When Mitt Romney asserted that America is the hope of the world, I didn’t know how to treat this rather arrogant claim. I don’t think many Europeans would think that way and this British citizen certainly does not. What is worrying about this statement is not just the arrogance of it but more importantly it seems to me to be an idolatrous statement that exalts a nation-state to the place which God alone can claim. Now I am quite aware that other regimes and countries make similar false claims. Great Britain used to see itself in a similar light, we still sing silly songs like “Rule Britannia” which rest on our imperial past. Many other regimes have claimed to be the hope of the world but it seems the assertion is made as a culture is crumbling or in Britain’s case its Empire was beginning to unravel.
My main point in this article is to point out the danger of exalting our nation over all others. I don’t mind the joking comment I get when I visit America “so you have decided to visit God’s own country” to which in good humor I always reply no I will be returning there soon. The important thing is to see that every nation exists under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and that it is his gospel alone that can bring true hope to a fallen world.
The gospel of Christ comes to all men offering them hope because of the finished work of Christ and it is in Christ that all human being can be united. We are taught in the Lord’s Prayer to ask for the kingdom of God to come. As we seek the kingdom of God divisions between nations become irrelevant because instead of looking at ourselves we are looking at the one who created and upholds the world. The thing that worries me about claims that our nation is the most important in the world is that apart from the fact of idolatry, it causes divisions in this world.
I hope the above is not seen as anti-American as I have been happily married to an American citizen for 33 years and I value my American family very highly.
Let us do what the writer of the book of Hebrews call us to do and that is to “fix our eyes on Jesus”
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