And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout [all] the
land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye
shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto
(Leviticus 25:10 AV)
LIBERTY THE CENTRAL THEME
was, and still is now, the central theme of the Republic of America. Moreover,
it is the essence of Biblical Truth. Mankind, created in the image of God, fully
set at liberty to serve and enjoy the Creator forever, abandoned his natural
estate to establish himself as God. Thus, mankind, by his own rebellious action
against the Almighty King and Lawgiver, brought himself into the bondage of sin
and depravity. From that moment forward, mankind was hopelessly lost and
destined to eternal doom and destruction. Yet God, who is rich in mercy, chose
from all eternity a people for Himself to redeem from this bondage of sin and
death. This liberation would be brought about by the WORD of God, even Jesus
Christ, the Savior.
The Spirit of
the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good
tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to
proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them
that are] bound;
(Isaiah 61:1 AV)
the whole of the Scriptures, the central theme is “Liberty from the bondage
of tyranny.” Yet, we must be careful not to “spiritualize away” the
basic, practical application of this concept of liberty. It was not only a
liberty of souls from the bondage of sin and death, but a liberty of nations and
peoples from the tyranny of sinfully oppressive man. It was upon this premise
that the Founding Fathers set the precept of the American nation.
THE STRENGTH OF CHRISTIAN
Fathers of America were dramatically
influenced by the Holy Scriptures and had severe reverence for the Sovereignty
of God Almighty. If we carefully reconstruct the progression of Biblical
influence in political and social thought, we would be immediately brought back
to the period of the European Reformation of the Sixteenth Century. It was
principally from this era that the Founders of America were influenced. Men like
Martin Bucer (1491-1551) who dramatically impressed the principles of practical
political and social Biblical truth on men such as John Calvin of Geneva and
John Knox of Scotland. Still others, such as Urich Zwingli of Switzerland, would
also be monumental in influencing American political thought.
If we were to trace back the practice of the
American Republic, we would be forced to call these Christian Reformers the Founding
Great Grand-fathers and forerunners of men such as Washington, Adams,
Jefferson, and Henry.
THE GREAT AWAKENING OF THE 1730’s
During the time of the American
colonies there erupted a wave of Christian revival which broke out across
Europe, and quickly spread to the colonies of America into New England. One
historian called this Divine Providence, “the foremost social episode of
pre revolutionary America.” It was this Divinely orchestrated revival that
set the stage for the liberation of the American people. The Great Awakening had
a dramatic democratic character upon the society’s traditional hierarchy.
The Scriptures were expounded in a
practical fashion to include all areas of life. Religion and the personal
pilgrimage of the soul were no longer the only focus in the preaching. A broader
scope was presented. It was a scope which included the pragmatics of economics,
politics, government, welfare, crime, and the duty of the civil magistrate
before God and the people. No longer was there a “monastic” thrust of
“religiosity” but rather an applicable, everyday series of directives
and applications of God’s truth concerning all life. Consequences for sin
against God were stressed in such a way as to indict whole nations and peoples.
God’s anger and Judgment was paraded before the people as an event which takes
place “in real time”, not simply in a far off place in eternity.
Finally the “whole counsel of God” was faithfully expounded and
applied to all events of time and history.