My Country?

I make no apologies for some things. I love freedom. I love America’s founding principles. I love the triune God of the Bible. I love my wife and children. I love my church family. I love my committed Sunday school class members. They, too, assemble on the Lord’s Day each week and at other times of the week, to worship, to serve the body, to bear witness, to learn, to pray, to encourage one another. 

And I, a soldier for 20+ years, am a patriot, in the truest sense of the term. I love the soil I know so well; I love localities and the ways in which local accents of my people vary from region to region. I love the way fellow motorcyclists often wear patriotic bandanas or have license plates displaying their service to brothers they served with in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf, Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations. 

Patriot, when you trace it linguistically, is rooted in the idea of a “fellow countryman” and patrios, “of one’s fathers,” and patris or “fatherland.” It’s of the soil, local, folks one knows, people you’ve likely shared a meal with. 

Within the last two weeks, I, along with scores of Christians, sang lyrics that go something like this: 

O beautiful for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain!

America! America!

God shed His grace on thee

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,

Whose stern, impassioned stress

A thoroughfare for freedom beat

Across the wilderness!

America! America!

God mend thine every flaw,

Confirm thy soul in self-control,

Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved

In liberating strife,

Who more than self their country loved

And mercy more than life!

America! America!

May God thy gold refine,

Till all success be nobleness,

And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream

That sees beyond the years

Thine alabaster cities gleam

Undimmed by human tears!

America! America!

God shed His grace on thee

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea!

Here is the sad irony, however. My country has grown unrecognizable to me, at least in many cases. God has shed his grace on my country, but I don’t recognize my country. It’s become a Tyre and Sidon, a Sodom and Gomorrah. 

Not the men I serve with day-in and day-out; they are patriots. They work unbelievably long hours, serve many, many nights alone and away from their families. They sleep little, run and ruck much, mentor future soldiers, deploy, stress their bodies’ physical limits, endure suffering, give up holidays with families, deploy again, endure separation, endure much physical and emotional trauma, and, by and large, no one knows—except their inner circle. 

And then you have this sort of … stuff: 

America’s second-largest school district is teaming up with various left-wing organizations to promote child transgenderism.

The article, not unique, is footnoted for you, if you dare. This is where your tax dollars go. Am I alone in thinking that this is reprobation displayed? Men in drag? Transgenderism indoctrination of children? 

When I was a child, I learned about sexuality from my parents. I learned from the Bible, not from homosexual men dressed up in carnival attire who promoted ‘gender fluidity’ and cross-dressing and ‘trans’-genderism. (Remember: he who controls the dictionary rules the world.)

You think it doesn’t affect you? Okay. You may want to rethink that position.

God shed his grace on us? Really? Like the song says? Yes, I believe he did. But we’ve squandered it. We’ve opposed grace. We’ve tried to dethrone design. Most refuse and suppress God’s way. We reap the whirlwind (Hosea 8:7). 

Alarmist? Narrow? Judgmental? One could go on with the adjectival accusations. But I have a question: Is it true? 

Awake yet?

You may want to do more than think about girding your loins. There is one, an ememy afoot, prowling more than just around, and his mission is not ushering in shalom, but devouring what is good (1 Peter 5:8).


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