Friday, July 07, 2017

Fourth of July Thoughts

I have been thinking about America's Independence Day. Every year on the fourth of July, we celebrate the day we declared to all of mankind the reasons we "dissolved the political bands" which connected the American colonies to Great Britain. 
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness..."

These words have spoken powerfully throughout our 241 years of existence, but within these words, the true foundation of our right to be and to exist as a free and independent nation are seldom caught. Four times in this declaration there are references to God - Nature's God, Creator, Supreme Judge and Divine Providence. The first three references declare in some means or manner the recognition that we derive our authority and the right to separate ourselves from England because of the nature and character of God. The fourth reference is a declaration of our "firm reliance" upon God for protection knowing full well the trouble that was coming.

Inasmuch as this document is known as the Declaration of Independence, it is also our Declaration of Dependence - we declare our dependence upon God to stand as our own nation; we declare that we are all created equal with rights that no man has the right to take away; we appeal to God, the Supreme Judge, to uphold the rightness of our claim to be a free and equal nation; and we declare our need for Almighty God to protect us in the inevitable conflict to come.

Unfortunately, many do not understand or want to acknowledge this reliance upon God. History has given us countless examples where nations have declared themselves to be independent of God. There was a nation roughly during this same time as the American Revolution that had a revolution of its own but refused to recognize God's authority or, for many, to even acknowledge God's existence. This was the French Revolution - a time better known for the guillotine, torture and imprisonment rather than Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. There was the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Perhaps 100 million died while this government existed - 35 million alone under the rule of Josef Stalin. There was Mao and the takeover of China by the Chinese Communists - perhaps another 100 million deaths. It would be easy to speak of Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, and hundreds of others who have declared their independence from God and inflicted unspeakable suffering and death upon their own people and those who live around them.

The question at hand is this: are we willing to declare, again, our dependence upon God and thence enjoy the benefits of the Liberty our forefathers bequeathed upon us?, or are we becoming a nation that exists independent of God and thence will reap the bitter fruits of bondage and despair that countless other nations have endured after turning their backs on God?

No comments: