In God We Trust!
In God we trust, all others we virus scan.
That little phrase, “In God We Trust” has been the subject of such controversy in recent years by those who hold firmly to the belief that there must not be now, nor ever, any connection that unites faith or the church and government or the state. And yet we, none of us, can ever be parted for very long from these four little words. They appear on every single form of paper currency we exchange here in the United States! The obverse of every single bill heralds those words proudly at the center top. And I dare any one of you to refuse to handle currency because of your belief that these words are not just wrong but an out-and-out falsehood! Nope, that’s not going to happen! EVER!!!
Because of all the hoopla surrounding “In God We Trust”, I have to think about the wise men who chose to make sure they held such prominence that none of us would ever forget that it was not by the hand of man that we have come to celebrate the freedoms we have been given by adopting this as our homeland, but rather, it has been through the hand of the Almighty! Our forefathers asked us to place our trust and our faith in the wisdom of a supreme being. This would, after all, serve to program that internal compass that not just directs our actions and the route we travel, but also serves to temper our moral choices, as well! Certainly a wise move since it was, in fact, the need to be allowed to practice religion freely that compelled our journey here in the first place, some 300 years before those four words were even coined! Just look at the definition of the word with the most letters contained in the phrase, “In God We Trust”.
- reliance: confidence in and reliance on good qualities, especially fairness, truth, honor, or ability
- position of obligation: the position of somebody who is expected by others to behave responsibly or honorably
- hope for future: hopeful reliance on what will happen in the future
Did you know that some dictionaries include as part of the definition, synonyms or alternative words that mean the same as the one we are looking up? And would it surprise you to discover that the Bing Dictionary lists the first 4 synonyms for trust as faith, belief, hope and conviction? All words we associate with God and His mercy! All of these synonyms also little words but all holding such power of the promises heralded by what trusting in our Heavenly Father will afford us all! Such wisdom coming from as diverse a group of men with just as diverse degrees and dimensions of belief as ever have been gathered together in one place.
The Founding Fathers were not all Christians. Some were Deists with a belief in a Spiritual Being that had very little to do with how they lived their lives on earth. And yet they were all collectively united in following Christian doctrine for determining behavior and establishing rules for the common welfare simply because it was not just what defined society of the day, but would also serve as a unifying force that all would embrace as this new nation sought to divide itself from its roots. In many ways, our Founding Fathers agreed to disagree even as they maintained what was best for the common good as the paramount concern for the actions they would be sanctioning. And it seems to me that there is a tremendous lesson to be learned by all this! Assuring the welfare of our neighbor guarantees that our own is assured. Sound vaguely reminiscent of the time Jesus was asked by the Pharisees about the greatest commandment in the law? (Matthew 22: 37-40) 37)Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38)This is the first and greatest commandment. 39)And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40)All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”)? So I suspect that the actions of the Founding Fathers were something that would make even Jesus smile! And so, just one questions remains. Will you ever hear or read the words “In God We Trust” quite the same way again?
4 Such confidence we have through Christ before God. 5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant —not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
2 Corinthians 3: 4-6 NIV
60 With that all the assembly cried out with a loud voice, and praised God, who saveth them that trust in him.
Susanna 1: 60 KJV with Apocrypha
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