By Marilyn Boyer
One of the tragedies of our time is that we have lost so much of our knowledge of the glory of America. John Quincy Adams said that America revered Independence Day almost as much as Christmas because our country had been founded upon the very bedrock principles of Christianity. Everybody used to call it Independence Day. Now it’s just the Fourth of July. Ballgames, picnics, fireworks. That’s about all.
But not to the Christian patriot. This sacred day is so much more than sparklers.
Independence Day…what an opportunity to teach our children about real godly heroes. In America, we are blessed to live in a nation which was birthed through prayer, Bible study and adherence to principles found in God’s Word.
Of the 250 men who are considered to be our founding fathers, all but about a dozen were Christians. Listen to their words:
Samuel Adams: “I rely upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins.”
Charles Carroll: “On the mercy of my Redeemer I rely for salvation and on His merits; not on the works I have done in obedience to His precepts.”
John Witherspoon: “I entreat you in the most earnest manner to believe in Jesus Christ, for there is no salvation in any other.”
Roger Sherman: “I believe that there is only one living and true God, existing in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost…and that at the end of this world, there will be a resurrection of the dead, and a final judgment of all mankind, when the righteous shall be publically acquitted before Christ the Judge, and be admitted to everlasting life and glory, and the wicked be sentenced to everlasting punishment.”
Gunning Bedford: “To the triune God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost – be ascribed all honor and dominion forever more. Amen.”
That’s just a sampling. It’s astounding! Is there any doubt that we have inherited a godly heritage!
When our founding fathers pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor, those were not just empty words. When they signed their names to the Declaration of Independence, they knew they could be signing their own death warrants. King George commanded his officers to find and kill these fifty-six men. Nine of them never lived to witness America becoming a nation, five were tortured by the British, twelve lost everything they owned, three lost their families and children.
By all human standards, the Americans shouldn’t have won. They had no national resources and no military. Robert Morris, a wealthy man, was given position of financier of the American Revolution. He personally funded the first three years with two million dollars. He was never repaid, and spent his final days in debtor’s prison, as his country couldn’t afford to pay him back. He gave his word. He never complained.
John Hancock, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was a wealthy merchant. After Hancock fled to avoid capture, the British set up headquarters in his mansion. Hancock, upon discovering this, rounded up the militia and destroyed his own home with a volley of cannon fire, rather than let the British profit at American expense.
Abraham Clark, another signer, had two of his sons captured by the British and put in British warship prisons. The British told him they would release his sons if he would renounce his signature on the Declaration of Independence. He refused and said he would be lying to do so.
Our founders were men of integrity. When they gave their word, their actions backed it up, despite devastating personal loss.
We have found it fascinating to begin researching our founding fathers. I found a set of posters, replicas of portraits of the founding fathers. I frame one at a time and hang it in our dining room as we share facts about each founder with our children. My goal is for our family to learn about each of our founders, their spiritual declarations and what they sacrificed for our freedom. (See www.wallbuilders.com for excellent resources.)
Independence Day has taken on a whole new meaning for us. When we learn what godly men sacrificed for our freedom, it serves to give us a vision for how we can make a difference in America. I am personally praying for God to raise up a mighty army of home educated children to reclaim our spiritual heritage and move America back to the principles of God upon which it was established, and for which our fathers suffered much to attain.
James Garfield, our 20th President, said, “If the next centennial does not find us a great nation…it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.”
Rev. Mathias Burnett charged his people in 1803: “Let not your children have reason to curse you for giving up those rights and prostrating those institutions which your fathers delivered to you.”
Our freedom was purchased at a great price. This Independence Day, enjoy those picnics and the fireworks, but let’s nor neglect to pass on to our children their heritage of freedom. As David Barton said, “Psalm 32:12 declares that blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; this nation has been blessed from its beginning; and if America does not stay blessed, it will be because Christians did not stay involved. Get involved – make a positive difference in America.”
About the Author
Marilyn Boyer is a nationally-known home schooling speaker and author whose message is rooted in the principles of Scripture and filtered through the accumulated experience of teaching her own fourteen children at home for over 25 years. In addition to her books and articles for parents, Marilyn has authored several workbooks of character-building lessons for children. She and her husband, Rick minister through The Learning Parent, a service to home schoolers and Christian parents across America and in several foreign countries. Learn more about the Boyer family on their website, www.thelearningparent.com.