Thursday, 05 July 2012 13:03

Celebrating American Independence

Written by  Bob Crittendon
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Imagine this – a nation founded on the principles of the Bible, where God’s heart is expressed in the laws and conduct of the people. What an amazing system of government and an atmosphere of goodness that could be! Now, consider these words:

 


“Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God ... What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be.”

That was a quote from the Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, Vol. III*. That’s correct – our second President and a signer of the Declaration of Independence envisioned a society where God was relied upon, character was foremost, and the principles of Scripture were revered and applied. And he had a chance to help design the governmental system that would help to facilitate this type of nation. Adams was one of 56 signers of the Declaration.
According to Founding.com, a project of the Claremont Institute, the Declaration of Independence contains a theological teaching because the ultimate source of our rights and duties is God. There are four references to God in the Declaration:

• The “laws of nature and of nature’s God” entitle the United States to independence.

• Men are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.”

• Congress appeals “to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions.”

• The signers, “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence,” pledge to each other their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.

There was a strong thread of faith running through the lives and words of these brave, devoted founders of our nation. In an era where we flock to movies depicting super “heroes”, we have some real-life heroes whose determination and insight we still benefit from today:

Samuel Adams
After the British capture of Philadelphia, Adams delivered a rallying cry:

“Numerous have been the manifestations of God’s providence in sustaining us. In the gloomy period of adversity, we have had ‘our cloud by day and pillar of fire by night.’ We have been reduced to distress, but the arm of Omnipotence has raised us up. Let us still rely in humble confidence on Him who is mighty to save.”
--Tony Perkins, Heritage.org, “Who Are Your Favorite Founders?” by Alex Adrianson, July 3, 2011

Thomas Jefferson
“God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God?” --Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII*

John Hancock
“Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual...Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us.” --History of the United States of America, Vol. II*

Benjamin Rush
“The gospel of Jesus Christ prescribes the wisest rules for just conduct in every situation of life. Happy they who are enabled to obey them in all situations!” --The Autobiography of Benjamin Rush*

Charles Carroll
“On the mercy of my Redeemer I rely for salvation, and on His merits, not on the works that I’ve done in obedience to His precepts.”
--David Barton (WallBuilders), CBN.com

These are just some of the documented quotes which can give us some insight into the mindset of our Founding Fathers. I would dare say that these men were dependent on God, and in order to freely express that reliance, they were convinced that they had to be independent from what they saw as an oppressive British government. They were apparently dedicated to establishing this nation on a firm foundation consistent with Biblical principles.

To many, to discuss and even teach schoolchildren the religious heritage of our nation is a violation of the so-called separation of church and state. I do believe that the faith of these founders was so intertwined into their lives and their philosophy of government, that it was impossible to separate faith from government.

The departure from our firm foundation has resulted in a host of social ills that we are having a difficult time addressing. The challenge for government today is to legislate in a manner consistent with God’s principles and to depend on His wisdom. Prayer for our leaders and the selection of our leaders is critical. Today, as in 1776 and throughout the ages, God’s Word holds the answers to our societal challenges.

* - From Christian Quotes of the Founding Fathers, About.com

Last modified on Thursday, 05 July 2012 15:18
Go to Top