America's Postmodern Salvation
by Carl Parnell
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America has faced many crossroads and turning points in its young history. However, America has never faced a crossroads or a turning point as vital to its very existence as it is now. However, too many Americans do not see the current crossroads and turning point that America is facing, which is the annihilation of its core foundational belief system that is centered on its Judeo-Christian heritage and its written governmental documents, such as the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
Therefore, who is responsible for attempting to annihilate Christianity and to desecrate America’s governmental documents in America? Unfortunately, the very people that are elected to represent the American people are responsible for attempting to destroy America from within its own boundaries. It appears that they have decided to replace Christianity with Islam and to replace the U.S. Constitution with Islamic Sharia Law. If this does happen, the rights and freedoms of American citizens will become a thing of the past. Americans will then become subservient to a religion that could very well become the first state religion in the history of the United States. Ultimately, it would not take Americans very long to see that Islam is not the “religion of peace” as President Obama has so often declared to the American people. Of course, as a result, maybe those Americans who have criticized Christianity most of their existence on the earth will finally see the error of their ways.
What is the solution for the apparent abandonment of Christianity by America’s leaders?
The solution is a new Great Awakening as has appeared in America several times over the history of this great god-fearing nation, despite the internal attacks by its leaders. Great Awakenings have brought religious fervor back to America and changed the attitude of Americans toward Jesus Christ and His Way of Life called Christianity. However, another solution might be more viable now with so many people denying that the United States is a Christian nation. This time a look back at the Judeo-Christian heritage in America that was at the center of the lives of America’s former patriots and statesmen, not self-centered politicians, might change the minds of the gainsayers.
The roots of America’s Judeo-Christian foundation began during the 1600s. During the colonial period, Christianity, not religion, became the focal point of the American society. This was evidenced by the first acts of Captain John Smith and his soldiers at the founding of Jamestown, Virginia, America’s first permanent English colony. A cross was erected on beach area of Cape Henry. Captain Smith also led all the inhabitants in prayer as they knelt at the foot of the cross. There on the beach they all thank God publicly for a safe journey from England. Also, they recommitted their lives to God for the purpose of establishing a colony with God as the foundation. Therefore, it was obvious that Christians in Europe had one main purpose for coming to the New World. That purpose was to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (11)
Our Founding Fathers, who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, all agreed that a society without a Christian base would be detrimental to that society. The Founding Fathers themselves had the credentials to voice their opinion about a Christian society. As a matter of public record, most of these men were Episcopalians. In fact, twenty-eight of them professed this denominational faith. The remainder of the men were Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Lutherans, Dutch Reformed, Methodists, and Roman Catholics. However, three of men-Williamson, Wilson, and Franklin-were deists who believed God created the earth and man. However, after He created them, He left mankind here on the earth to defend for himself. But, despite the few nonbelievers, the majority of our Founding Fathers were Christians. In fact, approximately ninety-three percent of them were Christians. (1)
Many of our forefathers spoke publicly in favor of the Christian faith. As stated by Patrick Henry, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.” (2)
John Adams was influenced by the Bible. He said, “So great is my veneration for the Bible that the earlier my children began to read it the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens of their country and respectable members of society. I have for many years made it a practice to read through the Bible once every year.” (2)
George Washington, the first President of the United States and great warrior for freedom, said in reference to the American way of life, “You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. Congress will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention.” (2)
Benjamin Franklin said, “History will also afford frequent opportunities of showing the necessity of a public religion…and the Excellency of the Christian religion above all others.” (2)
In his first inaugural speech on April 30, 1789, George Washington stated, “Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public commons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes….No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more that the people of the United States.” (3)
John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States, stated, “The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.” (3)
Roger Sherman said, “I believe that there is one only living and true God, existing in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the same in substance, equal in power and glory. That the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are a revelation from God, and a complete rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him.” (5)
Patrick Henry, patriot and governor of Virginia, stated in his will, “This is all the inheritance I can give to my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed.” (Retrieved from David Barton, WallBuilders.Com)
John Witherspoon, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, said, “I entreat you in the most earnest manner to believe in Jesus Christ, for there is no salvation in any other (Acts 4:12)….If you are not reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, if you are not clothed with the spotless robe of His righteousness, you must forever perish.” (Retrieved from David Barton, WallBuilders.Com)
Therefore, God’s name was mentioned in all of the documents written by our Founding Fathers. They proudly acknowledged that authority of Almighty God and the unalienable rights of man. Our early colonies recognized that liberty would become one of our great rights only if we worshipped God. Ultimately, even non-Christians became influenced by the teachings of Christ that were incorporated in all our great documents. In fact, the Constitution of the United States was modeled after the government instituted in ancient Israel by God. Therefore, we have the right to proclaim that we were founded on Judeo-Christian principles. (11)
Despite verifiable proof of our Judeo-Christian heritage, many gainsayers refuse to accept that America had a Judeo-Christian heritage. Other doubters state that the term was coined approximately fifty years ago and that we really cannot call it part of our heritage. However, some of the statements made in our early governmental documents expound America’s early belief in the values of Christianity and the Bible. The Mayflower Compact (1620) stated, “In the presence of God, Amen. We…do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves into a civil body politic.” (4) In 1638, the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, considered by many to be America’s first official Constitution, stated, [We] enter into a combination and confederation together to maintain and preserve the liberty and purity of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ which we now profess.” (4) In their state charter, the colony of Massachusetts declared, “In the charter granted to Massachusetts, in 1640, by Charles I, the Colonies are enjoined by their good life and orderly conversation to win and invite the natives of the country to a knowledge of the only true God and Savior of mankind, and the Christian faith which, in our royal intention and adventurer’s free possession, is the principal end of this plantation.” (3)
The words of our Declaration of Independence firmly support America’s Judeo-Christian heritage. It was written, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness-That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men…” (3) Also, the colony of New Hampshire declared, “In 1679, New Hampshire was separated from Massachusetts and organized as an independent province. The colonists, having been so long a part of the Christian commonwealth of Massachusetts, constituted their institutions on the same Christian basis. Its legislature was Christian, and the colony greatly prospered and increased in population.” (3) Finally, in 1777, The First Continental Congress appropriated money to purchase 20,000 Holy Bibles. They viewed the Bible as “the great political textbook of the patriots.” (4) Therefore, our forefathers did support Christianity and its Biblical teachings as the foundation of America’s governmental system. According to Jeremiah 29:13, “Ye shall seek me and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
In reference to our Declaration of Independence, it was the birth certificate of our nation. In reality, the United States Constitution was a direct outgrowth of the Declaration of Independence. It was the impetus for our great nation. It promised the greatest good for the greatest number of people. The Founding Fathers made sure that their Christian beliefs were included in our great birth certificate. They had four great Biblical tenets. “They believed in a Creator. They believed God created them in His own image. They believed that God’s supernatural act to create mankind should continue to be extended to every person. They believed in absolute truth which they called unalienable rights or self-evident truths. The Founders were men of the Bible. They considered this ‘absolute Truth…self-evident Truths’.” Also, our forefathers were determined to support the premises of the Declaration. They pledged, “For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” (15)
The starting point for the establishment of America’s government was Chapter 13 of the Book of Romans in the Bible. Our forefathers felt that the founding of a civil government was a religious obligation. According to Samuel Adams, “The only true basis of government is the laws of God and nature. For government is an ordinance of heaven, designed by the all benevolent Creator.” (10) James Otis, a mentor of Sam Adams, stated, “Has it [government] any solid foundation? Any chief cornerstone …I think it has an everlasting foundation in the unchangeable will of God …The sum of my argument is that civil government is of God.” (10) John Dickerson, another signer of the Constitution, said, “The rights essential to happiness ….We claim them from a higher source—from the Kings of Kings and Lord of all the earth.” (10)
Therefore, as cited earlier, Christianity was the religion of choice of our Founding Fathers.
During the late 19th century, The United States’ Supreme Court viewed God and Government much differently than they do today. The Supreme Court in 1892 made a provocative pro-Christian statement. In the case of the Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, the Court concluded that the United States was a Christian nation, at least at that time. “There is a universal language pervading [these examples], having one meaning; they affirm and reaffirm that this is a religious nation. These are not individual sayings, declarations of private persons: they are organic utterances; they speak the voice of the entire people…. These, and many other matters which might be notices, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation.” (5) Also, in 1905, Supreme Court Associate Justice David Brewer made three statements about the Christian status of our nation. “It is not exaggeration to say that Christianity in some of its creeds was the principal cause of the settlement of many of the colonies. In no other way can this republic become a world power in the noblest sense of the word than by putting into her life and the lives of her citizens the spirit and principles of the great founder of Christianity. Christianity came to this country with the first colonists; has been powerfully identified with its rapid development, colonial and national, and to-day exists as a mighty factor in the life of the republic.” (5)
There are many signs of our Judeo-Christian heritage seen throughout our nation’s capitol and throughout our land, too. Our coins have “In God We Trust” written on them. It is engraved on the walls of the Senate and the House of Representatives, too. In the United States Supreme Court, the Ten Commandments are encrypted on the wall above the Chief Justices’ seat. Scriptures from the Holy Bible are written on many of our public monuments. The Pledge to the American flag includes the words “one nation under God.” (4) Therefore, despite the negativism of many Americans concerning the influence of Christianity and the Bible on our great nation, we as a nation have been influenced morally and spiritually since the first colonists arrived in the early 1600s.
Of course, based on the primary documents that have already been reviewed, it is evident that America’s public institutions were influenced by our Judeo-Christian heritage. Our forefathers believed in Truth. They believed that man could know Truth. They believed that mankind was created by an all-powerful God and that all our rights came from Him. Our forefathers ultimately believed that governments were instituted by God to protect our God-given rights. As a direct result of our Founding Fathers adherence to Biblical values, they purported many principles that incorporated these same Biblical values. The reliance on the providence of God was the first principle. As stated in the Declaration of Independence, “We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states; …And for the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” (6)
The second principle was the law of God forms the basis of good human laws. “Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity toward his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward almighty God…What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be.” (6)
The third principle was that religion and morality form the basis of liberty. “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports….And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion… Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail to the exclusion of religious principle.” (6)
The fourth principle was the equality of man. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” (6)
The concept of God-given human rights was the fifth principle. The Declaration of Independence stated, “…that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” (6) Therefore, as evidenced by these selected quotes, our Founding Fathers were influenced by the Bible and a Christian value system.
1. What Was the Faith of Our Founding Fathers, www.str.org
2. America’s Judeo Christian Heritage, www.blessedcause.org
3. Quotations Concerning the Separation of Church and State, www.members.aol.com
4. America’s Christian Heritage, www.forerunner.com
5. Key Quotes on America’s Judeo Christian Heritage, www.shalomjeresalem.com
6. Judeo-Christian Roots of America’s Founding Ideals, www.nccs.net
7. A Brief History according to the ACLU, www.re-focus.com
8. America’s Godly Heritage, www.members.aol.com
9. Public Schools Are Not for Christians, www.hisglory.us
10. Religion Is the Foundation of Government, www.members.aol.com
11. The Christian Founding of the United States, www.retakingamerica.com
12. America’s Godly Heritage, www.jeremiahproject.com
13. Adult Student Guide, Vol. 92, No. 2, March-May 2005, Pentecostal-Charismatic Commission.
14. Philosophical Roots of Change, www.jeremiahproject.com
15. Founding Fathers, www.mcbible.com
16. The Myth of the Separation of Church and State, www.noapathy.org
17. The Separation of Church and State, www.jeremiahproject.com
18. The Constitutional Principle: Separation of Church and State, www.members.tripod.com
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