Thursday, February 16, 2012

"...because I think religion of infinitely higher importance than politics..." Patrick Henry, 1796

Recently, I've been in discussions about the religious views of our nation's Founding Fathers. Titling those words is appropriate, I believe, because we've come to accept that specific label for the group of men pictured...among others.

The point of contention with most people seems center around whether or not our country was founded as a Christian nation...and I personally believe that argument to be dubious at best if not all together moot.

Nazi Germany of 1940 was a 'Christian' nation...

The outcry from most Christians is that Progressives are rewriting history to try to eliminate the role religion played during the infancy of America. There's little to no doubt  that may be true, but Christians are just as guilty of the very same deceptions.

And shouldn't we be the bigger person in the room?

History too well records the atheistic beliefs prevalent in the writings of Thomas Jefferson and the straight up blasphemy of both Benjamin Franklin and John Adams (a proclaimed Unitarian). Thomas Paine, a renowned Deist, wrote I would not dare to so dishonor my Creator God by attaching His name to that book (the Bible). So why do we deny these facts, or even worse, corrupt and distort them?

While the motive may be a noble defense of Christian legitimacy, the resulting effects of altering the truths of history are far more destructive to the cause of our faith. The Church has been in continuous existence since Pentecost following the Ascension of Christ (Acts 2:1-6), and far more damage has been done to His cause as a result of alterations to the true message as opposed to direct attacks on Christian principles (Inquisitions, Crusades and stake burnings come to mind). God's Word will stand until the very end, and all we need to do is promote and defend that Truth as presented in the Holy Bible. God doesn't need America to facilitate His will...actually...He doesn't need anything from us. Christianity existed long before this nation came along and will continue to exist should our country ever fail and fall.

Jesus didn't come to embrace the Roman Empire of the first century.  He lived under its rule and was executing in accordance with its laws. Jesus came to fulfill God's will...His plan for our redemption. Christ came and established a personal connection with but a very few people, yet from those connections...a movement of historically unmatched precedence was formed. That fact doesn't require embellishment or exaggeration on any one's part...especially Christians.

We've become both spoiled and ignorant in this country, and I state that with a grateful but heavy heart. We're overindulged with the luxuries resulting from numerous civil liberties. Religious persecution is a concept that exist only in other parts of the world, and its absence has resulting in a softening of our core beliefs. Very few people can tell you why they truly believe what they proclaim to believe because their ideas are largely unchallenged in a diverse culture of acceptance. Complacency has also replaced an undying quest for knowledge, and we've become a society content with lazily accepting what we hear or read without question. Critical thinking is slowly dying...even among those most educated in our midst.

Nothing good will ever come from distorting the truth. Nothing. Even when that truth isn't necessarily what we want to hear. The reality of fact that Jefferson, Franklin or Adams weren't men of Christian faith in no way hampers my pride as an American or lessens the contribution they made to form the greatest of nations. On the other hand as a Christian, it pains me dearly to think such great men died unwilling to accept an eternal gift given by a most gracious Creator. But then... that could just as well be easily said about anyone else who fails to believe. Why? Because Thomas Jefferson is no more important in God's eyes than the other lowly thief that hung beside His Son that dark day and refused to accept who Jesus was and died in his sins.

By altering the truth of history, we lessen the greatness and impact of men who were in fact good Christians and major contributors in the founding of our like Samuel Adams, Alexander Hamilton and Patrick Henry.  Face facts...our Founding Fathers were just not all wearing the same hat of piousness and no amount of revision in our minds will push some of our historical heroes through the gates of Heaven. So, don't be guilty of putting the two thieves on the same cross...Jesus made a promise but to one of them...the one who saw and accepted the Truth.

Was our country founded as a Christian nation?

I'm not exactly sure how that really matter over 200 years later. The more important question to ask is exactly what are each of us doing today to shine as individual lights for our Savior? After all, that's what we've been commanded to do...


David-FireAndGrace said...

Love the post!

I agree, the word Jesus is pretty much nowhere to be found in our founding documents. (Not true for Harvard)

I suggest you take a closer look at the Mayflower Compact.

Anonymous said...

Where has this Tony C been! I've always loved your deep thought post on issue that get only window dressing by television and radio talking heads.

Why do Christians insist on making Jefferson also a Christian? Brilliant-yes. Believed in the divine nature of Jesus-absolutely not. Those are the facts!

Critical thinking is slowly dying...even among those most educated in our midst.

Might be one of the most profound things you've written on your blog. Bravo!

Dan the Left Coast Man

Linda Maynard said...

Your words are so needed to "get out there" and be heard.
I have been perplexed, as to the claims that our forefathers were professing Christians, when history shows otherwise.
Amazingly, these claims are made by major Christian leaders with mega ministries.
Many people are accepting this "false history" as the truth without any investigation on their part.
This piece should be distributed beyond your blog.
Thanks for mining the truth and exposing the error.

Keith said...

To understand the foundation of our country I think it is important to look earlier than the "founding fathers".

Looking at the early immigrants and what they believed can help us learn more about our roots. Documents like The Mayflower Compact, the founding documents of Harvard, Princeton and Columbia University along with the original constitution of the New England confederation and the Delaware constitution give us some insight into the beliefs of our earliest "founders".