Author: Bruce Cook
When I think about what Independence Day, the birth of our nation, means to me and our church I can’t help but feel pride and devotion to our country.
A few years ago I was able to obtain the genealogy for my father’s side of the family. I discovered that my ancestors had come over on one of the trips made by the Mayflower from England and landed at Plymouth. I then wondered what their reasons were for coming to America, was it for the same reasons as the others that had come before them?
We know that freedom of opportunity and freedom of religion were two of the most important reasons for coming. There were several other reasons but freedom of worship was the most important of them all. I discovered from the genealogy that I had a Great Great Grandfather, a Great Grandfather as well as Great Uncles and Uncles that were all Ministers in the Cook descendents. In addition, I’m told that my Great Grandmother on my mother’s side was a descendent of Alexander Campbell of Bethany.
Looking back I want to believe that freedom of opportunity and freedom of worship were the two main goals in all of their lives.
The Declaration of Independence was adopted by the congress on July 4th, 1776. Thomas Jefferson was the principle writer of the document. The first part, the preamble, contained the philosophy of human rights. The second part stated a severe indictment of British policies in America, listing 27 grievances. The concluding part stated a decisive break with England, which was a formal declaration of war. This was followed by the Constitution of the United States in 1788 and then the Bill of Rights by 1791.
I have had relatives serve in every war since coming to this country to preserve our freedom. To me, Independence Day means the opportunity to live (with all of its faults) in the greatest country in the world, and I’m proud to be an American.
It means that the Free Methodist Church can have its own churches, doctrines and disipline. We can study our Bible and lift our individual or group prayers to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And I thank God for these freedoms, and that I live in this country, the United States of America.
May God Bless America
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