“America, America, God shed His Grace on Thee….” America the Beautiful
Has there ever been a nation like America? I mean, in all of history has there ever been a place like the good ole U.S. of A.?
I’m not talking about the gasping-for-air nation that is a mere penumbra of her once-great self. No, I’m talking about the “land of the free” and the “home of the brave” that used to occupy the area between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. What a marvel was ”A shining city set on a hill” as President Reagan once called her.
In a little over 230 years American ingenuity pulled the world out of the dark ages and made it possible for a guy in the middle of the cornfield to communicate around the world with the click of a “mouse.” As you look down your street just let your eyes drink in all of the things that America has either created or perfected. God has truly blessed this land.
Do you think that those who sit on the precipice of history ever really realize that they do?
When he said “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” did Ronald Regan have any idea that those words would act as the dynamite-cap that would eventually implode the USSR?
As General Washington’s brave men shivered through that cold winter at Valley Forge, with their focus mainly on survival, did they understand that the balance of power in the world would be forever altered because of their courage?
Did the butchers, bakers, and candle-stick makers that attended Rev. Jonas Clark’s church realize that when they stood against the Redcoats at Lexington Green that “from this day," Clark said, when he saw their dead bodies, "will be dated the liberty of the world."
Is such a time before us today? Does God have a history-maker waiting for the door to open?
I often wonder if we really recognize the cataclysmic times in which we find ourselves today. Some Christians write it off as the “last days” foretold in the Bible. A degenerating society, they say, is nothing less than pre-written history being lived out before our very eyes. Perhaps. But thank God that those who came before us didn’t foster such fatalistic thoughts.
We’re not the first generation to have believed we were in the “end of days.” From the first-generation church until today, Christians have anticipated the imminent return of Jesus. Rapture-mania, spurred on by Tim LaHaye’s wildly-popular Left Behind series swept America a few years ago.
Let me pull over to the side of the road a minute. Nothing brings out the hate mail for me more than questioning the rapture theory even though most of Christendom cannot even agree on the timing of it, let alone the reality of it. From what I understand, the idea of the rapture and its timing is what is considered a “non-essential” doctrine, meaning the issue is not important in determining “salvation.” Since so much disagreement exists amongst churches regarding this issue I think it would be great if y’all cut me some slack as I try and make a point. Please don’t email me and try and convince me to agree with your position. You don’t know what I believe and I ain’t telling.’ No sense giving you another “secondary” issue to question my salvation over.
Could we all lay down our “theological swords” and consider a hypothetical? For the sake of this discussion could we act as if there were no rapture or, at the very least, the possibility that the rapture is 100 years in the future? It is important in order for us to make a full assessment of the opportunity before us.
No matter what those who are re-writing history want us to believe, the Gospel of Jesus Christ was essential to the formation of our nation. Stories of seemingly-miraculous Divine-intervention are intertwined in the story of this great experiment in self-government.
There has never been a nation like America. She was the only nation in the history of the world founded on the premise that our rights have been “endowed by our Creator” and no nation ever has risen as far and as fast as America. This nation “under God” thrived as “God shed His grace on thee.”
But there is a pebble in the shoe, the hitch in the giddy-up, if you will, of our jaunt through history. America has forgotten God. We have a short memory. Modern-day Americans can be likened to the man who was helicoptered to the top of Mt. Everest. We appreciate the view, but can’t relate to the struggle others made to make our mountain-top experience possible. Quoting from a previous writer, Reagan reminded us, “America is great, because America is good. And if she ever ceases to be good, she will cease also to be great.” “God shed His grace on thee….”
According to Wikipedia “Grace is enabling power sufficient for progression. Grace divine is an indispensable gift from God for development, improvement, and character expansion.”
Are we squandering God’s grace?
To understand our descent into Humanism, one need merely visit Romans 1. “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”
As we embark today on our 36th year of legalized child-killing we have become too self-enamored to recognize the condition that this nation now wallows in. In our arrogance and apathy we blinded ourselves to the great words of Thomas Jefferson:
The Bible is replete with stories of those who sold the blessings of God. Samson sold his heart to Delilah, Esau his birthright for a bowl of stew, and Judas sold-out Jesus for a handful of coins. Somewhere along the road the Church has sold-out for comfort and pleasure.
In the election of 1992 James Carville is reported to have adjured the Clinton campaign to remember that “it is the economy, stupid.” Today, as the markets teeter, let me declare, “it is our morality, stupid.”
Social Security is broke and our borders are sieves, yet no one makes the connection. They tell us we must leave the borders open because our friends from the south will “do jobs that Americans won’t.” But the dirty little secret is, we need their labor and we need their citizenship because we have aborted 50 million American-workers who would have filled those spots and would have paid the taxes. “You reap what you sow,” we are warned in the Bible. Well, the chickens have come home to roost.
In many ways America is like Samson. Because “God shed His grace” on us we have been able to turn aside many foes and many calamities, but today we “wist not that the LORD was departed.” Does God’s grace still rest on America?
If the Lord tarries and we are not rescued by the imminent return of Jesus, history will record the sad story of the “me-generation” of Christianity. A generation that forgot what President Lincoln, citing Psalm 19, reminded us in his 2nd Inaugural Address “so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."
Has God ridden off into the American sunset? Has He washed His hands of this rebellious and perverse generation? Are we the nation spoken of that has become a proverb and a byword among all nations?
I pray the end is near. If not, we are going to have a “whole lot of 'splainin’ to Him” for failure to act when the battle was so clear. Instead of walking in grace, trusting in grace, and acting in grace, we chose to yield the fruits of those upon whose shoulders we now squat to the hedonistic, Jesus-hating forces stealing our Christian heritage.
“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” What if God is not done with America? What if 100 years from now Jesus will not have returned?
Grace. That will be our legacy.
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© 2008 Dave Daubenmire
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Coach Dave Daubenmire, founder and President of Pass The Salt Ministries www.ptsalt.com and Minutemen United www.minutemenunited.org, is host of the high octane Pass The Salt radio show heard in Columbus, Ohio.
In 1999 Coach Daubenmire was sued by the ACLU for praying with his teams while coaching high school in Ohio. He now spends his energy fighting for Christian principles in the public domain.
Security is broke and our borders are sieves, yet no one makes the connection.
They tell us we must leave the borders open because our friends from the
south will “do jobs that Americans won’t.”