Happy Birthday America!
Let me introduce you to someone you should know. John Leland (1754-1841) was a Baptist pastor who preached in Massachusetts, Virginia, and Connecticut. He was a friend to James Madison – knew Thomas Jefferson and was an advocate of religious liberty. Prior to the Revolutionary War, Baptists faced persecution. 100 years prior to our independence our forefathers encountered harassment, fines and even jail time. Leland was the crusader for religious freedom. He believed the United States shouldn’t have a “state church” like England or other nations in Europe. That was a new concept in his day. Historians agree it was Baptists like Leland who were a significant influence in the forming of the first amendment to the US Constitution.
How thankful we are for our freedoms – namely the right to worship God as our conscience dictates. I am humbled to be a citizen of this country – despite all its flaws and problems. Our nation is terribly divided. This isn’t just a recent thing. Did you know Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton hated each other? Nonetheless politics are very partisan these days. We need to pray for our president and his administration – pray for Congress and the Supreme Court. Scripture admonishes to pray for those in authority over us. Whether you agree with current policies or those behind them or not, we should be known first and foremost as citizens of Christ’s kingdom and then citizens of these united states.
Have a safe and enjoyable holiday.