As the United States of America celebrates its Independence Day today, I am led to think about the whole topic of tyranny in relation to the sovereignty of God. Sovereignty has many definitions among them are the following:
Of these definitions, which is the only one which could be used in relation to God? Of course it is number one. The sovereignty of God refers to His supreme authority. In the Bible the word used is "dominion" which means ruling power or authority.
The question that comes up on this day is, upon looking back to 1776, whether the men who gathered to write the Declaration of Independence were strictly looking to break free from the dominion of England or whether they were trying to establish an independent country whose supreme authority was Almighty God.
For the most part, the framers of the Declaration of Independence were good men who were willing to sacrifice all they had obtained in this life for the cause they were gathered together to deal with. Most of these men were "theists" which means they believed in God and that one God created and rules humans and the world. There is no evidence that "theists" placed any belief in divine revelation such as the Bible.
Here is the crux of the matter. If indeed the men who drew up and signed the Declaration of Independence did believe in God but not the Bible, did they believe in the same God we, who believe the Bible to be the Word of God believe in? Is a person who professes a belief in God automatically to be considered a Christian?
There are billions of people in the world today who say they believe in a god. Is the god of the Hindu the same as the God of a Jew? Is the god of a Muslim the same as the God of a Christian? Is the god of the native of New Guinea the same as the God of the Christian missionary sent there to evangelize him? Is the god of the Satanist the same as the God of the Bible?
I am not about to try and answer any of the above questions except the last one, which is a definite NO. No man knows what lurks within the heart of another man. No man can honestly judge whether another person knows and worships the same God as he. No man can demand everyone else believe exactly as he does regarding God.
When I look at the various religions practiced today, I sincerely doubt that I worship and love the same God as they do. My God would never in a billion years say, do or demand what I hear many religious people boldly proclaim God allegedly says or does. The question then digresses into whether God is different for each person or the same for everyone?
Quite some time ago I wrote a blog laying out my personal beliefs regarding what Romans 13 teaches and how I believe the obedience there is speaking about church leadership. I was of course roundly reproved, told I was a heretic and what I wrote was universally rejected. Here is my question for this special day.
If indeed we are supposed no NEVER disobey the governmental rulers, then why do we laud the signers of the Declaration of Independence as heroes for doing exactly that? If we are to believe that every governmental power is OF GOD, then how can we justify what the Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and others did 234 years ago?
I do not mean to rain on anyone's 4th of July parade or fireworks, but I really do think most Christians need to think about what we are celebrating today and realize that either there are indeed times when we MUST stand against tyranny or else we need to relegate the signers of the Declaration of Independence into the trash heap of disobedient believers or unbelievers just doing what they felt was the best thing to do. Just some food for thought to chew on this day.
Thought provoking with mixed feelings and understanding.
Your going to get a lot of pat replies and quick answers - expected.
Then, on further thought, may not get any at all.
I don't understand enough of how God is involved on a daily basis with the World to give any answer or comment.
Two things I know -
1) He is reconciling
2) Wheat and chaff are together in the field.
So think I will just be about our Fathers business and keep my views of the Moses statements in history about America to myself for now.
Heretic was a little mean on that subject, but then I think the Church is included in Ch. 13.
I'm thinking - good blog.