Yes, it is true that America may not be as strong as she once was. Yes, it is true that our morals may be at an all-time low. However, there are still many things that are good about America. I would like to take a few moments as we near Independence Day to express some things in which America stills excels.
1. American Freedoms
America is a land of freedom. This is why many evangelicals and others fight so hard for the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech. If these freedoms fall, where do people go to find that freedom? There are many other nations that hold similar freedoms, but America has always been known as the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”
As of right now, we still have great freedoms. We have the freedom to worship as we choose. We still have the freedom to speak publicly, even if what we say is not popular. I may not like what my atheist American citizens say, but I defend his or her right to say it. There are many other freedoms that Americans enjoy. As Independence Day, may I suggest that all Americans stand up for these freedoms.
2. American Equality
America still excels at equality, for the most part. Even though evangelical Christians have suffered the brunt of ridicule and shame in recent years, Americans still enjoy the ability to work, worship, and live their lives as they please without persecution. This is another American virtue that is worth fighting for.
This is a biblical virtue, as well. The Bible says, “For there is no partiality with God” (Romans 2:11, NASB). This is true in the positive and the negative fashion. God saves all through Christ Jesus who come to Him regardless of race, socio-economic standards, or gender. God also judges impartially, as well.
Although America has suffered from time to time in this regard, she still strives to keep this virtue. We may many times argue what this equality entails, but I feel that all red-blooded Americans would fight to keep this standard.
3. American Values
Although her values have been changing in recent times, America still holds to certain values. The value of hard work is held by many Americans. Yes, exceptions could be made. However, I challenge you to look at the values of those working as farmers, police officers, firemen, and others. Although there are many who do not rise to the occasion, many Americans still value things like a hard day’s work, caring for one’s family, and striving to do what is right. These values may be dimmer than they once were, but those values still exist.
4. American Heroics
If you do not believe that Americans are still heroic, go speak to the many Americans who exemplify heroism today. Speak to the teacher who stood in front of her class praying that her class would be safe while the winds of an Oklahoma F5 tornado blew through her school. Speak to the 19 firemen who gave their lives to save American citizens from the fires that raged in Arizona. Speak to the police officer who risks his or her life each and every day when they suit up to enforce the laws so that you can be safe. Speak to the EMS worker who takes risks to help you with medical emergencies. Speak to the many heroes who stand up for our rights and freedoms each and everyday. Yes, most Americans are still heroic. When tragedies strike, these American heroes will stand up to the task.
America does have her problems. As we celebrate the 237th anniversary of America, our minds can quickly traverse the problems that our nation faces as we journey the 365 days leading towards the 238th anniversary. But as Americans, we can celebrate the good things that still exist during this time. As Christians, we can celebrate even more. We have ultimate freedom in Jesus Christ. We have true equality as Paul wrote, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28, NASB). As Christians, we can have ultimate values as we can know the Value-Giver. Finally, we can know true heroics by knowing the Ultimate Hero. I know of no greater hero than that which is found in Jesus Christ. True strength is found in the ability to love those who hate you. As we watch the fireworks celebrating our freedoms this Independence Day, let us remember those who keep us free. As Christians, let our minds also remember the true freedom that we have found in Jesus Christ.
Love in Christ,
Pastor Brian Chilton