Updated: Mar 8, 2019
The Spirit of 1776 is In China
“Freedom is never free.” What price would you pay for the liberty to speak and act according to your conscience rather than according to the cultural or government mandates? One of our founding fathers, Patrick Henry, boldly declared, “Give me liberty or give me death!”— and so was the heartbeat of the American Revolution of 1776. That radical, devoted, spirit has become sedated by the luxuries of the American way of life. We have too much to lose, it seems. But the fires for true liberty are burning brightly in the small but powerful light of the Chinese Christian church. Pastors are being rounded up and thrown in prison for not complying with the government mandates to remove crosses from their church buildings and to allow the government to install congregation-facing cameras in their pulpits. These pastors are brave and bold. They carry the true revolutionary spirit of 1776, which is not a desire for imperialism but a desire for true liberty. Our founding fathers understood that real liberty comes from God, and our brothers and sisters in China are dying for this belief and because of this belief.
It is fascinating to see the Chinese House churches calling for a “separation of Church and State,” and by this meaning what our founding fathers originally meant, that the government cannot dictate to the Church how it will worship God. God is above the authority of the State. This is in fact the claim of the Gospel: God has become King in and through Jesus. And whether it is right for us to obey man rather than God, the world may judge, but as for us, we cannot stop speaking about what we have heard and seen. The God of our fathers has raised Jesus from the dead, exalting Him to the Lordship of heaven and earth. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him. We must obey God rather than men. Let us follow the lead of our brothers and sisters in China. And let us remember the roots of our American heritage. We will live in liberty or we will die trying. But even when we die, we anticipate the resurrection. This is what makes us revolutionaries so dangerous.