‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.” Thomas Paine, The American Crisis.
Freedom is a word we throw around a lot in our country. Here we are free to live out our lives in any way we see fit within the allowances of our legal code and legislature. We are free to think, speak, and act on our convictions within those parameters.
We are free to worship God in our own way or to not worship at all. None of us fought to secure this freedom. Some of us have fought or are fighting to preserve it. For many of us, it’s easy to take for granted.
Faith and Freedom
As Americans, we believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We believe God created all men equal and everyone, every man, woman, and child, has the inherent right to make whatever they will of their lives.
Everyone should have the opportunity to fail or succeed, or most likely some mixture of both. We believe in freedom of speech, freedom of press, and freedom of religion. And we believe in the rights of every citizen of our great nation. As Americans.
As Christians, we hold another set of beliefs even closer to our hearts. We believe in the Triune God- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We believe in the uncreated Creator, the One True Living God, the Author and Finisher of our faith.
That His Son, Jesus who is the Christ, was born of the virgin Mary, lived a perfect life, was crucified in our place- dead and buried- and rose again on the third day. He is fully God and fully Man.
We believe He turned history on its head. He defeated death itself. He solved the problem of man’s separation from our loving God and Father. We believe He will return one day and set everything right. Until then, we believe we are to live our lives following Him, becoming more like Him, and letting Him live His life in us.
We believe in worshiping the Lord together and supporting missions. And we are free to do it, both by the sacrifices of all the valiant men and women who have died for our country and by the ultimate sacrifice- His death on the cross. Oh, how easy it is to take it all for granted!
The men and women who fought to establish our nation saw a vision of a society where the people were free and the government protected and preserved their freedom. Many laid down their lives in pursuit of this noble vision.
Nearly two centuries before, another group of men and women followed the vision of an unknown carpenter’s son. They saw Him live, teach, love, perform miracles, and die. Then they saw Him alive again. And they fought to follow Him, know Him, and make Him known. Many died then and many more have died in the centuries since because they refused to stop following Him. What will our answer be?
The Price of Our Freedom
As Americans, we believe in freedom, and as Christians, we understand true freedom. When the moment of our testing comes, the light of the gospel will reveal if our hearts are firm. We will see if our conscience approves our conduct. And we will discover what principles we’re willing to pursue unto death. What are we passionate enough about that will compel us to take the ultimate stand? Would we do it for Christ?
Dear Christians, for this there are no easy answers. Only this: to pause and reflect. To know Him and follow Him and let Him work out His life in us. To pray for His assistance in not taking anything for granted. Not the blood spilled for this nation for faith and freedom nor the blood of His Son spilled to free us from sin. At the end of everything, to give it all back to Him daily. This is our joy!
Happy Fourth of July! As you celebrate our national freedom, come celebrate freedom in Christ with us each Sunday. Contact Us to learn more about what His death means for you and how to get connected at ORBC.