The primary motivator that drove the American Revolution can be summed up in one word—Freedom. The founders sought freedom to govern their country and the opportunity to seek “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” as individuals.
As the Declaration of Independence asserts, the freedom they sought was entitled to mankind by the Creator, the God of the Bible. The freedom the founders sought was merely a means to an end. Based on their understanding of God’s order, they sought to establish a balanced form of independence governed by law and order.
God’s oversight, governmental independence, societal order and personal freedom were central ingredients that formulated the essence of the new paradigm. A careful review of the primary documents reveals that the “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” the founders sought was by no means arbitrary in nature. Rather, it portrayed an orderly freedom consisting of laws and government amid the populace.
Based on biblical teachings, nature and historical evidence of prior civilizations, freedom minus order equates anarchy. The orderly freedom the founders sought to establish encompassed all aspects of life–government, religion, invention, assembly, behavior, speech and so forth. Their goal was not oppression, but rather a framework that would optimize the freedoms they sought to establish within this new nation.
Why is it essential that we grasp the bond between the God of the Bible, order and freedom? Because this is the key to understanding the essence of what the founders were striving to enact and the makeup of what it takes to preserve it.
As time has passed, and ignorance of the societal, cultural and religious platform the founders worked off of has set in, some have opted to distance themselves from the clear intent of the founders and replace it with that which is inferior to the original.
This can most easily be seen in how some approach the “free exercise” of speech and of the press in modern America. For instance, when one applies the sieve used by the founders and those who formulated the Bill of Rights, it is impossible to believe that they ever envisioned pornography to be protected under the Constitution. But, over time, the corrupters of democracy have played upon the ignorance, short-sightedness, fears and lusts of the masses to incorporate such things under the wings of protection.
Sadly, over time, America has become a slave to freedom. Practices and principles that were once considered gross and unacceptable acts, have morphed into protected rights. Unknowingly, fools, of all thread, openly mock and scorn the very foundation America was built upon. Believing their way is better, they slowly strip away the orderly freedom necessary for our national and societal survival.
Rejecting the founder’s orderly freedom is part and parcel to rejecting the God of the Bible, whom they sought for guidance and blessing. The founders were not perfect men. They personally knew what it meant to sin and display shortcomings, but in spite of it, they sought higher ground.
When the Declaration of Independence speaks of “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” it echoes such teachings as those found in the Bible, in the book of Romans, chapter 1, verse 20,
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”
The betrayal of the founder’s orderly freedom is based on man’s continual rejection and betrayal of the God so often present in our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Washington’s inaugural address and the like.
The founders understood that embracing a bastardized version of freedom leads not to greater freedom, but to the eventual ruin of one’s nation. One need only reflect on the words of George Washington, in his inaugural address, when he said, “Since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven, can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained.”
During this most important time, Washington directed the hearts and minds of the nation toward God, noting the “Almighty Being who rules over the Universe, who presides in the Councils of Nations.” Why did Washington reference and call upon the Almighty? Because he sought to enlist His “providential aids” that “can supply every human defect” and “that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the People of the United States.”
Washington, and the founders, knew that as a nation, enslavement to a lose knit form of freedom was meaningless. Bonding ourselves to God’s ordered freedom, established in His Word, was the only possible means of national survival and prosperity.
Is it any wonder that the more we distance ourselves from the ordered freedom of the founders, and embrace the depravity spoken of in Romans 1:28-32, that we as a nation increasingly experience socioeconomic convulsions?
Slowly, we as a nation have become slaves to freedom. The evidence of this breakdown is everywhere. The traits seen in Romans 1:28-32 characterize so much of what we see today—”Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”
How does a nation as large as ours turn from our destructive tendencies? One person at a time, each of us must recognize and embrace the God who established this nation, and embrace the principles of ordered freedom, in spirit and truth, that our founders embraced, not putting freedom ahead of godly order, or order ahead of godly freedom, but striving for the balanced foundation that helped make this nation godly and great.