I FIND THE recent mayhem in Charlottesville, Va., abhorrent and grievous.
The Declaration of Independence declares: “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.”
If it is true that “all men are created equal,” and I strongly believe it is, then any belief supporting the supremacy of any race is in direct opposition to the Declaration of Independence.
White supremacy, or the supremacy of any race, is not only un-American, it’s unbiblical.
In the first chapter of the first book of the Bible, we read: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27 ESV).
This not only declares unequivocal equality; it declares unequivocal dignity to every person. And in the last book of the Bible, John envisions “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’” (Revelation 7:9-10, italics added).
From beginning to end, the Bible advocates equality among mankind; supremacy is granted only to Jesus Christ.
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
“And he is the head of the body, the church.
“He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:15-20, italics added).
I believe the Creator spoken of in the Declaration of Independence is the same Creator spoken of in the Bible.
But you are free to disagree with me, and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees you the freedom to disagree — with me or our government:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
Freedom is a wonderful thing, but mankind has a propensity to often misuse it. In this country, people have the freedom to advocate supremacy, but if they do, even peacefully, they will be wrong.
Advocating supremacy in a country declaring the self-evidence of equality is actually denying that self-evidence to elevate the self.
And people have the freedom to peacefully protest in this country.
But when people use that freedom to protest violently, freedom is being misused, and the protest is illegal.
I advocate to you that we, as Americans, should use our freedom wisely, peacefully and legally, not foolishly, violently, and illegally.
“Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God” (1 Peter 2:16).
Issues of Faith is a rotating column by five religious leaders on the North Olympic Peninsula. The Rev. Greg Reynolds is pastor of Joyce Bible Church. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.