Donald Trump’s candidacy has been propelled by his campaign slogan, “Make America great again.” Such a statement inherently implies America is not “great,” at least not currently. But I want to take the analysis one step further: Is America even good?
I believe God has bestowed blessings on our country, and for the wonderful principles of freedom that have existed here for many years, we should be grateful. We should always seek the good of the place where God has set us, including trying to make America “great.” Yet we should not allow patriotism to prevent us from honest assessment of our nation.
And that honest assessment begins with recognizing the American culture today rejects God. In Romans 1, Paul described just such a culture. He said they did not retain God in their knowledge but willfully rejected Him. Because of this they rejected the rules God has written on the hearts of man and revealed in Scripture and nature. And God gave them over to vile affections. Are we not just like them?
Paul listed some of the sins of this evil culture, and Americans are guilty of many. We disparage God’s image through murder of innocent children and engage in all manner of sexual license. We encourage disobedience in children. We love violence and profanity. We worship sports and deify celebrities. We are covenant breakers and full of envy and unrighteousness.
America has done so much good in the world, advanced many good principles, but American culture today is not righteous. When we view our nation through God’s lens – and not through nostalgia or patriotism – we can see it for what it is: a pagan nation.
America has done so much good in the world, advanced many good principles, but American culture today is not righteous.
Yet while we may grieve over the state of our nation, do not despair as though there is no hope. America today is an opportunity for God’s glory, no more and no less than a place in great need of the light of the gospel.
So let us not be blinded by stars and stripes. We must not let our love of country supersede our love of God. We must be willing to lose our nation for the sake of Christ. Anything less is idolatry. We no longer need to “preserve” America; we need to revive it!
Many wish to restore some of the morality we have discarded and view losing our freedom as one of the greatest evils of the day. I empathize. But there is a greater evil than losing one’s country, and that is losing one’s God. As believers, let us love the place God has placed us, but let us not love it for its own sake, but rather for the sake of the God who has placed us here. For the only way to save America – to hope that it could be “good,” let alone “great” – is to point her to the Savior.