Spoken June 30, 2013 (the Sunday before July 4)
Score by Cody Fry, featuring "My Country, 'Tis of Thee"
"Overcome" by Jon Egan, (c) 2007 Vertical Worship Songs. Used with CCLI permissions.
So this week... many of you will celebrate the freedom that we have in America, a freedom that - for-centuries - people have admired and travelled land & sea to be a part of. Because -- regardless of economy, regardless of politics, regardless of war or disasters or struggles that our people encounter -- we are still living in the greatest country on the earth.
And yet... and yet, this country - this nation that was brought forth by Christian patriots, is today falling away from faith at an alarming rate. The term "Christian" itself has become a derogatory term, being openly mocked by the media and discriminated against by politicians, corporations, and those in power. For us to believe and live by the word of God is no longer a matter of dissent, but a matter of hatred by those who do not ascribe to it.
And to this end, I must ask my fellow Americans: "have we forgotten where our freedom came from?"
Have we forgotten the constant-praying, Providence-praising, nation-founding George Washington?
Have we forgotten the Bible-quoting, slave-emancipating, restoration-giving Abraham Lincoln?
Have we forgotten the church-pastoring, Goodwill-founding, charity-pioneering Edgar Helms?
Have we forgotten the Christian-proclaiming, depression-ending, Nazi-fighting Franklin D. Roosevelt?
Have we forgotten the Jesus-loving, baseball-playing, segregation-ending Jackie Robinson?
Have we forgotten the gospel-preaching, Washington-marching, freedom-dreaming Martin Luther King Jr?
Have we forgotten the missionary-living, Habitat-for-Humanity-founding, home-building Millard Fuller?
Have we forgotten the God-worshipping, Samaritan's-Purse-founding, global-lifesaving Bob Pierce?
In our own time, have we missed the ministry-making, disability-serving, law-changing Joni Earecksan Tada?
In our own time, have we missed the Christ-honoring, college-rallying, slavery-fighting Louie Giglio?
In 2012, Forbes Magazine listed the top 25 largest charities; and of them, 16 were founded by Christians. That's two out of three! You see… the media can mock us, the government can outlaw us, the lobbyists can hate us… but they cannot deny us the simple fact that where we go, freedom goes. We are the bearers of hope! And while our lives may be temporary, the freedom that is in Jesus Christ is eternal.
Yes, I am proudly an American, but far-surpassing any allegiance to any country, I am a Christian. I will say it again: I am a Christian!