Applied Belief: Trans-cending freedom

The word transcend as a verb means to “go beyond the limits of.” This past week, we as a nation officially transcended our Judeo Christian principles which have been the bedrock of America for more than 239 years. I am one who believes that America has never been truly a “Christian” nation. What is true is that the vast majority of our laws had been based on biblical principles until now.

No nation in human history has maintained its leadership role in the world after publically embracing sin. From Sodom, to Greece, to Rome, all have fallen from their heights because God has either destroyed them (Sodom) or allowed for their destruction like Greece and Rome. America has embraced sin as normative for a very long time. In the words of Pastor John Piper, sin “is not new for America or history. That brokenness has been here since we were all broken in the fall of man. What's new is not even the celebration and approval of… sin, he explained."

Sinful behavior he added “has been exploited, and reveled in, and celebrated in art, for millennia. What's new is normalization and institutionalization. This is the new calamity."

As I wrote back in May in my article entitled “Gay Progress” the recent events in our nation should not discourage Christians but embolden and challenge us to fulfill the great commission of sharing Jesus with everyone. If there was ever a time to love others unconditionally and share the truth in love, this is it.

This Saturday we celebrate another Fourth of July. This time it will be a somber celebration. We are supposed to be celebrating and remembering the independence we gained hundreds of years ago. We should be celebrating that this nation was first settled by those seeking religious freedom and that this freedom was obtained at a high price; a price paid with the blood of those men and women in uniform. Yet it will be a somber celebration because many in this nation including five justices declared themselves, using the Declaration of Independence’s own words, the “Supreme Judge.” In an effort to extend freedom and equality for all as guaranteed by the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence these Judges transcended, again using the Declarations words, the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”

As a result, true Christians who believe in the Bible, the Word of God, will suffer in the short term. Christians will lose their freedoms; their first amendment rights. Churches will lose their tax exempt status. Churches will close their doors. Christians will begin to meet again in homes. Christians will be dragged from these homes, sued and taken to court. Many will be put to death because of their faith. Ultimately all religions will be outlawed. Humans will declare they have achieved peace on their own without God because there is no God they will say and then the end will come.

As dark as that sounds it is a reality. Yet we rejoice because our freedom transcends the human understanding of freedom. Dear readers I leave you with these departing words, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

About Rev. Marcos O. Almonte

Rev. Marcos O. Almonte is senior pastor at Brandywine Baptist Church, the oldest Baptist Church west of Philadelphia. Pastor Marcos is a graduate of Palmer Theological Seminary with more than 10 years working with families with an expertise in theology, trauma and addictions. Pastor Marcos and his wife Mary have three children, Carmen, Joseph, and Lincoln.

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