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Stories of Lives Liberated

A Christian’s 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.
US Declaration of Independence, 1776

Many of us are familiar with these iconic words and with the document from which they stem.  On July 4, 1776, this document, being composed primarily by Thomas Jefferson (a deist), was ratified by 56 signatories at the Continental Congress.  These were delegates from the 13 colonies of the New England territories, at the time contending against the smothering oppression of the British Crown.  Given the despotic grievances listed against the tyrant-king George III, the colonies had unanimously reached a consensus that a dynamic separation from Great Britain was of dire necessity.  This document, ever since referred to as the Declaration of Independence, established the beginning note of the composition of a new nation. These united states in America were staffed on the foundation of procured liberty; they were keyed with a tone of the ambitious hope and deeply rooted pride incumbent to what would become known as the “American Dream.”

But how have the ideals contained in that dream affected the gospel of Christ’s kingdom in this world?  Where have we found ourselves, in context with 238 years of “unalienable rights” endowed by our Creator? While the intertwinement of religion and state has been notably popular in history, this applied thought of entitlement to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” condemned such entanglements.  Constructed in its place is a social, legal and moral environment that allows for the freedom to practice religion absent of oppression and prohibition. This provision was further promised, established and secured by the enthronement of the United States Constitution. With such an institutional validation of free choice, a licensed atmosphere of openness and authenticity was formed.

In our current age, with a growing tendency in this world toward the suppression of, and even hostility against Christianity and Judeo-Christian virtues, we have this protected licensure for which to be thankful to God. He has graciously provided, through this nation of dreamers, that we might profess faith in Christ in relative safety and freely spread His gospel in the face of general opposition.

With this finite and quickly fading liberty, we proclaim freely a transcending liberty that does not fade. For even as our so-declared “unalienable rights” become alienated, and even when all life, liberty and pursued happiness that is promised to us is robbed, and even when we are forcibly awakened from our dream and every worldly ‘entitlement’ that we hold (though actually by grace, NOT by right nor deserved) is reduced to ash, we have our liberation in the name of a greater authority.  Jesus Christ the Lord is our Liberator who hung on a cross for our sins and saved us from wrath and was released in power on the third day from the chains of death unto His sovereign reign.  He rules forevermore. His Word, the Word of God, has spoken our ‘declaration of independence’ with three eternal words which freely and by grace impart everlasting life, liberty and joy to those who follow, trusting in the One who cried: “It is finished!” (John 19:30)

Sam Lamont devotes his writings to exploring God’s narrative as seen in world history, shining a light on how Christ’s church has developed throughout the ages. “Join me in reflecting on our past – as we peer through the lens of truth and freedom in the gospel; I pray we will grow all the more in our understanding of what Christ has called us to be.”

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