“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” ~Thomas Paine
I am finishing W. Cleon Skousen’s book, The Five Thousand Year Leap: 28 Great Ideas That Changed the World. It is a very informative read on 28 principles that our Founders used when developing a government for our nation. Skousen’s impetus to write the book came from his discussions with modern-day “enthusiastic” new Congressmen. Though well-meaning, he realized they lacked an understanding of our constitution:
“…their zeal was sincere and that any mistakes they might be making were the results of ignorance, not malicious intent. In fact all of us belonged to a generation that had never been taught the clear-cut, decisive principles of sound politics and economics enunciated by the Founders.”
The first ten basic principles in Skousen’s book, in some way, describe how our nation was established with an understanding that there is a Supreme Creator that has given us rules of “right conduct” and an order we call “Natural Law.” But the idea of a “Supreme Creator” has been severely watered down in today’s relativistic and post-modern world.
Recently, Stuart Briscoe wrote an article reflecting on our Independence Day that highlights the spiritual and moral ignorance that is prevalent not just in the political arena but in our society as a whole. Enjoy the article below.
“When Jill and I [Stuart] toured Antarctica a few years ago we did so in the company of about a hundred other people, who, like us, were enthralled with the sheer magnificent beauty of the least known part of the world. The most common expression of their appreciation for all that we were seeing was praise to Mother Nature. Kudos flew in Mother Nature’s direction every few minutes! So on one occasion I added, quietly “I think Father God deserves some credit too.” The result was as surprising as it was dramatic.
The lady to whom I made the comment went – if I may borrow a modern term – “ballistic!!” She promptly wrote me off as an “evangelical” and then set about blaming me, and others of the same brand, with responsibility for putting George W. Bush in office leading to the US getting into two un-winnable wars with the resultant loss of innocent life. I think they call that kind of breathless presentation a “stream of consciousness.” Whatever. In that company Mother Nature was “in” and Father God was “out.” And I think it would be true to say that an increasing number of people are more comfortable talking about Mother Nature than Father God.
In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson announced that the colonists were going to sever their relationship with Britain and “assume within the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle(d) them.” Jefferson based his argument on the “Law of Nature and of Nature’s God.” But what did he, and the other members of the framing committee, mean by this designation? Were the Antarctica lady’s modern day Mother Nature and Jefferson’s Nature’s God the same entity? Was it, in effect, Mother Nature, using another name, who had given these brave men the nerve to take the drastic first step of revolution?
To answer that question – in case anyone ever bothered to ask it! – we need to look at the context of the Framers’ action. Like everyone else, they were products of their times, their upbringings, their schooling, both formal and informal, and all this profoundly affected their thinking, their deciding, and their actions.
They were widely read, late 18th century men. Equally familiar with Greek philosophy, with Scottish philosophers, with medieval churchmen and French philosophies, they were also all products, to some degree, of a Christian environment. Only God knows their hearts, but no doubt, many of them loved the Lord, others were God-fearing and honoring men, and still others were Deists.Jefferson said that they were not primarily concerned with introducing new ideas but effectively of collating the wisdom of many sources. But the writings of the British jurist Sir William Blackstone influenced them greatly, and he certainly employed the phrase, “Nature and Nature’s God” which they inserted in the epochal document. He was also responsible for the emotive phrase, “Taxation without representation!”
Blackstone was perfectly clear regarding the meaning of the key phrase he used and which the Framers copied. He wrote, upon “these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict these.” By the law of nature he apparently meant the principles of the universe as observable by rational man and by law of revelation he meant God’s law revealed in the Scriptures. Building on this, Jefferson’s very specific differentiation of “Laws of Nature” and “of Nature’s God” shows that he fully understood the dangers of divorcing the Greek idea of nature “ruling” (as interpreted by man) from the over-ruling of God (and man acknowledging Him.) Or if you wish, the fatal mistake of honoring Mother Nature and reacting negatively to Father God!
I believe that the Fourth of July should be much more than many people make it. It was, and is, a celebration of what happened over 200 years ago when a small group of men made some careful, well-thought-out and far-reaching decisions that they embodied in their Declaration of Independence. And therefore any celebration of that momentous event is incomplete without some time at least being spent thinking about what they did, why they did it, and what possible impact and relevance it has on the modern era.
For me one thing comes through loudly and clearly – the Framers recognized the profound significance of God’s Word as a basis for an ordered life, well pleasing to the Author and Sustainer of life. And modern America is becoming increasingly ignorant of that Word. But Telling the Truth is committed to broadcasting it to as many people as possible through as many media as possible so that as many people as possible can be encouraged to, at least, give Father God and His risen Son the credit they deserve.”
Where Else Can We Find the Truth?
That brings me to the LIFE business. One of the founders of LIFE, Orrin Woodward, has a goal to reach over 1 million people through our LIFE educational system introducing them to truthful, principle-based information in 8 distinct areas of one’s life: Faith, Family, Finances, Fitness, Friends, Freedom, Following and Fun. On July 4th, our country’s Independence Day, we celebrate our freedom. I encourage you to check out the Freedom Pack which contains the book Leadership & Liberty: Pieces of the Puzzle, from best-selling authors Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward, and 4 audio CDs that teach the principles of freedom in our country.
I pray that “Father God” is alive in your heart and that freedom will remain because you chose to give up ignorance in place of truth. Enjoy your independence on this 4th of July. Godspeed on your journey.