"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." Ecclesiastes 10:2
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.