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July 2013

THE CHARTERS OF FREEDOM

US Congress, July 4, 1776

By Beverley Carter

 
The Declaration of Independence was all about making a break from the then ruling British government.  (Those of us who are Christians can find an interesting parallel in this “Charter of Freedom.”)
 
The Declaration of Independence is a fascinating piece of ‘writing’, and if you haven’t read it, or want to re-read it, just Google “Declaration of Independence Article.”
 
On the website History Today, there is a very interesting article by historian Robert Hole, which shows how important context is for understanding the most significant document in American history.  Below is a short excerpt:
 
“We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  As Robert Hole says, “These famous words are all that most Americans remember of the Declaration, but the text as a whole is far more complex and subtle than this piece of liberal rhetoric might suggest. The rhetoric of universal human rights occupies only 20% of the 1,340-word document.  Over 60% of it is a detailed list of grievances which the American colonists felt against King George III and the British government.”
 
I would encourage you to read both The Declaration Independence and Robert Hole’s articles.  In my view, a strong parallel can be drawn between Colonial America’s need to declare independence from an oppressive British rule and the human race’s need to escape the destructive rule of Satan. 
 
The US Declaration of Independence declares that when the happiness, prosperity and security of the people are usurped, then the people have the right to change things.
 
This world is ruled by Satan’s government, which is set on the destruction of the whole human race. Right at the beginning, in Genesis 3:4-5, Satan promised ‘good’ things would come to Eve and all mankind.  In Matthew 4, we see how Satan tried to tempt Jesus with the promise of all that this world can offer.
 
Of course, Jesus knew the heart of Satan and that his promises were all lies.  It took Eve and Adam a little while to discover that Satan’s kingdom would lead to destruction and ultimately death.  Ezekiel 18:4 confirms this truth: “The soul that sins shall die.”
 
Just like the ‘young’ America, the world needed a new government.  We needed a new leader, and just as America went to war to win her freedom from a tyrannical British government, so our new spiritual leader, Jesus, went into battle for us, and paid the ultimate price of dying on a Cross. 
 
On July 4, there will be great celebration in America.
 
As Christians, I believe that we need to remember, on a daily basis, the price that Jesus paid for our ‘spiritual’ freedom.
 
Here is our “Charter of Freedom”:
 
“But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to ALL who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” – Romans 3:21-24.
 
One difference, of course, between God’s Kingdom and the ‘kingdom’ of America is that God’s Kingdom will last for Eternity.  America, like all earthly ‘kingdoms,’ will one day pass away.
 
“Behold, I am coming soon!  My reward is with Me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people.” – Revelation 22:12,13,21
 
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

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