Summary: This sermon deals with the limk between our democracy and freedom, and our dependence on God and the principles of the bible.
Freedom and Responsibility
1 Cor 8:9 Mat 28:19-20
I. This week we celebrated the anniversary of our nation’s independence, and I wonder how many in government today really understand what Independence meant to those people who fought for it and established the guidelines for our democracy.
A. If we look at the history of Europe, which is where most of the people that settled in America came from, and we see what many of them were trying to get a way from, there can be no doubt that the freedom and democracy that we celebrated Friday was based on Christian principles.
B. In His book "Shalako" Louis Lamour writes about a German Prince that had come to America in the late 1800’s. In his depiction of the prince Lamour outlined how the prince couldn’t understand why the men of America wouldn’t take orders from him just because he had a title.
C. He had grown up in a place and time where you were born to authority and respect or you had no way of gaining it.
D. Every one born in the European nations of that day had their fate decided by what family they were born into. They were either born to nobility or a common existence, and there were few options available to change it.
E. The people that settled in America and pioneered the wilderness were people who wanted opportunity to be whatever their hard work made them.
F. They didn’t want to bow to someone who was given the authority to rule as a condition of their birth.
G. They didn’t want to live in an unjust society where those who were not born to privilege, were treated unfairly and forced to feed the greed of those who were born to power.
H. They wanted the chance to make something for themselves, and they believed in fairness. They believed that you shouldn’t decide someone’s value based on who their family was, but on who the person was, and how they conducted themselves.
I. They believed in honesty and equality, and those beliefs were based on Christian principles.
J. United States history tells how George Washington found rest and relief in prayer during the trying times when he and his soldiers passed through Valley Forge. With all the problems he faced during that time, he found hope in prayer. One day a farmer approaching the camp heard an sincere voice. Coming closer, he saw George Washington on his knees, his cheeks wet with tears, praying to God. The farmer went home and said to his wife: George Washington will succeed! George Washington will succeed! The Americans will secure their independence! What makes you think so, Isaac? asked his wife. The farmer replied: I heard him pray, Hannah, out in the woods today, and the Lord will surely hear his prayer. He will, Hannah; thee may rest assured He will.
K. The freedom that we have and the government that was established at the time that it was won, was based on Christian principles, and leaders that depended on God.
L. The People that migrated to this country from Europe were also forced by a king or queen and the church that was accepted in that country to believe what they said they should believe about God, with little way of changing it.
M. The people who settled America didn’t see it that way, and fought to gain the right to choose the course of their life not by what family and country they were born into, but by what they chose to do with their life and what they chose to believe about God.
N. We’re blessed in our country to live in a place where we can be what ever we choose, and advance by our own efforts and diligence. We are also blessed by the fact that we are free to come to our own conclusions about God by what we learn from our own study and the leadership of the Holy Spirit, not by what someone else commands us to believe.
O. But we have to remember that our independence is only as good as our dependence.
P. The very structure that we live in that allows us freedom to choose can only be as good as our personal decision and actions.
Q. Democracy is based on right decisions being made for the common good of all that are involved.
R. That means that all are to be considered, and for democracy to work as it was intended by those who fought gain it, it has to be based on the Christian principles that it was founded on.
S. We as a people who are free to make choices have to function under the dependence on God that our country was founded on.