Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day America?

Paul told his young protégé, Titus, to: “…avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.” (Titus3:9 ESV) There is certainly no doubt that this is good advice for any and all of us at all times. However, having said that, I am going to proffer a “foolish question” (KJV) this morning on our great 233 birthday. Of course, this foolish question comes on the heels of yesterday’s post. What are we really saying when we say, Happy Independence Day America? We are giving credence, congratulations, and confirmation to the end result of a war which was based on rebellion, disobedience, and the resisting of God ordained government. This leads us to several questions: 1) Did God need both the revolutionary war and its outcome in order to complete his glorious purposes?; 2) Would that then make our sovereign God dependent upon the fledgling colonies and their grit and determination to win the war for Independence?; 3) Did God truly do the newly formed United States of America a favor by “ensuring” the fact that we would win the war? These questions come as a result of thinking on Israel’s demand for a king in I Samuel. Israel wanted to be like the other nations and demanded that Samuel give them a king. Samuel was very displeased and tried to warn them about kings and the ways of kings. You know, as Paul Harvey would say, “the rest of the story.” God told Samuel to warn and inform them and then give them what they wanted. This is a dangerous thing, it could possibly be the most dangerous reality possible, to be given what you want. Everything that we want or think we need is not always or necessarily good for us. It seems that there are times for our correction and training God gives us what we so vociferously demand. There is no argument that God is absolutely sovereign. There is no argument that God used the apostles and disciples to turn the world upside down and to evangelize the known world under Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero not to mention the lesser governors and rulers. God will, under any conditions redeem his elect! There is no argument had we either not rebelled against Great Britain or lost the revolutionary war, God would 1) still be absolutely sovereign and 2) would have stilled called out his elect through missionary efforts. It would be foolish to say that we needed to win the war and be free in order to be a missionary nation or that God could not have as successfully called out his elect among the heathens. Did God give us at that time what we wanted, even to our own hurt? Freedom is a precious commodity. Not many have known freedom. Freedom needs to be carefully guarded and monitored so that it does not become a “prison.” The amount of freedom and independence we have known hasn’t seemed to be much good for us. We are free to kill millions of unborn babies, advocate homosexual lifestyles and marriages, free to expel God from almost any organization in the country. We could certainly go on and on ad nausea. Honestly though, the revolutionary war and the desire for Independence was really over the issue of taxation without representation. The war was the culmination of the political American Revolution, whereby the colonists rejected the right of the Parliament of Great Britain to govern them without representation. In 1775, revolutionaries gained control of each of the thirteen colonial governments, set up the Second Continental Congress, and formed a Continental Army. Petitions to the king to intervene with the parliament on their behalf resulted in Congress being declared traitors and the states in rebellion the following year. The Americans responded by formally declaring their independence as a new nation, the United States of America, claiming sovereignty and rejecting any allegiance to the British monarchy. The war was on! How is today any different? Are we not being taxed beyond in reasonable rate? What? Is it different because we are now being taxed with representation? Even as I write this there are T. E. A. (taxed enough already) parties going on around our country protesting unfair, exorbitant, and out of control taxes. We have a government that is out of control and beyond fixing as it increases spending and taxes. Do we have another revolutionary war? Who do we declare independence from? Don’t get me wrong, I was born in the USA, raised here, served in the USMC during the Viet Nam conflict, and I have traveled to and lived in several other countries. I love our country. I love God more, I love his word more, and I love that he is a sovereign God who is able to accomplish his will and purpose irregardless of the powers that be. As a matter of fact it is he who establishes those powers that be and ordains there very existence. I just felt like asking a few questions on this our 233 Independence Day. Was it truly necessary? Was it in line with biblical principles? Did God really do us a favor by ordaining or permitting us to win our independence.
What do you think?

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