Because of the Brave 

Like most of my readers know, I grew up in a non-resistant home and community. Joining the military was unheard of. Choosing careers like police or law would never have been supported by the church. Voting was strongly discouraged. We were taught that church and state are to be kept separate; all a Christian can do is pray. 

Pray for the government. 

Pray for more years of religious freedom, if it’s God’s will

Pray that the President will make wise decisions. Decisions that will allow us as Christians the freedom of religion. 

Pray for the upcoming election. That the right party would win so that the country will be able to thrive and prosper. 

Prayer is good. It’s important. As Christians, we’re called to pray for our country, our government. But is that all we can do? 

This past week, as my husband and I have been eighteen-wheeling it all over the great USA, I’ve been seeing posters, framed pictures, billboards, and even semitrailers everywhere with the words Our Fallen Heroes and Never Forget The Fallen and stuff like that. Vehicles display pictures of veterans from their family and of young men currently serving in the army. And all I can think about is the bravery of these men and women. 

How much has it cost men to leave their wives and children and go to war, knowing well and good they might never see their families again? How heartbroken have thousands of women been to see their husbands, sons, and fathers off to fight in a war, just so we can enjoy freedom today? 

A lot of Christians argue that it is wrong to celebrate Independence Day, using grounds that our citizenship is not of this world, but of the world to come. Or as followers of Christ, our loyalty is to Him and not the government. Or that we shouldn’t make our home here on earth, but prepare for our eternal home in heaven. And that is all good and well and biblical, but sometimes I feel like this practicing of nonresistance, this separation of church and state, at least the way I’ve been taught, leaves something in the loop. I mean, what kind of government might we have if the millions of Christians who pray would pray and vote? Would there be more laws against abortion and same-gender marriages if Christians prayed and worked? 

I don’t know. To be honest I should not be talking about this. But there’s been this thought in my head all week long, and that is this: if it weren’t for the troops, we wouldn’t be here. No matter if you live in Canada, Mexico, or the United States. Those brave men and women who shipped off to war made it possible that we can go to church, that we have jobs, beautiful houses, and cars. Because of them, we are able to lead first class prosperous lives. Because of them, we are able to see our families every day. 

And yet so many of us take that for granted. People get up on the morning of July 4 (or July 1 or September 16, wherever you live) and grumble about the red, white and blue streamers, banners, and flags everywhere, how worldly it is. Yes, they do enjoy the firework shows they can watch for free from a distance, but heaven forbid they should spend money on their own party. Any show of patriotism is prideful and wrong, even just a tiny flag sticker on your windshield. Celebrating Independence Day is celebrating violence. 

Maybe we should take a second to reconsider a few things. What if we took one day to show our gratitude to the troops for fighting for our religious freedom so that we don’t need to? What if we took a day to honor those who have died for us so that we can lead healthy, free, and prosperous lives? What if we took a day to thank God that we have the opportunity to serve in the government instead of being under a communist government? What if we took a day to spend with our loved ones, our friends, neighbors, and not take for granted that we can walk out the front door without needing to hide from anyone? 

Don’t you think our country deserves one day of celebration – one day out of 365? 

After all, all government is ordained by God. And we don’t know if God will grant us another year of freedom. 

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