July 5, 2024

Dear Church Family,

I hope you have had a wonderful holiday with friends and family. Growing up I always enjoyed
this summer holiday spending time outside and watching the fireworks. I remember snow cones
and homemade ice cream, the grill going and plenty of friends around. It is important to have
these times together and enjoy the freedoms that we share.

One of the freedoms that is so important for anyone is the freedom of religion. I am so thankful
that we can freely worship and serve God in the way that we choose and in the way that is
meaningful for us. Not everyone has this freedom and it is up to us to help ensure that freedom
endures for all.

Not everyone has this freedom, including some in our own nation. Recently the state of
Louisiana passed a bill requiring public schools to have the 10 commandments posted in the
classroom. In a similar bill, the state of Oklahoma has mandated that the Bible is required to be
taught in public schools for grades 5 through 12. It is deplorable that a country founded on
religious freedom has so grossly denied that freedom to all.

Christian Nationalism is something that is not unique to the United States. It dominated in the
apartheid government of South Africa, it governed the third Reich of Nazi Germany and it has a
strong foothold in the current political climate in the United States. It denies the freedom of
religion and corrupts the teachings of Christ. Christian Nationalism is anti-Christianity. A
Christian is one who is a disciple, a follower, of Christ. The work of Christian Nationalism is
completely against the teachings of Christ, it is anti-Christ.

It is our responsibility to fight for the freedom of religion for all people. If we do not, one day the
religion that is threatened will be our own. One of the core tenets of our Baptist faith is the
separation of church and state. It was not so long ago that Baptists were persecuted in this

As you celebrate the freedoms that we have in this nation, do not confuse or conflate the work of
any nation with the work of Christ. Give thanks for your freedom and ensure the freedom of
others as well.

May you know the freedom that you have in Christ.
You are loved, you are cherished, you are a child of God.

See you Sunday,

Pastor Caroline

“For freedom Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, therefore, and
do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

~Galatians 5:1