(Orange, Texas)

June 29, 2013

“Freedom to Believe”

John Warren
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." - Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence.   

I like that our forefathers happen to think that the only way to find true happiness is through a relationship with the God who created us and this wonderful universe. Dr. James Kennedy preached on TV to his Coral Gables, Florida church.  He said this: "In reading over the Constitutions of all fifty of our states, I discovered something which some of you may not know: there is in all fifty, without exception, an appeal or a prayer to the Almighty God of the universe…. Through all fifty state Constitutions, without exception, there runs this same appeal and reference to God who is the Creator of our liberties and the preserver of our freedoms."

As a pastor, I have experienced many things of which I received no formal training.  For example, several years ago I was asked by a church member to hold a memorial service for her step-father. The next part of the question asked was not one I was trained to answer.  “Would you hold a service for a person who did not believe in God, my step-father was atheist?”   As it turned out this man was very intelligent, had been involved in the writing of Alaska’s Constitution.  The preamble of that constitution states, “We the people of Alaska, grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land, in order to secure and transmit to succeeding generations our heritage of political, civil, and religious liberty within the Union of States, do ordain and establish this constitution for the State of Alaska.”  

Who am I to deny a family who truly believes in God, and who am I to say that his life was in vein?  I believe in a God to whom nothing he chooses to do is impossible.  It is my faithful prayer, like the faith of the young friends who cut a hole in the roof of a house to lower their friend to the feet of our Savior that he might be healed.  I held the service and left this man’s soul in the hands of God.  It is my prayer that he found the same healing the man on the cot found.  Happy Independence Day!