Tulsa Leaders’ Essays: Rich Gradel

In the United States, we celebrate freedom.  We are free to determine who we are and what we do.  Taken to extremes, “freedom” can enslave and  destroy.  Modernists reject traditions and refuse to be bound, or even informed, by history.  As a result, many suffer today from an “identity crisis.”  Some want to determine even their own gender or ethnicity, defying their own immutable personhood. They replace God’s purpose for their lives with their own designs.

A nation can lose its identity, too.  America was based on the religious bedrock of Judeo-Christianity.  We acquired our culture from the British, who wisely merged Greco-Roman culture with Middle Eastern Judaism and Christianity.  Our political identity is distinctly American, rooted in our religious and cultural heritage, and is still a model for the world.  It’s a fool’s errand to depart from the foundations that made us an inspiration for the nations of the world, a civic “city set upon a hill.”

One truth stands above it all.  Despite the swirling storm of secularism, the fervent believer who is completely identified with Jesus Christ will never be moved.  There is no identity crisis for the one whose life is inextricably “in Christ.”