By Jeff Sutherland
Buying into current thinking pushes you to believe that to be happy you must be free from all restraints. Wasn’t that what they were celebrating July 4th, 1776? Our newly formed country no longer had to live under England’s rules. They could create a whole new way of living, and they did. Unique among every country that ever was, the newly formed United States created a government with checks and balances so that there would be no tyranny. Our constitution and bill of rights formed the basis for this new idea.
In the Declaration of Independence, it says “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.” According to Wallbuilders.com at least 29 of the 56 signers of the Declaration were trained in ministry and at least 50 were believers in God (Deists). In 1782 Congress approved the Aiken Bible for use to teach students to read in schools, to allow Bibles to be available in all churches and be read during Congressional meetings. This Bible was printed from the Geneva Bible, believing that the King James version which was printed 32 years later in 1611 so that King James could reinterpret the Word.
While our new country was celebrating its independence, it was also celebrating its dependence on God. Our founders, mostly the puritans, believed that God’s laws were the correct basis for living a godly life.
There were two main areas of growth in our country separated by 16 months and 600 miles. Jamestown, VA (August 1619 and Plymouth, MA (December 1620). The contrast between the two colonies could not have been starker. If you buy the history posed by the 1619 project, our country was formed on slavery. Yet in Massachusetts, whites, Indians, and blacks joined together to give thanks to the Lord for all He had done. Our first thanksgiving came from there. Indians and Blacks were given work as teachers, lawyers even governors. When a slave ship came into the area, the captain was sent back out to sea and the blacks were accepted into the colony.
Our freedom was not free. In the Revolutionary War about 25,000 people died in the fight. But our real freedom, the one given us by our Creator, was paid by the death of God’s perfect Son Jesus Christ. His death and resurrection is what provides for us real freedom. Freedom in a new sense of the word. Not freedom to do what we want, live as we want, indulge in all our desires but real freedom, from sin.
His death and resurrection break our chains to sin but also reveals our dependence on Him. If we buy into what media, social media, government, and society is now claiming, freedom comes from doing whatever we want, whenever we want, however we want. We must buy into the lie that we are masters of our own fate, living independent of all restraints, especially from God.
That is NOT the independence our forefathers were celebrating July 4th, 1776. They wanted independence to worship God as they saw fit, by the reading and teaching of the Word. In writing the Declaration of Independence they were acknowledging their dependence on the God who created us all.