By Kristin Overman
As a kid I didn’t go to Fourth of July picnics, parades, or fireworks. I grew up in Spain. When I came to the United States I thought it was weird that Americans sang patriotic hymns in church. I was challenged to think about why Americans mix the state into the church. I didn’t really know. Other countries have good things. What makes America different? Why celebrate America in church?
I began reading original documents and writings of the founding fathers. I saw that America is different because of its inclusion of God. God was part of its beginning. I found that faith was forefront in everything the founders did. Benjamin Franklin states how central God was, “All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of superintending providence in our favor. To that kind of providence we owe this happy opportunity… have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?” They sought God in forming the nation.
In my opinion that is what makes America so different, its imitation of God’s ways. The men that founded our nation had a knowledge of God and understanding of Scripture.
There are many proofs that show their ideas of government came from a Biblical worldview. I can list one. The idea of the three branches of government in the Constitution resembles the three duties of God as ultimate ruler in Isaiah 33:22, “For the Lord is our judge, for the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king. He will save us.”
It is funny how a challenge can solidify your thinking. It ended up making me more patriotic. I love my country because it has sought God, and its system is patterned after God’s ideas. In my opinion, that is something to rejoice over as a Christian. Now, I make a huge deal for the 4th of July. I read books to my boys and teach them patriotic hymns. Little ‘soldiers’ march around the house as we sing The Battle Hymn of the Republic. We go to parades, picnics, and fireworks. Those songs in church celebrate the God of the nation, not just the nation.