The News Times, July 1, 995
by Rev. Craig Grigson
The citizens of the United States celebrate the Fourth of July each year to commemorate the signing in 1776 of the Declaration of Independence, the act by which the thirteen colonies formally renounced their allegiance to Great Britain. We should be grateful to be Americans.
One could make a case for three misconceptions of patriotism. There are those who maintain a selfish view and the would content for personal rights regardless of the rights of others. Some may uphold a superior view that Americans are the master race. Still others have an inferior view that we must now fight for relevance in the arena of nations.
The United States of America has, in almost all respects, achieved greatness since our independence over 200 years ago. During the first 150 years, history bears out, that our laws, foreign & domestic policies, personal & political high moral standards have served as a hinge upon which the greatness of our country would swing. Upon those hinges the doors of opportunity and personal responsibility for achievement would always be open.
Each American must resist the temptation of giving the impression, to others, that America is great in an of itself. That simply is not so. The firs 150 years of this country's greatness grew out of a deep abiding love for God from the hears of individuals, politicians and presidents. The natural outgrowth of this great love for God was a genuine and practical love for this country.
Praises like "Under God" in the pledge of allegiance to the flag, and "in God we trust" printed on U.S. currency serve to bring attention to God, who is the source of our independence, greatness and prosperity.
Americans must Remember God. The Bible warms, "Then beware lest you forget the Lord" (Deutoronomy 6:12). God has given us blessings, a good land, liberty and independence. Yet how often is God forgotten in our homes and neglected in our Government.
Americans must Love God affectionately, intelligently and energetically. Love means to give. Some elements of our society have betrayed genuine love by portraying it in dirty, selfish, and ungodly ways. "And you shall love the Lord your God," (Deutoronomy 6:5) Early Americans knew that loving the God of the Bible was their inspiration to foster an atmosphere of good citizenship.
American families, schools, businesses and government must Declare God. "And these words which I command you this day shall be in your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children...when you sit in your house...walk in the way...when you go to bed and when you wake up." (Deutoronomy 6:6-7). Declaring God in our families will shore up individual character, families, national greatness, with prosperity and continued independence following in the wake.
As Americans we should follow the paths of the men and women who made this country great and serve God exclusively and diligently! We must Serve God. "And you shall fear the Lord and serve Him...you shall not go after other gods..and you shall not tempt the Lord your God," (Deutoronomy 6:13,14,16
On this Fourth of July we should reflect on the source of our independence....itís God. ďAnd it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as He has commanded us."
May the God of the Bible, historic Christianity and of our founding Fathers bless you abundantly on this Fourth of July, 1995
Craig Grigson is the pastor of Ridgefield Assembly of God, Ridgefield, CT