Celebrating 240 Years of Liberty
As we approach the Fourth of July, it is a good time to remember why this is, in essence, a Presbyterian Holiday.
First, the Declaration of Independence declares the sovereignty of God as the chief legal authority. The Westminster Confession of Faith states: "God the supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath ordained civil magistrates to be under Him, over the people, for His own glory, and the public good." (XXV.1)
Second, the Declaration of Independence was signed by representatives of the people – a system of government that is essentially Presbyterian. There is a striking similarity between the principles set forth in the Form of Government of the Presbyterian Church and those set forth in the eventual Constitution of the United States.
Third, the Declaration of Independence declares the right and duty of godly people to reject and oppose ungodly tyranny imposed by our rulers – whether a king or an elected government. This is a vital principle that we need to recall today, that no national government or tyrannical leader should be granted the right to rule our consciences in opposition to the Word of God.