Happy Independence Day!
I am taking the opportunity to share this message I received today from the Salt and Light organization.
We hope that your celebrations today are filled with cookouts, fireworks, and family—but we also hope that you will take a moment to reflect on the foundation of our freedom.
The understanding that our most basic rights and liberties are the gift of God to all humankind lies at the heart of the Declaration of Independence. This truth is coupled with a recognition that our enjoyment of those liberties is fundamentally rooted in our dependence on our Creator and our sacrificial stewardship of His just laws.
“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
246 years ago, with these concluding words, our forefathers declared our independent self-government. Our nation was born and the world was forever changed.
This nation was founded on godly precepts with the understanding that Yahweh is the Supreme Law-Giver, Creator, and Sustainer of all. Our liberty begins and ends with Him, and He calls us to steward that liberty in accordance with His Word. This relationship is where the notion of self-government begins—it forms the very bedrock of our national identity.
A Puritan preacher by the name of John Winthrop understood this relationship well and explained how America was uniquely poised to be a light to the world:
“Thus stands the cause between God and us. We are entered into covenant with Him for this work…We must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world…Now the only way to avoid this shipwreck, and to provide for our posterity, is to follow the counsel of Micah, to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God…So shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. The Lord will be our God, and delight to dwell among us, as His own people, and will command a blessing upon us in all our ways.”
Fellow brothers, sisters, and patriots, we are still called to be that “city on a hill.” We are still called to be a beacon of light and hope to the nations. We are still called to be good stewards of the liberty God entrusted to us. As we celebrate our independence, let us, like the Signers of the Declaration, resolve to rely firmly on Divine Providence. True liberty is only found when we humbly depend on the Lord and the truth of His Word. Pastor McCarty