“The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendshipwith each other, for their common defense, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretense whatever.” –The Articles of Confederation
The Articles of Confederation preceded our Constitution. Crafted during the Revolutionary War, the document became official in 1777 and stayed in effect until the Constitution came along in 1789. It did many things, but one thing was to emphasize that all these new states formed one country, not a bunch of little countries. They formed a league of friendship.
Doesn’t that sound nice?
They were talking about being buddies and picking each other for the team. It meant they had each other’s back and help when needed. It meant the big bully had better stay away.
And you can get that picture of a bunch of chubby guys, sitting around swapping powdered wigs and telling stories, out of your head. These people argued. Smart men came at things from both sides. They fought for their beliefs, and they found compromises, great compromises.
(I’m only talking about the birth of a new government here because obviously they weren’t so smart as to understand exactly what that ALL men are created equal thing really meant.)
Let’s get back to the LEAGUE OF FRIENDSHIP. There have been several famous leagues through the years. There was the League of Nations, the Justice League, the American League, but none of them sound as nice as the LEAGUE OF FRIENDSHIP.
Perhaps we should make our own league of friendship. I’ve watched as people have fought over everything from women in ministry to the color of the carpet. They got the lively arguing thing down, but forgot about the friendship. Just because I don’t think the same way someone else does doesn’t mean I can’t still love them.
I have several friends who don’t particularly agree with me on matters of my faith, but I think there’s still a healthy measure of respect between us. I’m sure I get on their nerves sometimes, and I don’t agree with some of their tirades, but we have a LEAGUE OF FRIENDSHIP. And I’ll be there for them, and I know they’re there for me.
The people that are the hardest for me to include in the LEAGUE OF FRIENDSHIP are the ones who cling tightly to their 613 laws. Their ability to love is lost amid their ability to fathom the deep things of God and accrue all kinds of knowledge. Still, I keep the door open for them, so that when they stop snubbing me we can get back to the friendship thing.
One thing that makes the LEAGUE OF FRIENDSHIP work is that we don’t all have to be the same. It’s the different states staying different, but sticking together, not because they have to, not for money, not because they have nowhere else to be, but simply because of FRIENDSHIP.