How should a Christian view the 4th of July? Never really though about it really. Growing up in Roanoke Va we saw a lot of fire works. I was never given a sense that it was wrong to have all the hoop parade.
Years later we were in churches where they made a big deal about this date. One church Ashland Ave Baptist in Lexington Ky spend over $5000 to put on a Fourth of July program.
Here in Portsmouth, Lucasville, Minford, Ohio the Rubyville Community Church puts on a big fourth of July on the 3rd at their church, there is a crowd for sure.
For many, the Fourth of July means parades and picnics, hot dogs and Coca-Cola, ice cream and apple pie, baseball and bombs bursting in air. In God’s good providence, the adoption of Jefferson’s Declaration in 1776 happened during one of the best weather weeks of the year in this hemisphere. And so for 238 years now, the significance and seasonal timing of the day have conspired to make it a deeply rooted annual occasion in the American psyche.
Where Our Fundamental Identity Lies
First, let’s be clear about where the Christian’s deepest identity lies. If we are in Christ, joined to him by faith, all other pledges of allegiance have been relativized, whatever our nation of origin or naturalization. We still have our loyalties — they may even multiply — but none goes this deep. No man can ultimately serve both God and country. In Jesus, we have one final allegiance, and thus in this world we will always be, in some real sense, pilgrims, strangers and aliens, sojourners and exiles (1 Peter 2:11).
For the Christian, our citizenship in any nation aims to be “worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27), not merely worthy of that political state. At the most basic level, “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,” who will do for us what no political entity in this world will ever do — “transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself”(Philippians 3:20–21).
At the end of the day, we are sons of God, not sons of Uncle Sam. The kings of the earth tax others, not their own sons (Matthew 17:25–26). Let your annual submission to the IRS be a friendly reminder that our fundamental identity is in God, not country.
Which means that as we Americans sing the anthem together and pledge allegiance side by side, and enjoy the parades and fireworks shoulder to shoulder, we create and strengthen ties that only go so far. The blood of Jesus runs deeper than the blood that flows in defining or defending any nation. Our fellows in political liberty are important, but not as significant as our fellows in Jesus from every tribe and tongue. Yes, we seek to do good to our fellow Americans, but especially to those who are of the worldwide household of faith (Galatians 6:10).
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