SHE NEEDS OUR PRAYERS

I have a dear friend, She needs our prayers. Her birthday is only a few days away. On the Fourth of July  She will celebrate Her 244th birthday. I have known this friend all my life, sixty-eight years now. She is in intensive care on life support. Matter of fact, She has been on extended life support for some time, but in recent days Her condition has become critical to where I am not sure that She will survive.

My friend was born surrounded by God-fearing men and women who believed in the freedom of the individual spirit, who believed that God granted people certain inalienable rights that allowed them to pursue their dreams. My friend has been a proponent of the right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness, which is granted to all by the Creator and who engage in that pursuit with a creative spirit and a willingness to work hard, which in turn opens many doors of opportunity.

My friend in years past sought to exhibit a character that took the moral high ground, believing in the sanctity of life, the sacredness of family, and that marriage was between a man and a woman. She defended those who were victims of injustices and punished those who sought to trample her virtuous Constitution.

I have grown-up being proud of Her. Every time I see Her banner gracefully unfurled in the gentle breeze, I still get a lump in my throat as I think of all those who have defended Her honor. When I hear “Her Anthem” played, I stand proudly and patriotically in respectful  thanksgiving for what She means to me and millions more.

Over the years my heart has been broken as the one I honored and loved has grown sick and whose health is rapidly deteriorating. I am not sure She is going to make it. Her once family values have been attacked and thrown to the curve. Her moral foundation is being replaced with the sand of relativism. Her purity has been soiled by those who care not for the Biblical moral values which She has embraced for so many years.

The fundamental historical foundations on which She was built has been shaken to the core. A soul that was once anchored by principles of liberty and constitutional laws, has drifted toward the sandy shore of a government of dependence and give-a-ways that threaten to leave Her shipwrecked on the rocky reefs of indifference.

Once frugal and thrifty, She is now enslaved by foreign lenders because of leaders who have greedily taken advantage of Her financially. Sadly, they have put Her on a train ride that is leading to inevitable financial derailment. It pains me to watch it happen, but the crash is certain.

Once so strong and vibrant, with a voice that caused others to tremble when they even thought about encroaching on the freedoms of others, now has been weakened by naïve compromisers and freedom-hating extremists who seek to strip Her of Her once strong hand of enforcement and have made Her vulnerable to Her enemies. Her weaken state grieves the hearts of all who once felt safe under Her mighty and protective wings.

It pains me to watch Her reputation being tarnished by those who wish to erase Her history and teach Her noble heritage never occurred. While She has not lived a perfect life and has made mistakes along the way, She doesn’t deserve the disrespect She is now receiving from those who want to remove from memory any testament of Her noble past. Many of Her children from the past, who have helped shape and impact Her admirable character, are being dug up and their contributions are being defamed, discarded and destroyed.

She is the last bastion of democracy, the last hope for those seeking escape from the hands of tyrants and European socialism. Now the influence of those on the radical left with socialistic agendas is molding Her into an image that Her birth-parents fought to never see happen. In recent days I have felt the hot tears of Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Adams, Hancock, and Henry as the democracy they gave us is becoming a government more akin to a man named Marx.

She has survived a lot of hard knocks and punches in Her life, but She is struggling to survive amidst a current onslaught of orchestrated attacks by those who are bent on destroying Her and replacing Her with a fabricated aberration  no more sturdy to last than a house of cards in a wind storm.

Some blindly say, “Oh, She is not sick, all is well.” No, all is not well. May I say, her banner now flies limply in the sky, monuments honoring Her that once dotted the landscape are being removed, and attempts are afoot to silence the singing of her song in public gatherings. She is not the same anymore. Change has occurred. She is on life support and my heart is broken. I am not sure She will recover. While Her flag has draped many a coffin through the years, if  a turn around in Her health doesn’t occur soon, She will go the way of all nations who have imploded, and Her flag, which once flew so elegantly in the sky, will be placed lifelessly over Her remains.

She needs our prayers. It is no longer, “God Bless America” – it is now “God Have Mercy on Her.”  As Her birthday approaches, please pray for Her.

Blessings,
Dr. Dan

WHY PATRIOTISM IS IMPORTANT

Let me say at the outset, I am a Christian. Almost fifty years ago I pledged my allegiance to Jesus Christ. I am a citizen of a holy nation (I Peter 2:9), of a continuing city whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 14:14). While my physical birth in 1952 found me being born a citizen of the USA, my spiritual birth in 1970 found me being born into the Kingdom of God. Even if the USA collapsed and ceased to exist, the Kingdom of God is eternal. Without question my first loyalty is to my Savior and His Kingdom of which I am a citizen. That being said, is it ok for a Christian to express patriotism to their earthly homeland?

As a United States citizen, there are those within Christendom who contend that a Christian should not express loyalty or patriotism to any earthly  kingdom or nation. Without question, in the current climate of the day showing expressions of patriotism is under fierce attack. By patriotism is meant to be unashamed to show a love, devotion, and loyalty to one’s country. While it is the Christian’s responsibility to first and foremost be obedient citizens in the Kingdom of God, in Romans 13:1-7 the Apostle Paul discusses the responsibility of  Christians being prayerfully supportive and respectful  of  civil government. It is appropriate  for a Christian to be supportive and express patriotism, to exhibit  respect and a desire for the  country to thrive. Patriotism is one of the finer qualities any citizen should possess. When patriotism is properly understood it creates a responsible citizenry.

It was by God’s grace I was born in the greatest nation on the face of the earth. From the moment I saw the light of day, my parents instilled in me the importance of patriotism. I still get a lump in my throat when I hear the National Anthem and see Old Glory waving in the breeze. I am unapologetically a patriotic flag-waving,  flag-standing citizen. Now, being patriotic doesn’t mean I agree with everything that goes on in this nation, it doesn’t mean I am blind to the nation’s shortcomings and the corrections that need to be made, but what it does mean is that I believe in the ideals for which the flag stands; it means I am respectfully honoring and grateful to the over one million patriots who have given their lives that the flag might fly; what it does mean is that I am thankful, even in spite of Her shortcomings, to live in the greatest nation on earth; what it does mean is that I am thankful to enjoy freedoms that citizens of other nations only dream of; and what it does mean is that I am thankful, even in our differences, there is that which unites all citizens in a Brotherhood, and that is being an American in a free society.

Patriotism is an important thread in the fabric of our nation. If patriotism is absent there will be a rip in the seam that will eventually unravel the cord that holds the nation together. Patriotism is the spark that creates a fire in the nation’s spirit. It is important that we return to being patriotic Americans. Patriotism is important for several reasons.

First, patriotism is important because without it our freedoms will be lost. John Adams, our second President, stated, “I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure, that it will cost to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these states. I can see that the end is worth all the means to defend it.” Daniel Webster stated, “God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it.” A people who have lost their patriotism and love for their country will not defend it, and will eventually lose the freedoms so many fought to preserve.   Without patriotism, freedoms can’t be maintained but will eventually be lost.  We owe our freedoms  to the patriots who fought for our country and those guarding it. Let us be cognizant of the words of Ronald Reagan, “Freedom is never more than one generation from extinction.”

Second, patriotism is important because without it we soon lose our courage. Love for country inspires courage to defend it. We need more citizens who are made up of the “stuff” of Nathan Hale who said before being hung, “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.” It took courage for those 56 brave men to sign their names to the Declaration of Independence, most of them losing their fortunes, family and lives. Their courage came from a patriotism that bolstered them to fight for ideals they believed worth dying for. When patriotism is lost, courage is lost to defend the ideals upon which this nation was founded. Sadly, today many don’t respect the hardships of our Founding Fathers and our Armed forces who protect us. Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it; it flies from the collective breath of each courageous patriot who died protecting it.

Third, patriotism is important for without it we lose appreciation for our heritage, we forget where we came from. When as a nation we fail to teach the history of this great nation and begin to take our freedoms for granted, we then lose appreciation for our glorious heritage. With history today being erased, rewritten and no longer being taught as in years past, surveys show that with each passing year more and more people don’t know why the Fourth of July is commemorated. Thomas Jefferson stated, “How little do Americans know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy.” Patriotism is important for the protection of a country’s culture and historical heritage. When we no longer teach of the hardships of the Pilgrims in the New World and of the faith and fortitude of our Forefathers who fought for freedom, lack of appreciation grows and the freedoms we take for granted will slip through our fingers like sand.

Fourth, patriotism is important because without it we lose sight of the faith that made America great. America became great by a people who held to the conviction as stated in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Four times in the Declaration, God is mentioned. The revisionists in their attempt to rewrite history seek to dismiss the faith of our Forefathers. While not all the Founding Fathers were individually Christians; nevertheless, they founded this country on the basis of a faith in a Divine  Creator from whom we receive our unalienable rights. John Adams, a signer of the  Declaration of Independence, stated, “The general principles, on which the Fathers achieved independence, were the only Principles in which that beautiful Assembly of young Gentlemen could Unite….  And what were these general Principles? I answer, the general Principles of Christianity, in which all these Sects were United: And the general Principles of English and American Liberty.” George Washington stated, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness.” When we  view patriotism as unimportant and  fail to acknowledge that we began as a nation “under God” we are a nation destined to go under.

Fifth, patriotism is important because without it we soon lose our unity. When a ball team loses its loyalty to one another, unity dissolves and defeat will result. Part of the Declaration of Independence reads, “For the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives our fortunes and our sacred honor.” We may all have our differences, but one truth that should unite citizens in Brotherhood is that we are blessed to be Americans who live a free society. As we watch patriotism vanishing before our eyes today, we are witnessing, as well, the eroding of our nation’s unity. We need to be united and stand together for the progress of the country for its improvement.

Sixth, patriotism is important because without it we lose our identity as a nation. Sadly, there is the push today to dissolve our nation’s identity and blend in and be like other nations, and in the process, we are losing our uniqueness. We are like no other nation on earth. The USA is the envy of the rest of the world. We need to remember, our identity of who we are as a nation is wrapped up in a people who have a glorious heritage like no other nation, who can be proud of those who have fought and defended her honor, and who aren’t afraid to stand up and speak out and take action against evil and wrong around the world. When patriotism is deemed as unnecessary, we will eventually lose our identity as a great nation.

Seventh, patriotism is important because without it Old Glory will cease to fly. My heart breaks today as many hold the flag in contempt. There are those who say, “The flag is just a symbol.” But behind that symbol is the reality of the faith and courage of our Forefathers, the blood, sweat and tears of countless brave men and woman who have sacrificed that Old Glory might fly, and the noble ideals which has made America great for 244 years. While we continue to strive for “a more perfect union,” as stated in the  Preamble to the United States Constitution, when we begin to hold the flag in contempt and lose our patriotism the ideals which we long to see become a reality, will begin to vanish like the morning dew before the heat of a summer sun.

Yes, patriotism is important, it is essential for the survival of a nation. While as a Christian I only bow my knee to the Lord Jesus Christ, on the Fourth of July I will patriotically and unapologetically stand when the flag passes by.

Blessings,
Dr. Dan

 

THE PRICE OF A SIGNATURE

On the Fourth of July the USA will celebrate another birthday. It all began on July 4, 1776, when fifty-six brave men put their signature on a document called The Declaration of Independence. This wondrous document is built upon a premise that seems forgotten in our day, that premise being each person derives their rights from “their Creator,” the “Supreme Judge of the world” (God is mentioned four times — twice at the beginning at twice at the end), and the chief purpose of government is to ensure and protect those rights. The Declaration of Independence only contains 1,321 words, yet it is one of the greatest documents ever conceived and penned by man.

The document, which declared independence from the British, was signed by fifty-six brave men “with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” The fifty-six men from the thirteen colonies who penned their name on the document, twenty-six were lawyers, nine merchants, six farmers, six physicians, two statesmen, one planter, one surveyor, one shoemaker, one minister, and one printer. Eighteen of the men were under forty years of age, three in their twenties, and the oldest, Benjamin Franklin, was seventy years old. Two who signed it would later become President, two were to be fathers of future Presidents.

These fifty-six men knew the minute they signed the document they would be labeled as traitors by the British and there would be a price upon their head. They were risking their lives for the cause of freedom. What did it actually cost these men for signing the Declaration of Independence? I am afraid we have forgotten what it cost them. Not one of the signers escaped the battle for independence without suffering some loss or penalty.

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors and tortured before they died; twelve had their homes ransacked and burned; two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured; nine of the fifty-six fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War; Layman Hall of Georgia had his property confiscated; George Walton of Georgia was imprisoned; Joseph Hewes of North Carolina died from utter exhaustion from the strain; William Hooper of North Carolina was driven from his home; John Penn of North Carolina had his health wrecked and died in 1780; William Floyd of New York was driven from his home and his property confiscated; Philip Livingston of New York had all his property taken from him; John Morton of Pennsylvania became forsaken by friends and died eight months after the signing; Richard Stockton of New Jersey was dragged from his bed in the middle of the night and thrown into prison; Caesar Rodney of Delaware died from cancer not long are signing; John Hart of New Jersey was forced from his home, his house burned and he lived as a fugitive; Roger Sherman of Connecticut efforts during the battle for independence took a toll on his health and was relieved of many of colonial duties; Lewis Morris of New York was a man of considerable wealth but lost it during the war; Carter Braxton of Virginia lost his wealth and his property seized; Thomas Heyward, Arthur Middleton and Edward from South Carolina were all thrown into prison; Thomas Nelson of Virginia lost his fortune and died in poverty; Francis Lewis of New York had his home burned and his wife taken prisoner; Abraham Clark of New Jersey had two of his sons captured and put in prison; John Witherspoon of New Jersey had his voluminous library burned; Francis Hopkinson of New Jersey had his home taken and became a fugitive; Thomas McKean of Delaware was so pursued by the British that he was forced to constantly move his family; George Ross a minister from Pennsylvania died in 1779 from broken health; William Whipple of New Hampshire developed heart problems which eventually took his life.

More examples could be given of the price paid by the signers of the Declaration of Independence, but a portrait of the noble character of these men is clearly imprinted on the canvas of history. The clothes these men wore were not held together by thread, but by principle, honor and a selflessness that led them to pledge their all for the cost of freedom. They had steel backbones forged in the fires of convictions and courage. These men were brave and  fearless who knew the consequences and penalties that awaited, yet they signed anyway, pledging their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.

One truth is certain, freedom was and is not free. For that one prize – freedom – these men signed a declaration and suffered horribly. Two-hundred and forty-three years later we must not forget the price paid for freedom nor forget the spiritual and political heritage of the birth of this nation. To forget our heritage is to head down a road that will eventually lead us away from liberty back unto tyranny. In a day when political correctness sees patriotism as offensive, it is a position that will find liberty being swallowed up in the quicksand of weakness and cowardice that will lead to loss of freedoms.

One can’t help but wonder in the day in which we live where so many want something for nothing; who feel like they are owed something without earning it or sacrificing for it; who don’t believe in personal responsibility; who contend there are no eternal principles on which to base one’s life or govern society; would such individuals pay one-tenth the price those 56 brave men paid for freedom and liberty? The answer is self-evident.

As we pause to celebrate the birthday of this Nation, let us not forget the sacrifice and commitment of those fifty-six stalwart men. While our Forefathers battled the British, we today are waging a battle for the very soul of America. It is a battle of greed versus sacrifice, spiritually versus secularism, God versus godlessness, good versus evil, decency versus indecency, right versus wrong, principles versus political correctness, responsibility versus irresponsibility. To the observing eye, that for which the signers of the Declaration of Independence gave so much, appears to be slowly slipping away from you and me.

The freedoms for which our Forefather fought and sacrificed for demands that we never yield to the tyrants of vice over virtue, for when we do, we will discover the brave signers penned their names in vain. May it not be so.

Have Blessed and Safe Fourth of July

Blessings,
Dr. Dan

THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE: THE COST OF FREEDOM

At the end of a seemingly uneventful summer day, Britain’s King George III wrote the day’s activities in his diary: “July 4, 1776. Nothing happened today.” Oh, how mistaken he was! Something did happen that day. Fifty-six brave men pledged their lives to each other and signed their names to the Declaration of Independence.

The Declaration of Independence is grounded upon the premise that (1) every individual derives their rights from the Great Designer of the universe, and (2) the chief purpose of government is to ensure and protect those rights. No other document ever penned upon paper seeks to wed those two esteemed truths together. Within the 1,321 words of the revered document, God is mentioned four times: twice at the beginning and twice toward the end. Our Forefathers referred to the God of heaven and earth as “Nature’s God,” the “Creator,” “the Supreme Judge,” and “Divine Providence.” The chief presupposition of the Declaration of Independence is: “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” These men were clothed with principles and truths that were anchored in “Nature’s Laws and Nature’s God.”

Of the fifty-six men who resolutely signed their names on the historical document, twenty-six were lawyers, nine merchants, six farmers, six physicians, two future soldiers, two statesmen, one planter, one surveyor, one shoemaker, one minister and one printer. Eighteen of the signers were under forty years of age, and three were in their twenties. The oldest was Ben Franklin, who was seventy years old. They declared to separate the thirteen colonies from the tyrannical rule and oppression of the King of England. These brave men, on behalf of their respective colonies, declared themselves to be free and independent from the power and authority of any other force than that of Divine Providence, whose protection they evoked. What those men signed was more than a document, but the destiny of a nation.

As soon as these men penned their names on what is now a document that is two-hundred and forty-one years old, they immediately made themselves traitors to England. An agonizingly long, bloody and horrific battle(s) ensued before the fruits of the Declaration of Independence yielded bountiful results. Many lives were lost in the American Revolutionary War, and not one of the 56 men who signed their names escaped the struggle for independence without suffering grievously.

What happened to those 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence? Five signers were captured by the British as traitors and were tortured until they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Most lost their businesses and their livelihoods taken from them. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army. Another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from their wounds or from the hardships of the War. They knew the possible consequences and penalties that awaited, yet they signed anyway, pledging their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.

One truth is certain, freedom was and is not free. For that one prize, freedom, these men signed a declaration and suffered horribly. Two-hundred and forty-one years later we must not forget the price paid for freedom nor forget the spiritual and political heritage of the birth of this nation. To forget our heritage is to head down a road that will eventually lead us away from liberty back unto tyranny. In a day when political correctness sees patriotism as offensive, it is a position that will find liberty being swallowed up in the quicksand of weakness and cowardice that will lead to loss of freedoms.

One can’t help but wonder in the day in which we live where so many want something for nothing; who feel like they are owed something without earning it or sacrificing for it; who don’t believe in personal responsibility; who contend there are no eternal principles on which to base one’s life or govern society; would such individuals pay one-tenth the price those 56 brave men paid for freedom and liberty? The answer is self-evident.

As we pause to celebrate the birthday of this Nation, let us not forget the sacrifice and commitment of those fifty-six stalwart men. While our Forefathers battled the British, we today are waging a battle for the very soul of America. It is a battle of greed versus sacrifice, spiritually versus secularism, God versus godlessness, good versus evil, decency versus indecency, right versus wrong, principles versus political correctness, responsibility versus irresponsibility. To the observing eye, that for which the signers of the Declaration of Independence gave so much, appears to be slowly slipping away from you and me.

The freedoms for which our Forefather fought and sacrificed for demands that we never yield to the tyrants of vice over virtue, for when we do we will discover the brave signers penned their names in vain. May it not be so.

Have Blessed and Safe Fourth of July.

Blessings,
Dr. Dan

 

TRUE FREEDOM

At the end of a seemingly uneventful summer day, Britain’s King George III wrote the day’s activities in his diary: “July 4, 1776. Nothing happened today.” Oh, how mistaken he was! Something did happen that day. Fifty-six brave men pledged their lives to each other and signed their names to the Declaration of Independence. The United States of America was born. FlagAndCrossjpg

As the nation pauses on July 4th to celebrate its 238th birthday, we must ask if we are keeping alive the fires of freedom and respect for life and human dignity inherent in the ideals of our Founding Fathers. Are we still standing for the principles on which they stood and upon which this nation was built? We should think, not so much about the freedom from tyranny that our ancestors won, as about the chaos that freedom can bring to those who do not use it wisely. When we begin to dismiss all moral restraints from our lives and society, as we see taking place across our land today, we are headed for trouble and eventual collapse.

John Adams, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and our second President, wisely wrote in 1798, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.” Yet in the day and hour in which we live we continue to cut the cords of morality and spirituality and expect to experience Heaven’s blessings. Instead of blessings we have become enslaved by a misconception of what constitutes freedom.

In our nation we need to look at some of the ugly results from the misuse and abuse of freedom: abortion, erosion of the definition of marriage, rampant crime, alcoholism, drug abuse, deadly violence in our schools, moral perversion, child abuse, and the list goes on. Do not those things stem from a distorted concept of freedom? Sadly, it will lead people to become weak and enslaved. When freedom becomes a license for people to disregard moral and spiritual values, dismissal from society the God of the Bible, a shifting of responsibility for our actions and an entitlement mentality, then it is no longer freedom, but bondage.

Peter speaks of the outcome of those who misuse and abuse freedom. He wrote, “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage” (2 Peter 2:19). Freedom separated from the twin-tracks of the Lord’s moral restraints and His life giving principles leads to a moral and spiritual train wreck. George Washington declared in 1796 at his Farewell Address that the twin pillars of faith and morality are the secret to  “political prosperity” and “human happiness.”  That has not changed.

True freedom is not a license to do as we please with disregard to God and our fellowman. True freedom is found in living as He intended us to live,  serving “Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life” (Lk 1:74-75).  When we forget that truth we are abusing freedom. And it is only in Jesus that we have the power to truly live free; to live in His power that enables us to live in the freedom of  His holiness and righteousness. Jesus said, “If the Son of Man make you free you shall be free indeed” (Jh 8:36). True freedom is found at the foot of the cross, which alone needs to be our nation’s true magnetic North. Instead of removing the cross from the landscape of our society, we need to run to it as fast as we can and kneel in repentance.

Independence Day is a time we pause to remember those brave men and women who made the choice to shake off the shackles of political tyranny. It resulted in freedom flowing like a might river throughout the thirteen colonies. Let us remember this when we see the flag we love waving in the sky. And let us seek to follow in the steps of those brave Americans who died so that it could fly. But above all, let us remember towering over the unfurled USA flag stands the Christ of the cross who alone can give us freedom and power, even in the face of the spiritual and moral declension, to live as we ought to live in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our lives.

And “if the Son of Man make you free you shall be free indeed.” Now that is true freedom.

Blessings,

Dr. Dan