Christians, of all people, should be able to clearly and accurately define freedom. Better yet, we must be able to show what freedom is. Our brothers and sisters in China are not free to worship together on Sundays without fear or oversight. American Christians who don’t live Monday to Saturday as if Jesus is Lord aren’t free, either, if freedom ends up being nothing more than enslavement to every passing fad. True freedom is only in Christ, in seeing and living all of life as if it belongs to Him.
I am hopeful that our commitment to the fact that “all men are created equal” will empower us to face our challenges together while embracing the value and beliefs of every American. But it is this very commitment to the equality of all people that could be our greatest spiritual peril today.
“God don’t mean people to own people.”
That simple statement, uttered by Cynthia Erivo in the title role of “Harriet,” a new movie about Harriet Tubman, reveals a truth long known by scholars of the woman dubbed “Moses.”
Tubman’s lived religion has been well recorded and used to explain how in 1849 a Maryland 20-something slave (her exact birthdate is not known) set out for the North to freedom, then over the next 10 years helped dozens of others gain liberty from enslavement. She embraced faith instead of fear, said Kate Clifford Larson, a historical consultant for the movie.
The Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, and announced the separation of the thirteen American colonies from Great Britain. With this, a new nation was formed—the United States of America. History verifies Thomas Jefferson as the composer of the original draft. Once completed, Jefferson submitted his draft to Benjamin Franklin and John Adams for their changes. Eventually, it made its final destination to Congress where it was amended for the last time. Today, we see in its detailed wording why Congress was declaring independence from Great Britain.
The most quoted line from the Declaration is "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.” Our forefathers were declaring they not only deserved freedom, but were willing to continue fighting for it.
Freedom is a great definition of independence, as it is the result of the choices we make in our life. The power of choice is one of the greatest freedoms we have in our country, and knowing where to find it is important, as we see in Proverbs 2:6: “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.” Let's review eight freedoms we should all celebrate this July 4th.