Celebrating our Independance

Detached

The July 4th holiday, aka Independence Day is celebrated with reunions, barbecues, parades, festivals, bonfires and fireworks. Adults and children alike enjoy wearing and waving red, white and blue. Flags go up on houses and poles, and the Star Spangled Banner is sung. This special day provides a needed mid-summer break for hard working Americans to relax and spend time with those they love. All these things and more is what Americans love about July 4th.

DETACHED:

 As I participate in public Independence Day activities, I am often reminded just how detached we, as Americans, have become from it’s significance. Because we have been an independent nation for two hundred and forty-one years, it is easy to forget that there was a time we were not independent.

There was a time that we were required to pay taxes to a nation which gave us no representation. July 4, 1776 marks the day that the final version of the Declaration of Independence was approved. Though it was not signed until August, this is the date that is included in the Declaration as the day we, as a nation, declared our independence from the tyranny of England. 

 MEMORIALS ARE IMPORTANT:

We become detached when we fail to remember the significance of past events. This was the sentiment of John Adams when, in 1817, he wrote in a letter that America seemed uninterested in its past. Fortunately this would soon change. When the Federalist party fell apart following the War of 1812, the Declaration of Independence began to be circulated again.

The deaths of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson on July 4, 1826, also helped to serve as an important reminder of the day. By 1870, Congress declared July 4th to be a national holiday in a bill that also included the observation of Christmas as a holiday. 

If we are to remember, establishing memorials is essential.  We see this demonstrated for us in Scripture. God often called His people to establish memorials. He wanted them to remember significant, life-changing events like crossing the Jordan on dry ground. He wanted them to remember Lot’s wife. He wants believers to be reminded often of the sacrifice of Christ by observing the Lord’s Supper. Memorials are important. 

As we celebrate Independence Day, we are pausing to remember the day that our nation was born as an independent nation. The day we became a free nation. As such, our nation became something truly exceptional because our nation and its founders valued independence and freedom. 

FREEDOM IS FROM GOD:

“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.” The well known opening lines of the declaration reveal that the writers understood that freedom is a gift from God.

This understanding directly stemmed from their respect of the Word of God. While many today question our beginnings and seek to turn from the God of the Bible, it is extremely important that we remember that the freedom we celebrate is from God. It was made possible by men who believed this and pledge their lives and sacred honor to procure it for our nation.

As we celebrate, may we remember again that the freedom we enjoy today is a product of our nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage.

Take the time to remember the significance of Independence Day. Share it with your family and friends. Take a moment to publicly thank God for the freedom that we are privileged to enjoy. Also, don’t forget your personal independence day. It is the day you were set free from power and penalty of sin. The day you believed on Jesus to save your soul. John 8:36 says, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”

(This article was originally posted on Theology without Apology)

So…What about Disney?

Disney.jpg

Disney and the Gay Agenda

Disney has been in the center of some controversy over its decision to include a gay scene featuring Josh Gad as LeFou in the newly released Beauty and the Beast (released March 17th). The opposition was voiced especially via social media and petitions. One of the petitions created by Life Site News gave the message to Disney, “Children’s movies are no place for promoting a harmful sexual political agenda, one that offends the deeply-held beliefs of countless parents and families.” The New York Times responded to this opposition with the article, “‘Beauty and the Beast’: Disney’s $300 Million Gamble.” Even the New York Times saw such a move as a dangerous one for a company that claims to be family oriented.

If any people wonder if this is a casual move on Disney’s part, it is not.  Bill Condon, Beauty and the Beast’s director, is quoted as saying the movie includes “A nice exclusively gay moment.” He goes on to share that Disney deals with the opposition by ignoring it. The point is, Disney has no intention of changing. In an interview, Condon was asked about his feelings toward the Bible and what he would do when he finds one in a hotel, “I wish I could say I’m like Ian McKellen and immediately go rip pages out of the Bible, but there don’t seem to be Bibles in the hotel rooms I stay in these days.” The obvious fact is, Condon has no respect for God’s Word and defiantly chooses to promote agendas contrary to it. Furthermore, it is evident that Disney will continue to promote whatever agenda is in vogue even if it causes them to lose supporters for a time. 

Nothing New

We must realize that this is not new for Disney. Disney has been a kind of Trojan horse, seeming to uphold traditional, moral, family values, when in reality, they have been doing just the opposite. During 1994, Disney opted to begin granting health insurance benefits to homosexuals. This move was a declaration of approval for the gay lifestyle. Their annually hosted “gay days” at their theme parks further confirms this. Disney has well earned the public reputation as a promoter of the homosexual lifestyle. 

What Does the Bible Say?

God designed marriage to be between one woman and one man, and it is honorable. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” Nature itself reveals that this is God’s design for companionship and procreation.  Man will give account for every distortion of this sacred institution. (Romans 1:26-27, 32)

Shock of Bible Believers

However, even with Disney’s blatant defiance of Biblical principles, I am often more amazed at the shock expressed by born-again believers concerning the decisions of this and other secular organizations to promote anti-biblical agendas. There is shock over Starbucks not promoting Christmas on their cups. There is shock that Target would want to publicly jump on the transgender bathroom bandwagon. Currently, there is shock that Disney would take an old story, reshape it, and use it to promote a sexual political agenda. The list could go on, but I think you get the idea. We sometimes are stunned at the fact that the lost act like the lost.

A Secular Company and Biblical Values

This is what is most astonishing about this issue–not that Disney is failing to uphold moral values, but that believers are surprised at it. You see, the Bible gives us several truths about the lost that show us that they simply do not have the ability to understand or uphold Biblical values. 

I Corinthians 2:14 says, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 

Those without Christ do not understand Biblical truth and do not make their decisions according to it. We are reminded in Ephesians 2:1 that before salvation, we “…were dead in tresspasses and sins.” 

We were spiritually separated from God in active lawlessness and defiance against God. Every lost person is in that exact position of defiance against God’s laws. I John 3:8 shows us that they continuously sin and side with the god of this world—Satan.

“He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning.” While we all mourn the declining morality of so many in our society, we must remember that they do not have the ability to uphold Biblical values—they are lost. That is the job of Bible believers. 

Christians point their fingers at the lost and expect them to act like believers and follow God’s Word. They won’t. That’s why we have been left here. God has told us to be salt and light. He has commanded us to go and preach the Gospel to every creature. They will not stop acting against God until they personally know God through a relationship with His Son Jesus. That’s where we come in.  

May we as Bible believers be ever ready to share Jesus Christ everywhere we go.