Monday, July 3, 2017

'Make America Great Again ' — in song, or whatever

"Make America Great Again" was the motto of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump during last year's campaign. The motto conjured up elements of racism and xenophobia, not just the "patriotism" that his supporters insisted that it signified.

Now, however, it's gone too far. The music ministry of First Baptist Church of Dallas two days ago premiered a song by that name, composed and arranged by a former member of its staff, and I understand that now-President Trump was pleased. Not only that, but it has obtained a CCLI license, which allows it to be performed in other churches that have such an agreement.

Somehow, however, I don’t think the LORD was. Remember, this is a church, which is supposed to declare total allegiance to Jesus Christ, not any nation or political candidate.

I’m sure that performing the song — and, yes, I’ve seen the lyrics — will be justified by saying that “as long as we acknowledge God America will be blessed.” In what fashion, however? And what does it mean to “acknowledge God,” anyway, and what kind of blessing? Seems to me that He’s simply being used — again — to support American civil religion, which inherently falls short of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As such, at some point He will put a stop to it.

Knowing my church as I do, I seriously doubt that it would consider performing the song, and I wouldn’t do so if it were placed in front of me (I’ve been in its music ministry for nearly two decades). The lead pastor has said, “I love my country, but it is not the Kingdom of God!” I would say that, in this context, "Make America Great Again" represents not just idolatry but even approaches heresy.

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