DOES A NATION HAVE A SOUL? — PART 1

I have been reading Rediscovering Americanism by Mark R. Levin. So when I read Liberating Christian Thought by dpatrickcollins, I guess I was primed to ask this question. Does a nation have a soul? What if the answer is yes?

Questions tend to raise questions. Answers? Those we have to seek. What are some of the questions that that question raised?

  • How do we define the soul of a nation?
  • What is the difference between the soul of a nation and the souls of the individuals that make up that nation?
  • Does the soul of a nation need to be saved? If so, what is the responsibility of the  Christian citizens of that nation? How do we work to save the soul of a nation? Do Christian churches and congregations have a role in tending to the soul of their own nation? Other nations?
  • What does the Bible say about nations? The Bible uses some form of the word nation or country hundreds of times. Does the Bible say each nation has a soul or spirit? Does it it even suggest such a thing? With respect to nations, what does the Bible tell us to do?

In America we make much of the separation of church and state, but our Constitution speaks of no such thing. Instead, what our Constitution declares is that we cannot use the power of the government to establish our own religion as the religion of this country. That is, government does not have the power to deprive anyone of the right to exercise their own religious beliefs.  Therefore, we have the right to exercise our religious beliefs in full view in the public square, but what are we supposed to do as Christians? What does our Lord expect of us? Does loving our neighbor include loving our country as well? If so, how do we do that? What does Jesus expect us to do for the nations of the world?

In part 2, I will offer my own opinion, but I am still do some head scratching. Often I write my posts trying to figure out what I should believe. When I am uncertain, I don’t see much point in getting in a hurry. It is better to listen. So please feel free to offer your own opinions.

2 thoughts on “DOES A NATION HAVE A SOUL? — PART 1

Add yours

  1. Hey, Tom.. at times in the past when I’ve needed a slight kick in the philosophical pants I would read this poem. It called “The American’s Creed… but it’s not to be confused with the more “official” creed with the same name adopted by Congress in 1918 and composed by William Tyler Page. You will see this Alfange version on bronze plaques across the country; simply do a search and all the pics show up. The Page version is more the echo of the Constitution and Declaration. This one conveys more the deeper feeling, the spirit, you might be searching for….

    An American’s Creed – By Dean Alfange
    Dictionary of Quotations ^ | Reprinted in The Reader’s Digest, October 1952 | Dean Alfange

    I do not choose to be a common man
    It is my right to be uncommon…
    If I can. I seek opportunity… Not security.

    I do not wish to be a kept citizen,
    Humbled and dulled by having the state to dream and build, to
    Fail and succeed.

    I refuse to barter incentive for a dole.
    I prefer the challenges of life to the
    Guaranteed existence; the thrill of
    Fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia.

    I will not trade freedom for beneficence
    Nor my dignity for a hand out. I will
    Never cower before any master nor bend
    to any threat.

    It is my heritage to stand erect,
    proud, and unafraid; to think and act for
    myself; enjoy the benefits of my
    creations; and to face the world boldly
    and say, “This I have done with my own hand,
    I am a man. I am an American.

    Like

    1. Thanks for an interesting and thoughtful comment.

      Doubt the ladies much care for that last line. Better not show it to your lady friend.
      😀

      Note to readers: Here is that other version of the American Creed that Doug mentioned (http://www.ushistory.org/documents/creed.htm).

      Alfange’s creed definitely expresses an ideal many Americans appreciate. Reminiscent of “My Way”, that song Sinatra is known for (https://play.google.com/music/preview/Tsiewlk376tyntyadatu3azidci?lyrics=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=lyrics&pcampaignid=kp-lyrics).

      I was mildly surprised to find Alfange’s creed here (https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/i-do-not-choose-to-be-a-common-man). Dave Ramsey’s version seems to be a bit more politically correct, however. This is the one to show your lady friend.

      Many still speak of the Declaration of Independence as the American creed (https://www.thenation.com/article/american-creed/). It is kind of curious that we have so many other “American Creeds” springing up, but that seems to be part of the nature of this country, and it certainly is not contrary to the Declaration of Independence.

      Like

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