Since the original Declaration of Independence penned by Thomas Jefferson and made official in 1776, the USA has made an about-turn from the values of that document. Anyone examining the Declaration of Independence is immediately impacted by the new nation's utter dependence upon God, His providence and its Judeo-Christian worldview.
The fact that the Founding Fathers' decision to disassociate the nation from Britain and their political position was based upon "the laws of nature and nature's God," (The phrase, "the laws of nature and nature's God" is referring to Scriptural references like Psalm 19 and Romans 1:19-23, which show how God uses nature to teach humanity of His ways) and underpinned by the phrase "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."
Hence, the view of Thomas Jefferson and the Founding Fathers was that all civil authority is derivative in nature, and as God's representatives—they can either lose or gain the right to lead the people based on conformity to His laws. (In other words, civil leaders gain their legitimacy to lead based on how adequately they represent God's laws in their principles and policies.) One of the last things mentioned in this amazing Declaration were these words, which prove Thomas Jefferson and the other signers were not deistic in their religion. (Many claim that Jefferson, and most of the Founding Fathers, were not Christian but believed in deism—a religion that believed God created the world, but after that had nothing to do with the affairs of men personally, like a person who creates a watch, winds it up and leaves it alone. They did not believe God answered prayer, intervened in human affairs, did miracles, or died on a cross and rose from the dead.)
"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 Independent States."
Of course, any practicing deist would never appeal to God as the Supreme Judge of the world, since it violates their most basic tenet that God as Creator has nothing to do with the world He made! Furthermore, it is obvious that the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are not competing documents, since the Declaration of Independence is the foundation for the values and birth of the nation and serves as the cornerstone of the US. Constitution; hence, there was no need for the Founding Fathers to mention God in this latter document because God and His laws are already assumed as its foundation. All of that was to say that the USA built its view of life, liberty and justice upon biblical values and declared unambiguously that the burgeoning nation was dependent upon God for its existence, sustenance and prosperity.
Our New Declaration of independence From God
In the past century, our nation began to gradually stray from our biblical roots and dependence upon God as its anchor and sustainer. It seems to me that the greatest value many have in this nation is the value of autonomy (which means independence).
While past generations (during World War II and beyond) celebrated the biblical virtues of self-sacrifice and service for humanity, in my estimation, the present generation values above all the right to self-expression and self-will, irrespective of how it negatively impacts society at large and stability for future generations. How far we have even fallen as a nation from the immortal words of President Kennedy who said in the 1960s, "Ask not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country"?
One decade after President Kennedy, we began to change the laws to reflect the values of human independence from God. Whether it is the "right to choose" (meaning the so-called right of the mother to terminate the life of her unborn in the womb, or partial-birth abortion, which causes the infant to be partially born so they can terminate the small human); "no-fault divorce" (which made divorce so much easier and contributed to the rapid decline of two-parent households); alternate forms of family and marriage; gender identification (outside the bounds of one's natural birth); and soon to come, trans-humanism, in which a robot equipped with AI (artificial intelligence) will be considered a humanoid, which many will contend is no different from a person born human because their AI gives them a form of self-consciousness and self-awareness (their advocates assert). This of course will give way to birth humans marrying robots, counting robots along with their children as part of their family—further confusing the next generation and eroding the biblical concept of biological families.
Finally, we see the anarchy of far-left Marxists and liberals who believe in terminating national borders or boundaries—hence, they want the dissolution of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and America as we presently know and define it. Consequently, they are against any hint of what they perceive is nationalism and patriotism, which they now say is akin to bigotry, racism and genocide. (How unfair and disrespectful to the hundreds of thousands of men and women who have given their lives for the birth and preservation of the U.S., since the initial "war for independence" from Britain to the present time).
Although I do not believe children should be separated from their parents at the border, and I am for the right of the undocumented, who have assimilated into our nation as hardworking people without committing violent crimes or felonies to become legal U.S. citizens, those who advocate no national borders have gone too far and have no concept or concern for the safety and preservation of our nation as we know it! (God was the first one to divide the geopolitical landscape and separate people groups into nations; read Genesis 10, 11 and Acts 17:26.)
America is now at the crossroads for survival. Some say it is even now on the precipice of another violent Civil War. (We are already a divided nation along political and ideological lines, replete with violent rhetoric, and uncivil discord.) Its survival will not ultimately depend upon which political party triumphs, but upon which god wins, either the god of self-expression and autonomy from God, or a return to a dependence upon the biblical God who claims the earth for Himself and who laughs at all rulers, nations and people who attempt to rebel against Him (See Ps. 2 and 24).
May the USA never officially adopt a Declaration of Independence but one of dependence upon the Creator God.
Dr. Joseph Mattera is an internationally known author, interpreter of culture and activist/theologian whose mission is to influence leaders who influence nations. He is renowned for addressing current events through the lense of Scripture by applying biblical truths and offering cogent defenses to today's postmodern culture. He leads several organizations, including The United Coalition of Apostolic Leaders (uscal.us). He also has a blog on Charisma News called "The Pulse." To order one of his books or to subscribe to his weekly newsletter go to josephmattera.org.
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