How long has it been?
Here we are again celebrating another national holiday, the birth of one of the greatest nations in the entire world, if not the greatest nation in the entire world. Yes, I know that is just my opinion. I am very thankful that I was born in a country where we can (or could) express our own personal opinion without being marked as a narrow-minded bigot! Well, I was reminded this past week by a very close friend of the importance of our individual freedom in this nation. I believe that, unfortunately, it is one of those things that we (I) have maybe taken for granted?
In 1776 on July 2, some very brave and dedicated individuals put together one of the most important documents ever written, the Declaration of Independence. Congress voted to approve a complete separation from Great Britain. Two days later — July 4th — the early draft was signed by two individuals, John Hancock, president of Congress, and Charles Thompson, secretary of Congress. Four days later on July 8, members of Congress took that document and read it aloud from the steps of Independence Hall, proclaiming it to the city of Philadelphia, after which the Liberty Bell was rung. The inscription around the top of that bell, Leviticus 25:10, was most appropriate for the occasion: “Proclaim liberty throughout the land to all the inhabitants thereof.”
What was the basis of American Independence?
John Adams said, “The general principles on which the Fathers achieved were the general principles of Christianity.” It is amazing that on the very day they approved the declaration, Adams was already foreseeing that their actions would be celebrated by future generations. Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, "It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”
John Adams believed that the Fourth of July should become a religious holiday — a day when we remembered God’s hand in deliverance and a day of religious activities when we committed ourselves to Him in “solemn acts of devotion to Almighty God.” Such was the spirit of the American Revolution as seen through the eyes of those who led it.
Have you ever considered what it meant for those 56 men — an eclectic group of ministers, businessmen, teachers, university professors, sailors, captains, farmers — to sign the Declaration of Independence?
The spiritual emphasis manifested so often by the Americans during the Revolution caused one Crown-appointed British governor to write to Great Britain complaining that, “If you ask an American who is his master, he’ll tell you he has none. And he has no governor but Jesus Christ.” This was boldly declared with not one but 16 Congressional proclamations for national days of prayer and fasting throughout the Revolution.