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.