Greetings from the great folks at the Red Roof Church in Bulverde, Texas. I’m Lee Harder, the senior pastor, coming to you with another of my weekly vlogs and a personal invitation to worship with us this Sunday. We have worship celebrations at 8:30AM with a more tradition flavor and 10:45AM for the more contemporary appeal. Either way, I promise you will hear God’s Word from Scripture being preached without apology. You can also check out our delay broadcast of worship at our redroofchurch.org web site. Join us in praising our Lord, sharing in some good eats, and some inspiring Christian education for all ages. We’ll be looking for you this Sunday.
As of right now, we have survived Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. In addition, I have made it one more year with another birthday with a 48th anniversary with the love of my life looming on the horizon. However, before we get there we celebrate the 4th of July — Independence Day. I thought for a few weeks leading up to this important day, it couldn’t hurt to remind ourselves and some of our younger millennial types, as well as the historically challenged, just what makes this nation great. Please note, I said great, not perfect.
To begin, allow me to set an important tone from a Christian pastoral perspective that reminds us all, Christians and non-believers alike, we are all by nature sinful and unclean. Simply, none of us is perfect. The persons that seem bent on chastising to the point of exorcism important persons of our American history, events of great distinction and significance, and their contributions to who we are as a people and a nation should take serious note that what they do endangers their future. Some day a generation that follows them might deem it necessary to cast condemnation on their belligerent disregarding of the absolute truth that they too are by nature sinful and unclean. The guilty parties & the historically challenged are now warned.
One of the favorite targets of today’s elites is one of the greatest persons in the history of this nation, Thomas Jefferson. A good friend sent me some information about Jefferson that we need to see & I would share it with all, especially those who see him as evil because he owned slaves at one time in his life. Was it wrong? Yes, but still a condition of the period in which he lived, and including blacks and whites being indentured as slaves, too. Would Jefferson be proud of the fact today, decidedly not, because he was opposed to slavery even in his own time. I know, the nay Sayers would submit that he believed that blacks were inferior to other races, which was an attitude held by many foolish people. Is it right? No! Does that mean everything a man like that did is now valueless? Again, I say No! Let the one without sin cast the first stone. He is in some ways a product of his time and culture.
Look at what this man did in his lifetime.
1. At 5, began studying under his cousin's tutor.
2. At 9, studied Latin, Greek and French.
3. At 14, studied classical literature and additional languages.
4. At 16, entered the College of William and Mary. Also could write in Greek with one hand, while writing the same in Latin with the other.
5. At 19, studied Law for 5 years starting under George Wythe. 6. At 23, started his own law practice.
7. At 25, was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses.
8. At 31, wrote the widely circulated "Summary View of the Rights of British America," and retired from his law practice.
9. At 32, was a delegate to the Second Continental Congress.
10. At 33, wrote the Declaration of Independence.
11. At 33, took three years to revise Virginia's legal code and wrote a Public Education bill and a statute for Religious Freedom.
12. At 36, was elected the second Governor of Virginia, succeeding Patrick Henry.
13. At 40, served in Congress for two years.
14. At 41, was the American minister to France and negotiated commercial treaties with European nations along with Ben Franklin and John Adams.
15. At 46, served as the first Secretary of State under George Washington.
16. At 53, served as Vice President and was elected President of the American Philosophical Society.
17. At 55, drafted the Kentucky Resolutions and became the active head of the Republican Party.
18. At 57, was elected the third president of the United States.
19. At 60, obtained the Louisiana Purchase, doubling the nation's size.
20. At 61, was elected to a second term as President.
21. At 65, retired to Monticello.
22. At 80, helped President Monroe shape the Monroe Doctrine.
23. At 81, almost single-handedly, created the University of Virginia and served as its' first president.
24. At 83, died on the 50th Anniversary of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence, along with John Adams.
When Jefferson was drafting the documents that would become the foundation of this nation and democracy, he himself studied the previous failed attempts at government. He understood actual history, the nature of God, His laws and the nature of man. That happens to be way more than what most understand today. Jefferson knew his stuff.
Was he perfect, by no means. But he was brilliant despite his flaws. And we would not have this nation with its liberty and standard of freedom for all if it were not for him. The stone throwers had better take that into account.
Once John F. Kennedy, revered by both sides of the political spectrum (even though he was a philanderer in his own right — meaning not perfect) held a white house dinner for the brightest minds of the nation. At that event, he made this statement: This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence to ever gather at one time in the white house, with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.
I truly hope that this information gets some people thinking, but it probably won’t since thinking is a luxury some people can’t seem to afford. Jefferson was a God-fearing, devoted servant to humanity and his Creator that strove to plant a nation which all people could look to for inspiration. He was a man who saw into the future and could not have done so without some help from God which he always acknowledged.
Next week some quotes that shows he envisioned some of the struggles we endure today from those who always persist in diminishing the greatness of this nation for their own purposes.
And those are my thoughts as we get ready for Independence Day.
God bless. Have a great week.
Pastor Lee R. Harder