Thursday, February 08, 2007

What Makes America Great?

On February 8, 1936, General Motors founder William (Billy) Durant, filed for personal bankruptcy. Durant was responsible for acquiring nearly every brand and operation General Motors owns today. He developed GMAC and the concept of corporate financing of automobiles. He obtained the Fisher Body Company, and acquired the Delco electronics company. He was the first to bring multiple and competing companies under one umbrella by acquiring several automobile companies. He lost GM, gained it back, then lost it again for good. According to Richard A. Wright in a special to The Detroit News, Durant managed a bowling alley in Flint, Michigan until his failing health forced him to move, with his wife, to New York City where he was supported until his death in 1947 by four long-time associates.

What makes America great? Is it her free enterprise system which offers the “Billy Durants” of this world the opportunity to build, lose, regain, and lose again an empire? Is it the vast abundance of her natural resources? Perhaps some will say it is the “goodness” of her people. For still others, it is her geographic diversity, her military might, her world class universities, or maybe some might cite her largess in giving of herself to meet the world’s hunger, hurts, and fears. Surely all those things are features of that which has driven her since her inception.

I’ve been asked numerous times, as I’ve visited other countries, why is America so blessed? Why is America such a great country? I believe the answer lies in our commitment in the infancy of the nation to serve the God of Glory. That service demands that we export the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God has allowed us to develop our natural resources, the resources He has provided, so that we can travel the world, taking His Good News, and we’ve been faithful to the task.

England was once a great exporter of the Gospel, but liberal theology destroyed her desire to evangelize her own nation, and she became the epitome of secularism. Without an evangelistic zeal stirring the hearts of her people, she seemed to view evangelistic ministry to other nations as condescending and arrogant. Today England is a shadow of her former greatness, dependant upon her American cousins for a place at the table of world affairs.

Today, however, America stands at another in a long series of crossroads. Her churches often seem less intent upon evangelizing her citizens, than on building great monuments to the organizational and administrative skills of religious leaders. Should this trend continue, one might easily look to the dead formality of Europe’s great cathedrals to catch a glimpse of the future of America’s churches.

Revivalism and the attitude that one has not yet attained spiritual success, but rather that he is traveling a road toward that success go hand in hand with a theology which demands of its adherents that they evangelize their communities and export the Gospel around the world.

The secret of America’s greatness, I believe, is such a dedication to The Word of God by genuine believers that they are compelled to take literally the admonition of Jesus Christ to go into all the world making disciples.

America remains great even as the forces of humanistic philosophy, economic uncertainty, political corruption, and international intrigue flail with unflagging persistence at her bedrock convictions. She will continue in that greatness only as individual believers steadfastly employ the principle of personal revivalism while joining with others of like convictions to continue to evangelize and export the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

© Mike Rasberry 2007


estxgran said...

I wholeheartedly agree with your statements Mike. I feel the 23rd Psalm fits the America you and I know...the Lord has always been our shepherd...but do we still want Him in that role? He's given us green pastures, still water, banquets, oil, rod & staff, paths of righteousness, etc. He has especially been with us through the valley, yet the older we get, the further the younger generations seem to go away from His leading. I pray my children, grandchildren & now great-grands will not forget or turn away.
Keep up the good work. God Bless.

Focus Youth Ministry said...

Is America's greatness a direct result of some kind of covenant with God? The early pilgrims, puritans, and other such religious groups certainly believed so. Is America's greatness tied to its Christianity? Did God really bless America with oil, freedom, happiness, etc. because of her devotion to Him?
Is America's Christianity tied to its greatness? Do people in American believe they are Christians because they are patriotic, flag-waving Americans?
These are just some questions for thought, as well as the thoughts behind my senior paper.