As we as Americans celebrate the 237th birthday of our great nation, it is helpful that we look back at our history and remember the foundational beliefs upon which our founding fathers boldly united and upon which our Republic was founded.
Below is the majority of our Declaration of Independence of 1776 (all that is missing are the grievances against the King which I omitted only due to space limitations).
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
(Listing of the grievances against the King)
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; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. 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.”
It is important that we note that our Founding Father’s belief and references to God are foundational and fundamental in determining the purposes for which the Declaration was written and upon which our nation was founded. Just in these three paragraphs, they refer to “God”, “Creator”, “Supreme Judge of the World”, “Divine Providence” and “rectitude” ( Righteousness (also called rectitude) is an important theological concept in Christianity. It is an attribute that implies that a person's actions are justified, and can have the connotation that the person has been "judged" or "reckoned" as leading a life that is pleasing to God.)
Sadly, regrettably, and to our detriment, most all of these convictions and foundational beliefs in God that were once so boldly confessed and that led courageous men with sound convictions to stand up to the King and all his armies and declare their independence, are now either denied, restricted, deemed politically incorrect or are outright rejected by many in our government and culture today. The very name of God and especially the name “Jesus” (which distinguishes the God of Christianity our Founding Fathers referred to) and any reference to Biblical beliefs or morals are being stricken from public proclamation and education. Prayer and the Ten Commandments have been eliminated in schools and other public arenas. Religious holidays are being secularized and their names changed. Darwin’s “Theory” of Evolution has replaced the Biblical “Truth” of Divine Creation in our educational systems. Acknowledgement and confession of sin has been discarded because to do so would mean that there are universal morals or laws established by the One who will indeed one day supremely judge the world for their sin. The killing of unborn babies and even those born alive after botched abortions, has been reduced to ‘a mother’s (or a doctor’s) right to choose’. The institution of marriage between one man and one woman, (which God ordained even before He did the Church) has been diminished in the guise of gay rights or self satisfaction. These illustrations of moral decline could go on and on.
It seems that since our Declaration of Independence of 1776, we have been gradually declaring our independence from the one God in whom our Founding Fathers believed and declared that our independence and freedom were derived. We may honor Him with our lips, but based upon the heights from which we have fallen as a Nation, our hearts are far from Him. The Declaration of Independence of 1776 led to prosperity. The declaration of independence from God will indeed lead to destruction!
The Good News is that our God is a God of second chances. He came to us in the Person of His son Jesus, to shed His own blood and to give His own life so that our sin could be forgiven. His promises are true but His blessings are conditional! He has told us: “If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2Chron 7:14). It is time to remember and to reaffirm our complete and total dependence on Him—only then are we truly free.