What The Declaration of Independence Is Not

Ramon Arias | July 1, 2016

The America of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries is not the America of the original intent, which led us to the Declaration of Independence. More and more this nation has become what other empires of the past and great nations became by building upon destructive ideas that corrupt the very nature of humanity.

I am glad that Mr. Benjamin Franklin, who made a call for prayer at the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention, and the other Founders, cannot see what America has become. Franklin knew that only God could see them through the challenges and difficulties that he was perceiving in the great endeavor of bringing good order to the formation of this new nation. Here is what he said:

“In this situation of this Assembly groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine Protection. -- Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need His assistance.

I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that "except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall be become a reproach and a bye word down to future age. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human Wisdom, and leave it to chance, war, and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move -- that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that service.”  (Emphasis added)

There is nothing in Franklin’s exhortation that denotes any trace of him being a deist or those to whom he was addressing. The deist believes that God is the Creator of the world but left it alone and is not interested in interfering.      

The following list is of what the Declaration of Independence is not.  This is not an exhaustive list because much more could be added, however, the idea I want to convey is for us to realize how far we have drifted from our origin as a nation: 

The Declaration of Independence is not a deist document.

The Declaration of Independence is not a humanist document.

The Declaration of Independence is not an atheist document.

The Declaration of Independence is not meant to create a centralized government.

The Declaration of Independence is not designed to create an autocrat: a ruler with absolute power.

The Declaration of Independence is not the promotion of tyranny: Arbitrary or despotic exercise of power.

The Declaration of Independence is not the promotion of anarchy: where individuals do what they please with impunity or political confusion.

The Declaration of Independence is not the promotion of oligarchy: ruled by a few.

The Declaration of Independence is not to promote the enslavement of people.

The Declaration of Independence is not to promote dependency on the government.

The Declaration of Independence is not to promote secular education.

The Declaration of Independence is not to promote political correctness.

The Declaration of Independence is not to promote multiculturalism.

The Declaration of Independence is not to promote moral pluralism.

The Declaration of Independence is not to promote the love of money.

The Declaration of Independence is not to promote immorality.

The Declaration of Independence is not to promote the redefinition of the family.

The Declaration of Independence is not to promote the termination of the life of the unborn.

The Declaration of Independence is not to annul countless government documents with reference to God, Jesus Christ and the Bible.

The Declaration of Independence is not to promote the removal of God from social life and institutions.

The Declaration of Independence is not to silence the teachings of the biblical worldview.

The Declaration of Independence is not to be independent of the government of God Almighty as revealed in the Bible.

The Declaration of Independence totally acknowledges God’s sovereignty

The Declaration of Independence affirms the absolute dependence on The Creator and Supreme Judge of the world and the only one that guarantees rights. 

On July 6, 1775, a document titled “Setting Forth the Causes and Necessity of Their Taking Up Arms” was drafted by the Representatives of the United Colonies of North-America who met in Congress at Philadelphia. This is what Thomas Jefferson and John Dickinson stated: 

“With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficient Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live as slaves." (Emphasis added)

The biblical worldview dominates the Declaration of Independence. The biblical teachings are throughout the document that acknowledges the Divinity and responsibilities toward God.

The God of the Bible is openly and unashamedly mentioned five times in the Declaration of Independence:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness….

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved;…

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”  (Emphasis added)

  1. The Laws of Nature. This affirmation is not saying that we learn morality from nature, rather that our Creator establishes the laws that rule nature, and that His moral absolutes are given to govern man who is created differently than animals and plants. (Genesis 1 -2)
  2. Nature's God entitles them.
  3. We hold these truths to be self-evident, all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness
  4. We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions…
  5. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Samuel Adams, known as the father of the American Revolution, during his signing of the Declaration stated:

"We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come."

John Adams wrote:

"I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary Festival.

It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.

It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this time forward forever more."

John Adams continued:

"You will think me transported with enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States.

Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means.

And that Posterity will triumph in that Days Transaction, even although we should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not."

There was no disagreement regarding these references to God and the emphasis of Him throughout the Declaration of Independence by any of the participants at that time, neither should we bow down to those who have betrayed the spirit of the letter and hate God and His Word, which remains as the only sure foundation for all of life.  

God’s original plan for humanity will be done.  The Founders built upon the idea of the biblical vision brought by the Forefathers that gave birth to the United States of America. Can this nation survive by ignoring, rebelling and fighting God and His people?

John Quincy Adams said:

"From the day of the Declaration...they (people freed from Great Britain) were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of The Gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledge as the rules of their conduct."

Daniel Webster said:

"If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instruction and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity."

Thomas Jefferson said:

"God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever."

Make no mistake; America’s future is in the hands of biblical Christians. Only a return to God’s principles revealed in His Word can save us. If we neglect the responsibility to do so, we will continue to go over the cliff with this fundamental transformation, which started when the experimental civil government began in 1789.  

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” – Ronald Reagan