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In celebration of The Fourth, I like to watch “patriotic” movies, like “PATRIOT” or “INDEPENDENCE DAY” (OK…that one’s really about aliens, but it’s still a good movie).  One of my favorite movies was on TV the other day; “NATIONAL TREASURE”.  In this movie, the minor point that stuck out to me was how our Founding Fathers were, in fact, traitors…at the time they rebelled against the established government.  At the end of the “Declaration of Independence” they pledged each other their “lives, fortunes and sacred honor.”  Most of the signers lost all three of those things before the end of the Revolution.

But the point was that to pursue what they knew to be the truth, they had to buck the establishment.  Like Martin Luther, who said that the church was wrong (according to how HE read the Bible) and had been wrong for hundreds of years.  He was a monk, and he MARRIED A NUN!  You can imagine what the church thought of Him!  Good grief…even Mary (mother of Jesus) was an un-wed mother!  That’s truly bucking the system.  The Church itself has stated that there is one thing all the saints have in common; they said “no” to the established church, they bucked the system.  They called the truth the truth, no matter what the status quo was and how long it had been established.

 What I learn from this is we (or maybe I should just speak for myself) need to be true to what I believe IS TRUTH, no matter how long the “establishment” has said something else.  I need to be strong enough to pledge my “life, fortune and sacred honor” to that which I believe is true, even when it flies in the face of what my contemporaries may believe.  I’ve done that. I’ve lost much. It’s not fun, but God is the final judge, and it is to HIM that I truly owe my life, fortune and sacred honor…as we all do.

As a Pastor, I pray for courage to be bold in speaking what I believe to be the Truth.  And the congregation needs to be free to speak boldly about the Truth as well, and so I encourage that, in all realms of our lives.

As citizens of the Kingdom of God, our PRIMARY allegiance should not be to the establishment, nor should it be to the State, but to Him and to the Truth.  It is truth, not the establishment that gives us freedom!

“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free…if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!” – And to that Truth, and to the Kingdom, I will pledge my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor…will you?