Thursday July 4 marks the 243rd anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, one of the greatest documents ever written by man.

Fifty-six patriots signed that document, pledging their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.

These were not rabble-rousers, out for a fight. They were educated, religious, men of means who believed in the things they wrote to King George III. They held that freedom is a human right, granted by “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God”. And that certain truths are self-evident, “that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

These men knew the risks they were taking, but they also understood the benefits of their actions. A war ensued and most of these men were called upon to lose their fortunes, the lives of family members and their own lives as well, but they maintained to the end their “sacred honor”.

The creation of America was without doubt a measure of the grace of God. Our founding fathers and mothers, though all were not “Biblical Christians”, for the most part believed in the sovereignty of God, trusted the veracity of the Bible and understood that a nation built on Godly principles can change the world.

Today, while revisionists try to change American history, Patrick Henry’s statement is still true: “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists but by Christians; not on religion but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

To hear many of our media pundits and politicians talk, one would think that the average American is irreligious, socialistic and ignorant. But I believe that the average American is still God-fearing, Bible believing, hardworking and moral…but much too apathetic in action and misunderstanding current events and government.

The founding fathers and mothers and the framers of our laws and Constitution never intended for Christianity to be taken out of the “market place” or the halls of government and secluded in the walls of the church. Listen as they speak to us from their graves:

“Whoever will introduce into public affairs the principles of Christianity with change the face of the world.” Benjamin Franklin

“The highest glory of the American revolution was that it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.” John Quincy Adams

“Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in the exclusion of religious principles.” George Washington

“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not on the power of the Government, far from it…We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the 10 Commandments of God.” James Madison

“Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian.” SCOTUS 1892

“Whatever strikes at the root of Christianity tends manifestly to the dissolution of civil government.” SCOTUS 1811

“Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” (U.S. Constitution, Amendment 1)

“Righteousness exalts a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34

I believe America is at a tipping point; the church and the people of this nation are losing their freedoms to a minority of people who care only for themselves and their wealth, power and position. They ignore all that they know, all that history has shown, to “feather their own nests”. As Winston Churchill said, “Most people sometime in their lives, stumble across the truth. Most jump up, brush themselves off, and hurry on about their business as if nothing had happened.” The common philosophy of leadership today is “My mind is made up; don’t confuse me with facts.”

If the church doesn’t wake up, if God’s Word is not again thundered from the pulpits, clearly and without compromise, if God’s people don’t begin to get involved in lives other than their own, if we as Americans don’t “take back” our nation, then we will lose it.

The signers of the Declaration of Independence understood the implications and risks of their desire to stand up and do right. And they did it.

Edmund Burke was so right when he said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil if for good men to do nothing.”

And former President Ronald Reagan hit the nail on the head when he said, “If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”

“O thus be it ever, when free men shall stand between their loved homes and the war’s desolation; blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!

“Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just; and this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust!’ And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” (Francis Scott Key)

First Friday Prayer

Conway’s First Friday Evening of Prayer will be held Friday at Bethany Bible Chapel, 1668 Four Mile Road, at 7 p.m. All of God’s people are encouraged to come out for a time of prayer and supplication.

With all that’s going on in America and in our world, the Church must come together and repent, pray and fellowship together, working as one for the Kingdom. We’ll see YOU Friday at 7 p.m. Phone (843) 369-7729.

Ground Zero Sunday Celebrations

They’re back! Again, this summer, Ground Zero is hosting Sunday Celebrations on the Boardwalk (between eighth and ninth avenues North). These free concerts begin at 6:30 p.m. each Sunday evening. Bring blankets or lawn chairs (but no tents, please).

The lineup is: Sunday: Sidewalk Prophets with Blanca; July 14, Hollyn with 7eventh Time Down. Each week DJ Pdogg will also provide music. Go online to www.mygroundzero.com.

Volunteers Needed

Holy Lamb Lutheran Church will host a BBQ Fundraiser for Help4Kids Aug. 24. A lot of volunteer help is needed.

What can I do, you ask? You can pull pork, set up tents and tables, work in the kitchen, serve, clean up and take down. e-mail to info@help4kidssc.org.

Conway, Loris, Aynor and Western Horry

■ New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, 5489 Cates Bay Hwy. will have VBS July 7-10. Enjoy a family supper each evening at 5:30 p.m.

■ Good Hope Baptist Church, 6101 Privetts Road, will have VBS “In the Wild” July 7-10 from 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. This is for all ages. Phone (843) 365-6242.

■ Dogwood Hill Baptist Church, 1040 Mt. Zion Road, Loris invites all ages to VBS In The Wild to be held July 7-12 from 6 p.m.-9 p.m.

The church will host “Who Am I?”, their Second Annual Women’s Conference on July 27 from 8 a.m.-noon (brunch included). Please RSVP to (843)756-3450 or e-mail Sherry Whisnant at bandmamawhiz@gmail.com.

■ Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, 4301 Red Bluff Road in Loris, will have Vacation Bible School July 8-12 from 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Make plans to attend and go In the Wild with games, crafts and exciting Bible stories. There will be classes for all ages. July 12 will be Commencement and Family Night at 6:30 p.m. Phone (843) 756-6221.

■ Salem United Methodist Church, 2376 S.C. 90, invites all elementary and middle school-age boys and girls to Salem Summer Fun Saturdays. The activities will be held from 10 a.m.-noon and parents may either drop off the children or stay and help! (And of course snacks are provided!)

July 13: Splish Splash Saturday: water balloons, sprinkler stations and more (bring a towel!). July 20: Saturday Art Festival: help create a work of art in the church parking lot (chalk art masterpieces) and learn to paint with water guns!

July 27: Saturday Sports Challenge: have fun testing your skills in basketball, horseshoes and an obstacle course. Aug. 3: Saturday in the Park: celebrate summer with balloons, bubbles, hula hoops, hot dogs and ice cream.

Please e-mail name and age to salemumc@gmail.com, leave message at (843) 347-3045 or just drop in!

Contact Jenny Johnson at (843) 340-5185.

Salem UMC will have its annual golf tournament at Myrtle Beach National-South Creek on Aug. 17; register at 8:30 a.m. This is a Captain’s Choice Format; cost is $60 per person, $240 per team. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Epworth Children’s Home.

There will be lunch provided and door prizes. To register, phone (843) 251-8409 or e-mail to salemumc90@gmail.com

■ Macedonia Baptist Church, 2360 Red Bluff Road, Loris will have VBS July 14-19 from 6:30 p.m.-8:45 p.m. (commencement will be on that Friday). There will be a meal each evening. Phone (843) 907-8616.

■ Brown Swamp UMC, 4725 U.S. 501 W, is offering a Free Music Camp as VBS for ages preschool-middle school. This will be held from 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. July 29-Aug. 2 (with dinner served at 6 p.m.). Check the church’s Facebook page for registration information or phone (843) 283-8261.

■ St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, 3449 S.C. 65, will be distributing food on the second and fourth Fridays of each month from 11 a.m. until all food has been distributed.

■ Loris First United Methodist Church, 3507 Broad St., has a Blessing Box in the church and it is available each Friday from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. This box contains nonperishable food items and individuals in need are encouraged to come to the church at those times. Also, if you would like to donate items, please place them in the box.

■ Dogwood Hill Baptist Church, 1040 Mt. Zion Road in Loris, has a food pantry on the third Saturday of each month from 8 a.m.-10 a.m.

■ Salem Baptist Church, 4008 Salem Road in Aynor, opens its Food Bank on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 9 a.m.-noon. The mission: “We serve Christ when we serve people.”

Myrtle Beach/The Coast

■ Temple Emanu-EL by the Sea, 65th Ave. North and N. Kings Highway invites you to Friday night service at 7:30 p.m. (Kosher Oneg), Shabbat Service at 10 a.m. (Kosher Kiddush).

Current Second Nature Project: we are collecting individually-wrapped snacks and juice boxes to help both the Community Kitchen and Helping Hand. Place in the basket by the front door of the Rosen Center. All Mitzvoth greatly appreciated. Questions? Contact Karen Osborne at (843) 446-1060.

Annual Indoor Yard Sale: Aug. 4, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. (rain or shine). Browse treasures galore, toys, clothing, books and much more. Phone (843) 748-0612 or (843) 685-6100.

Camp Judaea: Israel, Judaism, Nature, Community, Individual growth. For boys and girls age 7-15. Phone 1-404-634-7883.

■ Knitting Hearts Ministry will sponsor “Unleashing the Signs” with Chuck Smith of Gateway Prophetic School in Charlotte. This will be held at Socastee Church of God, 4475 Mill Pond Road on July 20 at 10 a.m. (Also enjoy music by Trista Smith, Psalmist/worshipper.)

■ Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road, opens its Thrift Store each week, Thursday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. You are encouraged to come out and browse and buy and in so doing you’ll be supporting this community outreach. Phone (843) 236-1121.

■ Temple Shalom, 4023 Belle Terre Blvd., invites you to Shabbat services each Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Phone (843) 903-6634 or go online to templeshalommyrtlebeach.net.

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