As we celebrate our nation’s independence, the 241st birthday of the United States of America. We would be well served to pause for a few moments in the midst of the picnics, parades, and other festivities and first, give thanks for our freedom but then ask, “How do we maintain and pass this torch of freedom to the next generation?”
It begins with an understanding of the true source of our freedom. Thomas Jefferson — by no means the most devout Christian among the Founding Fathers — nonetheless acknowledged the source. “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure, when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that they are a gift of God? … Indeed, I tremble for my countrymen, when I reflect that God is just: that His justice cannot sleep forever.”
Yes, God is the source of our freedom. There can be no true understanding of freedom, without an understanding of God (Truth) and His gift of freedom. Jesus said in John 8:32, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Dr. Benjamin Rush, another signer of the Declaration, said, “The only foundation for… a republic is to be laid in Religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty; and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.”
George Washington, as he was leaving office after his second and final term as our nation’s first president, warned of the inseparable nature of religion, morality, and our success as a nation. “Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them … And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion.”
So, that brings us to the question of what must we do to trim the wick of the flame of freedom and keep it burning brightly so that we can pass it to the next generation? We must cease being silent about the foundation of our freedom. We must refuse to allow the magnified voices of the left-leaning media to chart the course of our nation. We must renew ourselves to the task of restoring and preserving our freedoms. Even if we were small in number — which I believe the last election revealed once again we were not — as Samuel Adams said, it doesn’t take a lot to get a lot done. “It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”
Yesterday, I had the privilege of joining Pastor John Fream at Cyprus Baptist Church in Benton, Louisiana for their Freedom Celebration. The message was about how we keep the flame of freedom burning bright. In short, we must reject fear and embrace faith. We must refuse to be silenced by the ridicule and rejection of those who have set themselves against the truth of God. We must have a greater reverence for God and His word, than a concern and care for what the world may say about us.
As Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams, said “A patriot without religion in my estimation is as great a paradox as an honest man without the fear of God. Is it possible that he whom no moral obligations bind, can have any real Good Will towards Men? Can he be a patriot who, by an openly vicious conduct, is undermining the very bonds of Society? …The Scriptures tell us righteousness exalteth a Nation.”
In short — we preserve freedom when we serve God.
From all of us at the Family Research Council — Happy Fourth of July!
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