I saw a bumper sticker saying “God Bless the Whole World — No Exceptions” this morning on the way to work. Ignoring context, it seems like a nice message. After all, similar to the beauty pageant contestant’s wish for “world peace,” wishing for God’s blessing on the world would seem admirable.
However, we live in context. This bumper sticker is being presented as an alternative to the “God Bless America” bumper stickers. I suspect that someone with a “God Bless the Whole World” bumper sticker plastered on his car believes it is wrong, maybe even “un-Christian,” to ask for God’s blessing on America.
I disagree. After all, when I learn that a friend or family member is going through difficult times, my response is not, “I’ll pray for everyone in the world.” No, I respond, “I’ll pray for you.”
Think about it. Suppose you tell a friend you’re going in for surgery, and he responds, “I’ll pray for everyone in the world — no exceptions.” How would you feel? What message would you get from your friend? Probably that he doesn’t value you, your relationship, and that he doesn’t see anything special about you.
Intentional or not, that’s the message the driver with the “no exceptions” bumper sticker is giving America.
Update: Rather than delete posts I no longer agree with, I hope my comments below show my slow change of opinion. Change is good.