238 years old, showing signs of illness
On July 2, 1776, as yearlong battles with the British army lingered, the Continental Congress secretly voted for independence from Great Britain. The Declaration of Independence was first published two days later on July 4, 1776. The first public reading of the document was on July 8, 1776. Delegates of the colonies began to sign (ratify) the Declaration of Independence on August 2, 1776. In 1791, July 4th was dubbed “Independence Day” and was the beginning of daylong celebrations with parades and shows, picnics and games, ending the day with bonfires and illuminations. In 1870, Independence Day became a national holiday. The “Fourth of July” ought to rank right up there with birthdays and anniversaries. The men who had the fortitude to forge this document knew they were placing their lives on the line for the sake of freedom from tyranny. If King George could have gotten his hands on some of these men he would not have hesitated to do away with them.
Today we face the same threat with people wanting to dispose of the freedoms those men fought for. Slowly but surely, the hands of our Founding Fathers are being tied behind their backs in ready for execution. The American public had better wake up and get to the polls if they expect to retain their freedoms and pass them on to their grandchildren. This country is in a sad state of affairs with less than 20 percent of its citizens voicing their freedom of speech. At 238 years old, our government is beginning to show signs of serious illness.
George Washington, first president of the United States, had this to say in his farewell speech September 19, 1796: “It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible. Of all the dispositions and habits that lead to political prosperity, our religion and morality are the indispensable supporters. Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that our national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
Some claim Washington wasn’t a Christian. Consider these words from his personal prayer book: “Oh, eternal and everlasting God, direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the Lamb and purge my heart by the Holy Spirit. Daily, frame me more and more in the likeness of thy son, Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor, I may in thy appointed time obtain the resurrection of the justified unto eternal life. Bless, oh Lord, the whole race of mankind and let the world be filled with the knowledge of thy son, Jesus Christ.” When was the last time you prayed for your success by the strength of Jesus? It’s our only hope now.
[Ephesians 1:7-8] “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” When we live in, and for, Christ, we become more and more like him. Our ethics and moral standards grow strong, into a love for one another that cannot be broken. In this process, God’s grace abounds and we experience peace.
Max Lucado wrote: “God wants to emancipate his people; he wants to set them free. He wants his people to be not slaves but sons. He wants them governed not by law but by love. We have been liberated from our own guilt and our own legalism. We have the freedom to pray and the freedom to love the God of our heart. And we have been forgiven by the only one who could condemn us. We are truly free.” Hold on to God.
Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. Email him at email@example.com. Find his column on his blog at http://wilsoncountynews.com.
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