“Righteousness exalts a nation; sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34
I’m a patriotic American. I love our country. I will be observing our nation’s 235th birthday this July 4th weekend along with the rest of our country. When I hear “God Bless America” I get goose bumps. When I see Old Glory waving in all its colors I feel a sense of pride because, as Lee Greenwood sings, “The flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away.” But I will be celebrating with mixed emotions.
On one hand I am proud of our country. No other modern day nation on the earth was founded the way America was founded. This nation was birthed in prayer and in dependence upon God. Our history is replete with bold and clear statements as to our resolve to look to God for guidance and our desire for the advancement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our founding fathers understood that the only way a free republic could survive is if the citizens of the country practiced self-government and the only way citizens would practice self-government would be through the freedom of religion where churches could boldly proclaim the teachings of Christ and the Scriptures. This is our heritage. It is unique and marvelous.
On the other hand I am ashamed of our country. We have, in the last 60 years, become more and more antagonistic toward God and the Bible. We pass laws that restrict what God says is right and laws that promote what God says is wrong. Not only did we legalize the killing of the unborn in the infamous Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision of 1962 but we have become the world’s greatest proponent of abortion rights world-wide. Our enemies hear us say we are a Christian nation and then see the way we promote immorality in our television programming and call us infidels. Proverbs 14:34 says it well. “Righteousness exalts a nation; sin is a reproach to any people.” Our national sin is shameful.
I have a third emotion—hope! I still believe there is hope for our great nation. As long as there is a God who listens to His people pray there is hope. Now is not the time to throw in the towel and give up. Now is the time to pursue the hope we have in Christ and do so with passion. Now is the time for the church to lead the way back to God. This begins when we realize that we have been part of the problem. Who can deny that in many ways it is hard to distinguish between the church and the world? That is why, “the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17). The need of the hour is for the church to wake up and take its place as the salt and light in this nation. Such an awakening begins when we repent of our sin.
Governor Rick Perry of Texas is calling for a day of national repentance and prayer on August 6th. A gathering in Houston’s Reliant Stadium will see thousands converge for what is being called “The Response”. Governor Perry says, “Some problems are beyond our power to solve, and according to the Book of Joel, Chapter 2, this historic hour demands a historic response.” God is raising up many people who are all calling for the same thing: repentance and prayer! May each of us join our voices to this heart cry for revival in our nation. Without such a revival our country will continue to deteriorate and self-destruct.