Follow Christ, Lead the Way
Happy Independence Day – Praise God for our Freedom! image

By Dr. Bradford Sample

On July 4, 1776 the Second Continental Congress adopted Thomas Jefferson’s draft of “The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America” after about one month of writing, review, and debate. Members of Congress did not argue over the philosophy or basic tenets of the document. Among its most powerful and well-remembered phrases are “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 sense of both endowed rights and basic equality is why historian Gordon Wood believes the American Revolution to be a radical one – a significant divergence from contemporary thinking about aristocracy and deference.

Much of the reason for the broad acceptance of equality is due to the First Great Awakening – a religious revival of the early-to-mid-1700s. It popularized not only religious beliefs that we would later call Wesleyan, but also political beliefs of natural equality that sprang from the concept that all people are equal under God. Theologians and pastors like William Tennent, Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley, and George Whitfield spread these concepts throughout the Colonies between the 1720s and 1760s, just in time for ordinary Americans to support a break from Great Britain based on these ideas. While some founders such as Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were Deists, many others were practicing Christians, and their words echoed the sentiments of the common people they inspired.

The Second Great Awakening, which started in the 1790s, deepened these ideals and spread them throughout what is now the Midwest. The public celebrations that heralded Independence Day in the early 19th Century started with prayer, included Sabbath School parades, and featured speakers who touted religious liberty as the cornerstone of American greatness. Daniel Pratt, a prominent Indiana attorney, was one such orator. On July 4, 1836 he noted “God directed our destiny and made us what we are. Let the sons and daughters of America ever cherish the creed of their fathers.” It was the children and grandchildren of Pratt’s generation who fought the Civil War to make the Declaration’s words more meaningful for those in slavery.  Christians led the call for abolition and later the Civil Rights movement. 

Christian belief in the inherent dignity of every soul because the God of the Universe created them provides the structural support for the Declaration of Independence. Ohio Christian University celebrates the Freedoms that logically flow from such a belief and the Creator God who has provided all of us with a way to be truly free. Happy Independence Day!

 

 

Sources:

Paul Johnson, A History of the American People.  NY: Harper-Collins, 1997.

Gordon S. Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution.  NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992.

Folder “1836 – 11/11/1836,” Box 1816-1842, Daniel D. Pratt Papers (1813-1877), L128, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis.

Archived Articles of Interest

OCU Accounting Students Tour Kenworth Facilities

Accounting Majors Tour Kenworth Manufacturing Facility

OCU Accounting Students Tour Kenworth Facilities

Published: November 28, 2018

Ohio Christian University's Business School accounting students, led by Professors Betsy Magill and Lane Patrick, met with Kenworth’s accounting management staff on October 25, 2018. Assistant Controller Ron Butterbaugh and Human Resources Manager Brian Putnam led the group on the tour.  Kenworth has manufactured trucks since 1923. Students toured the factory where the Kenworth trucks are produced. They saw the assembly of raw materials, truck production in progress, and the finished units. They watched as the trucks were assembled, including viewing the components and parts that go
Ohio Christian University's Business School accounting students, led by Professors Betsy Magill and Lane Patrick, met with Kenworth’s accounting management staff on October 25, 2018. Assistant Controller Ron Butterbaugh and Human Resources Manager Brian Putnam led the group on the tour.  Kenworth has manufactured trucks since 1923. Students toured the factory where the Kenworth trucks are
Ohio Christian University's Business School accounting students, led by Professors Betsy Magill and Lane Patrick, met with Kenworth’s accounting management staff on October 25, 2018. Assistant
8th Annual Small Business Round Table

Business Roundtable Offers Great Advice

8th Annual Small Business Round Table

Published: November 28, 2018

Ohio Christian University’s School of Business & Government® hosted their 8th annual Small Business Round Table on Thursday, November 1, 2018, at the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center, the University's facility for business development and innovation. This event brought together over eighty students and four small business owners. The discussion focused on starting and managing a small business. Business executives at this year’s Round Table were Jesse Lear and Travis Smith, founders of V.I.P Waste Services; Mike Cessna, owner of My Auto Care, Bella Freight, and Redline Wear; 
Ohio Christian University’s School of Business
Ohio Christian University’s School of Business
Discussion of POVERTY, INC. Offers Christian Insight image

Discussion of POVERTY, INC. Offers Christian Insight

Discussion of POVERTY, INC. Offers Christian Insight image

Published: November 15, 2018

Film director and producer Michael Matheson Miller of the Acton Institute introduced his film POVERTY, INC. at Ohio Christian University’s Chapel Service before its showing in the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center (OCUBIC) on November 14. Miller also addressed the School of Business
Film director and producer Michael Matheson Miller of the Acton Institute introduced his film POVERTY, INC. at Ohio Christian University’s Chapel Service before its showing in the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center (OCUBIC) on November 14. Miller also addressed the School of Business
Film director and producer Michael Matheson Miller of the Acton Institute introduced his film POVERTY, INC. at Ohio Christian University’s Chapel Service before its showing in the Robert W. Plaster
Ohio Christian Sees Startup Center as 'Front Door' for Business Community image

Ohio Christian Sees Startup Center as 'Front Door' for Business Community

Ohio Christian Sees Startup Center as 'Front Door' for Business Community image

Published: November 1, 2018

By Emily Bench, Staff reporter, Columbus Business First John Kulaga sees Ohio Christian University as an important partner in Pickaway County’s educational and economic development efforts. Kulaga, president of the Circleville school since last year, said to reach not only the school's business students but also the community at large, Ohio Christian last August launched the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center. "We are a great front door for anyone who wants to do business here," he said. "The 22,000-square-foot, collaborative space is very much community endeavor," Kulaga said
By Emily Bench, Staff reporter, Columbus Business First John Kulaga sees Ohio Christian University as an important partner in Pickaway County’s educational and economic development efforts. Kulaga, president of the Circleville school since last year, said to reach not only the school's business students but also the community at large, Ohio Christian last August launched the Robert W.
By Emily Bench, Staff reporter, Columbus Business First John Kulaga sees Ohio Christian University as an important partner in Pickaway County’s educational and economic development efforts. Kulaga
Tony Perkins Keynotes OCU Chapel Service image

Tony Perkins Keynotes OCU Chapel Service

Tony Perkins Keynotes OCU Chapel Service image

Published: October 23, 2018

Anthony R. Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a conservative policy and lobbying organization based in Washington, D.C., gave the message at Ohio Christian University’s Chapel Service on Monday, October 22. His visit was a stop on the Council’s “For the Sake of America: Stand Strong in the Lord” national road tour and part of the University’s School and Business and Government annual Distinguished Speaker Series. Perkins addressed the need for Christians in America to show courage in the face of threats to the tenets of the faith. The keystone of his message is
Anthony R. Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a conservative policy and lobbying organization based in Washington, D.C., gave the message at Ohio Christian University’s Chapel Service on Monday, October 22. His visit was a stop on the Council’s “For the Sake of America: Stand Strong in the Lord” national road tour and part of the University’s School and Business and
Anthony R. Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a conservative policy and lobbying organization based in Washington, D.C., gave the message at Ohio Christian University’s Chapel