Monday, July 4, 2011
Fourth of July Messages
Message from our courageous Bishop and brother in Pakistan to the AOC:
To day is 4th of July and our American brothers & sisters are celebrating their Independence Day.
We as AOC family around the world congratulation Bishop Jerry Ogles and all our dear members and friends in USA. It is our earnest prayer that America may long live for the Lord's Glory.
In His service,
Bishop of AOC in Pakistan
4th of July greetings from a courageous bishop and retired officer of Pakistan, Bishop Timotheus Nazir (JLO):
The 4th of July reminds the world, what liberty is. This day how great nations are built on one faith (In God We Trust) and under one flag.
Wishing all Americans, and our dear friends of AOC Worldwide, a very blessed Independence Day.
“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36) and “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)
Today (July 4th) is the day in America on which we celebrate Independence Day! But what did that Independence, gained from Great Britain, entail for the people of America? It provided a free and open society in which her citizens could enjoy those unalienable rights granted by God of life (even to a child in its mother’s womb), liberty(the freedom to worship as we please, say what we please, and do what we please as long as we do not harm others), and the pursuit of happiness (to plan for and provide for our families, or our own careers, in whatever way we deem suitable for us). These are not rights granted by the American government, or any other government – these are rights granted by God Almighty. Any government that attempts to curtail these rights, or adjudicate them into privileges, are acting out of any legitimate authority.
We should never forget that this country was founded upon Christian and Biblical principles (notwithstanding the recent words of a President who wishes to deny that America is still a Christian nation). An old friend of mine who is also a staunch patriot and lover of the American Way, has spent much time and treasure in sharing artifacts and documents of our founding as a nation. He is the Rev. James Flanagan of Philadelphia! He sent to my church for posting a beautiful copy of George Washington’s Prayer at Valley Forge which we have been honored to display at St Andrews:
"Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection; that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United states at large. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen” ~ George Washington
I recently discovered a report released in May by Harvard University entitled, “Shaping the Nation: Estimating the Impact of Fourth of July Using a Natural Experiment,” which finds Republicans benefit more from Fourth of July parades and activities than do Democrats. The study reveals that young people below the age of eighteen who attended at least one patriotic celebration on the 4th of July are more likely to vote and support the Republican Party. I will leave the reader to draw the proper conclusion to this report whose aim is likely to discourage patriotic celebrations as threatening to the socialist agenda. Perhaps the display of Nativity Scenes and Easter Crosses might have a similar detrimental impact on the atheist faith as well.
It is the job of no President to denigrate our Christian heritage or the values that have made our nation great. Unless America is a Christian nation in the hearts of her people, and not the lips of a President, we may not be so. But as long as we hold dear those truths in our hearts to be self-evident that underpinned our founding as a nation, we shall ever remain strong and free.
It appears that we have ventured far from those principles for which our forefather’s fought and died to establish us as a Nation. The answer to our apostasy is not in whom we send to Washington to represent us – it lies in the hearts of the American people themselves to reaffirm. If America returns to God who gave us liberty, we shall find those to represent us in Washington whose values are likewise based on biblical and Constitutional principles. My prayer is that God will once again shed His Light on Thee, America!
Jerry L. Ogles, D.D.
Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide