Sermons

Summary: Christians have played a major role in the patriotism of America, and we need to see it and be grateful for it, and then carry on that balance of love for God and love of country.

Governments often fear Christians because they have a loyalty to

God which they put above their loyalty to government, and this

limits their power to control. Jesus started this by His famous

response, "Render onto Caesar the things that are Caesars and unto

God the things that are God's." That was the beginning of the

Christian duel loyalty to God and government, with the duty to God

taking first priority. And so when the Apostles were told by the

authorities that they could not preach the Gospel Peter and John said

to them in Acts 4, "We must obey God rather than men." This has

become a basic Christian value system. The freedom to obey God is

the number one priority of Christians in relationship to their

government.

Whenever a government says that you cannot obey God because

it is against our laws, the Christian church has said, "You have just

become an idol demanding a loyalty that belongs to God alone, and

we must resist." This is the principle behind the history of our

nations fight for freedom. It has always been a fight to be free to

obey God and be one nation under God. It has been a fight against

those who say we are a nation over God, and we demand supreme

loyalty. Long before the Declaration of Independence and the

Revolutionary War, this was the battle Americans were fighting.

Freedom is the very essence of the Christian life. If you are not

free to obey Christ and live in harmony with His teachings, you

cannot truly be a Christian. Therefore, the Christian is obligated to

resist all attempts to limit that freedom. Paul states it clearly in Gal.

5:1, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then,

and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

Paul was concerned about Christians being limited by the Old

Testament law, but the principle applies to any form of limitation to

religious liberty.

This is how the early Americans felt about the King of England.

They had established a democracy and loved the liberty of self-rule.

For them to go back under the bondage of a monarchy would be like

the Israelites going back under the bondage to Egypt after being set

free. The pastors of the early Americans were preaching freedom,

and when Charles II of England heard that he tried to put a stop to it

by demanding that only Episcopal clergy be allowed to form

churches, and that only those church members be allowed to vote.

The King was going to get control of the church so that the state

could dominate it and use it for its ends. This is the goal of all

governments in lands where the separation of church and state is not

guaranteed by the Constitution, as is the case in the U. S.

If the state can control the church they can eliminate the risks of

religious liberty to their power.

When the Colonists refused to obey the King, he demanded that

they give up their charter and submit to the King's authority. The

Puritan leader Increase Mather preached that it would be a sin to

relinquish their freedom to the King, for it had been won by the

sacrifice of faithful men. The people voted not to submit, and the

King was determined to force submission by sending troops. He died

before he did, but he started a strategy to undermine the colonies

fight for freedom. He sent Sir Edmund Andros to work at making

the Episcopal Church a dominant force in the colonies, for it was

state controlled.

He forced all shipping to be done by British ships, and so all trade

had to be with England only. The Americans said that this was an

abuse of power, for the King is to serve the people and oppress them.

II Sam. 23:3 says, "He that rules over men must be just, ruling in the

fear of God." The King of England was not just, but had become a

tyrant trying to rob Americans of liberties they had already won.

Christians recognized that revolution is a last resort, and so for

decades they resisted such action. The King of England got into

other wars in Europe and let up the pressure, and so it was sort of a

stalemate until George III came to power in 1760.

His ego demanded total submission, and so he took it as his

cause to crush the independent spirit of the Colonies. He more than

doubled the size of the British army in the Colonies to 7500 men, and

then made the Colonies pay for them by increasing taxes. The tax

collectors paid themselves such high salaries that there was nothing

left for the cost of the troops. All the taxes went to pay for the tax

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