234 years ago a new country was born, and it's been an interesting ride ever since.
America is a great country, but I've never been a huge fan of people...usually politicians, saying that America is the "Greatest country in the world." First off, they tend to do that only to score political points. Secondly, they never define what Greatest is supposed to mean. Are one of my friends from Canada supposed to say, "Yeah dude. Canada sucks! Your country is so much better."?
What I will say is that America is the most Unique country in the world...and that's pretty special. Think about it. To my knowledge, we were the first country that was an IDEA before it was an actual country. Germany is full of Germans. France is full of Frenchies. Japan is full of Japanese people. In other words, most countries are defined by their ethnic make up. We, on the other hand, were defined by our ideas & ideals. We were the first modern country to come into being over how a people wished to be ruled by it's own government. We are an ongoing experiment in self-government, and that definitely makes unique.
America is certainly not a perfect country. But, by in large, thanks to an undercurrent in our culture that says "Mind your own business" and "Don't pester people," for the most part we are able to resolve our problems with out resorting to violent revolution. It doesn't mean that we all have to adore each other, or hold hands while we walk. It just means co-existing in a relatively polite manner. (Yeah, yeah, I know we have had some serious problems in this area.)
One of the things I love to watch at the store are immigrants interacting with each other. One of the store managers is Vietnamese. One of our butchers is Bulgarian. Listening to them talk via the radio is hysterical. Yet, that points out the obvious that we are a nation of immigrants who come here with a variety of world views, and can still get along. (When they can understand each other.)
All that praise having been said, I would like to state for the record that I am a "Monarchist." My ultimate loyalty does not lay with the United States. My loyalty is to a King.
O.K., before you throw tomatoes at me, allow me to explain. (But first, CONTEXT.)
There is a monstrous form of idolatry at work in the institutional church in the U.S. That idolatry is that America is a "Christian" country. Biblically, that is simply not true. In fact, Biblically, NO country is a "Christian" country...except for one.
Does that make America bad? Nope. Biblically speaking, the U.S., Canada, China, Togo, and all the nations of the earth, are, well...nations of the earth. This means that every country is made up of flawed, sinful people. As such, every country is capable of doing some good stuff, but also some truly terrible stuff.
It makes me itch to no end when I hear people say that a country is doing something in the name of God. Way too much blood has been spilled, and is still being spilled, over this idea. (Think back to the Crusades, folks.) When a political leader claims to act in the name of God, he/she better be really careful. If they blow it, or something evil results from it, they have just splashed mud all over God.
By the way, I'm NOT a pacifist. You don't negotiate with people like Hitler or Osama bin Laden. (But if you are a Believer, you are still supposed to pray for your enemies.) I have to much respect for people who wear a uniform to disparage them. But I have to admit that I am usually disappointed in the way they are used by political leaders to solve problems. Frankly, I think that if you are willing to put your life on the line for the country, that country ought to treat you like gold.
At any rate, ultimately, no matter how good or bad this country or any other is, it will still have to face judgment...just like I will. Actually, to quote Billy Graham; "If God doesn't judge America, He's going to have to apologize to Sodom & Gomorrah."
O.K., so you can ask yourself about where my ultimate allegiance lays. (I should qualify this by saying that I am not a very good subject, or servant, of this king. But I'm trying to let him make me a better one.) Well, maybe this will help explain my position...
The only "Christian" country that will ever exist is the Kingdom of Heaven, and Jesus is the King. It is not a Republic or a Confederacy. It isn't even a Constitutional Monarchy. It is a Divine-Right, Absolute Monarchy.
It is both Present, and yet Still Coming...and it is also eternal.
Some day, some day, it will be here in full. There will be no more pain or sorrow, and no more injustice. It's advance has nothing to do with my efforts or will. It simple IS.
And on the day that it is revealed in full, it will look something like this...
"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
"Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live WITH them.
They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
There will be no more death or morning or crying or pain,
for the old order of things has passed away."
Rev. 21:3 & 4
"They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads...
And they will REIGN (Participate with God) for ever and ever."
Rev. 22: 4 & 5
Take a gander back at Genesis 1 & 2. Folks, it ends just like it began.
Now do you understand why I am a Monarchist?