Mid-way through the summer, America pauses to celebrate Independence Day. On July 4, 1776, 56 delegates to the second Continental Congress represented the 13 colonies, 12 of which voted to approve the Declaration of Independence. Freedom was their goal.
246 years later, citizens gather around barbecue grills and baseball fields to enjoy the freedoms those patriots won for us with their blood. God has blessed America. Because our forefathers sought the help of God, He provided freedom to worship without the hindrance of the government.
The American church was deeply involved in the Revolution of 1776. Christian ministers stood in their pulpits and effectively recruited soldiers for our continental army. One of those preachers was John Witherspoon, who was the only minister to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Though the colonies were upset with the taxes and policies of King George lll, freedom of religion was at the heart of the Revolution. With freedom in mind, colonists were seeking a fresh move of God, and opposed a government church that forced homage to the British king.
Evangelists like Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield traveled from town to town, stirring souls to make a new commitment to God. Revival broke out, souls were saved, and many people experienced a spiritual freedom they never had before. It could be said that the spirit of God, that was moving in the Great Awakening, was the Divine catalyst to encourage the people to revolt against the heavy hand of the British government.
Freedom is a major theme of the Bible. Man is free to obey or disobey God. We are free to be responsible citizens, or irresponsible dolts. The choice to sin brings bondage that leads to death (Romans 6:23). Galatians 5:1 (ESV) states, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
When a government legislates that right is wrong, and wrong is right, that nation is doomed to the bondage of violence, fear, and hopelessness. Proverbs 14:34 (ESV) states, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”
And this is where America is in 2022. Freedom of religion is again under attack. The only way to regain true freedom is a spiritual revival of righteousness, prayer, and fasting (1 Chronicles 7:14). God is the great Liberator. As it says in 2 Corinthians 3:17 (KJV), “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” Together, let’s pray for revival!
Freedom’s song is in my heart, I cannot help but sing.
Each verse has soothed my troubled soul, to Christ my praise I bring.
The song of Freedom, born of love, with Christ I now am one.
Sweet liberty has opened doors, as freedom’s song is sung.*
* ©DGR 2006
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