Governments and patriotism can often lend itself over to idolatry. Taking advantage of Memorial Day weekend for political grandstanding purposes, US President Barack Obama said, “As Commander in Chief, I believe that taking care of our veterans and their families is a sacred obligation. It’s been one of the causes of my presidency.”

“Sacred?” Veterans are not sacred because some have and others have offered to give their blood on the altar for America. God alone is sacred.

Yet, because we live in a profoundly anti-Christian society that worships money, materialism, and humanism such comments such as these escape notice. In fact, many red-meat conservative Christians love praying for “our” troops and country, not because they need divine guidance to avoid doing the evil that comes out of the depraved hearts of all men, but rather they think they are a force of good in the world and with God’s help can do any more good.

Do you want good in the world? Pray that our troops may not see combat and that the governments of the world resolve their differences without he bloodshed of their societies’ weakest and poorest members, for “blessed are the peacemakers” (Matt 5:9) and “whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for his Maker” (Prov 14:31).

There is nothing sacred about the Fourth of July, veterans’ healthcare, or the US government. All of these are polluted by the sin of Adam and apart from God’s grace made known to us in His Son Jesus Christ, are to be thrown into the lake of fire. May God bless us with hearts that seek Him and Him alone, that put Him above all people and things, and with governments that dispense peace and justice.