Updated: Aug 27
Have a joyful, grateful, and safe Independence Day!
Monday night the order came in from our city that face masks are now mandatory for all upon leaving the home. The mandate fits perfectly into its legal fixture, along with the other compulsions we are collectively facing in response to the Chinese Plague, popularly referred to as COVID-19. The irony of the times isn’t lost on me: our government’s power continues to arbitrarily grow as we draw nearer to our nation’s Independence Day commemoration.
244 years ago, the Declaration of Independence was signed in opposition to the existing government that had grown too big, too imposing, too suffocating for the American colonists to survive and prosper. This Independence Day, we are to celebrate that successful shrinking of government and proper recognition of individual freedoms behind the day’s social symbol of man fearing: the mandatory mask. At least that is the case if we are to be compliant. So, my reflexive thought upon hearing the latest order posed the difficult question to myself, “are we really free?”.
There is an ancient teacher of thought, that today disguises itself in the outfit of postmodernism, that would neutralize its students by responding “no such thing as freedom exists”. It has a younger, incestuous, and defective relative called Marxism which teaches, “if such a thing as freedom does exist, you are being excluded from it and therefore must attempt to take part in it by force”. Both answers are bad since we know that nihilism and socialism, history witnessing, leads to genocide. Finally, there is a third answer in the curricula of life which can be accessed through the word of God in the Bible and the life of Jesus Christ. That answer is a resounding affirmation of our freedom for we know that “our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).
If Jesus Christ is your God and teacher, you are a citizen of heaven right now and for all eternity to come. You will always, by definition, be free. For now, you are only a temporary citizen of your country. You’re certainly on the hook as a steward of its resources and potential. That is to say you have a moral obligation instilled by God to obey His commands on earth wherever you currently find yourself. But when questioning whether you are truly free or not, even amidst increasing man-made restrictions and an uncertain future, let the knowledge of your eternal citizenship encourage your response that “if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).
This fourth of July, I will remember and honor the lives of those brave American men that fought the tyranny of their time to give this nation the incomparable freedoms I still get to experience today but I will also celebrate the greater freedom from the tyranny of the devil bought for me by the blood of Christ, my Savior. Through my faith in Christ, I’m no longer dead under the guilt of my sins but have a new life. I’m no longer limited by my failures but with His strength am doing all things. I’m no longer trapped by resentment and pain but experience a peace that surpasses all my understanding. I’m no longer paralyzed with fear because Christ’s undefeated spirit lives in me.
I pray the same is true for all of you who read this, now and always. May the God of peace and freedom call you to Himself and may the wisdom and treasures stored in the Bible be made plain to you the moment you read it. When you belong to God, no man can take your mind, no man can take your heart, and no man can take your soul. Christ is the king of our nation, to Him every knee will bow. All glory be to God!