On Independence Day, I don’t celebrate what’s wrong. I celebrate that I have the freedom to right wrongs.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” – Galatians 5:1

There’s an inherent disconnect when we discuss Independence Day. We usually begin with the theme of the American colonists breaking away from the British. We show honor to the Founding Fathers as examples of courage and principle in the face of imperial tyranny.

On the other hand, there are those that point out the lack of freedoms offered to other groups at the time of the Declaration of Independence, including African-Americans, women, and Native Americans.

Thus, we end up in a cultural battle over the significance of this holiday.

Here’s my view.

There is a difference between the commendation of a person’s actions and the celebration of a person’s principles. In fact, every single one of us has had to make this distinction in everyday life. Take for example, my parents. I honor and celebrate them as I should.

However, if I was to look into their past and find some moments they were not proud of, I would then have a choice – to divorce myself from the celebration, or to acknowledge the flaws while holding to the principle that my parents are worthy of honor.

You might suggest that a person’s actions always reveals their principles. You’d be right, to a point. It is true that at times, our nation has acted in a manner that did not reflect true freedom.

But we can’t focus on the bad without noticing the good. A parent that punishes a child for wrongdoing but never commends him when he has done well is not a good parent.

When our nation has lost sight of its principles, it has always had a self-correcting instinct. Whether through bloody conflict, political turmoil, or social upheaval, those that felt this country could be better have usually broken through the walls and made their mark on our society.

Why was that possible?

Because the principles of equality and justice were strong enough to bear the reality when our actions did not match our national character.

On Independence Day, I don’t celebrate what’s wrong. I celebrate that I have the freedom to right wrongs.

Billions of people around the world would love to have that freedom, and for me to take it for granted is a disservice to every person who is unable to speak his or her mind.

Do I agree with every social movement that seeks to change our country?

No. That would be impossible. However, I cherish that our principles have always stood the test of time, to give voice to those that had none, and to give each of us a chance to stand for what we believe.

Is freedom still a real ideal?

Freedom only reaches its full potential when we reach beyond our own desires and seek freedom for others. Those that use freedom to serve their own purposes will always lose what they sought to gain.

Is America great?

Dr. King taught us that anyone can be great, because anyone can serve.

Therefore, as long as America is a place where we are free to serve others, America will remain great.

And so, I will celebrate.

Because in my heart of hearts, I must offer the same grace to my country that my God has offered me.

I don’t deserve the freedom I enjoy. But my Father granted it to me. It’s a form of honor that I can’t repay. I can only respond in service and with gratefulness.

The same is true in this case. I cannot repay the millions of men and women who died to give me the freedoms I enjoy.

I can only respond in service and with gratefulness.

And that is what I will do on July 4th.

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Why I celebrate Independence Day
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2 thoughts on “Why I celebrate Independence Day

  • July 5, 2017 at 12:49 am
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    God is to be worshipped and served alone. Adoration, reverence and homage to him does not need any freedom day background. The Bible is our rule of faith and Christ alone is Lord. This is the day the Lord hath made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Everyday is his day. I will bless the Lord and his praise shall continually be in my mouth. That has nothing to with honoring my parents and whether or not they have always been good parents or not.God wants our eyes and heart to be single unto him.

    Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.(I John 2:15-17 KJV)

    Reply
    • July 5, 2017 at 10:41 pm
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      Thanks for reading Norman, but I must disagree. The idea that honoring one’s country is anti-God isn’t biblical at all. In fact, Paul tells us in Romans 13:1 to show honor and to pray for all governing authorities and explains that they are appointed by God. You seem to be very interested in scripture, so I’d invite you to check out those passages as well. In any case, I’ll thank God for living in a place where we are free to disagree. God bless!

      Reply

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