Sermon for Independence Day (Observed July 2, 2017) 1133 W. Orvilla
Hatfield, PA 19440
(215) 453-7452
Rev. Robert T. Tufton - Rector
Seminarian, Gregory Gibson
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alt Fr. Tufton

Tuesday of this week our country will observe Independence Day. Independence Day is to our Nation what the Day of Pentecost was to the first Christians, a birthday celebration.

And just as we have tried to keep alive in our hearts and minds the religion which came from our Lord through His Apostles during the season of Pentecost, so too we should strive to keep alive in our hearts and minds the ideals upon which our nation was founded.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, had become concerned seeing the changes occurring in the early 60’s compared to earlier years, and once commented: “Maybe our country needs to recapture the pride of its earlier years!”. Those words are even more true and important today.

Our country’s downward spiral, powered by negative attitudes toward religion, negative attitudes toward virtue, and negative attitudes toward values is more prevalent than ever. The uniqueness of the American system of government is for the most part no longer widely appreciated nor understood. Why? Quite simply, it is because such things are no longer taught, no longer praised, and no longer respected in our own country.

As Americans we should stand firm in the ideals and values which gave rise to our nation, a nation that was once compared with the 12 tribes of Israel, God’s nation. The constitution of the United States of America introduced a system of government that was previously unknown. It was so unique that people celebrated it as a providential gift from God. And in fact, it was. But unfortunately, like the 12 tribes of Israel, we have neglected to care for our nation. We have neglected to live by its ordinances. And too often we tend to forget the One from whom this gift was given.

The founding fathers of our country were spiritually gifted, immersed in Christian culture and blessed by God. They gave us the Constitution which guarantees the inalienable rights of every citizen. I wonder what their reaction would be seeing widespread anti-Christian attitudes, and legislators of a mindset so different from what they intended.

Freedom of religion does not mean, nor was it ever intended to mean, freedom from religion. Atheism, was never intended to be the policy of American government.

Those to whom we have entrusted governance have chased God away from our schools and institutions, claiming the separation of Church and State. But that doesn’t mean that what has occurred is right. Far from it, what has come about is very wrong and it is very dangerous.

Liberty was achieved in America because the concept of liberty is rooted in natural law and liberty under God. “We hold these truths self-evident”, they said, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.

But sadly, a determined minority have succeeded in abolishing prayer in the classroom where many students had their only opportunity to learn that there is a Creator. Natural law has been replaced by concepts of relativism and changing truth.

We know that America was founded upon the Providence of God. But the younger generation has little or no concept of what that means. No other nation, no other people, ever before in the history of the known world had based their governance upon the principle that government serves the people rather than the people serving the government. If we lose that understanding, we will have lost one of the precious treasures of our American heritage, the very bedrock and foundation upon which our liberties were established.

Have you ever wondered why America has one of the highest rates of incarceration in the world?

The truth is that the huge number of our citizens being incarcerated can be attributed to the loss of our moral compass as a people. The rise of criminal violence in America coincides with the abandonment of faith and morals in our country. The next step may well be euthanasia, persecution of Christians, loss of liberty, and the rebirth of tyranny. America must return to honest pride and humility, or, as the Book of Revelation tells us, the lamp stand, the torch, will be taken from us. (Rev. 2:5)

There was a time when most Americans loved God and embraced duty. There was a time when we idealized our Founding Fathers. But somehow, we have allowed it to be taken from us. No more celebration of Washington’s birthday. No more celebration of Lincoln’s birthday. Instead, a generic and somewhat meaningless “Presidents Day” in which none of the valor, faith and leadership virtues of Lincoln and Washington are remembered and passed on to current and future generations.

If our country continues on its’ present path, the next generation will have very few people left who actually know our American history and heritage; very few who will in any way be proud of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and the many others who have contributed so greatly to the building of our nation. Pride in these Great Men and the memory of our heritage is being taken from our children. And, in my opinion, it is intentionally being erased. All that America once was, is being subjected to dishonor. And unless things change brethren, the next thing that will be taken from us will, most assuredly, be our freedom.

That which was brought into this world through the providence of God continues to be rejected and neglected. Shame on our courts and legislators! Shame on our schools and universities, and shame upon all those who have failed to be vigilant in the defense of our freedom!

Make no mistake, we are at war, but the enemy is not the enemy we can see. Our enemies are spiritual forces and spiritual principalities bent upon our destruction.

Can we turn this tide back? I don’t know… but we must try. Pray that God pours out His Holy Spirit upon a new generation of great Americans who can lead us back to the Godly principles of the Constitution written to govern our great nation. Let us reclaim pride in our freedom, the freedom which flows from obedience to God. Let us reclaim pride in willing adherence to God’s Natural Law. Let us be proud of the Great Americans who built our nation upon discipline, sacrifice, and self-control. They opened our country to liberty-loving people who built great institutions of learning, religion, culture, industry and creativity.

Let us also remember and honor those who died to secure our Independence and those now serving in our armed forces to protect it.

Tuesday we will celebrate Independence Day. But if the founders could join us, I don’t think they would all celebrate. They would grieve because so much has been lost.

Do we really love America? Do we really care for our fellow man? Do we truly love Christ? Then, let us re-dedicate ourselves to fighting for the liberties and virtues achieved by the founders of our nation, for such was the gift and the intent of God. We have a Christian understanding of this based upon the Holy Scriptures. America should rediscover that understanding. There is in our heritage the provision to preach and teach, to heal, redeem, and preserve. We need to re-claim it! Amen.

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