“Endowed By Their Creator”
Soon another 4th of July will be upon us. On July 4, 1776, 56 men voted to adopt the final wording of the Declaration of Independence. This was a milestone in history.
Today there is a war on America as founded. But those who engage in that fight are attacking the very source of their freedom to so engage. If they are successful, they could well find themselves one day as the victims of their own actions—akin to proponents of cancel culture getting cancelled themselves.
Leon Trotsky was a key architect of the Soviet Union. He was right up there with Lenin and Stalin. But when Lenin suffered a stroke in 1924 and was powerless for a year before he died, Stalin consolidated his power, and Trotsky became a marked man. He eventually had to flee for his life.
I have stayed on the coastline in southern Norway near an island where Trotsky was in hiding for two months in the 1930s until Josef Stalin learned where he was and demanded that Norway give him up. That country refused Stalin’s request, but they also ordered Trotsky to leave Norway. Eventually, in 1940, Stalin’s minions caught up with him and killed him in Mexico.
Because of the depravity of man and the corruption of so many government systems that are not based on the Bible, stories are legion throughout history of one group tyrannizing another.
History is the story of men grasping for power with violent actions and violent repercussions.
But there was something different about the birth of America. Ronald Reagan once said, “Our Founding Fathers, here in this country, brought about the only true revolution that has ever taken place in man’s history. Every other revolution simply exchanged one set of rulers for another set of rulers.”
The essence of the American experiment is self-rule under God. The Creator is the source of our rights. Undermine belief in the Creator, and eventually we lose those rights.
In the Declaration of Independence, the founders declared independence from Great Britain, while at the same time declaring dependence upon Almighty God. Four times that document mentions God:
- “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”—referring to God’s natural law and to the
- “all Men are created equal, they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”—referring to the Creator God of Genesis;
- “appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions” —referring to Jesus, who will judge us all,
- “with a firm Reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence ” —referring to the Biblical God who superintends the affairs of men.
I have been working on several documentaries on America’s founding for Providence Forum (a division of D. James Kennedy Ministries). This 7-part series is called “The Foundation of American Liberty.” In effect, this series sets out to answer these questions: What is right about America, and how did it get that way? The answer is our nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage.
Just in time for July 4th comes the next episode, “Endowed By Their Creator.”
This film deals with the Declaration of Independence, our nation’s birth certificate. Included in this episode is the contrast between the godless French Revolution with the pro-God American War for Independence and the founders’ vision that there would be no separation of God and government.
Some of the guests in the episode make the following points:
- Dr. Os Guinness: “What’s the basis for freedom?….Freedom comes from Genesis…we are significant and made in the image and likeness of God.”
- Marshall Foster: “The foundations of liberty have always been the Bible.”
- Dennis Prager: “Did the Bible play an important role in the founding of America? Do bats and gloves play an important part in the founding of baseball?….There’s no America without God.”
One guest, Dr. Daniel Dreisbach of American University, comments on the impact of our culture’s effectively banishing God from the public square today: “So, we’ve, in a sense, turned the First Amendment right on its head from limiting government to empowering government through the judiciary to decide what people of faith can say and do in the public arena.”
The clash is really between two worldviews. One says there is no creator, no creation, and no moral absolutes. The other is the worldview of the Declaration of Independence, which, as Judge Darrell White, the founder of Retired Judges of America, points out in the program, “speaks of the presuppositional self-evidence of a Creator, creation, and moral absolutes. That is the epicenter of the culture war.”
“Endowed by Their Creator” concludes with President John F. Kennedy’s ringing declaration in his 1961 Inaugural Address that “the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.”
This is a point Americans need to relearn.
Dr. Jerry Newcombe is the executive director of Providence Forum, a division of D. James Kennedy Ministries, where Jerry also serves as senior producer and an on-air contributor. He has written/co-written 33 books, including (with D. James Kennedy), What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? and (with Dr. Peter Lillback), George Washington’s Sacred Fire.