In January 2003, to explain why he believed so much in America, England's former Prime Minister Tony Blair famously said, "I sometimes think it is a good rule of thumb to ask of a country: are people trying to get into it or out of it? It's not a bad guide to what sort of country it is." Despite our detractors, why is America the one place where people most want to live?
Our attraction resides in our freedom and opportunity--the direct result of the Christianity of our founders. Patrick Henry said it like this, "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here."
But recently some have said that we are no longer a Christian nation. Actually, we are, and more so today than ever before. In 1800, only 1 in 15 out of a population of 5,300,000 Americans belonged to an evangelical church, about 350,000 church members. That doubled by 1850 to 1 in 7 of 23,000,000 Americans, about 3,000,000 church members. And it has doubled again to 1 in 3 of 310,000,000 Americans today indicating they are born again, approximately 100,000,000 people.
So as you see, the kingdom of Christ has been forcefully advancing throughout our history. However, Christians have always been a minority in America. But we are less of a minority today than we have ever been--both numerically and percentage-wise.
Yet as the Christian minority, we no longer have the privilege to see our values dictate the course of culture. We will have to work harder than ever in the future to regain ground for the Judeo-Christian values of our founders.
But for today, Independence Day, let's remember that what we have to be thankful for exponentially exceeds the negatives. We are blessed to live in the country that so many people from around the world would love to get into. We are still the hope of the world, because we offer the true hope of the world. And that's what makes us great.