The Foundation of Independence
July 4, 2012
"We have heard with our ears, O God, Our fathers have told us, the deeds You did
in their days, in days of old … For they did not gain possession of the land by their own
sword, nor did their own arm save them; but it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the
light of Your countenance, because You favored them." Psa 44:1,3
Like King David, our Founding Fathers understood that personal and national independence was possible only when it was grounded in a firm dependence upon God. I am convinced that the Declaration of Independence is a far greater document than even our Constitution. In fact, without the Declaration as a primary document, the Constitution can be amended away.
Consider the words of wisdom in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence:
"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. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men …"
From this most important paragraph come some of the most sublime truths ever uttered apart from Scripture:
- All men are equal, in that each possesses—as a part of the human race—the same rights.
- This equality of rights is based on the fact that every man is created by the One Creator.
- It is from God, the Creator, that these rights are received—and not from governments.
- The institution of human government is also God-given, for the purpose of securing and protecting those rights.
- As the paragraph proceeds, it declares that when the government fails to secure those rights, "it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it."
From these observations, we see that God-given rights—or liberty—are not temporal or changeable, because they rest on God, Who is eternal and unchangeable. Therefore, the Declaration of Independence is grounded on a dependence upon God, without which no grounds exist for any rights at all. When governments are seen as the authors of rights, no true liberty exists; for the individual starts from the standpoint of a subject, to whom some privileges will be granted, so long as the "subject" continues in the good graces of the government by toeing the line.
In the final paragraph of the Declaration, the Founders once again make clear that their proclamation of independence is based upon their collective dependence upon the God from Whom all rights come:
"We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled,
appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by
Authority of the good People of these Colonies solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are,
and of Right ought to be Free and Independant States….And for the support of this Declaration, with
a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives,
our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
In 1963, the Government of the United States began a war against the God on Whom our liberties rest. Beginning with the ban on prayer and Bible reading in our schools, a steady barrage of laws were enacted to ban God and His Word from the public square. Not surprisingly, at the same time America began to lose her freedoms—piece by piece—because having rejected the God of liberty, rights were seen as something dispensed by government. However, as the Founders understood, governments do not give rights—they only take them away. Instead of the boundless liberty given to every man by God Himself, government transforms what is a right into a privilege to be restricted or taxed, or given as a favor to a restricted few, according to the whim of government.
At the present time, the U.S. of A. is at the critical tipping point of history. What has been called "American exceptionalism"—the uniqueness of this nation in history—was entirely the product of the wisdom of our Founding Fathers’ vision of an independent nation built on dependence upon God. That vision is now seen as outdated and naive. Without a large-scale return to divine dependence, the independence of this nation cannot continue.
It is especially the duty of every child of God through faith in Jesus Christ, being a priest before God, having the right of access to His throne for the purpose of intercessory prayer, to begin a serious and dedicated campaign of prayer for this nation. I am appalled by the number of Christians who have given up on America. If God could deliver Israel through the prayers of Elijah and the unseen 7,000 of the remnant, can He not deliver this land which—more than any other in history (excepting Israel under King David)—has promoted His Name and His Word? And what if He should choose instead to pour out His wrath on this nation? Are we not bound to be in prayer for those who yet may come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, even through the judgment to come?
For whatever may be the future of this nation, the same God rules today as in the days of our Founders. He is the same Creator of each man, and the Author of the same rights, which our Forefathers declared "unalienable" or "inalienable," which means "incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred." If the vision of our Founding Fathers was true, each of us must decide whether we will continue to live as free men—deriving our rights and liberties from an eternal and unchanging God—or whether we will submit to becoming subjects, living by the shifting whims of an ever more corrupt and controlling government.
As Patrick Henry said, "Give me liberty or give me death!"