If secular America has a sacred text, it is the Declaration of Independence, the American creed writ large. Not that very many know what that document says. Most people are content to rely on what others tell them, "others" being school teachers, lawyers and politicians who quote it like the Bible.
Henry Clay regarded the Declaration’s "created equal" phrase as the "great fundamental principle" of America. In truth it was the assertion of early patriots and statesmen against the austere and aristocratic snobs who ruled them from England, not a theological or sociological statement. It was a claim for their own status.
Thomas Jefferson is said to be its author, but the Congress should be credited for an extensive amount of editing and trimming. A new liberalism was refined and made more clear over Jefferson’s signature. The gospel that is happily, if superficially, gleaned from its lines is the proclamation of democracy or rule-by-the-people, the perennial religion of man. The belief that man is able to sanctify an idea by use of the sacrament of the vote.
Point one in response - man’s only equalizing feature is his sinful nature, not his intellect, creativity or a hazy list of "rights." Point two - freedom comes to a people as a gift from God, not as a result of human ideals. Political liberty grew out of the personal Christianity, lived day by day, of those who knew Jesus Christ and called on His Name.
Today the sacred cow of Humanism is the cry and claim of "freedom," an avowal that is, in reality, a demand for divorce from God and His law-word. As "We the people" stated our reasons to be free from the tyranny of the British, so Americans now have largely bought the idea that they can live in separation from their Maker.
American gospel means the re-writing of history. It’s an effort to make "back then" sound like "today," except for references to God.
Striving for liberty in man’s terms produces a loathsome slavery. Declaration of freedom from God brings on the tyranny of a killing anxiety and loathsome debauchery. Fervent evangelists of man’s religion stand in every statist classroom to preach the doctrine of sexual liberation and gender confusion. Their form of revival has been unprecedented. It is seen in the dissolution of society, increased illegitimacy and abortion. Liberty, in this gospel, means license and mayhem.
False prophets stress the bondage of environmental pollution. They ignore the contamination of ideas. These teachers say that enhancing the status and well being of women will be the key to stopping the expansion of population. In other words, they are saying that children are the offspring of the "low status" of women. Does this make clear the outlook of the social scientists? Does it explain the death wish, the urge to destroy the image of God in man?
American Gospel is preached in most churches as well as on the evening news and at the university. It cries for "liberty," "brotherhood," and "tolerance." Outside of Christ these are expressions of the curse. They mean a declaration of the antithesis, an insistence of separation, independence from the King, for a living death of frustration and search. The tyranny of a pretended fraternity only seals the outcome, certifies the warfare that festers in man’s heart. Brotherhood means the forced agreement to fight the hated battle of Cain.
Christians, unfortunately, much too readily adopt the language of man’s gospel. Finding sound doctrine and great creedal documents too restraining, too difficult, they vote for liberation. They see doctrine as hemming them in, cramping their personal autonomy. The oppression of "a leanness of the soul" (Ps.106:15), is the evil fruit that God sends for not waiting for His whole counsel.
The answer is to return earnestly to our spiritual foundations. The Sacred Text is our ready guide and illumination, not the "Declaration" and its seditious recipe. The true Gospel and its real American rendering goes back to our seventeenth century Puritan forefathers. We need to regain their hungering and thirsting for righteousness, their hearty appreciation for substance.
Homeschooling may provide an opportunity to regain the quality that once characterized our beautiful land. Discard the fluff, blow off the froth. Get down to learning serious doctrine. Pray for a heart thirst that can only be assuaged by the Word of God and the zealous writers who glory in its countless perfections.
Rev. Dale K. Dykema