Independence Day

If the Son sets you free,
you will be free indeed.
        —John 8:36

Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason didn’t—and doesn’t—sit well with Christians. The book argued that the miracle stories in the Bible are nothing but myths. It hammered institutional religion in general and Christianity in particular. Thomas rejected the divinity of Christ and argued for the authority of reason over revelation.

On the other hand, Paine’s incendiary pamphlet Common Sense, calling for independence from Britain, kicked off the American Revolution. Congress approved the Declaration of Independence shortly after the publication of Common Sense, and scholars say that Paine’s fingerprints—though not his name—are all over the Declaration.

So perhaps, as a nation, we owe Thomas a nod of thanks.

Be that as it may, only six people showed up for Paine’s funeral—three of whom were his housekeeper and her two sons.

National freedom is precious.
Spiritual freedom is priceless.

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