Tomorrow, all over the country, there will be parades and picnics and pyrotechnics. Even though July 4th is not the official date of the writing or signing of the Declaration of Independence (read here), it is the day we’ve set aside for celebrating our national independence. We celebrate the founding of our great nation, and remember the boldness and sacrifice of those who worked so hard and fought so bravely to ensure that founding. Sadly, what those men and women stood for and fought for is hardly recognizable today.
Our founding fathers, regardless of the liberal rewriting of history, were people of faith. The freedom of religion was a prize for which they came to this land, and for which they fought. Freedom of religion, not just freedom of worship. The two are different. One allows expression of faith in all walks of life, the other simply allows your church to meet. Today we have freedom of worship (mostly), but have less and less freedom of religion. Sure you can believe what you want, as long as you don’t share it or show it (especially if you’re Christian).
Our founding fathers were people of morality. Family, life, godliness were all near and dear to them. Today, we’ve devolved our “freedom” into the freedom to kill unborn children, to pervert nature and morality with so-called “gay marriage”, to pursue whatever ungodly lifestyle we want. While at the same time those who promote Christian values, the same values our founders held fiercely to, are scorned and treated as outcasts, even as criminals.
Our founding fathers established a nation of free states, escaping the unwanted intrusion of the king’s representatives in our homes, our businesses and our churches. Today, “Big Brother” continues to grow out of control, spying on its own citizens, taxing them into poverty, seeking to control more and more of their lives, right down to the kinds of “sugary drinks” you’re allowed to enjoy. The Federal Government continues to ignore the 10th Amendment, acting as if the states are beholden to D.C. rather than the other way around.
Please don’t misunderstand. I love this land. I consider myself to be blessed to have been born in the grandest nation on earth. And tomorrow, I’ll take part in a parade, get together with family for food and fireworks, and have a good time. But the celebration, for me, is still tinged with a bit of sadness. Sadness because I know this isn’t the land those great men and women fought to establish; their words have been twisted, their lives often ignored, their beliefs ridiculed. Sadness because I know that on our current path, many of the freedoms we now enjoy will not be enjoyed by our children; many of the blessings we enjoy, they will miss out on. Sadness because the America we celebrate, in many ways, no longer exists.
And yet, in some ways that may be a good thing. Maybe it will wake up the Church of Christ and help us to separate the gospel from the American Dream. Maybe it will help us to see that while we appreciate the freedoms we have in this great land, true freedom is in Christ, and Christ alone. It’s a freedom enjoyed by brothers and sisters all over the world, in all sorts of government systems, in all sorts of socio-economic conditions. Maybe we need that reminder.
Or maybe I need to stop being so gloomy and go shoot off a few fireworks. Yeah, that’ll make it all better.