On this Independence Day 2019, I cannot help but think of an inferred meaning to the Declaration of Independence as the United States of America continues down the slippery slope: the shift from “freedom of religion” to “freedom from religion”. And what is this inferred meaning? On July 4, 1776, the 13 original colonies declared their independence from the tyrannical and unjust king of Britain. On July 4, 2019, the United States of America, the majority of its 50 states and territories, is declaring its independence from the loving and just King of kings, YHVH. The Declaration of Independence has changed! Wait a minute, do you seriously believe that the Declaration of Independence has changed? No, it has not changed in expression: it has changed in application.
As is the case throughout civilization, inherently a shift in generational thought leads to a change in humanity. Nevertheless, not all shifts in thought are fundamentally destructive; however, any shift away from YHVH and His standards is—no matter how subtle the shift seems at the time. The Bible details consequential examples of many such destructive shifts in human thought. We will briefly discuss a few to make a connection with the shift in thought that has changed today’s application of the Declaration of Independence.
The first profound shift in human thought is documented in Bereshith (Genesis) 6:5, “And YHVH saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (The Scriptures).” We all know the result of that first major shift in human thought, the world-wide flood. However, can one image how much worse society would be if every inclination of everyone’s thoughts were always evil? We would live in a society that would increasingly adopt mores that counter YHVH’s ways and oppose nature as He created it!
The second significant shift in human thought is the birth of secular humanism, which has plagued humanity since its inception at the Tower of Babel (Bereshith 11:1-9). History rebuts the claim that humanity—in and of itself without YHVH—can determine a healthy, ethical, and moral state in which all people are treated with dignity and respect. What was so harmful about working together to build a tower and leaving a legacy, or perhaps the desire to remain together and not scatter? The issue was not in working together to build a city and tower per se, it was in the prideful desire to be independent from YHVH. A desire for autonomy has yielded the theory of evolution. If man evolved from primates and was not created, there would not exist a divine natural order with various commands or requirements. Therefore, humanity becomes the sole authority for truth and determines right from wrong. Unfortunately, human truth is relative to human desires. And human desires tend to change—ultimately leading to human demise.
A third shift better emphasizes the generational shift in thought that leads to a change in humanity. It depicts a time in the young nation of Yisra’el (Israel) when a generation arose who did not know YHVH, did not experience His deliverance, or witness His power firsthand. Unlike the previous generation, who conquered the land after YHVH delivered them from captivity in Egypt, this generation did what was evil to YHVH and served the gods of the land (Shophetim/Judges 2:10). The lives of this generation, and those that followed, were marred with intermittent periods of defeat and oppression. Their enemies were victorious over them when they turned from YHVH’s ways. But, when YHVH-fearing leaders, called judges, lead them in observing YHVH’s ways, they enjoyed periods of bliss and security. What makes this example relevant for today’s Declaration of Independence application is found in the closing sentence of the book, “In those days there was no king of Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes (NASU).”
So it is: there are three different, yet related, shifts in generational thought. Each of them conveying a different aspect, yet similar result, of humanity’s reliance on itself rather than trusting in YHVH. Any thought that diverts a focus from the Creator to the created leads to societal demise. There is no man-made document, no matter how well written, that will prevent that demise. Consider the Constitution of the United States. John Quincy Adams, the 6th President of the United States, declared, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” That said, a moral and religious people are essential for the governing success of the Constitution of the United States. As American thought continues to shift away from YHVH, the United States of America will continually polarize—not into conservative and progressive ideologies, but into various degrees of malice and contempt towards YHVH, His ways, and those who choose to follow Him! This will inevitably materialize into the Ununited States of America.
YHVH Himself provides a stark warning to not only Yisra’el, but to any nation who purposes to discard His authority. The Prophet Hoshea (Hosea) stated, “My people have perished for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being priest for Me. Since you have forgotten the Torah of your Elohim, I also forget your children (Hoshea 4:6).” This is not a wake up call for those who may have never known YHVH, it is a wake up call to those who have or should know YHVH. It is a call to His priest—as Kepha (Peter) wrote, a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to YHVH Who called them out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).
By now, the reader has agreed with the statements thus far because it appeared that this blog was a rebuke of a progressively liberal and wayward movement. It is, but not from a perspective of an ungodly or unbelieving audience. No, it is from a perspective of those who claim to be godly and believing. What ails us nationally is what has gripped modern Christendom as a whole, Torahlessness—a delusional mindset that believes that YHVH’s standard is no longer applicable because it is all wrapped up in Jesus Christ. On the contrary, it may be wrapped up in a religious opinion of what Yeshua Ha’Mashiach (Jesus the Messiah) did or has done. Nevertheless, the price He paid with His blood and the freedom from sin and death He purchased for us, provides the liberty to live our lives according to His Torah (teachings/instructions). We must be willing to allow His Ruach Ha’Kodesh (Holy/Set-apart Spirit) to lead us in keeping His commands. Is that not what being born again means as foreseen in Yechezqel (Ezekiel) 36:25-27 and further explained in Galatiym (Galatians) 5:16-26?
In a sermon delivered at Detroit’s Second Baptist Church on February 28, 1954, entitled “Rediscovering Lost Values”, Martin Luther King, Jr. proclaimed:
The most dangerous type of atheism is not theoretical atheism, but practical atheism—that’s the most dangerous type. And the world, even the church, is filled up with people who pay lip service to God and not life service. And there is always a danger that we will make it appear externally that we believe in God when internally we don’t. We say with our mouths that we believe in him, but we live with our lives like he never existed. That is the ever-present danger confronting religion. That’s a dangerous type of atheism.
Christendom in the United States has been ill for some time with a generational shift in thought, and as such has contributed to the change in application of Declaration of Independence. This change is evidenced by the way humankind applies societal mores and interacts culturally. The 56 signatures represented a generation that acknowledged the existence of a Divine Creator. Thus, their belief caused them to include the below words in the Declaration of Independence.
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.
The original application accepted truth and divinely appointed standards of living, not secular relativism. Despite of the fact that 41 of the 56 delegates owned slaves and they included the term “savages” with Native Americans, they believed that YHVH gifted all men with a sure list of rights that neither one could take away nor the possessor give away. Although none of us were present, nor could we declare to know the thoughts of all who assembled in 1776, we can with certainty affirm that for the most part they believed that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were intrinsically by Divine design. That said, a life cannot be lived successfully outside of YHVH’s purpose to bring all into a knowledge of Him, His Way, His Truth, and His Life! Liberty can not exist without the freedom from the bondage of sin, which leads to death. And, there is no happiness without the knowledge of YHVH’s love for all, a love that does not allow for any to do what is right in his/her own eyes. This is in contrast with how the American society today views life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
We find ourselves at a crossroad. Do we stand up for YHVH, His ways, His Truth, and His Life, or do we give in to secular humanism, its destructive ways, its relevant truths, and its alternative lifestyles? Choosing the later, inevitably changes the before quoted portion of the Declaration of Independence to read as follows:
We hold these truths to be relative, that all persons evolve equal in societal opinion, that they are given by the state uncertain rights, that among these are life if their mother so chooses, liberty to do what is right in their own eyes and the pursuit of self-gratification.
It is easier to understand the internal turmoil that grips our nation considering the change in application of the Declaration of Independence. Inhuman treatment, overt hatred, abusive authority, oppressive rhetoric, social injustice, political gerrymandering, judicial murder, and marital relativism all derive from a moral demise, resulting in a skewed application of the Declaration of Independence!
4 July 2019