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OPINION EDITORIAL: Should Christians celebrate July 4th as Independence Day in America?

High angle view of Independence Day Fireworks from New York's Roosevelt Island on the East River, featuring five barges shooting celebratory explosives on July 4.

If Christians love, respect and appreciate the United States of America then yes July 4th should be celebrated or otherwise observed.

But what about America's Christians who do not cherish the U.S. nor celebrate the national holiday? Their points of view should not be disrespected by other Christians.

Some Christians who truly love America will experience a clash of emotions when Independence Day rolls around. They have fun shooting fireworks with their kids, barbecuing, taking vacations and spending time with friends and family on the federal holiday that is observed by nearly 100% of the nation's municipalities and businesses. Yet they are a bit saddened when remembering America's history of slavery surrounding the Fourth.

Independence Day observes the Continental Congress' unanimous adoption of the Declaration of Independence - a signed document that broke America's original 13 colonies free on paper from Great Britain and king George III in July of 1776.

But slavery was running rampant in the British colonies when the Declaration was signed by 47 of America's leading citizens, some who owned African or African descended slaves, including future president Thomas Jefferson.

Of course, colonial freedom had to be earned on the battlefields of the American Revolutionary War, a conflict in which African descendants, slaves and freed men, soldiered and served on both sides.

Slavery still ran rampant after the Continental Army prevailed under slave-owning General George Washington, America's future first president, who helped to secure freedom from the British monarchy when the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783 - formally ending the War.

Although it is not a religious holiday like Christmas or Easter, for many Americans July 4th is a time to reflect on God’s goodness to the U.S., which is a free and prosperous nation for many. Yet to some, an oppressive empire like Great Britain was viewed by its colonial revolutionaries who fought and died for liberty.

The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia has these words from the Christian Holy Bible engraved on it: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof” (Leviticus 25:10, King James Bible).

I believe that Christians should support one another in unified love and liberty no matter what their views on Independence Day are. Observers have often stated that Christians would be so much more powerful if we came together.

It would be a wise and impressive display of unity to not cause other Christians to experience a stumbling block concerning Independence day.

If it offends your Christian brother, then celebrate Independence Day out of his sight. If it offends you that your Christian brother does not celebrate July 4th, then respect his decision.

How good and how pleasant it would be, before God and man, to see the unification of all true Christians. If you please, then make this July Fourth the start of something bigger than yourself - the cause of Christian unity in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.



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