Independence Day or Dependence Day?

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

Our birthday, July 4, 2013 finds us at a unique place in history. We have a great heritage, but there are a lot of questions concerning where we go as a nation.

We are facing some huge challenges. We have questions about how much of our nation’s intelligence data has been compromised; how much of our personal data on phone calls, emails, etc. is being collected; how much has the IRS targeted specific groups; how much can politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, be trusted; how stable is our economy; how are we going to deal with international challenges such as Syria, Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan, Turkey, Russia, China (you complete the list) how much can we trust people in all places of authority; how safe are we in our schools and communities; are we making progress in the war on terrorism – the list goes on and on.

It is time for us to examine our core values. We tend to think that we have become successful today because of our superior knowledge, skill, and training. We need to learn a lesson from our forefathers who came to this land.

The Pilgrims made it clear that their colonies were being established for the glory of God. Great leaders like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington acknowledged that the building of this nation would be done only with the help of God’s hand. The Preamble to the Constitution of each of the fifty states contains some reference to God. Forty states specifically call Him “God,” while the other ten refer to Supreme Ruler, Creator, Supreme Being, etc.

Will we leave God out of the equation today? Many would like to see “under God” taken out of our Pledge and “In God We Trust” taken off our coins. The use of “God” in public prayers is becoming more and more of an issue. Chaplains and Pastors operate under restrictions when it comes to some public gatherings. How far have we drifted towards becoming independent of God?

Abraham Lincoln gave an assessment of our nation over 150 years ago. He said, “We have come to think that all our blessings were produced by some superior wisdom or virtue of our own; We have become intoxicated by unbroken successes; we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.” That sounds to me a lot like 2013.

Lincoln had a solution. He said, “It behooves us to humble ourselves before the Offended Power to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”

Lincoln’s remedy is right on target, though it is not original with him. II Chronicles 7:14 says “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

It is time for us to humble ourselves and confess our sins and ask for God’s forgiveness and for His healing upon our land! God’s workbench is cluttered with the broken pieces of empires and civilizations that decided to forget Him and do it their own way.

July 4th is referred to as Independence Day. I understand the historical meaning of independence when this nation was formed, but today independence seems to carry the connotation of America’s being independent of God. We need to be celebrating Dependence Day – we need to be dependent on God and God alone!!

Happy Dependence Day! But make it a lifestyle – not just a day.


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