Independence Day

Fireworks over the Pacific Ocean. July 4, 2010.

Set Free!
Picnics, parades, and potato salad, fireworks and family. It must be the Fourth of July. Our niece, Vaite, visiting from her home in Tahiti, wrote:

 July 4th is a great celebration day, to see people’s love for America it’s amazing … 

Amazing. I never thought of it as amazing. It’s just what we do, right? We take a day to throw a big party celebrating this great nation.

We celebrate because we’re free. We’re free to worship whomever we like–or to worship no one at all. Or to worship the elliptical trainer, or cable television. Free as birds, yup.

Free to conceive of truth as some agreed-upon, negotiated statement. We’re all so terribly postmodern, these days. It’s the only hip way to be.

The guys who got in on the ground floor of this great start-up we call the United States of America had a different view of truth. 

Here’s the beginning of that press release they issued, 236 years ago today:

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

I added the italics, because I wanted to draw your attention to their insistence, right there at the beginning (of their statement and of our nation), of two  three things:

1. The assumption of Laws of Nature’s God
2. Self-evident truths
3. Endowment by our Creator

I hope, as you’re enjoying whatever festivities the day brings you, that you’ll take a moment to reflect on the truths that govern your life. Happy Independence Day, Friends.

31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “ If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “ We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 35  The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:31-36 (NASB) 

22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
James 1:22-25 (NLT)