Faith on the Fourth

US American Christians claim the dual heritage of their founding fathers and their heavenly Father. Discerning how to honor both simultaneously has demonstrated itself to be a challenge of epic proportions.

One thought: we should likely do a little more, and we should likely do a little less.

For many people, the Fourth of July means nothing more than hotdogs and fireworks, beer and a day off. While this can admittedly fall within the scope of the pursuit of happiness, the sacrifice of our founding fathers calls us to do more. The sacrifice of the countless men, women, and families over the past 200+ years calls us to do more. Christians should understand the high cost and ultimate consequences of personal sacrifice. As such, we should do a little more than grill out and go for a swim on the Fourth. We should do more than waste a day off work; we should live better lives.  We should take the time to remember those who’ve purchased our freedoms with their lives, we should pray for those who are sacrificing at the present. Our lives today should merit the cost of those who’ve gone before; to whom much is given, much is required.

For many people, the Fourth of July is the high point of their fusion of religious and national fervor. A people chosen by God meets national exceptionalism; waving tiny flags and earnestly debating politics become our priestly responsibilities. Many people have mistaken a country founded on the Judeo-Christian ethic for an inherently Christian nation, as if somehow printing “In God We Trust” on our money makes us more ‘Christian’ than Iran. It does not. Christians should do a little less placing their hope on whomever wins this November, should do a little less presuming their version of faith is superior to the Christianity that is practiced in other nations. Christians should do a little less assuming that God somehow favors the United States over any other nation, a little less ignoring the plight of our brothers and sisters in nations far less free than our own. To whom much is given, much is required.

Obviously, this is a only a tiny drop in an ocean of controversy. But, as a start, maybe we could all do a little more, and do a little less.

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About Tim Owens

I'm a husband, father, and Christ follower. I also live in Albany, NY, where I work as a pastor.
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