The Word on the Week

Independence Day

Roll out the barbeque and let’s celebrate. It’s the 4th of July known as the day the US of A shook off the shackles of a British Parliament with its outrageous tax demands. Not even the infamous Boston Tea Party where tea valued around €750,000 (at today’s prices) was dumped into Boston harbour could slake the thirst for independence!

But all this was back in the 1770ies culminating with the signing of the declaration of independence in 1776. It enabled the Patriots to enshrine their political philosophies of liberalism and republicanism in a document which characterise the two political parties to this day. It also rejected the monarchy and the aristocracy and famously declared that all men are created equal.

This declaration was expanded on this week when the Supreme Court on a 5 – 4 majority ruled that States cannot ban same-sex marriage. In the name of ‘equality’ this law removes the ban right across the country.

The Bible is not silent about those who make such decisions. Alongside its clearest explanation of homosexual sin is the indictment of those who approve and institutionalise it (Romans Chapter 1 verses29-32). What happened in Ireland yesterday has happened in the US today!

The Bible is also clear as to the judgement which follows. In the same passage individuals who engage in these practices will receive the penalty of more of the same! It is as if God endorses their choice and says “you have made your bed so you must lie on it” (verses 24-27).

Can we assume God will judge the Nation, who legislates for sinful practices, any differently? Again this text would seem to predict an explosion of sinful practices – as if God’s restraining grace had been removed and the floodgates open (verses 29-32).

Christians are not immune from such sins. “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap” (Galatians Chapter 6 verse 7). The crucial difference is that we mourn over our sins. We do not make them into laws and go out and celebrate them. Instead we pray for forgiveness for ourselves and genuine repentance for others.

July 4th is not quite the same this year. The Creator’s equality has been distorted. We need to shed tears for the Nations whose laws mock God.

Righteousness exalts a Nation but sin is a disgrace to any people (Proverbs Chapter 14 verse 34).