As I am writing this column today there are many countries with a number of people groups who are still going through a great deal oppression. It is great privilege here in the USA to have the right to say and do whatever we want. Freedom is something that all of us want or need. If a person is in bondage or under any type of oppression, I believe that he or she will live with limitations and will not experience a full life.

As I was listening to The Declaration of Independence being read at the Court House yesterday, these words jumped out to me: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable right, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happines.” This is the core foundation for a society that values human life. There are countries today where there is absolutely no value to human life and liberty is for a select few. America from its conception had put value on God by writing documents that where based on Christian principals. The freedom and liberty that we are experiencing today is a byproduct of what our forefathers gave this country today.

It is with great regret that I see this amazing and powerful countey disintegrating from within. It is all because we have taken the right to freedom and liberty a bit too far. There are many people who are abusing this right. I am amazed by the things people are doing in the name of freedom. I don’t believe that the right to freedom give people the right to dishonor and disrespect others.

The apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians said: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery…. You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” (Galatians 5: 1-13). I would like to draw your attention to Christ who set us free from the bondage of sin so that we can live a free and eternal life. As the Bible says “whom the Son sets you free, is free indeed” (John 8:36). The reason why we are going through all the turmoil’s and struggles is because we are loosing the true sense of freedom and we are now slaves to sin. I pray that America returns to Christ. The Bible encourages us to speak the truth in love. If you love your neighbor as yourself you will speak to them with kindness, honor and respect.

I am reminded of one of our forefathers, President John Adams, who believed that July 4th would become a day when the country remembers its deliverance by the grace of God and that people will be committed to religious activities and devotion to God. This was the spirit of the American Revolution. The founders took the precept of Christ and incorporated those principles into civil government. As I was reading about the founders I realized that these people where all Christians and they had a strong sense of the word of God. They were committed to God and to the well being of this Great country.

Let this 4th of July be a reminder to remember what God has done for you and what this great country has to offer you. Not what can your God and country do for you but what are you willing to do for your God and country. True freedom is loving, respecting and honoring others by valuing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Happy Birthday America. God bless

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Erick Kalenga is pastor at His Village Church in Culpeper.

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