Pastor’s Corner July 2019
Stars and Stripes
With pride, men and women still sing the words written by that Russian immigrant, Irving Berlin, who landed on these shores back in 1893:
“God bless America, Land that I love;
Stand beside her,
and guide her,
Through the night
With a light from above.
From the mountains,
To the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless America,
My home sweet home.”

The twin legacies of liberty: civil liberty and religious liberty. We have declared them to be our unalienable God-given right. No other nation in the history of this planet has so powerfully championed these freedoms. Some commentators have concluded that the two horns of the beast with lamb-like horns seen in Revelation 13 are indeed the twin legacies of civil freedom and religious liberty.

The words of Emma Lazarus inscribed on the Statue of Liberty in New York’s harbor have rung true in the hearts of this planet’s exiles: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled
masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Land of the free and home of the brave. Those early pioneers, the framers of the Declaration of Independence were guided not by their own thoughts but by God. When the pilgrims courageously left Europe on the Mayflower and crossed the  Atlantic to the unknown world of America, they wanted to escape the religious oppression of the past. They longed
to be free from persecution.They wanted to found a country where they could be free to worship God and practice the religion they believed in. When the boat pulled into the harbor
off Plymouth, Massachusetts, and the first band of Pilgrims set foot on this continent, they knelt to thank God for their safe journey.

The flag of the United States stands tall. The framers of our Constitution made clear statements about the separation of church and state. George Washington said in 1789,
“Every man conducting himself as a good citizen and being accountable to God alone for his religious opinion, is to be protected in worshiping the Deity according to the dictates of
his own conscience.”

Freedom- we often take it for granted. Prophecy points us to a time however, when we will not always enjoy the freedoms we have now. In fact the same chapter of Revelation tells us that there will come a time when our freedoms will be taken away. Even now, our personal liberties are being slowly and subtly undermined. And one day it will lead to a final conflict over the law of God and His worship. Just as there are twin liberties today there will be two targets of the devil’s anger- those who keep God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

Why not make a commitment now to share God’s message of love and truth to a world that doesn’t know him. While the doors of freedom are still open- while Liberty’s lamp still
lights the way, the time for sharing His love is now. The time for opening His word to others in now.

Pastor Barry Taylor