In the USA, we have a strong independence mindset. It’s the idea that we can act independently of others without impact. We like to think that we don’t need others, that you can “do your own thing.” We have heroes like The Lone Ranger and the independent Marlboro Man. We pretend that this mindset is honorable, even heroic. (Perhaps this culture comes from gaining our independence from Britain and the pioneer conquest of the western frontier.) But our independence is a lie.
The problem with our thinking is that we are in reality interdependent.
Even the Lone Ranger had his sidekick TontoAt least four men who represented the Marlboro Man have died of lung cancer!
Other societies have a much better understanding of how we are interdependent.
This independence is a lie also concerning faith.
Here are two reasons our declaration of independence is a lie:
01. Everybody came from somewhere.
Trying to pretend that we are independent of God is like trying to say that we never needed our mother.
Where would we be without our mother? Nowhere obviously.
So far, no one has been born in a test tube—we all came from a mother’s womb. And even if someday people are born outside of a mother’s womb, the point is the same: we come from the fertilized egg of our mother.
Everybody comes from somewhere.
Likewise, everything that is in this universe came from somewhere. That somewhere is God. He is the uncaused cause of all that is.
Genesis 1:1 says “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
Similarly, John 1:1 says about Jesus “In the beginning was the Word [Jesus], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (ESV)
The Bible describes a triune God, a God in three persons; Father, Son (Jesus) and Holy Spirit.
Any declaration of independence is a lie for without Jesus, we would not exist.
“For in him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28a NIV)
02. We all influence others.
Recently I talked with a friend who said he is “neutral” toward Jesus Christ. He thought his faith is his own personal decision and that it didn’t impact others.
The problem is that everyone impacts others, and no one is really independent. We all influence those around us.
Jesus said, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Matthew 12:30 ESV)
Jesus laid it on the line, you’re either his follower and friend, or His foe. There is no middle ground. There is no neutral. There is no independence.
You might argue that this position is divisive. Why pick fights like this? Why didn’t Jesus welcome those who felt warmly but did not embrace Him as Savior and Lord?
The answer I believe is that our attitude toward Him impacts so many others. No matter the size of our circle of influence, by our response to him, we tell others they need or don’t need Jesus. This is true even if we don’t say a word about Him:
The father or mother who is “neutral” toward Jesus says to their children “you don’t really need this Jesus stuff.”
A child or teen by neutrality says to friends, “I don’t think that what Jesus claimed is really true.”
A boss, by example, tells others Jesus is important or not important.
An employee, by his or her actions, tells others that Jesus is who He said He was, or not.
A few days ago I led a graveside memorial service at the Miramar National Cemetery. The man who died didn’t have a large circle of social influence—he was quiet and introverted.
Yet about 30 people attended that memorial service; family, friends, and coworkers. They got to hear me declare the Good News of hope after we die because Francis was a Christ-follower. His faith witnessed to them even after he had died! His faith said to them “this is important.” His sudden death proved how quickly it can become important.
Here’s the bottom line: We can embrace our dependence on Jesus or we can reject it. But if we try to reject it, our declaration of independence is a lie—the truth is that we are dependent on Jesus.
So why not embrace it? To embrace salvation through Christ, click HERE!
If we embrace it the Bible promises this: “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18 ESV)
And if it’s freedom you’re looking for, remember this: “If the Son [Jesus]sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36 ESV)
For more on why our declaration of independence is a lie see these resources on my website: