So the Gospel Can Go Forth Freely

“If you’re fighting for religious liberty simply to win arguments for secular progressives, there are better things to do . . . If you’re doing it to carve out special places for your own rights and privileges, there are better things to do. We fight for religious liberty only so the Gospel can go forth freely.  Russell Moore
Every fight has a cost.
The founders of the United States of America knew that better than most of us ever will when they signed 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 unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness….

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

Pledging their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor always strikes me. Many of the 56 signers lost a great deal.

Five were captured, tortured, and executed.

Twelve lost their homes–burned by the British.

Two lost sons in the war.  Another had two sons captured.

Nine lost their own lives in battle or from the hardships of war.

Others lost loved ones, property. Some died destitute.

They kept their pledge, giving up life and fortune, but never sacred honor.

Liberty means different things to different people today.  True liberty is not just about rights. Those who came before us paid a dear price for liberty.  That kind of liberty manifests itself as duty. It’s the kind of liberty that keeps honor sacred.

It’s costly. It’s big.

John Stonestreet:  “But isn’t that what lives, fortunes and sacred honour are for, in the end—to be pledged to Something Big?”

In this life, something big is never what we get. It’s always what we give. It’s always the cost we pay.

If Christians truly believe that Jesus was who He said he was . . . then they will be willing to lose their friends, their jobs, their families, their freedom, and even their lives if that’s what it takes to bear witness to the truth.”

God bless our sacred honor. May we spend it on Him.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:
Column 1
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton
Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton
Column 3
John Hancock
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
Column 4
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean
Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark
Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

Photo Credit:  RW Linder

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