Glenn Ward, Director of Missions
FREEDOM AND JUSTICE—FOR ALL?
July is usually the time when we focus on our Independence Day, July 4, and generally there are numerous celebrations, parades, fireworks, etc., to help us remember our heritage as a nation. However, in light of recent events in our nation, we might need to think about the title of this article—and ask: Is there really freedom and justice for all citizens? It’s likely most of us have never had to worry about such issues because of who our parents were/are and our racial birthright. But not everyone is so fortunate. Many people in our nation have been considered second-class citizens at best and many have suffered indignities and other prejudicial mistreatments.
Have you considered the fact that the Bible speaks of the issue that “God does not show favoritism” as Peter learned and testified to while sharing the gospel with a Roman centurion in Acts 10:34? James also addressed the matter: “My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism...if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as a lawbreaker” (James 2:1, 9). It would seem then, that we who are “believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ” are to live by a higher standard than the world and a part of that is to respect and treat all fellow human beings as God’s created beings, regardless of race, creed or color. The Lord had Moses write in Deuteronomy 10:17-- “For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.” 2 Chronicles 19:7-- “Now let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Judge carefully, for with the LORD our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.” Paul wrote in Romans 2:11-- “For God does not show favoritism.”
The founding fathers of our nation saw fit to put these words in the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” It has been a conviction of mine for a long time that Christians should be the very best citizens and set the example of both a follower of Jesus Christ and the laws of the land (that do not violate or compromise God’s laws).
May the Lord bless you all and give us the courage and strength to stand true to His way of “loving our neighbors—regardless of their ethnicity—as we love ourselves! And Happy 4th of July!
I’m so glad to be your DOM,