Sermons

Summary: Christians can celebrate the 4the of July as a sacred day of thanksgiving, for it was the Declaration of Independence that led to the Constitution and the forming of the United States with all of its freedoms and religious liberty.

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

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