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July 4th-celebrating freedom in a divided nation at risk of losing freedom

Lincoln at Antietam, Maryland
Originally by Gardner, Alexander (1821-1882). Public domain

As we celebrate this July 4th with fireworks and cookouts, let us remember the freedoms we share that were purchased at the great cost of many patriots’ own blood. Let us remember that freedom is not free, and must constantly guarded and protected from those who would destroy both our freedom and our nation. And one of the greatest threats to our freedom we face is the great division many call the Cultural War.

Right now, the nation is greatly divided, more so than any other time since our Civil War-much along liberal-conservative-libertarian schisms. At the risk of sounding "conspiratorial", I believe from years of observation and study there are those globalists from all nations and political persuasions who have no allegiance or fidelity to any value but their own wealth and power to rule and dominate. This fact should not surprise true Biblical Christians who probably have read about satan’s attempts in the last days to impose a global tyranny.

These people are energized by what Jesus called, "the spirit of the world" and "the love of money." They apparently have grown in power and influence in our nation and the world over the past 100 plus years and seek to subvert and destroy our nation from within. As both Lincoln and Lenin observed, America was too strong to be conquered from without militarily. Thus these folks have subtly and progressively worked to undermine our nations’ faith and morals, and also to exploit political and other difference along the liberal-conservative-liberatarian tri-chotomies to destroy us from within (and I say that without passion or hyperbole.)

For America has been the last roadblock to many tyrants imposing their tyrannies. I believe there are good people in all three camps-many sincere and good, but wrong hearts. And there are schemers among all three political philosophies who exploit their particular camp for gain, and/or to serve their global masters.

But these people have continued to exploit our differences and turned us to fighting each other and thus not only dividing the nation but turning our awareness off of their schemes. Lincoln quoted Jesus regarding the first Civil War: “A house divided cannot stand.”

Much of the division is along the lines of personal righteousness (conservative Christians) and social justice (liberal Christians). But God's Kingdom has concerns for both. Both are important to God, and thus I believe the liberal-conservative and yes libertarian (which deifies man) divisions are old wineskins that divide and undermine our nation. Jesus preached the Good News (gospel) of the Kingdom of God having come to earth. I believe it's time to stop falling into the enemy's trap and follow Jesus and His Kingdom which embraces both righteousness and justice. And which does not judge and condemn people based on their external political labels but their hearts-or as Dr King said, the content of their character. By God's Kingdom I do not of course mean like a man-made political machine ruling in the name of God and Christ as in bygone Europe, for example, the Spanish Inquisition or the Church of England, much less the religious tyranny of Iran. I mean God and Christ's Heavenly Kingdom come down to earth and ruling in love, truth and grace in the hearts of men and women. The Kingdom is among other things a heavenly nation and culture of honor. And maybe if we loved and honored one another we could listen, understand and bring healing to our land and nation on the basis of what we do hold in common and overlooking secondary differences.

Pennsylvania colony founder William Penn, no doubt echoing the sentiments of most Foundering Fathers soberly warned us, “Men who will not be ruled by God will be ruled by tyrants.” As we celebrate this precious gift of freedom, let us remember that this gift is most fragile and vulnerable to loss-if we are not vigilant and remain true to the God who birthed our nation. As another statesman, Lord Acton stated, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Daily now as our nation increasingly thrusts toward totalitarianism and loss of freedom, let us then realize our only hope is for our nation, and we, the children of God regardless of political or philosophical persuasion to turn from our selfish ways and cry out to the God of our Fathers for a pouring out of His Holy Spirit to awaken us from our spiritual slumber and compromise and bring forth a new Great Awakening and a new Reformation. Our freedoms are often used to do as we please. But if we only use them to do as we please rather than as we ought, we will most assuredly lose them. We are called my friends to now make small sacrifices as our forefathers once made great sacrifices, including their very lives, to pass down to us this great heritage of liberty. But if we do not, what shall become of that baton of freedom that we are called to pass down to our children?
On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln spoke on the bloody fields of Gettysburg, during a time when our nation, as today, was greatly divided in the Civil War that produced more American casualties than all other U.S. wars combined. He noted how our nation was conceived in liberty and questioned whether this great experiment would endure. Then he challenged the nation’s citizens to not let the sacrifice of patriot’s blood be in vain. And that sober challenge that even prophetically echoes down time to we Americans today living in a greatly divided nation and facing the loss of our liberties. As we close the day on our celebrations of liberty, let us soberly consider and take Lincoln’s challenge for us today:

“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Happy July 4th, and God bless America!


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