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The EPOCH Commentary
Evangelical Perspectives On Current Happenings
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Vol. 9, No. 1 July 4, 2007 © 2007, Evangelical Viewpoint
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It’s an old holiday, the "4th," as old as this nation, dating
from the year 1776. John Adams, the second president of
the United States expressed his feelings about the event,
in a letter dated July 3, 1776, "I am apt to believe that it
will be celebrated by succeeding Generations, as the
great anniversary festival ...It ought to be solemnized
with Pomp and Parade, with Shows, Games, Sports,
Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one end of
this Continent to the other, from this time forward,
forever more."

John Adams was right about a nationwide observance, but
he was referring to the date of July 2 rather than July 4. It
was on July 2, 1776 that the Continental Congress finalized
the decision to sever the colonies’ ties with Great Britain,
thus establishing the independence of this new nation. It
was on July 4, 1776 that the Declaration of Independence
was signed as the formal documentation of the decision of
the Congress.

The first July 4 celebration was in Philadelphia a
year later, in 1777. In 1791 the July 4 observance was officially
named "Independence Day," and in 1870 the Congress made
July 4 a national holiday called Independence Day. Today as
it has in every year since 1777, John Adams’ prediction has
come true, pretty much as he envisioned it.

So, in the terminology of the heading above, we are on this
"Independence Day, 2007" celebrating "both" – our nation’s
Independence from Great Britain, and the formal statement
of that change of affiliation which is America’s first national
historical document: the Declaration of Independence.

This document, often referred to as our "most cherished
national treasure," was drafted by Thomas Jefferson, with the
enthusiastic support of John Adams who was responsible for some
of the emphases of the finished document. The final version of the
manuscript was presented to the Continental Congress on July 4,
and with only New York temporarily abstaining, the other 12
colonies agreed, and that very evening John Hancock, the
President of the Congress, signed it in a flamboyant manner,
saying of the British reward offered for his capture, "The British
ministry can read that name without spectacles; let them double
their reward."

There were 56 signers of the Declaration. In affixing their
names to the document, they did so with this affirmation, "And
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."
strong influence of the Christian faith upon the instrument of
separation from Great Britain was evident from the opening
portion of the Declaration, which referred to"the Laws of Nature
and of Nature’s God,"
and in the very familiar phrase, "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

The signers were recognized as being intelligent, religious, and
well experienced in dealing with the governmental aspects of the
colonies. In addition to four of the signers being clergymen, other
professions among the group included lawyers, doctors, educators
and merchants. It has been noted that for the most part, the signers
were active church-goers,and some served as lay leaders. Their church
affiliations are interesting;reports vary, but here is a fairly accurate summary:

Episcopal/Anglican: 26 or 46.4%;
Congregationalist: 13 or 23.2%;
Presbyterian: 12 or 21.4%;
Quaker: 2 or 3.6%;
2 or 3.6%;
Catholic: 1 or 1.8%

By contrast, today’s largest Protestant denomination - Baptist -
is not represented among the signers, and the largest representation
was (as would be expected) from the Episcopal/Anglican communion.
Here in America today that group is relatively small, and is currently
split over homosexual positions contrary to the Word of God. The
smallest representation was for the Catholic church, which is the
largest church denomination in America today.

On this 230th anniversary observance of the 4th of July
Independence Day – we here in America have so much for which to
be grateful. Those acknowledgments that all men are created equal,
and are endowed by God, their Creator with the unalienable rights
of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, have been basic to this
nation from those earliest days. Despite changes to those found -
ational principles in the name of of "progress," America has
persevered and remained the strong and independent world leader
among all nations. That statement, defining our independence, was
written just over 150 years after the pioneers settlers wrote the
Mayflower Compact as they arrived in New England to accomplish
what they saw as God’s will to bring the Christian gospel to this new
land. In that century and a half those original intents and purposes
had been strengthened and with confidence in God’s continued leading,
these men in the year 1776were prepared to embark upon a further
voyage toward freedom and liberty.

Now 230 years later we are confronted by equally
daunting challenges,
but it seems that as many are from
within as from without.

So desirable is America as a place to live that between 12 and 20
million immigrants now live here illegally, and are exacting a heavy
toll on our taxpayer-paid benefits, and the cost of their criminal
activities. Yet our Congress is unwilling to take any action to shut
off this influx of illegal aliens, and secure our borders, even as the
federal administration fails to act according to laws which are in
force. The American people want this situation stopped, but their
voices are ignored. Similarly, the American people do not want
the institutions of marriage and the family discarded in favor of
homosexual unions, yet our courts and our state legislatures are
failing the nation in this regard. It is difficult to conceive of what
those men who signed the Declaration of Independence would
have thought of 50 million babies killed in just a few years of
legalized abortion.

Our school system which was established under historic Judeo/
Christian principles, has banned all mention of God and the Bible
and prayer, with the predictable result that a pagan nation lies
just ahead as today’s young people move into positions of leader -
ship with no knowledge or respect for their Creator and Lord.

Already we are faced with the fact that more people vote in an
amateur talent contest called "American Idol" than vote in our
national elections.

As we watch the parades and fireworks displays, as we enjoy
the picnics and the band concerts, and as we lay floral remem -
brances on the graves of our military who have given their lives
to preserve and protect this nation, let us pause and resolve to
take back America for God . . . let us fulfill the heritage granted
to us by those men who pledged their lives and their sacred
honor to establish this nation’s independence.

Afterthoughts . . .

We (American Christians) aren’t completely silent; when it
was necessary to speak up and tell our Senators how we, the American
people, feel about the sorry immigration/amnesty bill, we got results.
Of course, our results were so definite that "Majority Leader" Harry
Reid gave up and has now decided to allow the status quo to prevail
until 2009, and watch hundreds of thousands more illegal aliens
slip through our porous borders and further deplete our taxpayer paid
benefits – welfare, education, heath care, legal violations, etc. If there
were some astute leadership in Washington, existing immigration laws
could be enforced, a border fence could be built (as provided by law),
and the tide of illegals slowed to a trickle. But instead, a new meaning
of the descriptive term, a "Do nothing Congress" has been created.

History (of a sort) is about to be made. It has been announced that
on July 12 the U.S. Senate will be opened with a Hindu prayer. Rajan Zed,
a Hindu from Nevada (Harry Reid’s home state) has called this event "an
illustrious day for all Americans." Reviewing the Christian religious
affiliations of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, the founders
of America, "illustrious" hardly seems an appropriate term for this event.

The world-wide conflicts are seen in an anti-Christian context.

We are all aware that the elite media – most of the US press and most
of the US broadcast facilities -- see religion, more specifically Christianity,
as being at the heart of the conflicts raging around the world. From the
"vast right wing conspiracy" created by Hillary Clinton when her husband,
the President of the United States, was involved in perverted sexual acts
with a young female employee, to the more recent attack by Democrat
Presidential candidate Barack Obama who charged, "Faith got highjacked
because of the so-called leaders of the Christian right ..." it is clear that
Christian attitudes and beliefs are being blamed for much of the problems
of the world. The international scholar, and best-selling author, Mike Evans,
in his latest book "The Final Move Beyond Iraq" describes the tremendous
threat America is facing from the Islamofascists, but among his critics, "RDS"
offers this familiar attack, describing Evans’ relying on Biblical prophecy as
"classic Bible-thumping stupid – these are the people who do not read
anything other than the Bible ..." But face it . . . that’s the way it is. We’re
not understood. We are, in words from the Bible, "a peculiar people."

Small problems, left unsolved, grow into large ones. It seems like
almost every product we purchase today bears those three familiar words:
"Made in China." In recent months we have experienced a poisoning of
domestic pets through pet foods containing ingredients imported from
China. With that specific problem solved – or assumed so – concern has
now shifted to foods for human consumption which are similarly adulterated
by ingredients originating in Chinese factories and processing plants.
Expressions of concern by American officials have produced assurances
of closer control by Chinese authorities – a most difficult task given the rural
nature of so many of the food processing facilities in that vast country. In
2000 under the Clinton administration, the Permanent Normal Trade
Relations act (PNTR) went into effect with assurances of increased exports
of American food products to China. Actually those exports have declined,
while Chinese food exports to America have increased to $2.1 billion, which
represents 13% of food consumed by Americans. Today only 1.3% of
Chinese food imports are examined by American authorities, which leaves
98.7% of those imports unexamined. According to "Time to Stand Up for
America" (June 2007), "We can’t count the cost merely in dollars and in
bushels. China simply doesn’t have health, sanitary or safety standards
that Americans expect for our food supply."
Hello Congress - could it be
time to reconsider PNTR?

Quote for this day and every day: "Liberty is to the collective body,
what health is to every individual body. Without health no pleasure can
be tasted by man; without liberty, no happiness can be enjoyed by society."
– Thomas Jefferson

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