You remember the account of Alexis de Tocqueville — the French political thinker and historian who came to see America in the 1830s? He famously summarized his view of America’s greatness in this way:
“In the end, the state of the Union comes down to the character of the people. I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there. In the fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there. In her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits, aflame with righteousness, did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”
I love Independence Day. I love to celebrate America. I want to honor the bravery of the men who forged this nation out of an idea. I cherish the history of our founding fathers and the ideals and principles upon which they founded this nation, and which have become everything that represents what America is. But those ideals and principles it seems, more and more every day, are becoming more of a memory, than a present reality. I’m not saying there are no good Americans anymore, or no good America anymore, good grief! I’m still proud to be an American, and I’m proud to know a ton of amazing patriots. But it’s becoming harder and harder lately not to notice how far away the nation as a whole has drifted from the moral, spiritual, and even political moors on which it was built, and which held it firm for so long…
Anyway all that to say, I’m not going to quit celebrating the history of this nation, because it is a rich history, and God has blessed this nation in many ways. I’m not going to stop celebrating our independence… even though a lot of people are trying to give even that up. I love this nation… but I just say all that to exhort you not to neglect praying about where the country is headed now. Don’t get stuck romanticizing what America once was. Wake up to what’s happening now. If you love this country, if you’re proud of your country, if you’re a patriot, be praying for our nation and the direction it’s headed.
Please pray for our nation.