. . . proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof. KJV
This message was preached July 6, 2003 at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at ToulonBaptist.com
Have you ever heard the term separation of church and state? Sure you have. But did you know that that term is not found in our constitution or any government document of the first hundred years of our country.
Many people would lead us to believe that the founders of this country were atheist or at best deists.
". . . the Founders had worked diligently to reconcile with Great Britain. However, when word reached America in November of 1775 that King George III had rejected the final "Olive Branch Petition," it became apparent that reconciliation was impossible and a complete separation was inevitable. On March 16, 1776, in preparation for that imminent separation, Congress wanted to make sure that America was "right with God," and therefore called the people to prayer, explaining:
The Congress.... desirous ... to have people of all ranks and degrees duly impressed with a solemn sense of God's superintending providence, and of their duty, devoutly to rely ... on His aid and direction, do earnestly recommend ... a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that we may, with united hearts, confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and, by a sincere repentance and amendment of life appease His righteous displeasure and, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain His pardon and forgiveness.
A few weeks later, on July 2, 1776, Congress voted to approve a complete separation from Great Britain. Two days afterwards, the early draft of the Declaration of Independence was signed, albeit by only two individuals at that time: John Hancock, President of Congress, and Charles Thomson, Secretary of Congress. Four days later, on July 8, members of Congress took that document and read it aloud from the steps of Independence Hall, proclaiming it to the city of Philadelphia, after which the "Liberty Bell" was rung. The inscription from Leviticus 25:10 encircling the top of that bell was appropriate to its ringing:
Proclaim liberty throughout the land and to all the inhabitants thereof
On July 19, Congress voted to produce a beautifully inscribed copy of the Declaration on parchment, and on August 2, fifty-six of our Founding Fathers signed the famous version we now recognize." David Barton; The Spirit of the American Revolution, 2000
To get a full grasp of what had taken place we need only turn to the document that they signed.
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 entitles them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
But the question is what does that mean. To understand these terms we must find out were they came from and what they meant in that day.
"We can recapture the meaning of that phrase and thus understand much of the motivation and spirit behind the American Revolution-by turning to the source largely responsible for those words: Blackstone~ Commentaries on the Law. Introduced in 1766, Blackstone's became the law book of the Founding Fathers. ~ In fact, political scientists have shown that Blackstone was one of the two most frequently invoked political authorities of the Founders. Notice Blackstone's explanation of "the laws of nature":
Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator, for he is entirely a dependent being.... And consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his Maker for everything, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his Maker's will. This will of his Maker is called the law of nature. ... This law of nature, being coeval [coexistent] with mankind and dictated by God Himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times; no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this. '
"This, then, is the meaning of "the laws of nature"; they are the will of God for man. Blackstone continued:
And if our reason were always ... clear and perfect ... the task would be pleasant and easy; we should need no other guide but this [the law of nature]. But every man now finds the contrary in his own experience; that his reason is corrupt, and his understanding full of ignorance and error. This has given manifold occasion for the benign interposition of Divine Providence; which ... hath been pleased, at sundry times and in diverse manners, to discover and enforce its laws by an immediate and direct revelation. The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law, and they are to be found only in the Holy Scriptures.
"Very simply, the Holy Scriptures, containing the laws of the God Who created nature, are termed "the laws of nature's God"-the second half of the phrase in the Declaration. Notice Blackstone's conclusion which couples these two phrases:
Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation [the law of nature's God], depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict these .
"The meaning of the eight-word legal phrase in the opening lines of the Declaration was expounded in America for years before the Revolution and accurately identifies the spirit undergirding that conflict." David Barton; The Spirit of the American Revolution, 2000
But now let us look at the next part of the Declaration of Independence.
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. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
The founders of this country based our right to freedom, to liberty as a right given to us by God.
In other governments your rights are determined by the government, not God. But we are coming to that position very quickly. Many in our nation have set out to remove every instance of God in public life. In many cases they do not even teach history that way it happened because they want to remove the references to God that are frequently found there.
We have come to take the politically favorable view rather that what might be "the laws of nature and natures God."
In 1973 we determined that the unborn had no rights unless we wanted them to. Is it amazing to yo how that one man can be charged with murder for terminating a pregnancy while another person has the right to terminate the same pregnancy.
In a recent court case with one fell swoop the high court ruled that the "laws of nature and natures God" no longer apply to homosexual acts. All this while the APA studies whether or not intergenerational sex (Pedophilia) is abnormal. You see those same people who have fought for "Homosexual Right" really want to remove all moral prohibitions regarding all sexual behavior. To them there is nothing that inappropriate.
WalMart this last week added sexual orientation to their employee manual. But so have most of the larger companies in this country.
That is not the liberty that the founding fathers had in mind.
Here is the Liberty that Jesus described.