Monday, July 6, 2015

Family fun on the Fourth of July

Loving America as a Christian is always tough.  Our country has never been a 'Christian Nation.'  The few times such things as building a real Christian society have been attempted have ended in disastrous blights on the Church's reputation and ages of apologies and backlashes as a result.  So that's probably good that we aren't actually a Christian nation.

On the other hand, European - and by extension American - society had, for most of its existence as a civilization, been founded upon some level of Christian world view and moral fabric.  That tension has been at its highest in America, where our founders deliberately avoided a Christian theocracy, and yet presupposed a Christian society.  Or at least a religious one founded however loosely on Christian values and ideals.

The subsequent centuries following our founding were anything but smooth, and many horrible things would happen.  Often by people committed to the same Faith of Jesus Christ as we today. Which makes you wonder.  Were they that bad, stupid, uncaring, evil, or what?  Did they know they were wrong and didn't care?  Or did they, in some twisted way we later generations can so easily see, believe - really deep down believe - they were right.  When Lorne Greene sits and reads his Bible while one of his slaves is being beaten in the groundbreaking series Roots, did he get the problem?  Or did he really believe there was nothing to see there?

And that gets me to thinking, as I am wont to do.  How do I know, how do I really, really know, that I'm not guilty of some flagrant blind spot like those we so quickly and mercilessly condemn from days of yore?  Sure, I can see all the other Christians and how wrong they obviously are.  But what about me?  Is there something I'm all about, knowing fully that it is completely acceptable, when in generations people will look back and see me sitting here at my computer while whatever happens and thinking it's just fine and dandy and ask 'how the Hell'?

I don't know.  At what point do we bail?  For many, the bail has already happened.  America has been weighed on the scales and found guilty and without redeeming qualities.  For others, America and the Kingdom of God are one and the same.  They really mean it, probably more than Winthrop, that America as the city on the hill is the same city that Christ spoke of.  For others, we realize that the two are not the same, but when did it pass that point of no return, or when will it?  Just when do we jump aside and let the nation drive over the cliff, lest we also be implicated?  That's the question.  For some, unless we change we are guilty of being Lorne Greene.  For others, that guilt is quickly approaching.

No answers, just kicking things around as we lit fireworks, watched movies, had cookouts, and did the same things we do every year because, as of now, we can.  As I say, the tough thing about history is that you have to wait for it to happen to study it.  So with all that, here are some important pictures of our Independence Day celebrations (which spilled over onto the 5th, since we all had Sunday off!):

Episode 5, which focused on the late, great Richard Winters
Still worth watching, despite the deplorable job moderns have in thinking over the history of the time
(my boys yelled 'censor it!' every time they saw the Confederate Flag, just for fun)

Our youngest psyching himself for the fun
The boys, the smokers, the sparklers - enough said

Don't know what happened, but he was beating a hasty retreat

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble...

Getting ready for chocolate fondue redux
I don't know, but he seems to be anticipating the treat

Our youngest is no shy wall flower when it comes to chocolate treats

Even my Mom, after a life of meat and potatoes, enjoyed the fondue moment

The family, the fondue, the fun - a jolly 4th.  Thanks to the Founding Fathers and the Veterans for making it happen

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