This Year May Look Different but Celebrate Big!

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There's no doubt that it's a different kind of 4th this year. For many of us fireworks are canceled, parades are canceled, celebrating is supposed to be done in masks, six feet apart, possibly separated from those that we love, and loud voices are out there telling us that patriotism is "treason." Cancel culture is out in full force. May I suggest to you that now more than ever, we have all the more reason to get serious about Independence Day. The ultimate act of patriotism on the 4th is celebrating . . .and celebrating BIG! I hope this post will be encouraging, educational and will inspire you to celebrate with all your might on the 4th of July!

Many of you know that independence from England was actually declared on July 2nd…..but that it took 2 days to approve the final wording of the document so that's why we celebrate on the 4th! It was a miracle in itself that 13 very different colonies with very different circumstances, different loyalties to the crown, had come together in agreement to – after years of petitioning – move towards independence. And there was incredible drama surrounding those final days of debate…..not the least of which was how that final vote came down.

But what was it that they were considering that day? One of the most important traditions you can establish with your family right now is to read the words of the Declaration of Independence together. (Click HERE for a post with some resources for that) Recognize the transcendent principles expressed in its lines…..not just good ideas but “God ideas” that had never before been expressed as the foundation of a nation. Ideas like:

· rights to life, liberty and property being given to us by our Creator meant that they weren’t granted to us by the civil government …..and that the civil government couldn’t take them away

· that these rights were “inalienable” or attached to the very fact that you were a person….

· that that meant the civil government had to protect your private property, to ensure that you received a fair trial if you were ever accused, that you weren’t seized or held improperly

· that legitimate governments were formed by voluntary consent of the people governed and must include representatives of the people

· that civil government had a role limited to protection and establishing justice but also requiring those duties

· that there was a higher, unchanging standard of law to which everyone was bound, including the king and Parliament.

· that there is a practical covenant between civil government and the people and that if it is broken there is a biblical process of petitioning, fleeing if practicable but then defensively resisting in order to either bring the king back under the law or to establish new civil leadership that WILL uphold these ideas.

…..and all of these ideas….these revolutionary ideas that we today simply hear and take for granted. . . NOTHING like this had ever been seen before! Its words brought grown men around the world to tears when they read them…they were awe- inspiring because they reflected what was TRUE….they were biblical. They literally flowed from the ideas about civil government that began with the Hebrew people in the wilderness, were recovered and established as English law by King Alfred the Great, were further refined in Magna Charta and then written about during the time of the Reformation. THESE were the sources of our Declaration and Constitution.

Today, we’re told that that’s not true, that our founders were just slave-holding, enlightenment thinkers and so we should just “burn the system down.” May God forbid. That sweeping generalization is patently untrue and deliberately deceptive….but that’s another essay. If we all took the time to really understand these 56 signers and the time in which they lived, we’d come away with a deep appreciation and immense respect for what they accomplished. Was it perfectly applied to everyone in that moment? No. But it was a near-perfect foundation upon which to build. With this revolutionary document, these men set the stage for the greatest expression of individual liberty that had ever been seen.

Let me ask you - no, I’ll speak for myself. I often do not live up to the standards of Scripture in which I fully believe. I know that God’s Word is truth and His commands are righteous and I call myself a Christian, but I still (often) get it wrong.