William Penn said, "Men must be governed by God or they will be ruled by tyrants."
Our Founding Fathers knew more than they wanted to know about being "ruled by tyrants."
In their Declaration of Independence, they embraced the true source of freedom---and they expressed that source openly, even infusing it into our Founding Documents, our laws and civil documents and our institutions, including public education.
The generations that followed looked for ways to offer praise to God for this great land and the blessings that have been given to America.
Sam Smith, a 24-year-old, was among one of those later generations who understood what made America so great.
You may not know him, but you will recognize what he did.
And some personal thoughts on the undeniable link between America and Christianity.
The folks at 31daily.com have done an excellent job in putting together articles and suggestions to help make your 4th of July special. I strongly recommend you check it out.
While too many may be oblivious to what we are celebrating when we put out American flags, have parades, grill hot dogs, burgers, and ribs---eat corn and watermelon, and shoot off fireworks---the little tiny itsy bitsy legal ones of course.
Samuel Francis Smith loved this country and was moved to write a hymn that would express his deep love for his country---and one that would also express the love of other Americans for this country.
Decades after our founding, young Smith was thinking of some way to offer praise to God for His great blessings on America.
Then it came to the young seminary student. From his heart, to his head, to his hand---he began to write.
In less than 30 minutes he had penned these words that would later be attached to a melody and published as a hymn. One of America's favorite hymns of all time. Some have called it America's "unofficial national anthem."
My Country 'Tis Of Thee
My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing:
Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrims' pride,
From ev'ry mountain side let freedom ring!
My native country, thee, land of the noble free, thy name I love:
I love thy rocks and rills, thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills like that above.
Let music swell the breeze, and ring from all the trees sweet freedom's song:
Let mortal tongues awake, let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.
Our fathers' God, to Thee, author of liberty, to Thee we sing:
Long may our land be bright with freedom's holy light;
Protect us by Thy might, great God, our King!
Freedom's holy light has indeed shown on this land and made it bright.
In fact, it was the son John Adams (our 2nd president), John Quincy Adams (our 6th president) who said:
"Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [the Fourth of July]?" "Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?" --1837, age of 69, Fourth of July speech at Newburyport, Massachusetts.
Today on the radio, I'm talking about how America's greatness and prosperity is linked to our freedom being given by God rather than government, or men.
Join me live at 9 AM PDT on the air, on your computer or on your phone from anywhere in the world. Here's how.
Happy 4th of July weekend.
Let Freedom Ring. Be Blessed.