Principles of freedom, liberty, and equality only flourish in a culture that recognizes the God of the Bible. Without God, a culture quickly descends into depravity. Humanism and Atheism as governing principles bring oppression, not freedom. Humanist Manifesto II regards other belief systems with contempt, especially Christianity. Nations degenerate very quickly without God and Biblical principles as their building blocks!
Biblical cultural foundations expressed in the values of the founders of the United States will impact how well a nation functions and how long it survives. To contrast these principles, we’ll compare the founding of two countries, one founded on Biblical principles and the other on Humanist principles. In the late 1700s, two revolutions took place that gave birth to two new, different nations. The American Revolution in 1776 and the French Revolution in 1789 had different foundation principles and very different outcomes.
The American Revolution’s document of expressing its Biblical basis is the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes God’s sovereign rule over creation and his role as creator. It clearly affirms the equality of individuals, yet, this equality will not be fully realized by all persons in the US until the early twentieth century. In the 1870s, the Fourteenth Amendment was passed to free slaves, and women’s rights were finally fully recognized in the first part of the twentieth century through women’s Sufferage. This new nation emerges based on; “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It declares that governments be established by the will of the governed, the people. When written, in 1776, these two principles were very radical and set this new nation apart from anything that had come before. Kings and dictators had always ruled. Now they said “a government of the people, by the people” and ruling by “the consent of the governed.” This principle will change the world! For two hundred years, these principles reigned even though it saw some slow erosion. George Washington warned, “If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” Ben Franklin said, “People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither, and will lose both.” Finally, Thomas Jefferson said, “Experience has shown, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” As we entered the latter part of the twentieth century, the concept of “political correctness” began more and more to inhibit freedom of discussion of topics not consistent with popular cultural opinions. The American culture based on God had thrived for more than two hundred years, but now, in the early part of the twenty-first century, it is fading as God’s abandoned in both public education and the public forum. Wow! That looks like Israel just before the tribes were carried into exile.
Next week I’ll contrast these results with the French Revolution founded on Humanism. The basic principles appear similar: liberty, equality, and fraternity but the major, significant difference are the lack of any reference to God. The French Revolution articles are a purely Humanist document!
This blog is from portions of Chapter 9 “Cultural Context” in my book ANSWERS For “The Hope That Is In You.” Charlie is also the author of Always Be Ready to Give an Answer! http://yourchristiananswers.com
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