“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
These are the words that define the Declaration of Independence. Simple, straightforward yet powerful words that sounded as a bugle call to action, drawing a line in the sand that would require years of hardship, loss and death. Unflinching in the face of the mighty British Army, the writers and their fellow colonists gave their all to give birth to the greatest nation on earth.
While I am sure they could not imagine the full cost of the struggle that awaited them and their compatriots, the final sentence of the Declaration gives us an indication of the bravery and absolute resolve of the signatories of this document. “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.”
Thus began the great American experiment. It is interesting to read the histories of these men. Although many of them were not dedicated men of God, all had a healthy respect and understanding that their ultimate fate was in the hands of a God of providence. Without question they knew that for a ragtag army of farmers, merchants, blacksmiths, etc. to defeat the well-trained and well-supplied British Army they would need the hand of the Almighty to direct and empower them.
You and I are recipients of the wisdom, sacrifice and faith of the men and women who forged upon the anvil of history “one nation under God.” Those words were added late to our Pledge of Allegiance, but nonetheless the phrase expresses the reverence and commitment of our founding fathers to the God of providence.
Make no mistake—as is plainly stated in our Constitution, these men were zealous to protect and provide religious liberty. They were just as passionate to recognize the guiding hand of God in the affairs of men. Our founding fathers’ speeches, writings and actions provide a clear picture of men of faith.
I guess that is why this time in our nation’s history is so strange. The attempt by many to silence today’s men of faith and religious conscience and to wholly eradicate from the public square every reference to God and the Bible defies the founders of this great nation. Even the most irreligious among them respected the power and might of God and the truth of the Bible. The fact is incontrovertible that the Bible guided our founders in developing our laws and the establishment of rights and privileges for a free people.
Standing on the firm foundation of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence and many who formed our Constitution, we as Bible believing followers of Christ have every right and responsibility to enter the public arena with the truths we hold. Our biblically informed views on the great moral and ethical issues of our day must be heard above the noise of those who reject them and seek to remove them from public debate. We need not cower in the corner and bow at the empty philosophies and policies of humanistic pontificators. They may call us intolerant because of our uncompromising stands on moral and ethical issues of our day. So be it. Like our forefathers, we must pledge our lives, fortunes and sacred honor to fight to keep this nation on the moral high ground.
On this Independence Day celebrate the past and those who have provided and protected our freedoms. But I challenge you to reaffirm your commitment to do everything possible to keep our nation moving under the guiding hand of Divine Providence. Speak up and stand up for truth.
(reprint from June 25, 2009)