Heart Cry for Freedom
March 19, 2023
Photo by Gautam Krishnan on Unsplash
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” – Galatians 5:1 KJV
In my country, Americans celebrate July fourth, as Independence Day.
I usually take time to thank God for the freedom of religion that is guaranteed by our Bill of Rights. I am grateful for the Baptists of Virginia and Connecticut who lobbied for it and for the statement who championed its cause.
But mostly, I am grateful to God for having the idea in the first place.
God created us in His own image with the freedom to choose Him or reject Him. Otherwise, we could not have come by faith, in love, and through conversion. God’s design presupposes freedom. Salvation requires the work of the Holy Spirit regenerating the human heart that receives Him willingly. Coercive conversions are no conversions at all. State sponsored religion creates an unregenerate church membership.
God has given men and women a deep desire for freedom. True freedom is only realized fully in Christ. If the gospel is to be proclaimed freely, it must not be supervised by human agencies. Nor can man dictate the way that God will work with a human heart.
“The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” – John 3:8
That is the essence of soul freedom and the best guarantee that government can give for such freedom is to stay out of the way. And that is what our Constitution does for us and for that I am grateful.
Let us honor those foresighted fathers of our country who respected the inherent dignity of each person before God and fashioned our national liberties on that basis. Even though many of them did not realize the full meaning of “all people,” they opened the door for universal application.
As we ring the bells of patriotism every Independence Day, let us sing with renewed zeal,
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood.
From sea to shining sea.
(Katharine Lee Bates, 1893)