America's Roots

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Ruth and I have been watching a DVD series put out by HBO about John Adams.  It is very well done and has rekindled an interest in me concerning the history of our nation.  So, I dusted off three books by Peter Marshall that deal with the spiritual history of America and have been reviewing them.  (Click here for more about these books.)  Marshall points out, quite accurately, that the American Revolution began in the pulpits of her churches.  Why?  Why are the concepts of freedom and liberty so integral to the Christian faith that the pastors of the thirteen colonies preached a revolution into reality?

From the beginning of creation, God made liberty and freedom basic to mankind's relationship with Him.  Adam and Eve were given the freedom to choose for or against God.  In fact, it was so important to God that mankind be able to choose for or against Him, that he planted the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil right in the middle of their living space!  Of course, we all know the story of how Adam and Eve used their freedom to turn away from God and in the process trashed mankind's relationship with Him.

Here's the rub – most people don't realize that sinful behavior (i.e. anything that is contrary to God's nature) trashes our freedom of choice.  For instance, we all have experienced how a lie always blows up on us.  Lies grow as we try to make them plausible and often a lie intended for one person has to be expanded to include others so that we can maintain that plausibility.  It’s not something we wanted, but once we get on that track, we find that we have to follow wherever it leads.  Then too, if you lie to someone, that lie will always be between you, coloring your relationship with him or her.  So it happens that a simple lie you told – even if it was just a little, bitty lie – has now begun to control a portion of your life.  Every sin is that way.  The more we sin, the more we become controlled by sin.  That is why Jesus said “…whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.”  (John 8:34

So God saw the broken relationship between mankind and Himself.  He also saw how, through our sin, we had lost the freedom and liberty He created us for and so sent Christ to pay for our sin and make it possible for us to regain that lost freedom, liberty and relationship.  The pastors of the American colonies saw this principle as well.  They also saw how the British monarch had no regard for God-given liberty and spoke against his actions.  Thus the American Revolution was born.

I posed the question, why are the concepts of freedom and liberty so integral to the Christian faith?  The Christian faith is based on the sacrifice of Christ on the cross and His subsequent resurrection.  He suffered the cross with the goals of restoring our broken relationship with Him and freeing us from the slavery of sin.  And that is why the Christian faith and American freedom are so inextricably linked.


It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.                         

Galations 5:1






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