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Independence Day

IMG_0534July 4th.  A day for family, picnics, and fireworks.  A day of rest, celebration, and joy.  A day of remembrance?

We celebrated July 4th on a large field hosted by a local church.  A baseball field was surrounded by pristine hardwoods, with a small hill overlooking first base.  The small hill provided a superb view of fireworks set up in the middle of the baseball field.  The temperature was perfect; the swelling crowd waited eagerly for the sun to set and the fireworks show to begin.

The church had invested a great deal of time and money preparing for this celebration:

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  • There were children’s activities such as bungee jumping, face painting, a large playground, and other activities to keep the young ones occupied before sunset.
  • Smiling church members provided free food and refreshments for all:  Hot dogs, watermelon, popcorn, and water.
  • Sounds of praise to the LORD filled the air:  Worship songs played by a local Christian band mingled with the playful shouts of the children and parents.
  • Children were running to and fro everywhere; their mothers and fathers carefully monitored their activities.
  • The names of winners rang through the air for draw prizes donated by local businesses.

All appeared as it should be in America on July 4th; good, clean, orderly family fun on a day of national celebration.

IMG_0539The band led the crowd in the traditional hymn of praise “How Great Thou Art”, Chris Tomlin’s rousing anthem “How Great is Our God”, and “God Bless America.”  Some stood up and joined in the songs to worship the LORD; most simply went about their activities.

Slowly dusk engulfed the field as the sun sank into the treetops.  Finally a local Army detachment presented the flag and everyone joined in for the national anthem, facing the flag respectfully with hands on their hearts.  Rockets soared into the sky at the words, “the rockets’ red glare” and booming fireworks punctuated the words, “bombs in the air.”  The crowd waited with eager expectation for the show to begin, as the fireworks crew busied itself with preparations.

Suddenly a wall of bright white fire shot up from the ground, obscuring everything else in sight, and the show was on.  Starbursts exploded overhead, appearing to be almost within reaching distance.  Rockets twirled and swooshed skyward, to expire in massive explosions of color.  Patriotic music played over the loudspeakers, sometimes drowned out by the fireworks.  The thuds created by the big boys could be felt on our chests a few moments after the flash.  And it was all timed to the music!  What a spectacular display of light, color, and sound…

IMG_0553While observing this spectacle, my mind’s eye saw the children of the future – today’s young ones – watching awestruck.  But my joy quickly evaporated; it was replaced by a bittersweet sadness.

I saw them all viewing an empty politically-correct spectacle, watching but not comprehending, captivated by the bauble of the moment.  I also saw today’s leaders throughout the land hypocritically standing to claim allegiance to a flag and to a nation they had long-ago abandoned for the sake of the next poll, leading a glorious people to sacrificial ruin.  I wept bitter tears.

I wept as I remembered wading through my emails and sordid news stories for the past month alone, documenting America’s headlong descent into tyranny.  Many people may still proudly proclaim “American freedom,” but it’s a mirage already quickly fading.

  • IMG_0546Our government ignores the laws; spies on and persecutes its citizens; willfully aids and abets our enemies; and dictates what we can and cannot buy, do, or say.  (Note that only tyrannical dictators dictate.)
  • Our judges judge not according to law, but their whims.
  • Our media report not truth, but the government’s propaganda.
  • Our schools don’t educate but indoctrinate our children in the latest political craze du jour.
  • Our financiers drain the national Treasury for their own benefit and spend the nation into bankruptcy.

Are not these behaviors the hallmarks of tyranny?  The Tea Tax of King George III was a pittance compared to the fines and taxes levied on us by today’s faceless, unaccountable bureaucrats and unresponsive politicians.

I mourned at the vision of how our children will celebrate Independence Day without having experienced true freedom and without comprehending the true essence of July 4th.  Yes, our children, too, will marvel at the physical beauty of the fireworks shows on July 4th.  They, too, will picnic, just like we do.    But having lived lives under the oppressive thumb of government, they will accept and take for granted all the fetters and shackles that we – you and I – are placing on them today.

I cried to my God in great anguish, “LORD have mercy on this great nation, this jewel!  Bring us revival, LORD, help turn our hearts back to You, for without You we are lost, we are without hope.  I pray LORD, bring us sanity and hope of freedom once again.”

IMG_0569No, America will not succumb to military conquest.  Rather America will fall because of its citizens’ spiritual and political apathy and ignorance, or because of its social insanity.  And such a thing occurs quickly; by the time the citizens realize what’s happening, it’s too late.  Examples abound in history, but we no longer teach…

May the LORD have mercy on the generation of fools that trades freedom for a bread crumb.
May the LORD have mercy on the generation of fools that trades truth for a lie.
May the LORD have mercy on the generation of fools that trades the joys of lasting marriage for the momentary pleasure of fornication.
May the LORD have mercy on this generation.

Let this be the time for us all to reaffirm Abraham Lincoln’s famous quote from the Gettysburg address:

“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.”

Government of the people, by the people, for the people.  That’s the essence and miracle we celebrate this July 4th.  America’s freedom is unique among nations because it alone is rooted in personal self-governance based on Judeo-Christian values and principles.  However, as individual citizens abandon those values of personal self-governance, ever more external controls are required to maintain a semblance of social order.  Each of these external controls inevitably fetters personal freedom.

Contrary to modern propaganda otherwise, this nation prospered because its values were rooted in Jesus.  Therefore let this also be the moment for us all to heed the words of Jesus,

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (Joh 15:5)

Cut our roots and abandon Jesus, and the branch will wither – be it an individual person or America. Therefore

Let us once more draw near to Him for nourishment and protection;
Let us repent of our evil ways;
Let us turn from our spiritual, physical, and political fornication.

IMG_0571For without Him we are all dead; without Him America is dead.  Let God not judge this generation, “They did evil in the eyes of the LORD.”

He has warned us.  We ignore Him at our children’s and our own peril.  Remember your roots on this day of remembrance, for

All is not as it looks!

(1017)

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