Preachers celebrate long Independence Day weekend with fireworks of their own


FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — Many Georgia churches marked the long Independence Day weekend with sermons calling on believers to engage politicians at the local, state and national levels.

“There’s an old saying that’s true, that they see the light when they feel the heat,” said longtime Atlanta-area pastor Richard Lee who spoke Sunday at Flat Creek Baptist Church in Fayetteville. “Make them feel the heat of righteousness — not your stubborn opinion or mine but the heat of righteousness.”

Preachers like Lee added a fiery kickoff to a holiday that has come to be known for its fireworks.

Georgia Baptist Mission Board legislative agent Mike Griffin also urged people not to shy away from “the public square.”

Speaking at Monroe’s 1025 Church on Sunday, Griffin said Christians have constitutional and biblical authority to take part in the political process.

“Isn’t it good to know,” he said, “that we have a Constitution that tells what God has already told us to do, and that is to participate?”

Speakers reminded churchgoers that Independence Day is a celebration of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, when colonists, many of them Baptists who came to America seeking religious freedom, declared their separation from Great Britain.

Griffin warned against Christians pulling themselves out of the political process because they consider politics evil. He said it’s vital that Christians bring righteousness to government by being “salt and light,” a reference Matthew 5:13-14.

“I know there’s a lot of wicked politics out here,” he said. “It’s the people who get involved in it that make it that way.”

Lee said it can be easy for Christians to be pessimistic when it comes to politics.

“There are times I have to fight not to be discouraged, not to say, ‘Oh my God, where are we as a nation?’” he said.

However, Lee reminded the Flat Creek congregation that God is in control.

“God has a plan and He will fulfill that plan,” he said. “You can rest assured He is working behind the scenes.”

Lee called on Christians to obey God, pray, and vote.

“Can we turn America back to God?” he asked. “No, but God can.”