Congressman Keith Ellison has decided that when he is privately sworn in to Congress, he will place his hand upon the Koran rather than the Holy Bible, as is common practice. Don’t let this throw you into a tizzy, though.
1) A leopard cannot change its stripes. Asking a Muslim to swear upon the Bible doesn’t make him a Christian nor does it add any kind of Scriptural emphasis to his oath. Perhaps it makes breaking the oath a bit more serious, but of course they won’t see it that way.
2) Have we forgotten Jesus’ words? It is better to not make any oaths at all and to just let your word stand true (as it should). If a congressman cannot honestly answer “yes” to a question concerning the fulfillment of the job’s duties, making it an oath simply multiplies sin: adding the breaking of oaths with lying.
Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. Matthew 5:33–37, KJV
If God doesn’t want us swearing even by His footstool, what makes us think He would want us swearing by His very Word?!
3) I barely remember George Bush, Sr., but from what I can remember, the American government is spearheaded by men who are not giants on a moral playing field. Sexual immorality, warmongering (and fear-mongering to bolster war), and so on aren’t exactly lauded character traits within the Scriptures; are we so foolish that God would want His “endorsement” seemingly given to such a government via the use of His Word in confirming newcomers?
Repeat with resounding fortitude all you want to “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord!” and “God bless America!” Such clichÃƒÂ©s do little more than waste your time and mine, honestly. Repeating something won’t make it true. Remember Jesus’ words regarding vain, empty, hollow repetitions… God doesn’t like ’em!
Oh that we would have leaders raised up within this nation who would be willing to follow through on the “nations whose God is the Lord” bit. I have always been inspired by the actions of the young Josiah. Could you imagine if such occurred today!
Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. And he did right in the sight of the Lord and walked in all the way of his father David, nor did he turn aside to the right or to the left. 2 Kings 22:1,2, NASB
Josiah was already a moral man. He lived what could be described a good life and was mature in his ways.
He had decided to give money from the temple storehouse to various workers at the temple, carpenters, masons, builders, and so on. Those he went to take account of the money, however, find a lost book, that of God’s Law (such as, perhaps, a scroll containing Deuteronomy). This grieves the king, for it becomes obvious that the Law of the Lord had been neglected in his land for some time. The king desires confirmation from God concerning the words, and the Lord through a prophetess provides such confirmation. Josiah has been converted…
And the king went up to the house of the Lord and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests and the prophets and all the people, both small and great; and he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant, which was found in the house of the Lord. And the king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to carry out the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people entered into the covenant. 2 Kings 23:2,3, NASB
So here we have Josiah the king, a man who had just dedicated his life to Jehovah God. We’ve had quite a few public officials in America announce that they believed in God or had made a commitment to Him, but very few, if any, of them have expressed it quite as vividly as Josiah did. He used his influence to set things right in his nation according to the Law of the Lord.
False religion was wiped out. Monuments, altars, and everything else tied into the worship of false gods were destroyed and erased from the nation. Worship of God and the recognition of Passover was reinstated. Mediums, spiritists, and other assorted (what we would call) “New Age” types were removed. The bulk of 2 Kings 22 (up until verse 27 or so) details the reformation of the nation by Josiah.
Here is Josiah’s legacy, endorsed by Jehovah God Himself:
And before him there was no king like him who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him. 2 Kings 22:25, NASB
Could you imagine what it would be like to have some leaders in America like that?
Or has America’s system of government effectively precluded such a glorious turning to the Lord? After all, for such a change to take place, the Bible would have to supplant the Constitution as America’s holiest document. The First Amendment’s guarantee regarding the practice of religion precludes a righteous leader ever casting out all ungodly worship and practice. Establishing laws mandating the celebration of the Lord’s Day (or even the Sabbath or Passover) would violate the forbidding of any particular religion being established or endorsed by the government.
Is America a Christian nation? I say no! Christians worship a God who was delighted when a king came to power who ruled in accordance with His Word.
But as long as the professed Christians America chooses to put in power are warmongers who cause the death of thousands upon thousands of people, I think we’re a long way from ever having a ruler passionately in love with God’s Word and the testimony contained therein.
We may not see such a thing until Christ Himself reclaims the throne of David and rules over all the nations, with Jerusalem as His capital.
I long for that day.