Wednesday, February 3, 2016

God Never Left

A few days ago, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and saw a picture captioned, "With God back in this country, we will succeed. Share if you agree."

I'm confused.

When did God leave leave this country?

This sort of rhetoric--not to mention the theology behind it--bothers me. The implication is that a vague and unnamed enemy ran God out of America, and, given that it's an election year, if we just vote properly, God will come back.

Is the Almighty truly such a powerless victim of a fickle electorate? Or is He the fickle one, turning His back on us when the best fundraiser of the bunch wins office?

I don't believe either of these things.

For the record, I'm a political moderate. I lean left on some issues and right on others, but my butt is usually firmly planted on the fence. Consequently, the primaries horrify me. The rhetoric on both sides inflames, divides, tears down, humiliates, rages, incites fear. Statements like that Facebook post show just how far we have been lead astray by angry rhetoric.

God isn't about politics. He's not an elephant or a donkey. He doesn't prefer red to blue or blue to red. He's not on anyone's side. He is the Great I Am. He is His own side.

We should focus on joining His side, not claiming Him for our side. His side isn't limited to the narrow confines of political ideology. His is the side of love, compassion, feeding the hungry, visiting the prisoner, housing the homeless, healing the sick, seeking peace with our neighbors, showing mercy to those who trespass against us, forgiving others as we are forgiven, doing unto others as we would have them do unto us.

And guess what? All of these good and wonderful things are happening in America each and every day. We are already succeeding with God. So many good, Godly acts happen all around us all the time, from small, unrecognized personal acts of kindness to government systems of support and care that may not be perfect but still do a lot of good.

How can anyone truthfully say God needs to "come back"? He's all over the place!

Sure, there are bad people doing bad things, and some of our systems are spectacularly broken, but that simply means we need to continue doing the good work God's already started of building a just, merciful, peaceful nation. We need to keep bearing spiritual fruit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. And by we I mean each and every one of us as individuals and as a whole community, state, and nation.

God is in this country. He never left. God is in America because we are all His children and He loves each and every one of us, no matter how we vote or how ridiculous we are. And aren't we ridiculous to shout and yell and click "share" on Facebook to agree that we need to bring God back?

He never left.

Thanks be to God!!!


  1. I found a wonderful quote by theologian Paul Tillich in Anne Lamott's Small Victories: "The opposite of faith is not doubt; it is certainty." We live in a time when we are overwhelmed by certainty, and the voices of Faith are drowned out by the hatred. Tolerance seems to have left the building. There are more sightings of Elvis than there are voices of faith that can be heard above the din. God is always in the building. Thank you for the post, Susan.


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