Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Declaration of Dependence

I've got a treat for you today—instead of my words, I've asked my dad to share his thoughts on Independence Day. So without any other introduction (because his words speak pretty clearly for themselves), here are Pop's thoughts.

picture from history.com

“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.” Someone has called this sentence the most consequential statement in the history of human politics.

As we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence—the declaration that we are free from the king of England and the beginning of our national history—a careful reading reveals a clear implication that the Founding Fathers included in the document another declaration: a Declaration of Dependence upon the Sovereign God that, as Benjamin Franklin said, “guides the course of human affairs.”

Four times the Declaration refers to God, twice when the opening argument for Independence is presented and then, after a listing of specific grievances, twice more in the concluding paragraph. In each instance, there is a direct and clear declaration that their action and its success is dependent upon God and His blessing.

~ “...the equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them.” The justification for their rebellion is not their own self-interest or quest for political power. It is rooted in that which God entitles them to.

~ “...that they are endowed by their Creator...” The rights they claim are endowed by, or a gift of, the Creator. These rights are solely dependent on His grace and love, not the actions of any human government, and these rights do not exist independent of Him.

~ “...appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions...” The moral righteousness of their rebellion was not based on the opinion, reason, or logic of their fellow man. The Rightness of their Cause was dependent upon the verdict of the Holy Judge who knows the heart of man.

~ “...with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence...” If the Supreme Judge should rule their cause just, then only be dependence on His diving intervention could they hope to defeat the greatest military power on the earth. The final conclusion rested solely in the hands of God.

The Declaration of Dependence was a foundation of our great nation. But now we live in a time when we, as individuals and as a nation, want to declare our independence from our Creator.

But independence from the Supreme Judge leaves us dependent on the faulty logic, reason, and appeal to the emotions of fallen man.

The result? We can no longer depend on His divine protection.

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