I love this nation.
As I have traveled overseas in my lifetime and read stories of oppression, corruption, and persecution in other nations, I have always thanked God for the blessing of being born here.
We are blessed.
That does not mean that I do not see the sins, failures, injustices, and even atrocities of our nation and its history.
The Civil War.
Jim Crow laws.
The scenes are ugly.
The sins and injustices cannot be denied.
But what makes them particularly egregious…in fact, the very reason we even see them…is because we know that they are wrong…that they violate the very nature of our nation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. (Declaration of Independence)
The failure of America is not in its ideals but in its failure to live up to its ideals.
To recognize a Creator…to acknowledge the inherent worth and value of every human life…and then to dehumanize others…to hate them…to enslave them…to oppress them…to murder them…runs against the very heart of this nation…against the very heart of God.
We were built on an ideal…on a value system…on a moral ground.
We are unique as a nation.
We are not bound by ethnicity. We don’t all look the same. Watch any Olympics and you will see how unusual we are compared to the vast majority of nations around the world.
Red. Yellow. Black. White.
Our diversity testifies to our uniqueness.
And our challenge.
We can only stay united when we hold to common ground.
The recent turmoil, unrest, anger, division, and violence in our nation is highlighting our loss of this common ground.
We have no foundation underneath us.
We have no moral law above us.
We have dethroned God…deconstructed reality…deconstructed our nation.
The philosophy of postmodernism denies absolute truth…denies metanarratives…even denies common reality…and elevates radical autonomy.
I am my own law.
I am my own truth.
I am my own reality.
I am my own god.
If God does not exist, everything is permitted. (Dostoevsky)
Nietzsche predicted our world. If there is no absolute truth, then all that is left is individual perspectives…individual interpretations…individual truth.
And whoever has the power makes the rules.
Thus…will to gain power.
And that is what is happening in our nation.
Our political wars are a war for power.
Because we have lost our common ground.
We have lost our morality.
We have lost our way.
America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great. (Alexis de Tocqueville)
It is easy to find the faults of America.
Put together millions of different people…from thousands of different cultures…over hundreds of years…and you are bound to see sins, failures, injustices, and atrocities.
A nation is simply a collection of individual sinners in the same location. It is no surprise when sin abounds in such a place. The miracle is when it doesn’t.
It is easy to deconstruct America. Tear it down. Blow it up. Destroy it from the inside. Raze it to the ground.
But it is hard to build a nation.
Especially when you have already denied the existence of a foundation.
And it is hard to create peace in a nation.
Especially when we can’t even achieve peace in our families…in our marriages…in our own conflicted minds and hearts.
So I pray for America.
It is not perfect but it is based on a perfect ideal…a diverse, unified people…subjected to God…guided by moral law…with a balance of powers…a promise of liberty…and a representative system of government…where each person, made in the image of God, could thrive.
There is a reason that people from all over the world have flocked to it over the years.
America has its many faults.
But it is also has its many blessings.
And you have to decide which you are going to focus on.
As for me…I am going to celebrate this July 4th…bowing on my knees…acknowledging God’s sovereignty…asking for His grace…interceding for our leaders…praying for wisdom…working for reconciliation…hoping for peace…
And grilling a burger…eating with my family…and thanking God for the blessing of freedom.
A beautiful thing…in a beautiful land.
Oh, beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.