Posted by: Randall Niles | July 3, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

The Garden of Eden represented the perfect model of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – A dynamic and dependant relationship between God and man. 

Yet man wanted more than perfection – He wanted independence. Thus, he traded true life, liberty, and meaningful pursuit for death, suppression, and meaningless existence. 

Indeed, as Adam and Eve ate of the fruit, they were “signing” the first Declaration of Independence – mankind was now “liberated” from God.

In sadness, God honored this ancient revolution and history records the fallout. 

Thousands of years later, in a land far from where the ancient headwaters of the Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, and Euphrates split, a collection of colonial revolutionaries joined together to sign a new Declaration of Independence. 

But this time, things were different… 

After enduring a worldwide legacy of man-made rules, restrictions, rights and religions, a little segment of mankind was declaring independence. Not from God this time — but from the global mess we’d made apart from God. 

Yes, at the root of it all, I think mankind was finally decreeing divorce from its awful and adulterous experiment. At an embryonic, leadership level, mankind was seeking reconciliation with God by declaring a revolutionary system of governance in His Name. 

“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.”

Humbled men were now declaring that true life, liberty, and meaningful pursuit can only exist in a nation where the baseline is our Creator. Real independence is only possible when we’re fully dependant on God.

I don’t want to over-spiritualize the founding of America and the context of its formative documents, but could the Fourth of July be more than a celebration of a fledgling nation declaring its independence from British rule? 

Could it be that the Declaration of Independence was a landmark attempt to return a remnant of mankind to a system of governance that acknowledges God as the baseline? 

Think about it… 

Except for some brief periods with the ancient Israelites, all state-governing systems in history have been built on one consistent theme:

Those in power declare the rules and rights. Those in power enforce the rules and rights they have declared.

The Declaration of Independence is built on a revolutionary premise:

God provides the basic rules and rights. Those in power serve as representatives of the people, enforcing the God-given rules and rights they already share. If the representatives start using their power to change the basic rules and rights, “we the people” have the power to replace the representatives and maintain the God-given baseline.

This is huge! 

Contrary to what today’s “historians” will tell you, the founders didn’t mince words some 233 years ago: 

“We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come.” — Samuel Adams, during his signing of the Declaration

“The highest glory of the American Revolution was this; it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.” — John Quincy Adams 

“The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all of our civil constitutions and laws…All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.” — Noah Webster

“If thou wouldst rule well, thou must rule for God, and to do that, thou must be ruled by him… Those who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.” — William Penn

“The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind. Where, some say, is the king of America? I’ll tell you, friend, He reigns above.” — Thomas Paine

“It is impossible to account for the creation of the universe, without the agency of a Supreme Being. It is impossible to govern the universe without the aid of a Supreme Being. It is impossible to reason without arriving at a Supreme Being.” — George Washington

“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? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.” — Thomas Jefferson

Just something to think about as we celebrate our dependence on God this Independence Day, 

Randall Niles

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Responses

  1. I like it, keep it up Randall. You got the right stuff that makes a person say Hmm, interesting.


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