Remember how America was founded

Published 10:18 pm Monday, June 26, 2017

“Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God,” said Jesus (Matthew 22:21). In essence, Jesus is saying that a person is a citizen both of heaven and earth at the same time. He or she has more than one loyalty and must not neglect either. Those of us who benefit from the state are under obligation to pay our duty to the state. But, as people of faith, even as we render our duty to the state, our overriding loyalty is always to God.

Having said this, we people of faith need to be patriotic in the tradition of George Washington. One of the older dictionaries defines patriotism as the spirit of acting like a father and mother to one’s  country. And part of that spirit is to help the nation grow up. That’s it!  As citizens of both heaven and earth, our continuing task is to help our nation grow up. So how do we help make that happen?

First, we help our nation grow up by accepting freedom with responsibility! It has been well observed that when God writes opportunity on one side of an open door, He writes responsibility on the other side. The wonderful opportunities we enjoy in America today did not just happen. Someone was responsible for them. And if we plan to keep the freedom we now have everyone is going to have to share in the responsibility of keeping it.

A French historian once asked James Russell Lowell how long the American Republic would endure. Lowell replied that it would last as long as the idea of the men and women who founded it continued dominant. A nation simply cannot remain great if it ignores its spiritual and historical roots.

Related to this thought, David McCullough, the noted historian and author, warns us that we are raising a generation of young Americans who are by and large historically illiterate.  As an example, he cites a young college woman who came up to him after a lecture on a college campus and said, “Until now I never understood that the original thirteen colonies were all on the East coast.” This young woman was a college student. How in the world? Mr McCullough goes on to say that “we have to know who we were if we are going to know who we are and where we are headed.”

Hal Brady operates Hal Brady Ministries in Decatur with the stated goal of presenting the good news of Jesus and offering encouragement in positive ways.