Celebrating America's 233rd Birthday
Many major websites and encyclopedias identify the Fourth of July as "America's biggest secular holiday," and the dictionary defines "secular" as "pertaining to things that are not regarded as religious, spiritual, or sacred." However, the actual events leading up to America's birthday were anything but secular.
As George Washington acknowledged, "The hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations." And John Adams affirmed: "The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were. . . . the general principles of Christianity." In fact, he even recommended that America's birthday "be commemorated as a day of solemn deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty."
The importance of remembering God's Hand in American independence was passed from generation to generation – illustrated by John Quincy Adams' famous 1837 oration in which he reminded Americans, "The birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior. It forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation. The Declaration of Independence . . . laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity."
Despite the abundant evidence, some notable Christian pastors now claim that the Fourth of July was an act of willful disobedience against God and that God therefore cannot bless America – that the Fourth of July is nothing for a Christian to celebrate. (We have just posted an article with Biblical and historical evidence refuting that errant claim.)
How can you help keep this year's Fourth of July from becoming "America's biggest secular holiday"?
- Take time to honor and thank God on the Fourth – make it a day celebrated "with solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty."
- Read the Declaration of Independence. Knowing the reasons for our founding is no less important today than it was 233 years ago.
- This is a flag-waving time of the year, so review the fascinating account surrounding Francis Scott Key's writing of the Star-Spangled Banner. You can view a 7-minute video of that inspiring narrative, or download it to show at your church next Sunday.
- Read John Quincy Adams' famous 1837 Fourth of July oration.
If you are interested in reading other famous patriotic orations about the Fourth of July, or if you want to know more about each of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, you can order our two books on these subjects (Celebrate Liberty! – Famous Patriotic Speeches and Sermons, and Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence). We also have a number of our other products on sale at a special 25% discount.
Enjoy your Fourth of July!
(By the way, if you know of others who might enjoy learning of God's hand in America's history, have them sign up on the WallBuilders' website for these periodic email pieces.)
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