Saturday, July 4, 2009

I honor my country

I honor my country on this Independence Day. Why? For starters:

1. The USA grew historically out of spiritual struggle. A longing for Christ in the hearts of the Pilgrim Fathers compelled them to risk all for him. A great beginning.

2. The USA embodies, very imperfectly, a conviction that every one of us has God-given dignity: "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."

3. The USA has been blessed with the First Great Awakening, the Second Great Awakening, the revivals of 1858-59 and other movements of the Holy Spirit, converting many to Christ, growing churches and sending missionaries and money to the ends of the earth.

4. The "greatest generation" of the USA defeated tyranny at great personal cost. When in 1944 my grandfather, stationed in Tehran, got word that his son had died when his B-24 went down, grandpa could not come home to console the family. The war had to be fought. So he stayed put -- only the Lord knows how all-sufficient grace sustained him -- and he did his duty and won.

5. The USA falls so far short, we cannot lift our eyes to heaven for shame. But slapping my country down is not a redemptive response. I pray for my country, that the risen Christ would so pour out his Spirit again that the church will be cleansed and multitudes brought to Christ and our nation renewed. With God, there can be another great beginning.