Shock-N-Awe!

“If you are a citizen of an empire that has the most powerful army in the history of humanity and is currently on the way to spending a trillion dollars on a war, passages about those who accumulate chariots and horses from Egypt are about you and your people.” Rob Bell, Jesus Wants to Save Christians, 128

“What?” said a friend? I’ll tell you.

Moses warned those fleeing from Egypt against becoming like Egypt (something Solomon did.) The Psalmist said, “Some trust in chariots… I trust in the Lord.” There is a clear either-or differentiation here.

Rob Bell makes the case (well) that America is an empire and as such it is all about protecting its wealth and prosperity through economic (horses) and military (chariots) might.

(Notice the differentiation again. If America is using horses and chariots, where is its trust? Not in the Lord?)

I know that many of you won’t like this because you don’t like America to be called an empire. Yet, I know deep down inside many people actually do like to think of America as an empire. How often do we hear about how amazing our military is? How we are the only “superpower?” We take pride in it. We put our trust in it.

Uh-oh.

I know many like to think of America as a Christian nation. I see this as a cake-and-eat-it-too scenario. We want to think of ourselves as holy and chosen and at the same time retain our military and economic supremacy.

Just in case God doesn’t come through, or what?

America is blessed. But the Bible says we are blessed to be blessing. I don’t see it.

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5 thoughts on “Shock-N-Awe!

  1. Well, well, well. Coming around are we? Unfortunately I think you (and Mr Bell) are absolutely right. I would add that we are even more of an economic empire than a military one.

  2. I cannot and will not argue with this at it's face value. We do trust in our might. However, I do have two additional thoughts: one, there were many mighty warriors spoken of favorably – with the right heart, might does win battles. Second, we are the most giving nation on the earth. This is undeniably because of our heritage.

  3. I got a lot of grief on Facebook concerning the giving part. I want to be clear: I'm not bashing the U.S. I know America has done a lot of good and made a positive impact on history. I'm simply calling out a warning that I see and that Bell reminded me of. The question I have is have we given out of the abundance of our heart or to secure treaties, rent land in foreign countries for our military bases, etc? Are we like the Pharisee who gave much? What percentage of our budget is giving? Nothing in exchange giving?Anyway, that's not even the point of this blog. I was just saying that if America were to be compared with a character in the Bible we would most likely fit with Egypt or Rome, rather than Israel.

  4. I'd say our nation's giving has been largely for the reasons you've outlined and our personal giving has been to give – and it's massive. And since you brought it up – and I LOVE this dialogue – (and the Facebook one is going um…strange) how much does Israel give?:-)

  5. Steve, the bummer part of all of this is that modern Israel is also Rome. Or if not Rome, then at least Carthage. (Even though it's not in the Bible.) Sometimes we can take so much ownership of our martyr / oppressed status that we lose the part of us that made us sympathetically oppressed and instead become a sort of reverse-bully. Isreal has.

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