Friday, July 02, 2010

Could America draft the Declaration of Independence today?

The following is a quote from David F. Wells’s book “Above All Earthly Pow’rs: Christ in a Postmodern World.”

“Douglas Groothuis has made the observation that it would be very difficult for us today to write the Declaration of Independence, given its premise that there are truths which are ‘self-evident,’ such as that ‘all Men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.’ Today we are a nation of relativists, as Allan Bloom lamented, for whom there are no enduring truths, let alone any that are self-evident. The distance that we have traveled in this matter can be seen in many ways, but not least in the fact that Martin Luther King’s appeal, which stirred so many Americans, was made on the basis of the existence of a moral reality larger than any private interest and to which the whole nation was to be accountable. Today, the great majority of Americans do not believe in the existence of truth which is absolute and enduring and to which appeal can be made.” (Douglas Groothuis, “Truth Decay: Defending Christianity Against the Challenges of Postmodernism,” Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2000)
And today, we could never agree on the words of the first sentence of the last paragraph of the Declaration of Independence. I quote in part:

“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 (righteousness) of our intentions, do, in the name, and authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be free…”
In other words, these people prayed to God Almighty that their intentions would be pure. They recognized “the Supreme Judge” not the creator, knowing they would have to answer to the Judge of the World. Time has shown their intentions were to be pure.

On this 4th of July, may we appeal “to the Supreme Judge of the World”. May God the Father and His Son Jesus with the power of the Holy Spirit receive all our honor and praise. God alone “is our ever present help in ages past and our hopes for years to come.”

May you have a blessed and free 4th of July.

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