I realize that the following letter may stir up some emotions, not the least of which might be anger, but I encourage you—especially if you're a Christian—to please read all of it, consider it, and pray about it before drawing any conclusions.
This is about the Declaration of Independence, and whether it was the Biblically Christian thing to do.
Most of the first paragraph says, "When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature, and of Nature's God entitle them..."
To start with, note that the Declaration is not based upon the Bible, but upon some nebulous "Laws of Nature" and "Nature's God." Therefore even though written by Christians, taken at face value it is actually human in origin and not specifically Christian.
Then, the colonies really had no political right to "dissolve the political bands" as if they had been a politically independent group which had previously freely joined with England. They all were part of England before their formation and got their charters for formation from England in order to start their colonies on English soil (which England obtained by of discovery by John Cabot in 1498).
Therefore, they were citizens of England and had no political rights separate from England. So their Declaration of Independence was really rebellion against their own government...and the God of the Bible does not give us this right (and because of this John Wesley, Father of Methodism, and Henry Muhlenberg, Father of Lutheranism in this country, disagreed with it. Also, only 1/3 of the citizens were actually for the war—the other 2/3 were divided between the Loyalists to the King and those indifferent).
The God of the Bible has revealed Himself and His will to us in Jesus Christ and in His Word, the Bible. "Laws of Nature" and "Nature's God" are humanly devised and therefore subject to sinful human opinion. Nowhere in the Declaration are there any Bible passages to support the action, just human reasoning.
Likewise, other than 1 misused New Testament passage (Gal.5:1) which speaks of spiritual liberty, not physical, I have not seen anyone use any New Testament Bible passages to support the Declaration and the War, just human reasoning.
While King George did abuse the colonies, he was mainly (at least partially) reacting to their prior insolent independence and rebellious actions such as the Boston Tea Party, which was a sinfully non-Christian event (it doesn't matter how high our taxes are, we have no right to destroy government property...and even then, to disguise ourselves in order to put the blame on someone else).
If the colonies would have followed in the footsteps of the first Pilgrims 156 years earlier who said in their Mayflower Compact that they were "loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James," and been loyal to England, flown the flag, and worked politically in Parliment for independence, this all might have been avoided. Present-day historian Dr. John Warwick Montgomery believes they would have obtained that independence politically—and therefore peacefully—in another 20 years or so. Right or not, I don't know.
Then the second paragraph says "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,"
Now note that it says that these truths are "self-evident," not Biblically-evident. While I don't want to unfairly pick on words, words are important. And according to the Bible, anything having to do with the self can (or will) be tainted with sin (that's why Jesus said "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself" - Matt.16:24).
Your "self-evident" may be different from my "self-evident" because both of us can (or will) be affected by our degree of selfishness...or simply our tainted opinion. That's why when we are dealing with truths for life, we Christians need to be Bibically evident, for God gave us His Word to protect us from our self and its opinions.
And in my fallible opinion, 2 of the 3 "self-evident" "Rights" are not Biblically-evident, namely, "liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
While we certainly have the right of spiritual liberty through faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior (Gal.5:1), I don't believe there is any Bible passage that says we have the inherent right to physical liberty—certainly not to the point of fighting our own government to obtain it.
When Paul (Rom.13:1-5) and Peter (1 Pet.2:13-15) said to obey the government (except if it tells us to disobey God, Acts 5:29, but even then, peacefully) they were under the non-Christian Roman government at the time.
Also, while happiness is certainly not bad, there is no Bible passage that tells us to pursue it. But rather, our pursuit should be to love God, and love our neighbor as ourselves (Matt.22: 37-39); to "seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Matt.6:33); and that in this pursuit—no matter how lovingly—we will be persecuted (Matt.5:10-12) for there will always be those who won't like it. And yet, in this pursuit we can find happiness in serving God.
At the same time, the Bible says that one part of the fruit of the Spirit is joy (Gal.5:22) and true joy is better than happiness, anyway.
What am I saying in all of this? As much as I admire the Founders of our nation in their courage and their willingness to "mutually pledge our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor," and as much as I am thankful for their Constitution and the nation in which we live, and as much as I am hesitant to be critical of them, from a Biblically Christian standpoint I do believe they were (and many today are) misguided about the Declaration and the War.
I don't believe either should have happened (remember, the colonists started the War with their confrontation of the legal British troops at Lexington on April 19, 1775), but as Dr. Montgomery suggested, the Founders should have waited and worked it out politically and peacefully.
But, it is as it is, and with God's help we Christians should be good law-abiding citizens who support our government and make it as God pleasing as possible.
But when we glorify the War, we invite others to do the same when they disagree with us. So we are either a nation of laws (as conservatives like to say) or we are not. I don't believe we can have it both ways.
If you would like to read a series of nine one-page articles I wrote on this subject, send a self-addressed, double-stamped #10 envelope to me at P.O. Box 504, Cuba, MO 65453.
Pastor Norman Heironimus