“The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.” (John Adams in a letter to his wife Abigail)
The origins of the word holiday is from the Old English combination of holy and day. One definition of holiday is “a religious feast day; a holy day.” If we are to follow this definition and the first act of commemoration suggested by John Adams, we as a nation should be honoring God Almighty on this “Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion…” That means before we fire up the barbecue grills, pack the car and head to the beach, and gather tonight to watch the fireworks, we should be on our faces reverently and solemnly thanking God for our freedom. The question is how many of us will?
Come on Dave, we don’t need a sermon on the 4th of July! Well, this blog is titled “Salt and Light” and I am fearful that too many Americans, Evangelical Christians included, do not properly celebrate all the freedoms this great nation provides.
Last night as I was contemplating what I wanted to write on today, I once again, on the advice of my pastor, read the Declaration of Independence. How many of you have actually done that, and I don’t mean just the Preamble, but the whole declaration? Have you read the list of grievances and the signatories? You might be surprised to not find George Washington’s signature. When my pastor first encouraged me to read the declaration (I couldn’t remember the last time I had read it), he told me to pay close attention to the list of grievances. Bro Dennis’ law school trained eye picked up on how magnificiently these charges were listed, so well that he believes this would be a slam dunk case easily won in a court of law today. He is right; it is magnificiently written and as it states in the Declaration because it was fashioned and enacted “with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.”
There will be many diverse celebrations today, which is what makes our country’s freedoms all the more blessed. One such celebration will be hosted by a member of the Beltway Atheists, who describe themselves as “a community of Atheists, Freethinkers, Humanists, Rationalists, and Secularists deeply concerned with the preservation of our First Amendment protections against religious tyranny.” What country are they living in? If ever religion was under attack, it is today under the close and despotic eye of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (AU).
It is the ACLU and AU’s Barry Lynn who tyrannically wield power, oppressing Americans’ right to freely and publicly express their religious convictions, their devotion to God and Jesus Christ. They hide under the guise of “the constitutional separation of church and state,” which any honest person knows is not a constitutional mandate but a judicial ruling. The ACLU is currently suing the city of Slidell, Louisiana for displaying a picture of Jesus Christ in a courthouse lobby, all the while stating they “did not file this lawsuit because the ACLU is anti-religion.” Everyone who believes that the ACLU is not anti-religion please raise your hand. No seriously, please raise your hand. Hmm?…
I could go on forever about how this great nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, about how the majority of the Declaration of Independence signers were avowed Christians, but again, an honest broker debating the birth of our great nation already knows this. It is only the American history revisionist, the secularist, the atheist, and the left-wing politically motivated (to name just a few), who deny our Providential beginnings.
We as a nation need to humbly and honestly remember the founding of this great nation. As I wrote in my book, Understanding Evangelicals: A Guide to Jesusland, “As a nation, if we are willing to humble ourselves before God and acknowledge Him as the provider and sustainer of our great land, then God will do what He promised in 2 Chronicles 7:14.” (Quote from Chapter 10, “One Nation Under God”)
Preserving American liberty depends first upon our understanding the foundations on which this great country was built and then preserving the principles on which it was founded. Let’s not let the purpose for which we were established be forgotten. The Founding Fathers have passed us a torch; let’s not let it go out.
Have a blessed Independence Day and God bless.