by Joshua Denton
July 8, 2015
I am proud to be an American. I am proud of many things my country has done throughout the course of its history. I do not approve of all of our policies or decisions our leaders or governing bodies have made, but I still firmly believe that I am blessed to have been born in America.
Our founding is richly rooted in Christianity and principles of religious liberty. Yet even as I rejoice to be a citizen of this great nation, I lament that we are in a national identity crisis. All around us it seems people are wondering who we are supposed to be as a nation. What principles are important to us? What is freedom? What is equality? Who are we as individuals? What is our role in society? What is our country’s role in the world?
Abraham Lincoln wrote that the equality of men was the “central idea” of our Republic. In our time, that idea has been redefined wrongly and diminished cruelly – same-sex “marriage” and abortion, respectively, speak to these errors.
Yet Christian Americans - citizens of our republic - find their identity in Christ and in the nature of the humanity God has given us. We should carry a confident humility in what God has created us to be.
1) Proud to be one blood
From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring. – Acts 17:26-28
We all were created of equal by and for God. Every person has intrinsic worth.
Historically, there have been prejudices of race, class, and gender. But Christians know that every person, from conception onward, possesses God’s image and likeness, even if it has been marred by the curse of the fall.
2) Proud to be one community
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. – Gal. 3:26-28
Through faith in Christ Jesus all are the children of God. We are all sinners saved by grace and without Christ we would be nothing.
Paul addresses all the prejudices that we deal with today. Race. Class or status. Gender. He tells us that as believers in Christ we are all equals regardless of the distinctions that our society is so prevalent to box us all into. One race is no better than another. Rich is not better than poor. Man is not better than woman, neither is woman better than man. The church is one community – one family. Paul writes, As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.– Eph. 4:1-6
This passage describes how the church should interact with each other and those who have not yet come to know Christ.
3) Proud to be of one mission
Our purpose is to show forth the image of God so that His glory may be seen in us.
He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.– Luke 24:46-49
This has come to be known as the Great Commission, and were some of Jesus’ last instructions to his disciples before his ascension. We are Christ’s image-bearers on earth.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. – Matt. 28:19-20
I am grateful to be a Christian and because of Jesus Christ I share true equality of value with everyone – equal race, equal gender, equal mission, and equal status.
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. – 1 Cor. 15:10
I am proud to be an American. But my faith in Christ transcends national loyalty and defines my very being.
*This article was written using the author’s notes from a recent sermon delivered by Lead Pastor Deamon Scapin, of TriumphDC. Used with permission.