Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Reflections on Bastille Day

July 14 is Bastille Day in France. The French revolution followed and was inspired by ours. Many of the Latin American countries, once they gained independence, used the United States as a model for forming their own constitutions and governments. Our country has survived reasonably well despite a terrible civil war; internal divisions over slavery, civil rights, and other issues; and severe economic downturns throughout our history (the worst being the Great Depression of the 1930s).

I am fascinated by the fact that many of these other countries, especially those patterned after the United States, have not done as well. They have suffered from dictators, coups d’etat, revolutions, repression, and a host of other problems. Look at Argentina. It has a similar population to ours, with immigrants from many European countries, and a government similar to ours. Why have we done so well compared to these other countries?

The only thing I can think of is that God established the United States for particular purposes, and has preserved us for those purposes. I’m not saying we’re a new Israel or are superior to any other nation. All I’m suggesting is that God had a purpose for us, and I suspect God has other purposes for other countries.

What are those purposes? I can think of a few: a haven for the oppressed; a nation where a person isn’t forced into the state religion; where a person can worship as he or she wants without government interference; where moral and ethical standards are upheld; and a place from which missionaries can go out into the world. If these are indeed our purposes, then we are drifting away from some of them. If we as a nation become post-Christian, then I fear that God will withhold his blessings from us.

Pray for your country, that it will turn to God and fulfill God’s purposes for it.

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