This year marks the 241 anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
It is easy to recollect the importance of past events and what their accomplishment represented. I must confess that I am less enthusiastic about celebrating such past events than I once was. The reason is that the glorious past is just that ― past, and long passed away. Independence from the lawlessness of George III and Parliament was a great event, but I find its celebration a bit irrelevant when I now live as a citizen in one of the most regulated, taxed, and bureaucratically controlled nations in history. We now have the forms of laws and courts, but they are largely void of morality and any Scriptural conception of justice. I always tell people who are going to court, “Don’t view it as a justice system; it is not; it is a court system. It plays by arbitrary statist rules established by statist legislatures and other courts. Pray that God lets justice be done, but do not expect it as a natural outcome of the system.”
I am equally uneasy when Christians sing “God Bless America,” because, considering where America now stands, such a request is an insolent one. Before God blesses America, it must repent and this often comes only after God’s judgment.
Similarly, the emphasis on “restoring” America by some is merely a study of America’s Christian past. No matter how true it is that America was once Christian, our real problem is America’s present and its future direction. Wherever America goes from its present state, it will not follow the same path it came from. We do not want to imitate colonial America any more than we want to recreate the first century church or the society of Abraham. It is only God’s law-word that is fixed and our desire should be to apply it to the 21st century and beyond.
A great deal has happened under the flag of the nation created 241 years ago. As Christians we must use discretion as to what we cheer. It is important to celebrate the good America has represented, but also to pray for God’s mercy on us and His Spirit to revive us again.
Our effort at Chalcedon is to bring God’s law-word to bear on America’s present and future.
- Mark R. Rushdoony
Mark R. Rushdoony graduated from Los Angeles Baptist College (now The Master’s College) with a B.A. in history in 1975 and was ordained to the ministry in 1995.
He taught junior and senior high classes in history, Bible, civics and economics at a Christian school in Virginia for three years before joining the staff of Chalcedon in 1978. He was the Director of Chalcedon Christian School for 14 years while teaching full time. He also helped tutor all of his children through high school.
In 1998, he became the President of Chalcedon and Ross House Books, and, more recently another publishing arm, Storehouse Press. Chalcedon and its subsidiaries publish many titles plus CDs, mp3s, and an extensive online archive at www.chalcedon.edu.
He has written scores of articles for Chalcedon’s publications, both the Chalcedon Report and Faith for all of Life. He was a contributing author to The Great Christian Revolution (1991). He has spoken at numerous conferences and churches in the U.S. and abroad.
Mark Rushdoony lives in Vallecito, California, his home of 43 years with his wife of 45 years and his youngest son. He has three married children and nine grandchildren.