Should a Christian Sing “I’m Proud to Be an American (God Bless the U.S.A.)”?

A few weeks ago asked me what I thought about the Lee Greenwood song, “Proud to be an American.”  Particularly in reference to a church choir singing it.  There were the thoughts I shared.

Proud To Be An American
The sentiment of the title violates Jer. 9:23-24; 1 Cor. 1:31; 2 Cor. 10:17; Gal 6:14 which teach that the believer boasts only in the Lord and the cross of Christ. These Scriptures apply every time the chorus is sung, and the line later, “There’s pride in every American heart.”

If tomorrow all the things were gone,
I’d worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,
with just my children and my wife.

This verse demonstrates that the author was not living a biblically obedient, Spirit filled life.  Obedient believers are to seek first God’s kingdom (Matt. 6:33); are not to labor for the food that perishes (John 6:27); or build their lives on wood, hay, and stubble (1 Cor. 3:9-17).  An obedient Christian could not sing this lyric honestly because if he was living obediently nothing that he had worked for his whole life could ever be taken away!  I would think that a person who wanted to be obedient would not desire to sing this since it implies a life that is lived according to the world’s value system.

I’d thank my lucky stars,
to be livin here today.
‘ Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can’t take that away.

Well I think there is enough in Scripture about sorcery, astrology, “fate” etc. to render “lucky stars” completely un-singable.  The veracity of the next-to-last line is certainly open for debate–especially internationally.  Since Americans are increasingly losing their “freedoms,”  the last line is simply untrue on the face of it.

And I’m proud to be an American, (see comments on title)
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

What I am about to say is certainly a sentiment that would make many angry and would be rejected by most, but only one Man ever died for my freedom:  Luke 4:18, 19; John 8:36; Rom. 8:2; 1 Cor. 3:16-17; Gal. 5:1.  I have the only freedom that matters, and it was purchased for me by the eternal Son of God.  Does your freedom come from men or God?  I mean this verse is not even Constitutional: at least they recognized that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain rights!  (Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know.  That line is in the Declaration of Independence not Constitution, but you get the point.)

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA. (see comment on the end of song)

From the lakes of Minnesota,
to the hills of Tennessee.
Across the plains of Texas,
From sea to shining sea.

From Detroit down to Houston,
and New York to L.A.
Well there’s pride in every American heart, (see comment on title)
and its time we stand and say.

That I’m proud to be an American, (see comment on title)
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.  (see comment on 1st refrain)

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

One has to wonder if “God bless the U.S.A.” is a line that is violating the 3rd commandment.  If God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (Prov. 3:34; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5), how can he bless a person singing about being proud?  Considering the song as a whole, is this  the kind of attitude God blesses? I think it might be a little vain to invoke the name of God when the virtues that are extolled in the song include pride, materialism, fate, and militarism.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s