Last Message to America

In his last message to America, on June 24, 1826; ten days before he died on July 4, the same day that John Adams died, Jefferson declined an invitation to be in Washington D.C. for the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. He wrote:

"All the eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them." (From Stephen Ambrose�s To America.)

I get into trouble sometimes for talking about the United States in my messages. It really is a tightrope walk for someone who wants to walk in integrity to the Scriptures, yet finds himself living in a nation placed squarely in the epicenter of history. To understand Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Paul or even Jesus, for that matter, one has to try and understand how the Lord�s eternal Kingdom is lived out in very human systems and mindsets.

In the history of the Church, there have been monastic movements, during which people withdrew from the affairs of the world into a cloistered, safe and totally disengaged posture as far as the world was concerned. On the other extreme, there have been episodes in history when the organized church seized secular, political power. We can, for instance, see the danger of a theocracy when we look at Iran.

On this 4th of July, here is my promise to you. I won�t wave the flag, but I won�t apologize for it either. I will aspire to preach the Word in all seasons and during all regimes and administrations. We have been given a great gift in America. We are free to worship and we are free to speak to the great issues of the day. God grant us preachers the wisdom to maintain a good balance as we do.

Happy Independence Day,
Pastor Jim
July 4, 2009

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