Wednesday, July 3, 2013

My Country Tis of Thee.

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord..." 
(Psalm 33:12)

Did you know that on the tip-top of the Washington Monument there are two words inscribed?  Laus Deo, it says. Not many people know it's there. And even less would care. Two little words, only a total of seven letters. They are out of sight, seemingly out of mind. And yet. . . this phrase was engraved onto the highest point overlooking the most powerful city in the country. And it means "Praise be to God." I'm sure that if the government had its way today, those words wouldn't be there. 

But they can't get rid of this inscription made in metal as easily as they ripped out the words "under God" from our pledge of allegiance. 

So they just pretend its not there. And nobody's the wiser. 

"If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a Nation gone under," said Reagan. Well now we have forgotten. Or we pretend to forget. (And that might be even worse.)

We have changed so much. Enlightenment, modernism, post-modernism. We are always ready with the big words, that really don't mean a thing. We are progressive-minded people; tolerant, modern, average people. We are the most advanced society in the history of the world, constantly evolving; always getting better. . . Or are we? 

"What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

Vanity of vanities. All is vanity. 

Instead of changing the world to fit the vision, in the words of Chesterton, we have changed the vision, itself. Instead of seeking justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God we are living the American Dream. 

That switch of purpose: Our country is hurling itself down the wrong way --- an act of national suicide --- and pulling others with it. If they say there is no God, then there is no standard for morality. If there is no standard for morality, then anything is acceptable. If anything is acceptable. . . then they cannot say abortion is wrong. They cannot say gay marriage is wrong. They cannot say euthanasia is wrong. They can't. And they don't care to, either.

"I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever." (Thomas Jefferson.) That was in 1871. What would he say today?

Even Lynyrd Skynyrd got this much right - 

God and guns
Keep us strong
That's what this country
Was founded on
Well we might as well give up and run
If we let them take our God and guns. 

In light of all this: what our Nation used to be, and then what it has become today. . . knowing that His justice cannot sleep forever. . . When I read the news and think about all the mess, it's tempting to
embrace the extreme, and to feel very un-patriotic. It's always easier to swing your pendulum all the way to one extreme or the other. What's hard is to find the middle ground. 

Tomorrow is Independence Day. We celebrate our liberty. And we should celebrate. We should love our country. We are so blessed. 

And we should mourn too. So much has been lost. So much has been thrown away. So much has been burnt up.

But out of these ashes, beauty will rise. 

He makes everything beautiful in its time. Even His runaway bride. Even a cowardly army. Even a Nation with no room for its King.



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