“Proud of to an American” was a Fox News special hosted by Brian Kilmeade on July 4th. In addition to Fox commentators, they sent out camera crews to film both celebrities, and unknown Americans as they answered this question: “Why are you proud to be an American?”
The answers were varied.
Civil liberties. Opportunity. It’s the Land of the free. Freedom of speech, religion, and thought. Democracy. Free Enterprise. Freedom of the press. Liberty. You can come from nothing and become something. The right to disagree.
However, all the answers had a similar theme and ring to them. Summed up in one word: Freedom. Americans love freedom. On Independence Day this past Saturday many celebrated freedom with parades, picnics and fireworks. Political speeches were given. Prayers were offered. Blogs were written. Soldiers were honored. America’s founding fathers were remembered.
I think we need to remember, as Ronald Reagan once said, “Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.” Americans prospered because God has blessed us. And we have in the past been governed and guided by a “Judo-Christian” ethic. However, as we noted in recent posts, that moral foundation is threatened. Abraham Lincoln was right when he warned, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
Yet, there is another kind of freedom. A force more powerful. More potent. More far-reaching. It is spiritual freedom
Jesus promised, “You shall know the Truth and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32
Peter admonished, “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” (1 Pet 2:16-17)
Paul both reminds and warns us, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. (Gal. 5:1)
Spiritual freedom is unique. It is not connected to political affiliation, social standing, cultural correctness or economic status.
One may throw off the shackles of a tyrannical dictator, but be shackled to sin, in the grasp of that spiritual tyrant, the Devil.
How many people who live in America, find themselves addicted to some habit that is sapping their mental, emotional and physical strength?
How many people who enjoy financial freedom, are enslaved to Satan’s allurements of pleasure, power or prestige?
How many people who advance the cause of political freedom, find they are slaves of their own private lusts?
How many are in bondage to guilt? To shame? To feelings of insecurity? Inadequacy? Worthlessness? Resentment? Anger? Or an illicit relationship they wish they could sever?
Spiritual freedom comes from God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Spiritual freedom is liberation from sin’s shackles.
Spiritual freedom is peace produced by God’s saving grace.
Spiritual freedom is joy found in the Faith of the Gospel.
Spiritual freedom is hope that transcends this life.
Throw off the shackles of sin. Know the truth. Experience spiritual freedom in Christ. He lifts his welcoming hands to the sin burdened soul to a new land of liberty. He holds high the lamp of Truth. And says, “Come to me.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman