The Laws of Nature and Nature's God
By Bob Morrison, FRC Senior Fellow
When the members of Second Continental Congress sat in Philadelphia 237 years ago, they declared the independence of a new nation. In that Declaration of Independence, the Founders had to find a basis in law for their actions. Deeply respectful of the Rule of Law as our Founders were, they sent their Olive Branch Petition one more time to the King and Parliament. Rebuffed at every turn, they made an Appeal to Heaven. Declaring Independence was a grave risk. The English Army and their Royal Navy brought death and destruction to Americans. To the English rulers, they were rebels and traitors and nothing else.
Our forefathers justified their actions on the basis of "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God." Determined not to let their Glorious Cause descend into anarchy, the Founders laid out their case for independence from England in a Declaration that laid out the reasons that "impelled them to the separation." They listed a long train of abuses of their rights and their liberties. The Founders declared their reasons to "a candid world." Those Founders were enlightened and scripturally informed patriots. They did not doubt that there is a law written on the hearts of men.
We identify today with our patriot Fathers. We are not calling for revolution, but we are pointing to a long train of abuses daily growing longer. The IRS scandal, in which power is used to suppress free speech and billions of our hard-earned tax dollars are squandered by frivolous and arrogant office holders, cries out for redress. This gross waste, fraud, and abuse reminds us of the sense of hot indignation felt by the Founders when they made this charge against the King:
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
We see this today in the swarms of bureaucrats and czars--unelected and unaccountable. They issue mandates that threaten our first freedom. They violate our religious liberty in ways it has not been infringed since America's Founding. James Madison taught us that religious freedom adds to "the lustre of our country." The swarmers see it as an obstacle.
We will resist. In every lawful, political, and spiritual way, we will resist. We will use our God-given rights to petition government, to speak and write against this rising floodtide of despotism. We will peaceably and solemnly assemble to pray. We will seek the aid of the Supreme Governor of the Universe. We address our appeal to the God of our Fathers. We seek not material gain. We ask no earmarks, no special government benefits. We have sought relief from a crushing burden of taxation. We want to escape from the coils of an intrusive and overbearing bureaucracy.
Ironically, it was a foreigner, an Englishman with ties of blood and the heart to our land, who understood what we feel today. In 1941, from bombed and burning London, he addressed us Americans by radio-what he called the wireless. He sensed it better than do many of our present day rulers. Winston Churchill spoke these words to his American mother's countrymen:
The destiny of mankind is not decided by material computation. When great causes are on the move in the world, stirring all men's souls, drawing them from their firesides, casting aside comfort, wealth and the pursuit of happiness in response to impulses at once awe-striking and irresistible, we learn that we are spirits, not animals, and that something is going on in space and time, and beyond space and time, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty.
Great causes are on the move today, as well. We recognize our duty--to defend innocent life--to uphold natural marriage--to maintain religious freedom. It is a duty, so help us God, we will fulfill.
** If you're in the South, there are two great options for church this Sunday! In Baton Rouge, I'll be preaching a special message, "As for Me and My House" from Joshua 24:1-25 at Greenwell Springs Baptist Church (19421 Greenwell Springs Road) at the 8:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services. Also, FRC's Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin will be in nearby Alabama, delivering the 10:00 a.m. sermon at Family Baptist Church (23599 Al Highway 24, Trinity, AL 35673). Come out and join us!
*** In between fireworks and cookouts, click over to Dr. Kenyn Cureton's column on the Baptist Press and learn more about the significance of the Fourth in his piece, "John Wise: the man who inspired the Declaration of Independence."