Celebrating the Fourth of July with an Informed View

This week we celebrated the Fourth of July. It is a special holiday that brings with it family yard games, roasting hamburgers over a fire, and watching fireworks in the evening to cap the day. It's easy for us to lose context of what we're celebrating and commemorating with all of the activities, and we believe it important to ground our celebration in an understanding of the tradition.

The Fourth of July marked a special date when the Declaration of Independence was unveiled for many of our leaders. It was signed in the coming months by men who were essentially signing a warrant for their arrest by the British government. Signing the Declaration was seen as treasonous, but was a bold act that marks the spirit of the American people, namely that we have seen ourselves as free from occupying forces, and we intend to keep it that way.

This sense of freedom was highly informed by the Judeo-Christian view of the world. Namely that because the founders saw the world as designed, ordered, and in operation by the hand of God there was a certain way humankind was called to live and operate. In their Declaration of Independence they issued a foundational decree that the truths of freedom are "self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." At the foundation of the Declaration is an informed statement that freedom comes from God, and in keeping freedom we keep the character and design of God in our hearts and minds, which propels us from a human idea of human flourishing to a God ordained view of the good life.

Today, many students are not being educated to hold a Judeo-Christian view of the world, how the world was created, is held together, and how we should live within it. At Hillcrest, we are honored to celebrate the ability to teach and educate students to know God as He has revealed himself in Creation, and to know God as He continues to reveal Himself in the Scriptures. It is in Christ where we find freedom, and it is in the world that we reflect this understanding. 

When we celebrate the Fourth of July we do so as people who understand the freedom given us in Christ Jesus' death on the cross and resurrection from the grave. We have been set free. In that, when we look to the Fourth of July in honoring the work in retaining freedom for our nation we do so with a Judeo-Christian background. We are thankful that our nation has a tradition in noting and celebrating freedom, and we do so at Hillcrest in recognition of the foundational freedom found in Jesus Christ.

Take time with your family to read Galatians 5, and then read the Declaration of Independence as you consider what freedom really is and how we live to honor Christ and remember those who have fought to defend our freedoms as a nation. Happy 4th of July!

Wayne StenderComment