June 24, 2022 was a day for celebration when Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court. America has celebrated her independence as a nation every year on July 4th since 1776. Yet there are American Christians today acknowledging these landmark occasions with a tepid response. Ever since Donald Trump entered the White House, a group of academic theologians (along with mainstream media) formed a vocal stand against his presidency. His moral failings were too visible, his charisma rating too low. This man was hated by the hard left, a source of embarrassment to many on the right. And yet God saw fit to use this former tv reality star, a loose canon, to enforce moral law, or at the very least stand with morality. When do you remember another president attending a pro-life rally? Well, Trump was the first president to do so. God then providentially gives this same man the power to appoint three Supreme Court Justices over his four year term. Those justices went on to overrule the legality of abortion on the federal government level, thereby abolishing Roe v. Wade.
Christians should have united together in celebration after the last few years of intense cracked fault lines in the Church. We have not seen eye to eye on Critical Race Theory, Covid mandates or what to do about the Southern Baptist Convention. But this- the ending of free reign on child murder, the thousands of people who have fought and prayed for decades, for voters to finally decide and not a heavy-handed government interpreting what existence is through bogus arguments- abortion is finally receding into the shadows and where was the party?
Twitter did not blow up with shouts of praise that fateful June day, at least not from the cultural Christian elites. Some churches did not even publicly praise God for His mercy on the unborn generations. If anything, there was an obligatory whisper of thanksgiving sandwiched somewhere in the prayer of general blessings. We have prayed more for the war on Ukraine from the pulpit than praised God for this victory in ending the war against unborn children in our own country.
The connection between the lukewarm celebrations in the overturn of Roe v. Wade and Independence Day is stemmed I believe, from ungrateful hearts. “Christian nationalism” is used as a slur toward Christians who openly thank God for the blessings on America. This does not mean we worship our country and replace God’s rightful authority, nor does it mean patriotic believers are looking for a political Messiah. But the spirit of the age is to hate all America stands for, which happens to be rooted in Biblical morals, and reconstruct it with anti-Biblical policies. Even some Christians are drinking the kool-aid. At the very least we are embarrassed by our citizenship. Yes, there are stains of sin in America’s history just like every other nation. America has never been so self-righteous as to not acknowledge this. Quite the opposite, as many Americans have sought to abolish, rectify and heal the wrongs done specifically with slavery and racial injustices of the past. Yet some loud voices of today would have us move backward in history to carry guilt we are not culpable for, and create disunity from a false reality in 2022.
We who live in America have a lot to be thankful for. I have personally never known anything but a free country. I can go to the grocery store and see stocked shelves, buy whatever I need or want. You and I can attend church without fear of imprisonment or losing our lives. We can speak freely in the public square. We have the privilege to vote for leaders we think are best suited for the job. We have enjoyed decades of peacetime on American soil.
I believe these abundant blessings have caused us to not only love the gifts more than the Giver, but to expect them. Just as the Israelites were given responsibility to keep God’s commands when He gave them the land of Canaan, so we too have a responsibility to be good stewards with what God has given us. Israel rejected God’s authority, allowing idolatry into their worship. The prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah speak in great length about God’s discipline toward wayward Israel and His mercy to bring them back. God is just and compassionate. I am not saying America is the new Israel but I do think there are lessons to be learned from the past. It is good to look at history to see how man repeats his errors and what God does to restore fellowship. Ultimately, God redeems rebel hearted sinners through Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.
Let us not forget the Lord our God in this free land. The freedoms we enjoy are a blessing from God. We are to take these gifts with solemn responsibility and joy, not with a sense of entitlement and shame. May we repent of the sins of apathy and pride. God has seen fit to begin purging America of the evil of abortion- praise God! We have much to be thankful for in the United States. Let us not be ashamed of those blessings but rejoice. There is everything right and Christian in celebrating Independence Day. When Congress voted to approve the resolution for independence on July 2nd, 1776, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail,
The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.
It wasn’t until two days later on July 4th when Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, the day we observe as a national holiday.
God has shed His grace on this country. He alone is to be praised on this day as we celebrate freedom as a nation. Do not rob God the praise which is due Him. He works through unlikely men and women to accomplish his purposes. Who are we to keep silent, refusing to acknowledge His hand of mercy and grace? Take John Adam’s advice and observe this day with gratitude over God Almighty’s blessings on America. My husband and I have taken this weekend to watch the John Adams mini-series. It is well done and worth watching to remember God’s remarkable hand of providence in bringing about a nation which celebrates freedom and liberty. Praise God.
Grace upon grace,
‘America the Beautiful’ sung by Ray Charles
Growing deeper: Genesis 1:26-31; 2:15; Deuteronomy 4-11