Summary: July 4th sermon but can be used at any time. We need a rebirth of righteousness but it must begin with the church.


By Rev. James May

228 years ago, the thirteen British colonies on the continent of North America, finally won a long, hard and bitter struggle against the most powerful nation on the face of the earth at that time and a nation was born. Since that day the United States of America has been the beacon of hope for freedom, liberty and justice for the whole world. Our nation became the shining light of democracy to the billions of people around the globe who are caught in the darkness of slavery. Even today, the USA is still a beacon of hope, but I fear that the light that we offer is growing dim, not from the power of the other nations of the world to destroy our hope, but because we are extinguishing it from the inside.

Right now our soldiers are fulfilling the call to bring liberty to other nations. In Afghanistan, Iraq, South Korea and a number of other places, our men and women in uniform are standing toe-to-toe with those who are determined to destroy the ideals of democracy and liberty from the face of the earth. We are so very grateful to those who are our protectors and who stand a vigilant watch to ensure that our country remains free.

But the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard can only battle those enemies who attack us from the outside. Their battle is flesh against flesh using bombs, bullets, jets and ships, but none of the weapons of mankind can really save our country for long. We have an enemy that is far more dangerous than the militant terrorists, and the weapons of the real enemy that we battle against are far more dangerous that the nuclear missiles of North Korea.

The brutality of mankind, depicted so vividly by the beheading of those who are captured in Iraq, even as the headlines of our newspaper read this morning, is terrible enough but it pales in comparison with the brutality, pain, suffering and death that comes against mankind from our real enemy.

What we as Christians, and we as a nation, must realize is that we are not just battling against the militant Islam. Our fight isn’t just against the communism of North Korea and the Red Chinese. Our warfare isn’t just against political insurgency within our own borders. Our fight isn’t against the homosexuals and lesbians.

Yes, our freedoms are being threatened by our own Supreme Court who establish laws instead of interpreting laws, the way that our constitution declares it should be, but our fight really isn’t against the Supreme Court and its liberal judges. Our congress is mired in hopeless battles based solely on partisan politics with both sides of the aisle seeking only to further its own ideals and candidates. Whether you vote Republican, Democrat, or maybe even Independent, you will still be faced with a congress that seeks its own will, and not the will of the people. Our struggle for survival may include attempting to persuade congress to do the right thing, but that’s only the surface of our real battle. Congress needs a rebirth of righteousness.

This year, for the very first time in the history of our nation, our congress was opened on the National Day of Prayer, May 1st, 2004, by an openly gay clergyperson, Rev. Steven Torrence, with Metropolitan Community Churches, the world’s largest church group with its primary, affirming ministry to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender persons.

Let me read you his prayer that was said before congress:

Almighty God:

I thank you for the privilege and honor to be here this morning in these hallowed halls on this, our nation’s National Day of Prayer. We, as a people of many faiths, religions and backgrounds come together in a sign of unity to ask for your guidance and blessings on this important day.

We not only remember those who have given their lives to protect our great country in military service, but we remember the men and women in law enforcement who risk daily, and give their lives, to protect each and every one of us.

As a nation, let us remember that all people have one common origin. Fill our hearts with compassion for our neighbors and the desire to ensure justice for all. Help us share all the blessings you give us, and help us to secure justice and equality for every human being; help us bring an end to division, and continue to build our country on peace and love. Let us always remember that despite our differences we are one human family.

Almighty God, bless our leaders with vision, foresight, and with clarity of purpose as they lead our country. Bless our country on this special day of prayer, in your name we pray, Amen.

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