What Reading the Declaration of Independence Provokes

I read a suggestion that, because it’s July 4th, we should re-read the Declaration of Independence.  It struck me as a good idea, so I did just that.  Read it aloud for my wife and me.

I was first reminded that a third of it, and maybe even a half, is taken up with itemizing the abuses of King George III which caused the colonists to actually declare their independence.  They obviously felt oppressed by this man, and it was many oppressions – not one or two – that had taken their toll.

Reading it this time I was struck – for the perhaps the first time so clearly – by how oppressed I as a Christian likewise feel in the very same land over 200 years later.  Our current king oppresses us in many – not one or two – ways.

Oh, it’s not that I blame him personally for all the deaths by abortion, for the Supreme Court decisions against religious liberty and on behalf of sexual perversions, and the myriad other hostilities that seem to increasingly come toward anyone who want to honor the Lord Jesus Christ by word and deed.  The president is just acting with the power that society is giving him, and in the direction that the spirit of the age is leading him.

The government no longer abides by the nation’s Constitution, much less the Christian principles that guided the founding of the country.  This government, along with the news and entertainment industries, is controlled by those who, by their words and deeds, are enemies of Christ.  Oh, most of them would never admit this, even to themselves.  But enemies of Christ they are.  True friends of Jesus don’t justify the wholesale murder of innocent children.

I’m of no mood to start a new country.  We have a kingdom to serve and it is an everlasting one.  But the thought of America these days makes me sad.  Aren’t I thankful for America?  Yes, but sad that she’s been stolen…and is now controlled by those who think righteousness is something they decide – rather than something that can be learned from our Creator and Redeemer.

Some will say that America is still the best country on earth.  That may be, but it doesn’t mean that America is good.  What goodness she had is being erased by those in control, and what goodness she has is being suppressed by those in control.   What goodness she might have in the future is being fought at every turn by those in control.

Those who turn their backs on the One who created them – the One who also died for them on a gruesome cross – have as their only guide to goodness their own corrupted consciences.  And with the turning of one’s back, the corruption only continues unabated and unrestrained.

If you don’t feel oppressed by pop culture then you are not seeing just how hostile it has become to the values you want to guide and protect your children.

Yes, I am thankful on the Fourth of July, but not for the same things that the high and mighty of our country say they are thankful for.  Their highest value seems to be unfettered hedonism.  I pray for a return to godliness and self-discipline in the sight of a loving Creator and generous Redeemer.

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