So Happy Fourth, everybody. I trust that while you’re having your second helping of apple pie you stop to reflect on what Independence means to you and to America. What does Independence truly mean? Does it only mean having the ability to govern ourselves? Free from outside control, as the Oxford dictionary tells us? Or does it mean not depending on anyone? America is known as the Land of the free and the home of the brave. But lately we have to ask ourselves who are the free and who are the brave?
When a judge in Alabama loses his job as a result of fighting to keep the Ten Commandments in the courthouse, where is the freedom? When people can get into trouble for giving out tracts or Bibles near a school, where is the freedom? The drug dealers have easier access to the children than we do. When Christian teachers have to refrain from telling their pupils about God for fear of losing their jobs, where is the freedom?
Freedom may be limited, but bravery abounds. We have to be brave to walk the streets at nights, brave to send our children to school, brave to mention the name of Jesus in public. When over thirty six million people live in poverty in this, the richest country on earth, where is the independence? When children are the largest growing number of the nation’s poor, where is the independence? When words like outsourcing and downsizing are common everyday terms, where’s the independence?
I hate to spoil your celebrations, but we need to examine ourselves. The laws of this country were based on the laws of God. We must obey them. In the book of Deuteronomy Chapter 4 verses 5-6 Moses told the children of Israel: "Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgements, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.
Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people."
Can other nations now look at us and say we are a wise and understanding people? Hey, go easy on that apple pie. But that’s for another blog.