The United States of America is not just a country, not just land discovered, settled and developed. There is, and always has been, something big going on here.
The Spirit of God has been weaving Himself into and through our history from way back. I have no doubt He is working His deliberate and perfect will throughout all of America’s struggles, conflicts, achievements & victories. What I am not at all sure of is, exactly what His purpose is in all this. Exactly what is being shown to us and the world? Because America is a living epistle to all mankind, she is showing forth a specific Word from the Creator. Just as Jesus is the Word made flesh, America also manifests a Word from God.
If it is true, as he wrote in his journal, that Christopher Columbus was called by the Almighty God to set sail for a foreign shore, a pristine & undeveloped continent, then there had to be a Divine reason for that. The voyage was perilous, one from which other adventurers had not returned. Technology had not yet arrived, and navigational instruments as well as the crafts themselves carried great risk of shipwreck. If God was commissioning a journey so fraught with danger it would seem that the bounty to be found would be glorious, and well worth the risk. He had something specific in mind.
Scripture tells us that all things are summed up in Christ. A simple, succinct statement…yet mind-blowing. Is America’s entire existence a representation of divine principles & truth?
It was believed by many that America was intended to be the New Jerusalem of the Scriptures. We’ve seen the term ‘Redeemer Nation’, and in fact, books have been written bearing that title. It was also believed by many that no such destiny was the case; rather, America was an experiment “conducted without divine guarantee by mortals of limited wisdom and power.” (Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Cycles of American History) John F. Kennedy, in his first annual message, while speaking of the continued endurance of our nation, said “The outcome is by no means certain.” In ‘An American Dilemma’, published in 1944, Gunnar Myrdal wrote, “America is continually struggling for its soul.”Many of us – probably most of us – stand here today, as Americans, simply assuming that the United States of America turned out as was intended, and that there never really was any other option. Our success was a given, and everyone knew it from the first.
But we would be wrong.
Finally triumphing in her war for independence, Americas was just beginning myriad battles of other kinds, in which she continues to this day. There seems to have always been present, in any new enterprise, those forces that oppose or seek to ensnare, robbing of precious victories, robbing of liberty & life. It seems to have been destined that there should & would be conflict. Starting in Eden and travelling through time & history to, say, issues between you and your spouse, right in your own living room…up ’til now, at least, tears have not been wiped from every eye, and there is still pain and sorrow. The Founding Fathers had glorious vision for America. but it was not without doubt. They “had an intense conviction of the improbability of their undertaking” writes Schlesinger. History had demonstrated – at least up ’til 1776 – that republics inevitably fell to corruption. That knowledge caused some of our Founders to be “deeply troubled by the ill success and ill repute of the only form of government which was possible for them”. (Henry Maine, Popular Government)
But there comes a time when the tide is turned, the dye is cast, and we forge ahead, creating a new path into the future. Desire was stronger than doubt, and faith, though with trepidation, was stronger than fear. Give me liberty or give me death prevailed. Against all odds and against the mightiest nation in the world at that time, America was born.
Considering ‘America as destiny vs. America as experiment’, my own conclusion is heavily slanted towards the destiny angle! but actually, I believe both are true. Experiment played a part as a means to the destined end. We still, as always, can play a part in the experiment because we believe in our destiny. And though I would have to agree with JFK that the outcome is by no means certain, for that very reason we must press on. Hope remains alive in some of our hearts. All were not in favor of the original Revolution, all may not believe today…but some still do. Maybe more than you might think…God continues to have His remnant in the land. The light of His truth still burns in hearts across America, forcing the darkness back.
…more to come…