When our founding fathers gathered together to draw up the Declaration of Independence, this somewhat peculiar statement seemed to be the foundational precept upon which they supported the political weight of this historic document. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
I say “peculiar” because when you ponder the inherent implications of this statement, it is easy to question how these men arrived at this conclusion. After all, it is rather obvious men (and women!) are not equal in many areas: we are not all equal physically - in many areas of life, such as athletics, this is obviously true; we are not all equal intellectually – some are naturally superior in IQ, possessing the ability to grasp difficult concepts in math, physics, philosophy, etc.; some have mechanical aptitudes, while others are all thumbs! Our differences seem to strongly suggest men are certainly not equal!
So what standard were our forefathers utilizing when they were developing this principle? The statement which immediately follows provides the answer: “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. They were using the Biblical teaching that God created man in His image, and thus all men have equal value in His sight; from this premise it was rather easy to formulate the corollary that all men deserve equal opportunity to prosper, and the primary function of government was to assure this opportunity prevailed. (As a side note, I have always found it intriguing our founding fathers used the word “created”, as opposed to “evolved”!).
There is, unfortunately, another area of human nature in which we are all equal; our sin nature. The Bible emphatically informs us of this fact in the book of Romans “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God “. It has been said the best of men are men at best; we are all bound by the limitations of our human shortcomings.
As graphic evidence of this inclination, consider the horrific massacre we recently witnessed in a movie theater in Colorado. When such senseless tragedies occur, we ask “How could these events happen? Shouldn’t we have laws against people securing firearms to prevent violent acts of this nature?” But ladies and gentlemen, the problem in our society is not that people have guns. The problem we have is intrinsic to our human condition; it is a sin problem. It is the hearts of individuals that must be changed in order for a society to flourish. Our founding fathers recognized the Bible provided the basis for establishing the principles upon which our liberty is founded, but they also understood the Bible presented the means by which hearts are transformed, and it was only through this heart transformation that this liberty would be secure.
Perhaps it is time for America to revisit the historic roots which transformed this country into the greatest nation on earth. For until we deal with the condition of our hearts, we will not solve the heart of our problems.
See ya Sunday!