Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit the National Archives of the United States. There is something to be said about how our country clings to its Constitution. This is not to say it was ever perfectly complete, there have been many added important amendments (such as the Fourteenth which recognized African Americans as rightful citizens and the Nineteenth which gave women the right to vote). However the United States is unique in that it still upholds the freedoms outlined in the original document.
Consider France for example, it has had nearly sixteen different constitutions (including the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen which is similar to our Declaration of Independence) . The current Constitution of the Fifth Republic was adopted not that long ago in 1958. The fact that the US still commemorates its founding fathers and the words they wrote is rare; not only that but the foundational beliefs that were laced within those words are also noteworthy.
Not every one of the founding fathers were Christians however they did incorporate Reformed thinking into their writings, as well idealisms taken from Lex Rex (“The Law is King,” written by Samuel Rutherford) and some of John Locke’s teachings (a British philosopher). The United States is far from perfect, however it interesting from a Christian perspective to see how Reformed thinking has supported a nation for so long.
“The Reformation’s preaching of the Gospel brought forth two things which were secondary to the central message of the Gospel but nonetheless were important: an interest in culture and a true basis for form and freedom in society and government,” according to Francis Shaeffer’s book “How Should We Then Live.”
This form of what freedom looks like has lasted 200+ years and is still being molded on top of a firm foundation with a Reformation base.