Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day!

Interestingly enough, this is the day we set aside to honor our fallen soldiers and veterans here in the USA… those who died for the rights and freedoms we so enjoy, and often take for granted. In reflecting on those who have died for my rights, I find it interesting that even now, my rights as a Christian – the right to speak and teach the true word of God, are challenged more than ever before.

Of course, we could argue from a historical and theological perspective whether or not our USA was truly founded on Christian principles. Despite all the technicalities, our forefathers fought for their rights as believers and their perception of what that may be. Whether we agree on the interpretation or not, the fact still remains that the very laws and backbone of this democracy are built upon biblical principles by a people who served the one true and living God... of the Bible.

With that, I note (with all due respect) that those we honor today – the fallen soldiers and warriors of the past and present, died for those same principles. The majority of the slain men and women left this life with a dog tag and cross around their necks… not a swastika, Buddha or star and crescent. Yet, it seems in this country, more and more each day, that the very principles for which they fought are under attack.

It often seems that in order for others to feel equal, the Christian beliefs we hold so dear are typically the ones that must be sacrificed. No other country in the world has operated in this manner – sacrificed its foundation to make others feel comfortable. While I love the diversity of America and and respect everyone’s rights to make a choice, I certainly won’t stand back and let others judge me because I choose God’s way – the way of the Bible… the principles of Scripture, the traditional thought of the USA.

Our history, as a country, has been painted with many wars: The Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, the Vietnam War, and countless others. All were fought with the rights of the American people (and their neighbors) in mind. Many bore undertones of the right to worship and live, according the laws of our country – the same laws that were based on a biblical foundation.

This is a country where adultery and fornication were once illegal. Homosexuality was considered not only illegal, but insane, literally. Abortion and the overconsumption of alcohol were unthinkable. There was a moral code, based on the Bible that propelled us to become the great nation we are today and have been for many years. Unfortunately, somewhere in our history, people began to believe that being free meant removing our biblical code of conduct while labeling those who maintain the principles upon which this country was established as haters and heretics. How ironic! God’s word, whether you believe it was interpreted correctly or not, led us to become the greatest nation on earth.  Why are we so quick to forget and dismiss the same?

Let’s remember that Jesus Christ was the first fallen warrior. He died, first, for us to have eternal life. He hung on a cross and shed His blood for me. Without the gospel of Christ and the Holy Scriptures, there would be NO America!  That's a fact.  Hundreds of thousands, in this country alone, also died for our liberties. Whether we want to believe it or not, the MAJORITY died for a Christian country. They had Christian beliefs and when faced with death, prepared to meet the God of the Bible - the God of Abraham, Isaac a Jacob... the God who is holy and commands His people to live holy. Certainly, I have a right to preach the Gospel, as long as I show love and respect for others. I stand on the word of God, and I have a right to do so, as do any others. Standing for holiness doesn’t mean that I hate or disrespect those who disagree. It doesn’t mean that I’m a threat to those who choose another religion or another way of life.

As I remember our fallen on today, I am thankful. I am also relentless. I’m not full of hatred or anger. In fact, I tell the truth, because I love people. Hell is real, and I wouldn’t want to steer anyone in that direction. Some things are just wrong… period. I have a right to stand on holiness. I have a right to preach God’s word. I have the right to share His love. Jesus gave me that right eternally, and those we honor on this day fought for that right with their very lives.  I will not lay down.  Too much has been sacrificed...

To those who celebrate with me, whether you believe as I do or not, please don’t shut down or disregard the rights of those for which so many died to justify and label your own opinions and “lifestyle alternatives” as a case of civil rights. Like it not, we are all free because many men and women died for a country that has always professed to be one nation, under GOD!  As my grandmother would always say, "Don't bite the hand that feeds you."

Happy Memorial Day!  I am grateful!

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