As I look around at our country, it hurts to see many of the activities and events that are taking place especially by our youth. There is no question that there is a lack of national pride and identity within our youth and while this may not seem like an issue that impacts the church, the erosion of national pride and identity does have a major impact and influence on all people.
There is a growing population, sadly, that is leading a movement that warns against patriotism and standing up for your country. However, despite what many elites within the political realm and academic world say, national pride, or patriotism, is a good thing for everyone to have as it leads to a more stable and united community. Christ Himself warned us a long time ago that a house divided against itself cannot stand (Matthew 12:25).
The United States of America has done more for the good of mankind than any other nation in the history of the world and while there are negatives and wrongdoings throughout our history, we cannot let the negatives to define who we are. Christ knew that none of us would be able to equal up and compare with Him and He even tells us as much: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23). While we should never put our national identity in front of our identity in Christ, we should not forget about the mission that we, as Americans, are on.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23).–Romans 3:23
Yes, there is a growing movement that says America is bad for different acts committed throughout our history and, therefore, America is not worth honoring. This is, of course, false and we see throughout scripture how some of the greatest and most influential men and women of God were guilty of bad behavior and/or of committing some terrible acts and while they did wrong, God did see them as less because of it. King David, a real Old Testament warrior, had an affair with Bathsheba, got her pregnant and had her husband, Uriah, killed on the frontlines but God was able to use David because he was sincere. Scripture describes David as a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).
During his farewell address to the nation, President Reagan discussed the real impacts of parents not teaching their children the importance of patriotism and that it does begin at the dinner table. While we do live in a different time and day than President Reagan, the principles and concepts are still the same. In his speech, Reagan explained that ”Younger parents aren’t sure that an unambivalent appreciation of America is the right thing to teach modern children. And as for those who create the popular culture, well-grounded patriotism is no longer the style” and went on to explain that “We’ve got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom – freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise – and freedom is special and rare. It’s fragile; it needs protection.”
To worship in the ways that we are allowed to and to assemble peacefully and freely are examples of freedom. While many people do not truly understand that significance of freedom, all we have to do is look around the world to see that freedom should be cherished. We should never forget the sacrifices made by those who have come before us and those who are fighting for freedoms right now. No, this is not just for the fighting men and women of the military or those patrolling the city streets but also, the pastors who preach a real Gospel instead of a watered down one and the parents who are not ashamed of being labeled old school or out of touch and tries their best to do what’s right. This is what Psalms 33:12 spoke of with the following words: ”Blessed [is] the nation whose God [is] the LORD; [and] the people [whom] he hath chosen for his own inheritance.”
Blessed [is] the nation whose God [is] the LORD; [and] the people [whom] he hath chosen for his own inheritance.”–Psalms 33:12