The United States of America is 242 years old. That’s a long time for a nation to remain free. But, when you look at our history in the context of world history, America is just a child among the nations. Egypt, China, Japan and Greece all make America’s history seem so short. 242 years young and yet we stand tall among these nations because of the principles on which we were established beginning with the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
Freedom ought to be and needs be celebrated. So many churches and ministers today shy away from patriotism in the pulpit. I am not one of those. I celebrate today with you the freedoms which God has blessed this great nation of ours.
In Luke 4:18-19, in his very first public sermon, Jesus declared what was going to be the foundation of his ministry. “The Spirit of the Lord has appointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted and to announce that captives shall be released and the blind shall see, that the downtrodden shall be freed from their oppressors and that God is ready to give blessings to all who come to Him.” Jesus tells us that he came to bring good news”. He said, “I’ve come to set people free and that goes for churches as well.
In their latest book, Dinosaurs to Rabbits, authors Bill Easum and Bill Tenny-Brittian have brought us all good news. They have written for churches a sort of Declaration of Independence. It is a declaration of freedom from mindsets that are chained to outdated traditions. Dinosaurs to Rabbits is a declaration of liberty to transform declining mainline churches into vibrant growing congregations. Dinosaurs to Rabbits is a declaration of independence from the expression that has become know as the seven last words of a dying church, “We’ve never done it that way before.”
According to the authors, “Mainline churches are at a crossroads – either they wake up to the major trend of our time or they will continue to be irrelevant or, worse yet, go out of existence… Instead of struggling to stay afloat mainline church leaders should learn how to become a multiplying church. Dinosaurs to Rabbits encourages churches and their leaders to first and foremost make a declaration of dependence upon this truth. That salvation comes only through faith in Jesus Christ who is the truth that sets us free. “If the Son will set you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36