“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.” Those words are from the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence.
“You are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26-28).
In 1938, the Fourth of July was declared a national holiday, even though only John Hancock and Charles Thompson signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776. Most of the others signed it on August 2nd of that year. However, independence from King George III and Britain required eight years of war. One has to wonder what the signers would think if they saw America today.
The two quotes at the head of this article do not contradict each other. They both state an ideal that has yet to be achieved. Denying the Creator and viewing humans as only animals existing by the survival of the fittest has generated conflict threatening the standard stated in the Preamble. Racism and misogyny violate both the Declaration and the Bible. The question is, what should be the role of Christians in a country that has veered away from the beliefs of the founding fathers?
The ancient Roman government was corrupt, immoral, violent, racist, and misogynistic. Both Rome and the Jewish establishment fought the teachings of Jesus that defied all of those violations of God’s will. The government allowed babies to be killed by just throwing them into the street and the government sanctioned prostitution. In Romans 13, the apostle Paul advises Christians living under that corrupt government to “submit to the governing authorities” (Verse 1). Paul also told Christians to pay taxes, give revenue, and give honor to governing authorities (Verses 6-7).
Now in 2023, we are facing similar problems, and Christians must not respond with violence or rebellion. We can vote and let others know of our convictions about equality for all. We can still endorse the statements of the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence. This July 4th, Independence Day, is an excellent time to reflect on past lessons from God and from our national history.
— John N. Clayton © 2023
Reference: The Old Farmer’s Almanac, almanac.com