Independence or Inter-dependence?

When was the last time (or the first time) you read the Declaration of Independence?  If it has been a long time - for me I have to admit the last time I read beyond the opening was in high school – I HIGHLY recommend reading it again this week as we approach the Fourth of July.

The Declaration of Independence

These are fairly radical words my friends.  How would such words be heard, or dealt with today?   How many of the reasons listed for revolution can you count as relevant today?  I am not suggesting a revolution in our country – not the kind that a document such as this supports.  But perhaps a quiet revolution in our thinking, in our expectations of our local, city, state and national government, our leaders great and small.  To what standard should our civic leaders be held?  This indeed might be a good place to start.  Do we really still believe “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.”  I personally know that ALL does not mean ALL.

And taking such a document at an entirely different level, into your personal lives - in what ways in your own life can you break the bands that suppress your independence?  What are those?  Work that makes a slave out of you? Addiction to substances or technology that keeps you chained to a different reality?  A blind eye in the face of abuse, oppression or negligence that keeps you bound to the shame of silent complicity?

What scripture can you think of that offers the clarion call of God to freedom?

Here is one that called out to me today -

Galatians 5:13-15

13For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. 14For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

What in our country today supports us to live for one another rather than our own self indulgent pursuits?  Does the church?  Sometimes, but I bet you can name more than one example of just the opposite.  Rather than seeking our self-indulgent, independent rights, what can we do today to lead one another into interdependent community to which we are called as Christians?

Click here to read "Independence or interdependence?" by Richard McBrien

And below is another thought provoking video from Work of The People: