Protest Nation: Independence from America

On this year’s Independence Day, perhaps what rang louder than any freedom bell or firework was the protestor’s chant. While July 4 has always been celebrated as a day of national pride, recent polls find “patriotic sentiment at perhaps an all-time low.”

Among them is a Gallup poll, taken from May 28 to June 4 of this year, which surveyed 78 percent of Americans as being “dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States at this time.”

This is made clear from the nationwide demonstrations, still going strong despite the newest surge of COVID-19 and subsequent reinforcement of social-distancing restrictions.

“A protest in Los Angeles on July 1 drew thousands of people hours after California governor Gavin Newsom discouraged residents from holding Independence Day gatherings with anyone outside an immediate household,” states online magazine National Review.

And although Seattle police dispersed the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP)—also on July 1—after nearly a month of occupation, protestors have continued warring against police. “We’re gonna keep marching for change and until we get some of our demands met, we’re gonna be out here every day,” one protestor tells South Seattle Emerald.

It seems that the populace’s unhappiness is breeding mighty winds of change. According to The New York Times, “many remain optimistic about the country’s future, viewing this moment of pandemic, economic devastation and social unrest as an opportunity for progress—one they can help shape.”


The Children of the Revolution

You know what’s coming next. You’ve heard it before—the oft-repeated sentiment that America was built upon the backs of dissenters and the blood of rebel forces. What can be more “American” than protesting? Well, let’s take a closer look.

Compare our American Revolution with one that historians often dub its little sister, the French Revolution. Not only did the two overlap in time, but their motives were also undoubtedly similar—tax discrimination, discontent with the monarchy, human rights. Both echoed the cry of the oppressed.

Arc de Triomphe

But one defining difference remains: “The American Revolution did not declare its independence from God— the French Revolution did.” And that made all the difference.

We need only look at the outcomes. The French Revolution, whose adherents worshipped “the goddess of reason,” resulted in the Reign of Terror, in which 17,000 were executed by guillotine and hundreds of thousands more were murdered. Next came Napoleon Bonaparte’s decade-long dictatorship. So much for the protests of freedom.

In contrast, the American Revolution, fought and won over “the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God,” birthed what was to become the world’s most prosperous, most powerful nation. Today, people still give up everything just for the chance of a life in America. Indeed, according to the Pew Research Center, at more than a million a year, “the United States has more immigrants than any other country in the world.”

People protest. That doesn’t define our identity as Americans; what the Founding Fathers protested about does. States the Declaration of Independence, “All men are created equal; … they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; … among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” An American is someone who believes in every person’s freedom to live and freedom to choose. Embedded in those freedoms is the belief in—yes—the Creator, God.


The Bible’s Version of Change

So what about America’s current protests? Journalist Dave Seminara offers this solemn warning: “No nation can thrive if too many of its citizens no longer love it.” Indeed, Americans are certainly less than enthused about their country, and it is clear they want change. Are we about to see the birth of a fundamentally different America? If the guillotine erected outside Amazon CEO Jeff Bezo’s Washington, D.C. mansion is any indication, it seems so.

Did you know that Scripture advocates for change too? It is, however, a very different change than the mass demonstrators are seeking. It often goes unheard. It cannot be forced upon you: You cannot be shamed, manipulated, or terrorized into it. It is deeply, intensely personal. The Bible calls it repentance—a turning away, a change of direction from sin.

“Repent,” said Jesus, “and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 3:2) cried John the Baptist. “Repent,” said the apostle Peter likewise, “and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).

In the streets, across the media, in the highest offices of government, people are demanding reform—of law enforcement, of business, of America itself. And all the while, God’s still, small voice is instead asking for the reform of each heart: “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16).

In this cancel culture, how easy it is to forget that the Savior of the world was “wounded for our transgressions, … bruised for our iniquities. … He was oppressed and He was afflicted” (Isaiah 53:5, 7, emphasis added) because of me, because of you.

What would America look like if upon every mouth and in every heart were this prayer: “Search me, O God, … see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23, 24)?

Do you want that kind of change? Check out our free, online videos, “Real Repentance” and “ Changed by Beholding.” You could receive the best change of all—conversion.

Kris W. Sky
Kris W. Sky is a writer and editor for Amazing Facts International and other online and print publications.
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