Faith Column: Independence Day
Tomorrow most Americans will celebrate in various fashions the Fourth of July also known as Independence Day. So as I set out to write the Faith Article this week I thought about just what did that historic date really mean? Certainly we know that the date is celebrated for the adoption of the Declaration of Independence; it was adopted by nine of the thirteen colonies with two voting no, one undecided and one abstaining.
As great as that document is we need to realize it stands on all of the previous document and declarations that mankind has issued in regards to rights and most importantly Freedom.
If we look back we see Hammurabi’s Code as an early attempt to assure freedoms and the apply penalties for the law breaker; in like manner the Magna Carta (1215) was written to ensure the rights and freedoms of the Barons in relation to King John of England (neither side lived up to their part), and then the famous Declaration of Arbroath (1320), where Scotland defended it right to be free from English domination.
It is interesting that April 6, 2020 was 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath, and the authorities were planning on a big exhibition of this document; however, the COVID 19 situation has postponed the event. Which brings us full circle. As we watch the news around us we see the world in chaos and people still struggling for freedom.
It makes little difference whether it is freedom from government imposed restrictions about health issues or the attempt to redress previous wrongs. People want freedom; it has ever been so, but declarations and wars fall short of man’s attempts to really be free. In the Gospel of John, chapter 8, Jesus has this discussion with the Jews.
When He says that, “you will know the truth and the truth, and the truth shall make you free” they say they are children of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. While they may be speaking of their heart, as opposed to political enslavement, for they had been in bondage to most of the major world powers at some time, including the Roman authorities at the time they said this to Jesus. Jesus is too speaking of the heart, indeed He is talking about freedom from sin and its ability to enslave: Jn 8:34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin . . . 36“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
Our nation and the world will continue debating and posturing about rights and freedoms and hopefully we will reach peaceful and just conclusion, but it will only be for a short time since it is sin and its effects that cause the other ills. Peter says it this way in reference to false prophets, 19 promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved (2Peter 2).
I encourage you to seek to know Jesus and His justice and His peace and His freedom and then we might attempt to shed light on these other issues.
 All scripture is taken from the NASB unless otherwise noted.
Dr. L.S. Middleton is the Senior Minister at Craig Christian Church.
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