Right Punditry

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WasThe United States Founded As A “Christian” Nation?

“One Nation Under God”: Courtesy of http://www.jonmcnaughton.com/one-nation-under-god-2/

The argument that America is NOT (and never has been) a Christian nation is often framed by what is NOT expressly stated in the Constitution. In the “family” analogy the formal structure of the relationships within the family, and without, existed without express reference to Jesus. What is evident however, is the absolute consistency of those structures to Biblical Christianity. That there may be families who operate with the same structures but without the same “theological” basis does not counter the premise that my family was a “Christian” family. To argue that absence of expressly “Christian” language in the Constitution “is powerful evidence” of the founder’s intent to avoid the influence of Christianity is, on the contrary, no evidence at all.

Likewise, the Christian must be careful when asserting that the various founding fathers, possessed of individual and diverse religious beliefs, collectively purposed to create an overtly Christian nation. Granted, there is strong correlation to suggest such an intent but, in logic, as well as history, correlation does not equal causation.  In my mind, however, it matters less what they intended than what they accomplished. Certainly, the structural framework of self-governance created by the founders permits a Christian people to order their relationships in accordance with biblical mandates, just as it permits non-Christians to order their relationships without overtly “theological” implications.

In this way, with minimum constraint of government, each citizen of the republic is free to pursue God, and to order his relationships, “according to the dictates of his own conscience.” The purpose of criminal law is to draw absolute boundaries of conduct within which all citizens must remain. That these boundaries are consistent with ancient Biblical law and 5,000 years of tradition, creates a presumption of “truth.” Presumptions may be rebutted but the burden of evidence is heavily upon the party who wishes to challenge tradition. The greater the weight of tradition, the greater the weight of the challenger’s burden of proof.” (emphasis mine)      here 

This excerpt is from “Christianity As An Influence On The Founding Fathers”  by John A. Sterling.  I found this site some weeks ago and thought it to be an excellent, well laid out and well researched study of our founding fathers.

I’ve heard many professing Christians oppose the belief that this nation is, or was founded, as a “Judeo- Christian nation”.  Some out right reject that it had any founding on Christian principles.  They seem to view the very idea as rather ridiculous.  By doing so, they are limiting the power and interest of Almighty God in His Own creation.

These people make their case that our founders, were simply a lot of ‘deist’ (deism:  belief in the existence of a God on the evidence of reason and nature only, with rejection of supernatural revelation. A belief in a God who created the world but has since remained indifferent to it.) and not Christians at all and thus, end their argument.  Some founders might well have been deist, but certainly not all.  But even some deist have acknowledged a belief in a caring, intervening God — so were they deist?  There is written proof Ben Franklin wasn’t “hostile” to Christian beliefs, which is often said of him.

Ben Franklin wrote:We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord building the house, they labour in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel”.

But I question how can a professing Christian can say in light of the Word, that God is not deeply involved in each of our lives and our development?  He is the Creator of the world; the Creator of all life; and is vested in our individual destiny.  So how could He not have significant input into the creation of this, particular and special nation? (after all, it is unique in all nations of the world!) How could believers say He didn’t have special involvement in the creation of all nations?  Isn’t that the same as saying He didn’t have His hand in the creation of all life?  Life is more than a bodily function, as we learned with Abraham and Sarah.

Neither Mr. Sterling nor myself has or would state that (all) our founding fathers where “Christians”.  But I would say that this nation was founded on Judeo- Christian principles.  Our very laws (as well as laws throughout the ages, through every country and creed, has some connections to ‘Judeo- Christian’ principles).

Our law state that it’s a crime to murder (not ‘kill’, but willfully take the life of the innocent).  The 6th commandment is “Thou shall not murder” (the original Hebrew and Greek text for ‘kill’ was the word for ‘murder’ — not a justifiable killing as in war and self defense — but murder).

The 8th commandment is ‘Thou shall not steal’.  We still uphold the belief that stealing is a criminal act.

As a society, there was a time not so long ago, that we shunned those who committed adultery  . . . as well as fornication — which is a Biblical warning and command.

We take an oath in court and swear ‘to God’, not to lie nor “bear false witness”.

Homosexuality has been viewed as a sin and treated with disdain by all generation in all countries of the world.  And those countries and regions were put on the path to destruction, when they openly accepted the homosexual lifestyle.  Sodom and Gomorrah wasn’t a fairy tale but an accurate account. (here)

There will always be those who will reject our Judeo- Christian founding, just as there as those who reject God.  But rejection isn’t fact; it’s simply a choice.  Being negative to the truth doesn’t change the truth, it merely makes the rejector fully ignorant.

I have no doubt that God almighty was directly involved in the establishment of this nation; that He was giving mankind another opportunity to be free under the constraints of His moral foundation.  And that is the only way man can be ‘free’ — with moral constraints and loving respect for God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  A entire country with personal liberty (to worship) and opportunity to live free, from under the burdensome hands of kings and dictators.  Our Constitution is not just another document written by men, but an exceptional document like the world had never before seen. And not by accident or coincidence.

I will be posting more on Mr. Sterling’s writings and my thoughts because I find this of great interest.  Maybe a few others will too.

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6 comments on “WasThe United States Founded As A “Christian” Nation?

  1. Mike A
    November 28, 2012

    America started well. The Puritans and Pilgrims established a strong and lasting Christian faith, character, and ethic that made America great. The “founding fathers” did not really found “America” – the Puritans and Pilgrims did that – but the fathers founded the nation of the United States, through revolution against the British crown, and a well-crafted Constitution.
    The fathers were apparently none of them Christian, but Rationalists, Freemasons, and Deists. Ironically, the Constitutional Republic they created worked terrifically well, because 1) the people governed by it were generally Christian – still thriving in biblical faith, character, and ethics; and 2) certain Christian doctrines, such as the predilection of humans to selfishness and evil, were still part of the general mindset and philosophy (if not the religion) of the fathers.
    America erred terribly with slavery. It cost the nation much blood and near to fracturing to cleanse herself of that awful evil – remnants of which yet remain in racial mistrust, hatred, and guilt.
    Over the course of five or six generations and as many wars, America’s great Christian faith has faded into the shadows; marginalized, caricatured, and ignored. As a result so has her strength, character, and ethic also faded. The people have become materialistic, hedonistic, lustful, self-centered, lazy, and weak. The form of government that worked so well for a Christian people cannot function for a faithless, selfish, and undisciplined people. The social structure of America is falling apart.
    I do not see a good ending for the United States of America. Sooner or later the economy and society will become overburdened with both ever-increasing socialism and an ever-expanding police state. She will collapse into ruin and riots. Her only hope is a return to her former faith – but I think true revival for a people bent on self-destruction seems most unlikely.

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  2. RightyPunditry
    November 28, 2012

    “the people have become materialistic, hedonistic, lustful, self-centered, lazy, and weak”.. which is basically true for all great (large) nations. All crumble in time because of the ‘human (sin) nature’ which strives against God and godliness as it gives into to the lust of the ‘flesh’. We struggle against the devil himself and shall until the Lord Himself halts it.
    The “founding fathers” did establish this nation, as without a Declaration, the Constitution, etc., there was no real ‘nation’ — just land fairly much ungoverned and regulated. And even those ‘ungodly’ sort of men, can and are guided by the hand of God.
    This “form of government” will “function well” for ALL people, not simply Christians, since the majority has never been Christian, but people of some morality and respect for God, which seem to now be lost.
    As predicted in the Bible, America will fall with the rise of socialistic dictators & their promises of much for nothing — we see that now.

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  3. Mike A
    November 28, 2012

    ‘This “form of government” will “function well” for ALL people, not simply Christians, since the majority has never been Christian, but people of some morality and respect for God, which seem to now be lost.’
    Yes, I can accept that; however the “morality and respect for God” of which you speak is BORROWED from Christianity. And as I said in my original comment, as Christianity is marginalized and corrupted, so are the values and principles borrowed from Christianity also marginalized and corrupted.
    ‘As predicted in the Bible,…’ I can also accept that many evangelicals see America in the Bible. I do not. I completely agree that she will, however, along with all nations, ‘fall with the rise of socialistic dictators & their promises of much for nothing.’
    Thanks for this interesting article and the Lord bless you.

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  4. RightyPunditry
    November 28, 2012

    I don’t know that it’s necessarily borrowed from the Bible as “morality” flows through many cultures, including those who function without the God of the Bible.
    We have a Republic system of gov. (or used to) and a capitalistic economic system — which will and would work anywhere when followed. Due to the nature of man, it will only be followed until corrupted by man and his greed, lust, hunger for power and control over other people — something inherited from the devil, who is of course, the real enemy of mankind.
    God bless you and yours and I appreciate your comments.

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  5. Bill Fortenberry
    November 30, 2012

    Many of the founding fathers themselves wrote that the Constitution was a miracle of God. For example:

    “The great objects which presented themselves were 1. to unite a proper energy in the Executive, and a proper stability in the Legislative departments, with the essential characters of Republican Government. 2. to draw a line of demarkation which would give to the General Government every power requisite for general purposes, and leave to the States every power which might be most beneficially administered by them. 3. to provide for the different interests of different parts of the Union. 4. to adjust the clashing pretensions of the large and small States. Each of these objects was pregnant with difficulties. The whole of them together formed a task more difficult than can be well conceived by those who were not concerned in the execution of it. Adding to these considerations the natural diversity of human opinions on all new and complicated subjects, it is impossible to consider the degree of concord which ultimately prevailed as less than a miracle.” (James Madison)

    “Whether the New Constitution, if adopted, will prove adequate to such desirable ends, time, the mother of events, will show. For my own part, I sincerely esteem it a system, which, without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests.” (Alexander Hamilton)

    “I do not believe that the Constitution was the offspring of inspiration, but I am as perfectly satisfied, that the union of the states, in its form and adoption, is as much the work of a divine Providence as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testament, were the effects of a divine power … Justice has descended from heaven to dwell in our land.” (Dr. Benjamin Rush)

    Each of these quotes is fully documented on the following website: http://christian76.com/

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    • RightyPunditry
      November 30, 2012

      Thank you very much… I’m not sure I’ve read that before and it’s a good addition.

      I believe the ‘argument’ the doubters present, is that they weren’t “Christians” and thus, dismiss all else. But God is not limited by our belief or lack their of, in Who He is and what He can and will accomplish. There can be NO logical doubt, this nation was founded on Judeo- Christian principles and the glorious results thereof..

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Ronald Reagan

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." Ronald Reagan
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