Two hundred and thirty five years ago this July 4th, the American colonies declared their independence from the British empire. Therefrom sprang their mutual union by lawful compact, the United States. By Divine providence, after thirteen long and hard fought years, they had won the same. Their struggle, both on the battefield and in the public square, was to assert, defend, and preserve liberty. Their understanding and basis of the same is most clearly communicated in the opening lines of that document drafted for the same, the Declaration of Independence, which reads:
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, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
There is no arguing then that they understood the ultimate source and giver of liberty was the Creator, that government was in accord with His objectives within creation, and was to be instituted and carried out in accord with His design and purposes, including honoring those rights endowed by Him to men. Thereby they asserted and premised the very basis of the American experiment on the knowledge, nature, and character of the God of the Bible. The basis of our liberty, and the union formed to preserve and administer it, is God!
Despite modern sensibilities and opinions, even those of our current Potus, America was not intended to be a pluralistic society, nor a religiousness government. Rather it was supposed to be a society and government built upon such principles of Biblical truth as to allow for pluralistic expression without demeaning or forfeiting our Christian culture, heritage, and basis. In fact, they knew that the form of government they were giving us was only truly sustainable, and it’s ends achievable, where the populace retained a Christian conscience and outlook.
Consider these quotes from among our founding fathers:
It can not be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here. ~ Patrick Henry
The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God. ~ John Adams
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
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. ~ John Hancock
When we view the blessings with which our country has been favored, those which we now enjoy, and the means which we possess of handing them down unimpaired to our latest posterity, our attention is irresistibly drawn to the source from whence they flow. Let us then, unite in offering our most grateful acknowledgments for these blessings to the Divine Author of All Good. ~ James Monroe
While we give praise to God, the Supreme Disposer of all events, for His interposition on our behalf, let us guard against the dangerous error of trusting in, or boasting of, an arm of flesh … If your cause is just, if your principles are pure, and if your conduct is prudent, you need not fear the multitude of opposing hosts. What follows from this? That he is the best friend to American liberty, who is most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion, and who sets himself with the greatest firmness to bear down profanity and immorality of every kind. Whoever is an avowed enemy of God, I scruple not to call him an enemy of his country. ~ John Witherspoon
This same truth and basis was recognized in the formation of the Confederacy as well. While we did not win the liberty we fought so hard to preserve, we nevertheless asserted it in keeping with the Declaration of Independence, acknowledging the God of Scripture as the true source of the same, by “invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God” in the opening sentence of our Constitution. Clearly then the historic American ideal was a recognition of God, and that via Christian principles and teaching, as the basis of all true liberty and the bedrock of both American Independence and government. Deny, remove, or minimize Him and you’ve destroyed the very foundation that stabilizes the American experience. All other ground is sinking sand, no matter how elaborate an edifice we may have otherwise erected thereon. Truly, “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it” (Psalm 127:1a).
Yes, God save the South and America too! May we repair the foundations before it’s too late.