God Bless America by Reorienting our Ideals!
One function of scripture is to tear down our idols, our premeditated perception of God or those things we submit to in place fo God. This frees us so that we can worship the true God. Scripture does this in various ways. The Old Testament, for example, proclaims an unseen God, compared to the gods who exist as visible idols. This breaks our attachment to the gods we create in our minds and the ones we submit to in place of the Almighty. It also proclaims a God who willingly destroys his own temple, freeing us of the notion that God lives at a specific place during a particular time of history, and is a god for a particular ethnic group. And, finally, it proclaims a God who mocks us for using traditional forms of worship, such as sacrifice and incense, in order to force us to see the good in others and love our neighbor. The New Testament continues this tradition. There, we see how the gospel usurps the Roman household—which has the paterfamilias or Caesar as its head—and uses this societal structure. But, instead of Caesar being at the top, Jesus is. This causes us to question who is really in control: earthly powers or Christ? Now, this may sound all fine and good, but does scripture still function this way for us today? I say, “Yes!” … a resounding, “Yes!” The Bottom Line: Many of the qualities we value as Americans are usurped by the gospel and given a fuller meaning that can only be found through the gospel.