Terry and I traveled recently to Branson, Missouri. We spent a week there. While in town, we took in five shows during our visit. Each show was very uplifting, not only from the standpoint of the dynamic talent and showmanship of the performers, but especially that each performance contained an inspirational segment of acknowledging God and expressing thankfulness for America. They were also mindful to recognize veterans and first responders. At the “Sight and Sound” presentation of “Samson,” an alter call was even offered for those spiritually impacted by the Bible message and story.
One day we did some shopping. I happened to be wearing a tee shirt with the words “The Sermonator” on the front. This is a take off of “The Terminator.” It had been a gift from a certain church family.
Anyway, as I paid for a purchase, the male cashier asked me what the term, Sermonator, meant. I said, “I am a Southern Baptist minister, and I write sermons. So, in so many terms, I am the Sermonator.
He surprisingly replied with, “Then, I believe I can take you as being a patriot.” His comment made me smile. We then talked at length and openly about God and country. It was a refreshing conversation.
The next day, during the intermission of a show we were attending, a gentleman from Texas and I got to talking about the current political environment. He said, “I like President Trump because of what he is getting done. Our country is better off these days because of what he is doing.” I agreed.
Despite what is largely broadcast, despite some of the inane campaign ideas currently being promoted, and despite what is being written by several major news sources these days, there is still a majority across our nation who believe in the providence of God and in the greatness of America. On this account, what is being represented involves the many who certainly associate themselves with a clear, Bible-based world-view. Oh, most certainly, our values, our opinions, and our lives should be based on having a Bible-based world-view.
Psalms 85 is powerfully suggestive of this pointed principle. The Psalmist was clearly a patriot who loved his nation, Israel, and was profoundly concerned about it being strong among the nations of the world. In his writing, he expressed truth how God is the source of national blessing. He expressed thankfulness for God’s divine favor and the gift of freedom.
Does America have moral and social problems? Yes, indeed. We have a lot of them. There are certain inequities which need to be righted, for sure. Then, how shall they best get corrected?
It might sound simplistic. It may appear idealistic. But, it rather involves the application of the principles of God. I firmly believe it. While there are those who resent the suggestion of it, it is surely only God who holds the solutions to any and all problems. And, there are still many who believe that, and many who are doing what they can to uphold that notion. That is the comforting take away in the light of all the negative claims otherwise during these turbulent times.
I think that one of the sneaky ploys of contemporary liberals, progressives, and socialists is to promote the idea that the numbers of God and country supporters is dwindling. The reason for it is because the liberals, progressives, and socialists want to apply their own value systems solutions, which are weak, humanistic efforts. They seem to understand that typically anyone may be more willing to forsake conservative ranks when there is a perception of declining support for traditional ideals. But, God and country people are not persuaded, and remain a hindrance to those trying to ignore Godly principles and patriotic ideals.
I believe that God and country remains a more popular reality for our country. God’s ways are always best for any nation, for sure.
To the cashier’s perception that I am a patriot, I added, “I am not a socialist, either.”
He replied, “Amen to that, Brother.”
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio.