Brasher Letter

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Fourth celebrates ‘lighthouse of hope’

As we approach our Independence Day on July 4, many may not realize that Thomas Jefferson wasn’t the first choice to write the Declaration of Independence. Initially, the Continental Congress had requested John Adams or Ben Franklin to pen the document Much to their chagrin, the Continental Congress ultimately selected Jefferson. Also, the principal editor of the Declaration was indeed Franklin.

From historical accounts, he suggested and made more than 40 corrections to the draft. As examples, Franklin substituted “Creator” for God, and the phrase “pursuit of Happiness” for property. Like all sacred texts, revision was commonplace.

Over the last several decades, historians have debated the faithfulness of the founders. By and large, agreement has not been reached. Yet, these men were keenly aware that they were creating history. Every one of them, with the exception of Thomas Paine, confessed, at least publicly, certain Christian sentiments. The founders were not Christian fundamentalist.

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They would have not have been partial to John Hagee or Pat Robertson. These courageous men were intellectuals and rationalist. Yet, the influence of Christianity on their thought is beyond question. Regardless of their personal beliefs and it is evident from their writings, these men believed in Divine Providence. God was directing their actions. Some have referred to this as Deism, but upon closer review, this thought is solidly biblical.

In Matthew 10:29, Jesus says, “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?” And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.”

In Franklin’s address to the Constitutional Convention on June 28, 1787, He states, “…that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without this?” Ladies and gentlemen that is not a prayer conceived from Deism.

In the course of 232 years, our nation has struggled with war, famine disease and depression, and yet, we have remained. Bruised and battered at times, and even against all odds, we have not just remained; we have prevailed. Could it be that Franklin was right?

We have risen again and again from the abyss because he who sees the sparrow fall has lifted us up to the lighthouse of hope to the world.

May God continue to richly bless the United States of America.

/s/Andrew Brasher

Cornerstone Baptist Church