Romans 13:1 “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”

Psalm 20:7 “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.”

Psalm 33:12 “Blessed in the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people who he hath chosen for his own inheritance.”

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

In the first year of the PLUS ministry, I posted a series on the Declaration of Independence. In the intervening ten years, much has changed in the culture and the climate of our great nation. As a result, it is time for a refresher on the truths of our founding, the power of our founding principles, and the God-given wisdom of our founders.

Let me start this series with some provocative and powerful thoughts from Frederick Douglass, an amazing 19th Century American orator, abolitionist, and woman’s suffragist. He was one of the greatest minds and speakers in American history. And as an escaped slave, he offers a particularly unique view of the American experiment.

Douglass stated the following hard truth (1860):

“The American people, likewise, have made void their law by their traditions; they have trampled upon their own constitution, stepped beyond the limits set for themselves, and, in their ever-abounding iniquity, established a constitution of action outside of the fundamental law of the land. While the one is good, the other is evil; while the one is for liberty, the other is in favour of slavery; the practice of the American government is one thing, and the character of the constitution of the government is quite another and different thing.”

There is an important nuance to be noted. When it came to slavery and other shortcomings in our society, there was a major application problem with our founding principles and not an underlying systemic problem. In fact, Douglass said that “the Constitution is a GLORIOUS LIBERTY DOCUMENT” (emphasis provided by Douglass). He called our founders “great men” and “brave men.” He stated that “the fathers are entitled to the profound gratitude of mankind.”

None of these thoughts overlook their sins, their tragic errors, and their serious shortcomings. Those are plain for all to see. But for Douglass and for us today, we must recognize the stunning brilliance of a government formed on an acknowledgement of the higher powers that are ordained of God. The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence can be considered GLORIOUS LIBERTY DOCUMENTS because they are formed on a Biblical bedrock – the ultimate GLORIOUS LIBERTY DOCUMENT.