We live in a Christian sub-culture that will, invariably, chide anyone who exuberantly applauds and celebrates July 4th. They will scream and use their intellectual prowess to try and show that you really worship culture, white supremacy, nationalism, etc. Don’t fall for it. It is a lie.
Like other federal holidays, July 4th should be celebrated with great joy and gratitude. Why? Because we are thankful for the sacrifice of those who have gone before us to blaze the trails and lay the foundations of what is arguably, the greatest nation to have ever been formed in global history. For this, every American should celebrate. Without that sacrifice, we would not be able to have any of the freedoms this country affords its citizens, including those that, because of this sacrifice, allows others to boisterously proclaim disapproval. Every citizen, of every ethnicity, of every skin color, and sub-culture can celebrate that they can live in freedom.
If we cannot stop and celebrate Independence Day, then we cannot celebrate any other day. Christmas. Family birthdays. Memorial Day. Labor Day. Juneteenth. Martin Luther King Day. These all become days that CAN be seen as idolatry. But they are not. And neither is Independence Day.
Our celebration is one of gratitude for the greatness of our country – although Jesus is greater.
Our celebration is one of joy for the privilege of living in the United States – although joy in Jesus is greater.
Our celebration is one of remembrance for those who gave their lives to secure our freedoms – although our freedoms through Jesus’ death are greater.
Our Christian commitment to scripture and the holiness of God is not reduced to our expressions of gratitude for our country. If your church sings a patriotic anthem, sing wholeheartedly. It doesn’t replace your worship. If your church does not take part in this manner, that is okay too. It does not mean your church is lead by a religious Marxist. Our country is large and wide and deep with all sorts of approaches to holidays. We don’t proclaim our joy and gratitude at the expense of our commitment to God. We simply express our celebration for the providence of the birth of our country.
Our ultimate commitment is to God and his kingdom. AND, each year we pause on July 4th to celebrate the birth of our nation. It’s okay to do so.
“I have said that the Declaration of Independence is the ring-bolt to the chain of your nation’s destiny; so, indeed, I regard it. The principles contained in that instrument are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost.” — Frederick Douglass