It is good to remind ourselves, from time to time, that the foundational charter of America, the Declaration of Independence, is a creationist document. Our founding fathers separated from England by citing the Biblical truth that all men are created equal. This status recognized inalienable human rights granted by the Creator and not by men or governments. The world has benefited by the successful separation, as America has been a source of freedom and hope to many. Most importantly, America has been a nation from which the Gospel has emanated.
But what of the idea that all individual men are created equal? Certainly the circumstances of their birth have not been equal. All have different levels of ability and opportunity. Even access to Gospel truth has not been equal. In what way are we created equal?
Historically, we all come from the same ancestral source. From Noah and his sons "was the whole earth overspread" (Genesis 9:19). Before that all came from Adam "the first man" (I Corinthians 15:45-46) and Eve, "the mother of all living" (Genesis 3:20). There are no others, for God "hath made of one blood all nations of men" (Acts 17:26). The modern distinction of "race" is not the Biblical concept in which differences stem from the separation at Babel based solely on "every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations"(Genesis 10:5).
Genetically, we are "equal" as well. Now that the human genome has been deciphered, we know every human is so similar to everyone else that we are all essentially "clones" of each other. The various expressions we recognize are best understood as designed adaptations.
Personally, we are equal too. The Bible tells us that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Thankfully, Christ "is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our's only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (I John 2:2).
Eternally, we will be evaluated equally; based on our creed, not rank of birth. The unbelieving "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues" (Revelation 17:15) are consigned to judgment, while the redeemed believers gather around His throne singing His praises from "every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" (5:9). The unequal rewards or consequences will be due to our choices and conduct after having an equal standing.
Equal rights called for in the Declaration were an extension based on a higher Charter, the Holy Scriptures. If we would fully embrace the Declaration, we must cling to its underlying Document.
* Dr. John D. Morris is the President of the Institute for Creation Research.