Today there are many in our nation who are embracing the concept of globalism and denigrating the concept of nationalism. Although we seem to be struggling to maintain our distinctiveness as a nation, American exceptionalism is still a reality. I agree with Lee Greenwood who wrote and has often sung, “I am proud to be an American.”
However, there are those who demean Greenwood’s song today, because they say it has xenophobic undertones and its boast of freedom implies that people in the rest of the world have “receded into dictatorships, monarchies, and totalitarian regimes.”
The United States is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, and we have had some serious scars blemish our image, but we do have a stalwart record of providing leadership, benevolence, and intervention to other countries in times of trouble.
History chronicles the number of times the United States intervened in global conflicts to defeat German militarism, Japanese imperialism, Nazi fascism, Soviet Communism, and Islamic terrorism. Madeleine Albright, who was secretary of state from 1997-2001 under Bill Clinton’s presidency was correct when she called the United States “the indispensable nation.”
Additionally, according to the Migration Policy Institute, “The U. S. has been the top international destination for international migrants since at least 1960.” The institute reported that one-fifth of the world’s migrants were living in America in 2017. People are coming to America because it offers freedom, opportunity, and hope.
During his administration as president, Ronald Reagan restored the belief in American exceptionalism and spoke of the nation as being “a shining city on a hill.” In his presidential farewell address in January 1989 President Reagan said, “She (America) is still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.”
President Donald Trump has stated that he doesn’t like the word “exceptionalism” when referring to America, because it implies that “we are exceptional, and you (other countries) are not.” So, the president has begun to use the word “nationalism” instead of “exceptionalism.”
The president has been criticized for his commitment to nationalism, because some have stated that his view of nationalism involves winning at all costs, with power-seeking and superiority as the only real goal. If nationalism is resolving to doing whatever it takes, however immoral, unlawful, or destructive to achieve preeminence, then I would object to it.
In other words, I am not advocating a blind allegiance to the United States. For example, when Mr. Trump declares, “the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America,” I would add that our devotion to Christ must transcend our fidelity to our nation. No man can serve two masters.
But if I were to have to choose between being a nationalist or a globalist I would be classified as a nationalist, because I believe in the principles upon which our country was founded. I believe in the values and ideals that we have historically held dear. I believe in the American Constitution. I believe in the American Republic.
I must confess that I disagree with those who want to demean American exceptionalism or nationalism in favor of globalism. In fact, the Bible clearly supports nationalism over globalism. In Genesis 11 we have the story of the building of the tower of Babel. The Lord gave the builders different languages so that they could not understand one another and scattered them abroad over the face of the earth.
The bottom line of the narrative is that when the people of the earth try to get together without God’s guidance and blessing, they are destined to falter and fail.
More often than not the homogenization of beliefs dilutes and even perverts sound philosophies and doctrine. This can be seen in what has happened in the World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches and even in the Baptist World Alliance.
For example, the World Council of Churches was founded in Amsterdam in 1948 “to pursue the goal of the visible unity of the Church. This involves a process of renewal and change in which member churches pray, worship, discuss, and work together.” However, it has become a unity maintained at the expense of doctrinal deviations, political radicalism and a concerted effort to replace capitalism with some form of socialism or communism.
Let it also be noted that the formation of the European Union has resulted in nations losing their sovereignty and has created all kinds of challenges. The Harvard Business Review has explained that the EU is the weakest link in the global economy, is paralyzed by political dysfunction, mired in high unemployment, plagued with all kinds of human suffering, and has created an environment whereby Europeans are suffering under policies without the power to do anything about it.
The Bible prophesizes that before the Second Coming of Christ there will be the establishment of a one world church and a one world government. After WWI President Woodrow Wilson wanted to see a global governance established called the League of Nations. Congress would not agree to such a worldwide organization, because it would require the United States to forfeit its sovereignty.
In 1948 President Franklin D. Roosevelt became the driving force behind a New World Order called the United Nations. From the beginning it was designed to be the edifice for a world government.
The globalists seem to be convinced that the individual nations have outlived their usefulness, that national sovereignty has become the problem, and a system of world government is the solution. These effects of fallen humanity will persist until God creates a new heaven and a new earth at the end of time.
From a human perspective the only thing standing between mankind and the emergence of the planned New World Order is the United States of America and the American people’s love of their national sovereignty.
However, we must understand that nations rise and fall, power centers change, national boundaries shift, refugees overwhelm neighboring countries, Islamic radicals move in to vacuums, and there is devastation, war, and chaos in many nations.
Adrian Rogers, the three-time president of the Southern Baptist Convention and former pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church near Memphis, Tennessee, said, “We cannot make a cosmos out of chaos because as C.S. Lewis said, ‘You can’t make a good omelet out of bad eggs.’ The more we stir the bad eggs, the more we try to arrange things, the worse it gets.
“But behind it all is Almighty God. ‘Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.’ If we don’t understand this, we will get very discouraged.” In the meantime, I will continue to be a nationalist.