In God We Don’t Trust

“What happened in colonial and revolutionary America has become part of American Christian saga, the collective memory of American Christians that gets passed from generation to generation.

What happened in the past is also pivotal for examining future issues.  What does it teach us about resolving problems?  When issues arise, do we immediately reach for our guns?  Or do we work through such issues in a manner worthy of the Prince of Peace?  If we hold up men and women who didn’t trust God as examples to our children, how then are we going to teach our children to trust in God?

However, the point is this:  if we cover over and glorify the sins of the forefathers, then we and our children are never going to learn to truly trust in God.  Rather, we’ll imagine that so long as we put “In God We Trust” on our coins, we’re on the right track.”


David Bercot, p. 10-11

In God We Don’t Trust


10 thoughts on “In God We Don’t Trust

  1. Not sure where this is going. American revolutionaries were slow to “reach for their guns” and fight against tyranny. There was much discussion about the rightness of rebelling against the authority of the king. Read Thomas Paine’s Common Sense for one example.

  2. i just starting reading the book, but he plans to discuss human trafficking, rum trade propose that the american colonies were the least taxed of all british property.

    so, are you saying a bloody revolution is fine as long as you exhaust every other possibility?? I know you aren’t. Rebellion is written into the Declaration of Independence. should we be okay with that?

  3. Certainly our forefathers had problems. Every generation does. However, I do not think the American Revolution falls into that category. There are times when the right thing to do is to reform or replace the government. God had Ahab and Jezebel killed, for example. A quick look at Bercot’s work and life tells me he is more interested in the reconstruction of the early church (at least an idealized form of it) than a full interpretation of the Scriptures. I admit, my glance was cursory.

  4. I plan to share more as I read it, but seriously.
    going to war over taxes, political freedom is okay with Jesus???????????????

  5. The problem is we assume God wanted us to do that, because that’s what we wanted. We know they had a specific command to wipe out Ahab and Jezebel for their idolatry, but for the “sin” of monarchy? taxation without representation is against God’s Will. That’s his point.
    I will take the “idealized form of Christianity” any day over the perverted American version of it,

  6. I think God has used America to bring better ideals about freedom and liberty to the world. Where else was that going to rise? Look at the differences in the American and French Revolutions. God has blessed America. America, at its best, is a shining light on the hill for freedom, especially for freedom to worship God. We certainly have our problems, but I will not join the “hate America” crowd. The world is better with America. As far as I know, we are still the greatest missionary-sending country in the world, too.

    The early church had its particular world situation and problems, too. There is much we can learn, but it should not be idolized any more than whatever you propose as “American Christianity” (if such a thing exists without devolving into useless generalities.)

  7. “I think God has used America to bring better ideals about freedom and liberty to the world. Where else was that going to rise? ” Is that the purpose of of the Kingdom of God and what scriptures support its importance to God? as far as I can tell, he never promised or promoted govt given freedom of worship.

    “The world is better with America” This may be true in many ways, but I suppose we have to accept that the end justifies the means on this account. I don’t hate, but I appreciate that Bercot is not going to let sinful behavior be spun as patriotic and admirable and acceptable because of the circumstances. that’s the point of his book, and it is sorely needed, in my opinion

  8. Pilgrim

    Glad to have found your blog. I am a staff pastor at church where there is a straight line drawn from “good” Christianity to American patriotism. The pilgrims, forefathers etc. are idolized. God was the author of the American revolution. We say the pledge of allegiance on 4 July (you heard me – pledging allegiance to the symbol of the state in church!!).

    Last night the head pastor showed the 1st of a 2 part video on the founding of America and it’s Christian heritage. It was the worst Christianized bunch of American propaganda I’ve ever seen…right down to the anecdote about Washington praying at Valley Forge.

    I am just beside myself. It so misrepresents God…His kingdom…His mission… Jesus said: “If my kingdom were of this world my disciples would fight…” I mean, Jesus, Paul all the disciples were in Roman occupied Israel. If ever there was a time to fight for the country and rebell against the leaders it was then…but not one word in scripture about these ideas that we hold so dear today. God help us!

  9. hang in there, Pilgrim. that is frustrating, this book and Greg Boyd’s, Myth of a Christian Nation are very helpful for dealing with it, although for many American-Christians, it’s like trying to explain water to a fish

  10. Gee, you wouldn’t like my post on “God and Country? – I’m OK with that”. Certainly allegiance to the USA falls below allegiance to God’s kingdom. But that doesn’t mean that our country is not important. God certainly had Israel fight against His/its enemies many times in its history. I remain proud of America’s best ideals and Americans who have demonstrated them.

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