I got an email last night from a person at my Church suggesting that I go to some website and vote in a poll on whether "In God We Trust" should stay on our money. Presumably, the proper vote for an Orthodox Christian should be in favor of keeping that slogan. But the more I think about it, I don't understand why it is on our money.
My objection is not with the word "God" but with the implication that somehow we trust Him. Simply put, as a nation, we don't trust God. And our money is as good an example of this lack of trust as anything. We aren't happy just to be provided for, we look to "Get Rich Quick" schemes to make more, or we say to ourselves, "When I win the lottery...." Then when we get a little bit of money, we want to make that money work for us. So we invest it, we set some of it aside for our retirement, for a rainy day, for a nest egg. Then when we have some investment that is paying off, we defend that investment so that it keeps making money for us. We buy things on credit because we don't have enough money for what we want, but we are certain that we can make more later. We don't trust in God, we trust in money. There is no problem that can't be solved with just a little bit more money, right?
God asks us to rely on him. "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Christ tells a parable of a man who has a very good harvest, and so he stockpiles it so that he can relax and enjoy himself and eat, drink, and be merry. That night he hears the words that all of us will hear one day, "This night your soul is required of you." We can choose to trust God, or we can choose to trust in money, but in the end, we will have what we chose. We will either have a relationship with God that extends into eternity, or we will have stuff that we can't take with us.
Our Christian struggle in this world is not to keep God in everyone's faces, but to keep God in our hearts. If we live a life of trust in God, others will see our example, and will flock to God in response. If, however, we push for our money to proclaim God and then deny God with our actions, we will be seen as hypocrites who want to force arbitrary beliefs on everyone else. I am not advocating for the removal of God from the public square, and I don't mind if our money keeps this slogan. I just hope that we can learn to live as people that trust in God, and not just fight about our right to say that we do.
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