Independence Day

Happy Independence Day!

There. I said it. Was that so hard? Not for me.

For whatever reason, some Christians these days seem to have difficulty simply being thankful for our country. When, on some occasion, they attempt to do so, they often feel as though they must put an asterisk by it…making it clear they are not trying to suggest America is better than anyone else and pointing out the various problems America has. They also want to make sure that the church isn’t confusing patriotism with worship on a day like today—one on which we both celebrate Independence Day and worship our Lord.

I certainly believe that we shouldn’t confuse America with the church itself or God with Democracy, etc. However, I feel as though today it’s best for us to lighten up a bit and feel free to celebrate our nation. The story of America is a remarkable story, and one to which those who speak freely against her are indebted. To celebrate our country is OK. Interestingly, critics of national holidays think it’s OK for other nations to celebrate their holidays. They’re right of course. It is OK. It’s also OK for Americans to celebrate.

Celebrating Independence Day is like celebrating an anniversary. On my anniversary, I don’t feel the need to stop and point out the various problems with my spouse (not that there are any J) or make it clear to those around me that I don’t think my wife is better than anyone else. You just simply celebrate what you have. I don’t think it’s wrong at all to celebrate America. So…

To the Founding Fathers and others who played a role in helping gain our freedoms, thank you.

To those who protect our freedoms, thank you.

Happy Independence Day.

There, I said it.

You should, too.

*this post adapted from a previous post.


Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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7 thoughts on “Independence Day

  1. As a Christian who grew up in a small mid-western town where patriotism was a cult of personality, I have very mixed feelings about celebrating it. Our town had and still has a week long freedom festival to go along with BBQ’s, parties, etc… I like the BBQ’s and community gatherings where people can celebrate together the blessing of living in a nation where there is democratic rule and freedom rather than dictated tyranny. However, I also recognize that American Independence was achieved by a violent revolution and militaristic violence has been employed as needed—not just for defense–to bolster this “destiny” which now continues to foster the value of such militarism. That is what I cannot, in good conscience, celebrate. Plus, though the celebration of the later is not religious for every American, it increasingly appears to be for some.

    What I would like to know more about is how the early, pre-Constatinian church view patriotic celebrations.

  2. I think it is completely appropriate for the descendants of those who claimed their Independence on July 4, 1776 to do so. Go for it!

  3. Thank you for this column. This is the best explanation of how I view July 4th. I am the daughter of an immigrant and watched my mother become a citizen. While the United States was always celebrated in our house, God was more. Thanks again.