05 July 2007

a little pride


A friend recently mentioned that he was disappointed that Christians sing better when singing "The Star Spangled Banner" than when singing regular hymns and was curious if I thought that there was a reason for this. I think that the reason lies in two parts.
The first is very easy to understand: we don't have a "Christian anthem." although we have many great Christian songs. We have many good patriotic songs, but only one National Anthem. While I am moved when we sing "Victory in Jesus" or "It Is Well With My Soul;" there is only one patriotic song that sends chills up my spine.
The other aspect of this answer is much more difficult to explain. My dad is a United States history teacher; and, as such, as a child I was more aware of our history than the average child. I remember my dad teaching, studying and talking about the War for Independance, the War of 1812, the Civil War & the World Wars. Our nation has much to be thankful for and nearly all of it was bought with soldier's lives and sacrifices.
While we don't have a perfect nation (and we never have and never will - if man is involved, it will not be perfect); as Americans, we have a tremendous debt to our 'forefathers.' They had the forethought to develop a system of freedoms that allow for our freedom of religion. They also used many Biblical and Godly principles as the basis for our laws; after all most of them were God-fearing men (notice I did not say that they were Christians - very few of our founding fathers believed in salvation by faith in Christ through the grace of God).
Above that, we as Christians should understand the benefits and liberties of the freedoms that we enjoy. The liberty and freedom that we take for granted is unique to our nation. No other nation has enjoyed such a lengthy period of freedom.
Perhaps that is why we are so cynical about our freedoms and casual in our respect of our United States. We have had it to easy for so long. What's more; perhaps that's why we are so carefree with out Christianity - we've had it to easy for to long.
I am daily reminded that we live in a priveledged nation; and this has caused me to be thankful to my God for His mercy on our nation; but when we sing that fantastic song, I'm proud, thankful, and overwhelmed by our nation's history.

So forgive me if I sing louder when we sing our National Anthem; that song and our nation means an indefinable amount to me; and, I promise, I'd sing twice as strong if we had a "Christian anthem."

5 comments:

Chris said...

Great insight!

Chris said...

Great Insight!

Jocelyn Pagano said...

Those are great thoughts. I think another thing is we sing Christian hymns at least once a week and some of us have Sunday night and mid-week services too where we sing hymns. Sadly I think we get used to the hymns. We don't often sing the National Anthem except for July 4th and ballgames! So it isn't as normal every day. Not that it makes it right or I am saying I am tired of the great hymns out there. Just a thought.

Joshua L. Smith said...

Jocelyn;
I think that you are very correct. Repetion sadly removes the significance of many songs.

Janelle said...

Well said, Josh, well said! I don't really know what to add to that except for an AMEN! There have only been a few times that I have NOT teared up when the National Anthem was sung. It's always meant a lot to me, but since I've been married to Ron and have seen a little more first hand what was sacrificed for the freedoms we enjoy (and take for granted), it has meant even more. Another song, "The Statue of Liberty", where it talks about the cross being our Statue of Liberty and the sacrifice that was made for our salvation we enjoy (and take for granted sometimes), I don't think I've ever made it through that song without almost literally crying. That song truly says it all. Oh if only more people were patriotic, oh if only more people were more passionate about our salvation, I believe this world would be a different place. But, as you put it, with sinners like us in this world, it probably won't get much better than this. Makes us look forward to heaven even more! Thank you, thank you!

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