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Happy Dependence Day!

How ironic that today we celebrate independence from tyrants when only recently, we voted ourselves more government programs and more taxes, the very thing we fought a revolution to resist.   What a strange epoch in which we live, when the Prime Minister of Russia can chide America for be…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
How ironic that today we celebrate independence from tyrants when only recently, we voted ourselves more government programs and more taxes, the very thing we fought a revolution to resist.
 
What a strange epoch in which we live, when the Prime Minister of Russia can chide America for becoming too socialist and for moving too far in the direction of dependence on the state. We are in the process of granting government increased control over our lives in many areas, and in the process, are setting in motion a cycle where our children or grandchildren will once more have to fight for independence.
 
God wants us free to choose him, but he also longs for us to subordinate our freedom and choose to become dependent, not on the state, but on him. We have swung the pendulum so far in the direction of independence when it comes to faith that we no longer really need God. Our stacks of insurance policies represent an effort to minimize the chances of having to depend on anyone other than ourselves.
 
Our independence hurts us most when it comes to relationships, whether they be our relationships to God or man. God created us as social creatures, so when teenagers disappear behind the X-box and stop interacting with others, they actually stunt their growth. Again, ironically, they fail to develop the very social skills that would one day enable them to be more fully independent and able to fully choose a healthy life.
 
Jesus came to set the captives free. He proclaimed liberty and was forever giving people the opportunity to exercise choice – to choose to follow him. He breaks the chains of captivity, but asks for a relationship that limits choice, that forces dependence.
 
Sometimes independence is a good thing, something to be celebrated, and sometimes it collapses inward on itself and creates a narrow, freedom-limiting lifestyle such as befell Orson Wells’ character in Citizen Kane. We all serve something. Even Jesus had to learn dependence. We live in a world of inescapable interdependence. Try to fight it and you end up caught in some prison of your own making like the Unabomber living in a cabin in Montana.
 
So today, we need to not only celebrate our
independence from tyrants who tax too much, but move closer to our
creator who is wooing us into a relationship where we depend on him and
trust him in radical ways. I’d therefore like to propose that for those
of us who follow Jesus, we celebrate a day of dependence on him. Let’s
make July 5, a Sunday this year, Dependence Day.
 
Choose your poison – what will you depend on? Where  will you invest your energies and passion? What will you rely on as a source of hope in your life? I believe that God is wooing us, asking us to subordinate our will and depend on him. More of us who are practiced in the ways of independence need to swing the pendulum back in the direction of finding ways to depend on our creator. One day we all depend on him to resurrect us and give us a life beyond the grave – why not begin depending on him now? And while you’re at it, join me in celebrating your dependence on him tomorrow. Happy Dependence Day!

Comments (14)

  • Yeah, don’t even get me going on where we might end up as a country if things keep rolling this way…and from my experience being raised in a country that started out w/ a socialist mindset, turned communist, turned hard core dictatorship, there was a fear of government that eventually evolved. We feared the hand that first fed us and then it did not even do that. This also caused a distrust among the people, leading to isolation concerning the deeper things in relationships.

  • Amen! I new I would love this blog just from the title! It’s time for a new Revolutionary war. One from our current dependent state to interdependence and freedom in our Lord Jesus Christ

  • In a world which celebrates self reliance and individual effort Jesus calls us to lean on Him and build community with other followers of His way. It’s a simple path to freedom.

    Thanks for the reminder, Seth. We are best when we are broken and reflect the need for Himand others.

  • It’s better to take refuge in the Lord,
    than to trust in man. Ps.118:8
    We celebrate with you, July 5th, Dependence Day!
    And July 6th, our 35th wedding anniversary….a long time dependence on God, each other and being there for those who depend upon us. The pastor that married us told us, “Trust God and love your fellow man and don’t confuse the two.” It has led us well, as one fulfills the other.

  • I’ve been pondering the same thing the last 24 hours. Parallels in the natural and spiritual. Those wanting to be free from the tyranny of the King of England and the greatest military in the world had to live out INTERDEPENDENCE to secure freedom. The stories are many and heroic of children, wives, single women, adolescents and men all working together, each doing their part to have this incredible victory and new beginning. Now the cry to LIVE OUT our freedom in Christ is stronger and eternal, and likewise, cannot be done without our need for one another. All ages and walks in life. The tyranny of the flesh and satan will not be overcome by any independent individual or homogeneous church gathering. We just have to have the same vision and passion as the colonists did, and the same vision and passion that Jesus has. And work TOGETHER, acknowledging our need for each other.

  • If those in our country who “profess” to be believers would live out their faith according to scripture (and if we had been doing so), the issue you are so accurately depicting would almost certainly not exist. “Christians” who live mainly for themselves are as much to blame as any one else, and I am guilty. This is a call for us who call upon His name to radically change our perspectives and lifestyles and align them with His heart and commands. Who knows, maybe the direction our country is headed can be halted. At the very least, we can make a difference. Let’s not deceive ourselves. Total dependence on Him means trusting His word in EVERY area of our lives. Let us pray for each other that we may live this out.

  • Dear Dadi Seth,
    Thank you for your kind wishes. It is truly in Christ that all are made free.
    Blessings.
    Emmanuel& Sonera

  • “…we voted ourselves more government programs and more taxes, the very thing we fought a revolution to resist. ”

    I though it was Taxation WITHOUT Representation. Isn’t what we have now taxation with representation? The taxes I pay on goods, property, and income are *represented* by a congressperson that I have the opportunity to vote in.

    Your statement is not a fair comparison in my opinion.

    Does anyone have any statistics on how much more “socialist” we are now then we’ve ever been? Or is it just buzz?

    P.S. My income taxes have lowered, as with most people I’ve talked with.

    • Marcus,

      My point was primarily about our need to depend on God. But you take issue with my assertion that government is becoming bigger and taxing more. You felt it was unfair.

      Check out the facts here:
      http://www.gpoaccess.gov/USbudget/fy05/hist.html

      Government was 7% of GDP in 1930, 30% in 2003, and with the current administration’s forecasts, will increase faster in the next decade than at any other time, spending $10 trillion more than it forecasts in taxes. In addition, it has taken over large segments of the auto industry, the banking industry, and is proposing huge new roles for government in energy (with the cap and trade legislation) and health care.

      How will it pay for all this? With huge new tax increases. It will begin with talk of a VAT tax.

  • Even Jesus Christ Himself realized his dependency on the Father, ““I can do nothing on My own initiative…”

    Who do we think we are?

  • Seth,
    I was disagreeing with your assertion that we fought a revolution to resist “more government programs and taxes.” It wasn’t that we were opposed to taxes, we were opposed to taxes from a government that would not allow us representation within their parliament.

    I can see you’re point about the government getting larger, not just with this current administration but over the course of 70 years. Yes, it seems from these charts that the money will most likely come from tax payers. Whether or not you or I think that is good or bad is not the topic of this post and I will not take it there.

    Thanks for your response.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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