for it is written,     

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, 
and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every 
tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the 
glory of God the Father. - Philippians 2:10 and 11 

William Raymond: