But undaunted, we forge ahead with a quote from Monticello.org (Thomas Jefferson’s home) calling the Declaration of Independence that he penned “America’s mission statement.” (A fine example of juxtaposing a modern management concept with a world-changing document.)
However, geopolitically speaking, the Founders were embarking on “mission impossible,” considering the tremendous odds against “mission accomplished.”
Remember that 13 geographically separated, culturally and economically diverse colonies banded together to become “the united States of America.” (Note the “u” in “united” was not capitalized in the Declaration’s opening sentence.) But first, the new nation had to extricate itself from the bondage of Great Britain, the world’s reigning superpower. And that explains why the Declaration of Independence references the founder’s faith and trust in God — the Heavenly Superpower.
Ultimately, that faith and trust resulted in a miraculous outcome. But it took eight grueling years of war that started in April 1775 and ended on September 3, 1783, when the Treaty of Paris was signed.
Today we will review some passages from the Declaration of Independence that read like Scripture, acknowledging God’s power — “firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence” — to establish a free and independent nation.
But first, note that although Scripture was not quoted in the Declaration, perhaps the Founders were motivated by the words of Jesus:
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).
The writings of St. Paul:
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).
“In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence” (Ephesians 3:12).
And the apostle Peter:
“Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves” (1 Peter 2:16).
Now we are ready to read the Declaration’s opening paragraph from a new perspective with capitalization as it appears:
“The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, 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.”
The Founders’ belief that the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them” to declare independence from the motherland sets the stage for a revolutionary governing concept that separated the new nation from any nation in history:
“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.”
“No nation had ever been birthed with rights ‘endowed’ by God — as opposed to a king or an equally powerful human. That was revolutionary! As [President Ronald] Reagan wrote, ‘the only true philosophical revolution in all history.’ Most significant, the concept was blessed by God. If not, how could ragtag militias of under-equipped patriots have managed to defeat what was then the greatest military power on earth? The American triumph was no coincidence.”
And today, I will add that although the Founders are routinely criticized and judged by today’s laws and cultural norms, they must never be faulted for their faith and trust in God to birth our nation.
The body of the Declaration of Independence states all the grievances, “repeated injuries,” and “absolute Tryanny” that the Founders believed were perpetrated upon the colonies by the “present King of Great Britain.” The lengthy list began with “To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world,” and the first one:
“He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.”
And when the list was finished, summarized as follows:
“We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.”
The Declaration’s final sentence is extremely bold when the Founders proclaimed to the world the identity of their protector and chief ally:
“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.”
Then, directly underneath, 56 brave men signed their names, knowing they were signing a Declaration of death if this Declaration of Independence were to fail.
Fortunately, that “firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence” proved decisive and is still applicable to our lives and nation. He can and will protect us, against all odds, if we rely on Him. Amen!
Myra Kahn Adams is a conservative political and religious writer with numerous national credits. Her book, “Bible Study For Those Who Don’t Read The Bible,” reprints the first 56 volumes of this popular study. Myra is also Executive Director of SignFromGod.org, a ministry dedicated to Shroud of Turin education. SignFromGod was a proud sponsor of the Museum of the Bible’s opening events for its high-tech exhibition about the Shroud of Turin, open through July 31. New Shroud event on July 16. The caretaker of the Shroud from Turin, Italy, will be speaking. Contact: MyraAdams01@gmail.com or Twitter @MyraKAdams.
Author’s Note: Readers can find all previous volumes of this series here. The first 56 volumes are compiled into the book “Bible Study For Those Who Don’t Read The Bible.” News Flash: New Shroud of Turin event at the Museum of the Bible on July 16.