By Doug Harrell
When we think of freedom we think of many different things. As we approach July 4th we think of Independence Day, fireworks, parades, picnics and family fun. We think about being Americans, being able to be “One Nation Under God, Indivisible, With Freedom for All”. Have you ever really stopped and thought about what really brings us freedom? What kind of freedom do you value most?
As a child, how much freedom were you allowed and how much should you be allowed. Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom; but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. It is important that we be guided and trained as a child, and not be allowed complete freedom, yet there needs to be freedom for the child to grow and mature as well. Finding that line, and admonishing with love and guidance is the most important thing a parent can do to let that child have freedom as an adult.
As Americans, we should understand that this country was founded because of people searching for religious freedom. Many of our modern denominations came out of the fact that in many places there was a state religion that was mandated and all were expected to belong to that and worship as the state required. Here in America, we have had the freedom to belong to whatever religion we chose, but the nation was vastly Christian, with many different denominations. Today, the most eroded freedoms in our nation are those of a Christian nature. It is unacceptable or not allowed to even carry a Bible into many school rooms for your personal use. Clothing that has a Christian message cannot be worn for fear of offending someone else. Many schools are not allowing a student that is speaking in a school graduation event or others to mention the name of Jesus, or to give God the glory, because it might offend someone. We are losing our rights to be a Christian openly, we must hide that from society or we will be shamed and shunned. If we own a business that serves the public, we must do things that go against our Christian beliefs, or we stand the risk of being sued. Just today, as I write this, the Supreme Court has decided to hear a case of a lawsuit by a gay couple against a baker because he would not create a special wedding cake for them. Freedom of speech and expression as guaranteed by our 1st Amendment is routinely denied in situations involving Christian thought and practices.
If our country is going to continue to offer the freedoms we have grown up with, we need to continually pray for our leaders, that they may seek God’s will and direction as they make decisions that will affect our country for years to come. We have been blessed because we were not afraid to be “One Nation, Under God”. Our country is struggling today in so many ways that were not even thought of years ago. The drug addiction situation is unbelievable today with of 59,000 deaths this past year as a result of overdoses. The number of children born to unwed mothers and the number of abortions is unbelievable. We are sowing what we reap, there is always a price to be paid when we depart from the teachings of Christ.
The only freedom we really have comes from the Blood of Christ, shed on the cross for each of us. As we go into this July 4th we need to be in constant prayer for our country, ourselves, our public servants, our pastors, our families and all our leaders. 2 Chronicles 7:14 If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. WILL YOU PRAY?