Today is July 4th, the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. On this very day in 1776, the Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies were no longer under subjugation nor in subordination to the oppressive monarch of Britain but were now united, free, and independent states. America was a nation forged through biblical convictions and a desire to be governed by the fundamental principles of Christianity. John Adams, our second U.S. president and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, once stated:
“The general principles on which the Fathers achieved independence were the only principles in which that beautiful assembly of young gentlemen could unite… And what were these general principles? I answer, the general principles of Christianity, in which all those Sects were united—and the general principles of English and American Liberty, in which all those young men united, and which had united all parties in America, in majorities sufficient to assert and maintain her independence”
The Constitution of the United States of America was also drafted in accordance with these same general principles of Christianity. Sadly, however, our nation which once endeavored to honor God has since shifted its gaze from the Sovereign designer of the universe (the God of the Bible) and has placed its focus upon worshiping the creature rather than the creator. Romans 1:18-32 explains quite plainly that a nation which does not honor God will experience His judgment, and that which is expressed in those verses clearly demonstrates that America is experiencing such judgment.
Today, America touts a message of acceptance and tolerance, except the people of America, by and large, are no longer accepting of the general principles that this nation was founded upon. Christianity is perhaps the most unwelcome worldview in America, a land which now claims to affirm any and all worldviews. This is not surprising seeing as how all worldly worldviews are in opposition to the one true worldview, the biblical worldview. The Bible reveals that all people are inherently sinful and it calls out the acts of the world for what they are, rebellious actions derived from a wicked and wholly depraved heart. Jesus, when speaking to His then unredeemed brothers, stated:
“The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil.” – John 7:7
We who are in Christ will also be hated by the world for we too boldly declare that the works of the world are evil. We carry with us the gospel of truth which asserts that while the world is evil there is restoration for sinners and freedom from the bonds of sin, through the precious blood of Jesus the Lamb of God.
One of the primary reasons that America is in its present predicament is due to the fact that the Church has been failing to boldly proclaim the gospel which it has been commissioned to herald. So the obvious question becomes, how do we turn this ship around? Some might even be asking the question, can it be turned around? To answer the second question first, such a task would not be impossible if God so willed it. God declares in 2 Chronicles 7:14:
“if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
If our land is to be healed then we must stand against the kingdom of darkness which is presently at work in the world. 1 John 5:19 states:
“We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”
James, after having been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, goes on to write a wonderful epistle in which he seeks to call professing believers to action. In chapter 4 James gives ten commands which can be boiled down to three distinct directives for holiness. He states:
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” - James 4:7-10
Essentially what James is communicating through the power of the Holy Spirit is: first, we need to be committed: to God, to holy living, and to proclaiming the gospel (v. 7), secondly, to be cleansed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ (v.8), and thirdly, through contrition or to repent of our sins including our lack of commitment to holiness (vs. 9-10).
Throughout the history of the church, many creeds, confessions, decrees, statements, and declarations have been made. Many are notable and commendable as they seek to stand upon the authority of the infallible and inerrant Word of God. As of late, another commendable statement has been drafted in light of the many advancements being made by the kingdom of darkness in America; that statement is known as the Othismos Declaration.
One of the goals of this month’s blog post is to inform you of this exceptional declaration. Born out of the hearts of men redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, “the Othismos Declaration is not a document that seeks collision, but rather signals a readiness for it. It bespeaks a collegial willingness among clergy, laity, and citizens, first, to secure the fields of religious liberty, traditional marriage, life, and natural law; and second, if required, to press against and break the lines of those seeking to impose systems of governance that would suppress Christian consciences or betray the original intent of America’s founding documents.” The heartbeat behind this document is that the church of Jesus Christ ought to be vocal and unmoving in regards to the gospel of our Lord and Savior. Just as Peter and John responded to those who commanded that they refrain from preaching the truth in the public square, we with a unified voice should declare:
“Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” – Acts 4:19-20
Please click on the link below, read the declaration and prayerfully consider signing the document and standing with us!
Glory be to God!
Pastor Justin Myers is an avid student of God's Holy Word and received his M.Div. in biblical studies from Liberty University School of Divinity. Pastor Justin considers himself a family man who loves his wife and children dearly. He has been married for over nine years and has four children.