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Thursday, June 30, 2011

I'm proud to be an American

One of my favorite all time songs is, "I'm proud to be an American." It's
become an especially popular song since the tragedy of 9/11. It seems though
that some folks have a problem with taking pride in their country. I don't
have that problem at all, I'm proud to be an American and I want everyone to
know it.

Those who have a problem with being "Proud of America," reason (with all
sincerity) that "pride goes before a fall" or that warnings about "the vain
pride of life" some how prohibits us from having pride in our country. I
don't think that is true at all.

When I was in grade school, junior high or high school, we were taught to
take pride in our county. The same thing was true in the church where I grew
up. We were taught to honor those who made us the great country we are. To
honor those who serve in our military to keep us free. My father was a WWII
Navy veteran and I later joined the Navy myself. As a young man I imagined
some day having a home of my own and flying the flag of the United States
proudly in my front yard.

Does being a Christian somehow prohibit us from taking pride in our country
or honoring those who made us great? No, I don't believe that for a minute.
I don't think it is outside of an acceptable application to remember the
words of Jesus in Matthew 22:21 "give to Caesar (governmental powers) what
belongs to Caesar, (governmental powers) and give to God what belongs to
God."

Paul tells us that God is ultimately in control of all that happens in our
countries. Romans 13:1 tells us, "Everyone must submit to governing
authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of
authority have been placed there by God." So, when we honor our nation and
show pride in it's accomplishments we need to remember ultimately the words
which are still in our Pledge of Allegiance that proclaim that we are still
"One Nation Under God." As much as some elements of our society try to deny
it and try to erase that phrase from our memory, it will never change the
fact that God is in control of our country and our world!

I'm proud to be an American as we celebrate our "Independence Day" on the
4th of July. I pray that wherever you are and in whatever country you live
that you honor our God along with your nation at all times.

Russ Lawson

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