A reader asked me today if the words “In God We Trust” were still being printed on American currency. Of course, the reason for the question has more to do with our increasing aversion to anything Christian being mixed into the general population. Imagine if the phrase was originally coined, “In Jesus We Trust”.
Origins of “In God We Trust” as a Phrase
The first appearance of this phrase was in the National Anthem, the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’, written by Francis Scott Key in 1814. The end of the last stanza reads,
“…And this be our motto: In God is our trust. And the Star Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
Origins of “In God We Trust” on American Money
It all started early in the Civil War when many Americans began petitioning the Secretary of Treasury to put God’s name on our currency. Various ideas circulated, such as “God, Liberty, and Law”. In late 1861 options on coins included “Our Country, Our God” and “Our God, Our Trust”. Finally, in April of 1864, Congress approved “In God We Trust” on the one-cent and two-cent coin. By 1865, the phrase was being minted on all coins. In July of 1956, Congress approved “In God We Trust” to be included on all paper money.
As Christians, we believe in an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, God, one who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and exists everywhere. As such, we trust in God, rather than man, for establishing the principles of our lives on this earth. For Biblical Christians, those principles come directly and exclusively from Scripture.
- The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe. – Proverbs 29:25
- It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. – Psalms 118:8
- Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. – Proverbs 3:5
- He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD. – Psalms 40:3
- Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. – Psalms 37:5
- But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works. – Psalms 73:28
- When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? – Psalms 56:3-4
Conclusion – “In God We Trust“
Beginning with the removal of prayer from our public schools, followed by the removal of the 10 Commandments, there has been a long list of changes in our culture over the past 20+ years. I listed many of those which I have personally observed in a post entitled, “Reflections from a 70-year-old Biblical Christian”. How much longer will “In God We Trust” remain on American currency? Only the Lord has the answer to that question.