Wednesday, June 29, 2016

"Unalienable Gifts"

Romans 11.32 NIV

“For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that He may have mercy on them all.”

“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.” [1]

What does the Declaration of Independence and the Bible have in common? Both refer to the equality of “all men”. [2] The focus of our founding fathers was the entitlement of opportunity afforded “all men” because of their essential equality in the eyes of the Creator. Paul’s focus in the book of Romans appears to be the mercy freely granted “all men” because of the loving nature of their Creator. No argument regarding the beneficiary. Both documents name “all men” as the recipients of the Creator’s good things. But questions emerge. Are we endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights? Or, are we bestowed upon by our Creator with undeserved mercy? The book of Romans says “all men” are disobedient and deserve the sentence of death…

“All have sinned... the wages of sin is death”
Romans 3.23; 6.23

Merging the theological and historical documents produces a new concept: 

“We hold this truth to be Divinely-revealed and self-evident,
that all people are created equal, insofar as they are self-centered
sinners and destined for destruction, and yet all are bestowed upon
by their Creator with certain unalienable Gifts, that among these
are undeserved Mercy and Eternal Life in the pursuit of Jesus.”
~ The Declaration of God ~
_________________

[1] From the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence. “The term inalienable rights (or unalienable rights) refers to a theoretical set of individual human rights that by their nature cannot be taken away, violated, or transferred from one person to another. They are applicable only to humans, as the basic necessity of their survival” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inalienable_rights).

[2] I use the term “all men” as interchangeable with “all people”. This was the intent of Paul in the book of Romans and the probable intent of the authors of the Declaration of Independence.

3 comments:

One Sided said...

It is also note worthy, that God saw no reason to further define "all men” Where our constitution had to have additions so we could understand that, race, color, etc were not things that excluded you but included you.
I always thought the short cut would have been to define "human" and give rights the that group and when questioned, refer back to the how Human was defined.
Of course in reading the Bible we create our own debate over "Does man include or exclude woman?" Does God have a separate set of rules for them?

jeff israel said...

I believe that God expects obedience from men and women alike. Even though Eve took the first bite (of the apple), God still held Adam accountable for both his and Eve's sin. As I understand it, this is how it goes with "spiritual headship". While the man gets some extra responsibility for the well being of his family, God calls all his children (male and female) to love in ways that lead to obedience.

In any event, mercy is for both sons and daughters of God! Gender issues aside, great post Dave! Your declaration seems spirit-led to me . . . Thank God that He loves us SO MUCH that He shows us mercy instead of giving us what we deserve!

Dave's Bible Blog said...

Hey Jeff and One-Sided.

Thanks for posting. I am energized by your thoughts.

God Bless,
Dave