Summary: Calling America back to Biblical principles.
It has been 235 years since our Founding Fathers gave us our National Birth Certificate. We continue to be the longest on-going Constitutional Republic in the history of the world. We must admit that God has blessed us with these many years of existence. We are a nation today by His grace alone.
On July 2, 1776, Congress voted to approve a complete separation from Great Britain. Two days afterwards – July 4th – the early draft of the Declaration of Independence was signed, although by only two individuals at that time: John Hancock, President of Congress, and Charles Thompson, Secretary of Congress. Four days later, on July 8, members of Congress took that document and read it aloud from the steps of Independence Hall, proclaiming it to the city of Philadelphia, after which the Liberty Bell was rung. The inscription around the top of that bell, Leviticus 25:10, was most appropriate for the occasion: “Proclaim liberty throughout the land and to all the inhabitants thereof.”
What was the basis of American Independence? There are many in our nation today who have a problem answering that question. It is obvious that they do not agree with John Adams, the second president of the United States, who said in answering the question concerning the basis of American Independence, “The general principles on which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity.” Perhaps the clearest identification of the spirit of the American Revolution was given by John Adams in a letter to Abigail the day after Congress approved the Declaration. He wrote her two letters on that day; the first was short and concise, jubilant that the Declaration had been approved. The second was much longer and more pensive, giving serious consideration to what had been done that day. Adams cautiously noted: “This day will be the most memorable epic in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.” Adams was prophetic in his statement to his wife. We celebrate now the birth of a great nation founded on the principles of God’s word.
Were all of our founders Godly men without fault? No! Some of them were not true Christians. Some were Deist. It is possible that some were agnostic or atheistic. For example Thomas Paine was a Deist as well as Jefferson. Yet, these men were criticized by the others for their disbelief in the truth of Scripture. John Witherspoon, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, said that Paine was “ignorant of human nature as well as an enemy to the Christian faith.”
Our founders knew that our rights come from our creator who benevolently deals with His fallen creatures through His common grace. They knew that human rights do not come from government but from our God who made us in His image. Governments are simply instruments in God’s hands to be used in carrying out His will.
God chose Israel for the purpose of manifesting Himself to the world and fulfilling His plan of redemption through Christ. Israel was God’s instrument, in particular, as He called her into existence for His own glory and purpose. The psalmist knew the blessing of being a citizen of a nation that acknowledged the true God as its Sovereign ruler. Many of our founders acknowledged God as the Sovereign establisher of America. George Washington, our first president understood this truth. He said on October 3, 1789, “Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly implore His protection and favor.” Like the psalmist of ancient times, our first president knew that our nation gained its liberty and benefits by the will and purpose of God.