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Archive for July 4th, 2012

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.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

The following reflection is from American Creation by Joseph J. Ellis:

“…these fifty-five words would grow in meaning to become the seminal statement of the American creed. With these words, Jefferson had smuggled the revolutionary agenda into the founding document, casually and almost inadvertently planting the seeds that would grow into the expanding mandate for individual rights that eventually ended slavery, made women’s suffrage inevitable, and sanctioned the civil rights of all minorities. No less a figure than Abraham Lincoln, who could rival Jefferson in his way with words, put it most poignantly in 1858:

“All honor to Jefferson—to the man who, in the concrete pressure of a struggle for national independence by a single people, had the coolness, forecast, and capacity to introduce into a merely revolutionary document, an abstract truth, applicable to all men and all times, and so to embalm it there, that to-day, and in all coming days, it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling block to the very harbingers of the re-appearing tyranny and oppression.”

A Note:  The words of both the Declaration and the Constitution is as Lincoln said “a stumbling block” to “re-appearing tyranny and oppression.”  As the Church we are for freedom both temporal and eternal.  Tyranny and oppression reappears in our lives in the shackles of sin and Christ Jesus is our eternal freedom. I think His reality in His Word has affected our political order.  We must be ever vigilant in His Word for our temporal freedom as well as the state seeks more sway over our lives.  Jefferson’s words  are still valid for that purpose and even more:  the Word of the Lord.

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