Providence Today: the Liberty Bell

Peter Lillback:
This is Providence Today. Thank you for being with us again in historic Philadelphia as we talk again about some of the impact of the Providence Forum and our efforts to understand the role of Providence in the founding of America. Today, though, I’m going to take you from Philadelphia, a hop, skip, and jump just south of here to our nation’s capital in Washington, famous Washington, DC, the District of Columbia named for our founding father, George Washington. The reason I want you to go to that place is because there is the museum of the Bible, an extraordinary accomplishment that brings together the history of the Bible, not only archeologically and manuscript and translations, but it also explains the message of the Bible as it walks you through the story of salvation from the old Testament to the new, but in particular, we’re excited at the Providence Forum because of the floor that describes the impact of the Bible on the story of America itself.

Peter Lillback:
The Providence Forum has had an impact on that display as well, because right in the middle, as you walk down this wonderful aisle that tells the story of the founders and other leaders, you’ll come to a full size Liberty Bell replica. That’s the bell that the Providence Forum made to commemorate the 300th anniversary of William Penn’s charter privileges. It was made in the same Foundry as the first bell was it made. It to America just in time to the exact day at Proclamation Presbyterian Church on a Sunday to celebrate that anniversary. Why is Penn’s charter so important? Because as he established his vision for Philadelphia and his territory of Pennsylvania, he began it and he ended it with a direct claim that never would there ever be any restriction of one’s conscience. There would be no abuse of someone because of their religious beliefs. This was the beginning of what we call our first amendment religious freedoms.

Peter Lillback:
And so the bell was commemorated 50 years later by the Provincial Assembly here in Pennsylvania who met right behind me where I’m speaking today at what was then the Pennsylvania State House, which we call Independence Hall today. But why that’s important is it shows that they were biblically literate. When they looked for a verse to put on the bell that they were ordering jo it could be a bigger bell, heard more for only throughout their city of Philadelphia. They went to Leviticus chapter 25 and found verse 10, why Leviticus 25? Because it’s the Jubilee chapter of the Bible. It commemorates the 50th year of blessing of among God’s people. They were celebrating the 50th anniversary of William Penn’s charter privileges that gave such great freedom. And you know that verse proclaimed Liberty throughout the land onto all the inhabitants there of Leviticus 25 in verse 10.

Peter Lillback:
What a great story that is of the biblical knowledge and biblical wisdom of our founders that’s placed upon the Liberty Bell. The greatest of the symbols of our country. And so we are pleased that from Philadelphia to Washington, the Providence Forum is seeking to remind people about the intersection of the Bible, our Judaeo-Christian values, and the gift of divine providence, moving through our history.

Peter Lillback:
And so if you want to know more about this work that we’re doing, I hope you’ll get our Faith and Freedom Guide. It’s freely available to you. You can get it by going online at providenceforum.org. Or you can download our free app, the Providence Forum Faith and Freedom Tour. It’s free of charge. It’ll take you on a virtual tour of our city. We hope you’ll watch it. And you’ll share it with many because this will help expand the message that we believe is so critical. It’s what George Washington said as he said farewell, when he was stepping down as president right here in Philadelphia, after two terms. He said that religion and morality are indispensable supports for political prosperity.

Peter Lillback:
Our founders understood that if we don’t have a biblical source for values, we’re not going to have a political system that will prosper. And that is what the Providence Forum is trying to remind us of. God has shed his grace on us. Freedom is a gift from God. Jesus said, you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. Where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom says the apostle Paul. Join us then the Providence Forum, as we celebrate from Philadelphia to Washington, in fact, all around the world, even with our Chinese scholars who’ve come to visit again and again and learned the story of religious Liberty. Help us spread this message. And so thanks for listening in today. And this is Providence Today.

 

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