by Connie Kee
We just celebrated the Fourth of July with a cookout, our annual neighborhood parade, and of course, fireworks. Fireworks on the pier became our new tradition last year. This Fourth, they went out with a bang, and I’m not kidding. Something went wrong and a large rocket with multiple blasts fell over and started shooting everywhere. It was just a little frightening as my husband was ducking and trying to get away from the burst of shots. Needless to say, this was our “Grand Illumination” and the rest of the fireworks were put away for next year.
I love the Fourth of July because it’s a reminder to me of the tremendous gift of freedom that God gave to us as a nation. We celebrate because on July 4, 1776, a small group of men signed the Declaration of Independence, declaring that the 13 British colonies in North America were a free and independent nation.
I love my country. I love that this country was founded by those seeking a land where they could freely worship their God. I love that our government was established upon Judeo-Christian principles and values and religious freedom. And then, I love all of the reminders of this – American flags flying on the Fourth, parades with both young and old decked out in red, white and blue. I love all the patriotic songs that I grew up singing such as “America the Beautiful”.
Our country is not perfect for sure and has many dark blotches on its history pages. And even this year, 2015, major changes in laws have occurred which are changing the very fabric of our nation. Tragedies and unrest have abounded and doubt, discouragement and, for some, despair have set in. Marriage is now legal between people of the same sex and children are being taught in school that they are neither male nor female. I believe that these events and others are leaving even more dark blotches on our history pages. The question arises, what should we as Christian women do?
As I think about this question, I’m reminded of something that has bothered me for years: Where were the Christians when prayer and the Bible were taken out of public schools in the early 1960’s? I was in elementary school at the time and I don’t recall hearing anything about the ruling; however, before that time, we read the Bible, had a Bible lesson in our classes, and prayed at the beginning of the day. I’ve since learned that not one Christian organization filed a brief opposing the argument and supporting school prayer.
We know now that as the 60’s progressed, a new era was ushered in with a focus on free sex, increased drug use, and violence. Since that ruling, problems in schools have drastically changed and escalated over the years. Major problems in schools used to be talking out of turn, chewing gum, and running in the halls. Today, the major problems are drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, suicide, and violence. Even SAT scores are now significantly lower. (http://www.free2pray.info/4impactofcourtdecisions.html).
So what do we do as Christian women? Do we sit idly by and do nothing? I think the Bible is clear that we cannot ignore the shifts in our society that are blatantly against God; we must be actively involved.
First and foremost, we are called to pray and seek God, interceding for our nation. Also, we are called to “clean up” our own lives, so to speak. In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God 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 I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their
sin and heal their land.”
Second, we must know what God is saying during these chaotic and uncertain times. So often, we listen to what others say about God, but the time is here for us to really know for ourselves what He is saying. It’s so easy to move with current trends unless we read, study and know God’s Word. Then we must stand for His truth.
Lastly, we must also examine our hearts and remove anything in our lives that does not line up with God’s Word. We are to be a people that glorify God, obey His Word, and stand for His truth, no matter what our culture defines and dictates as truth. For true freedom is only found when we are saved by Jesus Christ and live for Him. John 8:32 says, “And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” For truly, Jesus is the only way (John 14:6)!