At the time of its signing, the Declaration of Independence was a “great reset.” Virtually all governments in recorded history prior to 1776 recognized few rights for people. Our Declaration, however, proclaimed: “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.”
This presupposition that the God of the Bible gave unalienable rights directly to the individual shook the world! The “Crown Prerogative” of Britain was resisted and we reset our nation back to the premise from the book of Genesis, “…God created man in His own image.”
This was unique, and by the end of 1776 the Declaration had been translated into Italian, Polish, German, and French. The people loved it, but those with power scrambled to maintain the status quo. Loyalist Governor Hutchinson offered a rebuttal noting “the absurdity of making the governed to be governors.” John Lind from England was hired to publish An Answer to the Declaration of the American Congress. Lind began with the premise: “Ill would it become the dignity of an insulted Sovereign… to recognize that equality and independence, to which subjects, persisting in revolt, cannot fail to pretend….” King George III had ignored the previous writings of the Continental Congress. However, this time they got his attention, and the result was that he declared the Colonies were in rebellion.
It was Jeremy Bentham, the European “father of the welfare state,” who wrote his own Short Review of the Declaration. He wrote “… they attempt to establish a theory of Government… that is subversive of every actual or imaginable kind of Government.” These “rebuttals” rested on the presupposition that the ideas in our Declaration are preposterous because they have not existed in the majority of governments on the earth, for the most dominant premise among the nations of the earth at the time was that all rights are government-granted!
The Declaration was thus a reset, a unique restoration of the premise that God created mankind (male and female) in His image. A corollary of this premise is that though created in God’s image, everyone has natural tendancies toward evil. The idea of man’s fallibility meant no one can be trusted with total power. Though fallen, each individual has some capacity to understand self-evident truth, or what we call common grace. Man’s fallibility produced the inequities existing at the time (such as racial slavery and the inequalities between male and female), but it was this premise of self-evident truth that would gradually have the nation practice more consistent equal rights.
Another corollary of this premise is that God has given each individual rights of life, liberty, and property, but it is our responsibility to protect and preserve them. Though many nations revolted against their governments in the wake of our Declaration, few laid their revolution on the foundation of the idea of God-given rights. For example, the French Revolution of 1789 declared freedom and equality, but without God, they enthroned atheism and the power of the State as its foundation. The result? A worse tyranny under Napoleon than the one they revolted against.
We now face a new reset which threatens to return us to the old order that opposed our Declaration 246 years ago. Noah Yuval Harari, who has become the voice of the Great Reset and is an advisor to the World Economic Forum, has written, “As far as we can tell, from a purely scientific viewpoint, human life has absolutely no meaning.” He has offered a re-write of a key clause of the Declaration: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men evolved differently, that they are born with certain mutable characteristics, and that among these are life and the pursuit of happiness.” He articulates his premise when he writes, “We believe in a particular order not because it is objectively true, but because believing in it enables us to cooperate effectively and forge a better society.”
As an historian, Harari recognizes that Christianity is the source of the Declaration’s proclamation of equality and rights, but in his mind this reset will put the source of rights and happiness (liberty is not mentioned) on the foundation of government, not God. No longer will we hold to objective (absolute) truth. Instead, we are to hold to the shifting sand of popular opinion, most importantly the opinions of those who wish to be in control. It would return us to state sovereignty as opposed to the sovereignty of God. Will we better off with this new great reset?
Jesus gave us the way to discern: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.” There is not much new in the “great reset” except some new vocabulary. We have seen what a rejection of God produces. If you take just the last century, we have seen communism, Marxism, fascism, and socialism produce tyranny, control, and a loss of life, health, and wealth. The authors of the Declaration had already rejected similar ideas because of their study of history. Orators who rehearsed the ideas in the Declaration understood this, like George Bancroft’s July 4, 1826 oration in Northampton, MA which began with this simple sentence, “Our act of celebration begins with God.” Today, ignorance has made the average American unfamiliar with unalienable rights given by God as the basis for the rule of law.
The Great Reset is not new, but it is also not the greatest reset coming. Though religious liberty is under assault, and those who believe in absolute truth are an obstacle to the present reset, God’s reset will overcome all others. Psalm 2 declares that the nations are Christ’s inheritance. All attempts at world domination yield the same response from God: “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh.” God is moving all of history toward the advance of His Kingdom. My advice to those orchestrating what they think is their great reset comes from Psalm 2:10-12: “Be wise, O kings; be instructed, you Judges of the earth; Serve the Lord with fear… kiss the Son, lest He be angry.”
Let’s remember that our duty in these days is to pray for all those in authority – whoever they are – that they would realize who God is, repent, and “kiss the Son.” The liberties we have enjoyed in America come from the God of the Bible. To restore them, we must invoke His help with “a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.” God is working to set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed. Though we may face difficult times, we must “mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” May God help us as we repent, and may He once again bless our land.