Grasping the Faith of Our Founding Fathers
It has been well said, “If we do not know the foundation on which the Founding Fathers laid for this nation, then we as a nation have no understanding on what we are to be today, thus we are a nation that has no clear vision for tomorrow.” (Author Unknown) In the Book of Judges, we read of a time in Biblical history when the people of God were given their own nation. Those people served God during the lifetime of Joshua and they saw all the great things the Lord had done. Sadly, after Joshua and the whole generation of his time died, “another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what He had done” for His people. The generation after Joshua “did evil in the eyes of the Lord” and served the gods of the people around them. “They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors. They aroused the Lord’s anger.” (Judges 2: 1-12)
There is a lack of understanding of the Biblical truths on which the Founding Fathers of this nation laid this country’s foundation. This ignorance erodes the Christian values the Founding Fathers had set for a course for the United States of America. Therefore, God’s elect, Christians, are to be prepared to give a testimony of their belief that it was God who raised up this nation, He has blessed this country and how He will deal with Americans, depending on the choices they make.
There are a lot of historical facts about the beliefs of the men who laid the foundation of this country. This Fourth of July season is a good time to gain an understanding of the heart of many of the men who signed The Declaration of Independence. Men who knew the Bible says, “I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from Me there is no God.” (Isaiah 45:5) Many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, had a firm conviction, there is one God and Jesus is the King of kings. Two signers, John Adams and John Hancock on April 18, 1775 said, “We Recognize No Sovereign but God and no King but Jesus!”
Knowledge of God’s Word: Psalm 22:28 says, “for dominion belongs to the LORD and He rules over the nations.” The King James Bible says, “…He is the governor among nations.” In 1973, The University of Houston, Political Science Department released the results of a ten year study, revealing the sources our Founding Fathers used most frequently in forming our present system of government. From the pool of nearly 15,000 documents from our founding period, the researchers selected 3,154 documents they considered most significant to our Founding Fathers. The research revealed, our Founding Fathers quoted heavily from three intellectuals, Montesquieu, Blackstone and Locke. The most interesting conclusion from the research, our Founding Fathers were more dependent upon the Bible than they were on these three intellectuals. The Bible was quoted 4 times more than Montesquieu, 16 times more than Blackstone or Locke. Ninety-four percent of the quotes of the Founding Fathers were based on the Word of God. Thirty-four percent of those quotes were direct from Scripture and the remaining 60% were taken from quotes where they had used the Bible to arrive at their conclusions. The Book quoted most often by the Founding Fathers was Deuteronomy. The great theme of Deuteronomy is “Love and Obey.” Jesus, based His statement “If you love Me, keep My commandments” from the truths found in Deuteronomy. So explicit was the Word of God in the lives of men in this nation’s early years, Charles Finney, the Billy Graham of the 1800’s, came to Jesus Christ by reading “Blackstone’s Commentaries on Law.” Blackstone unashamedly used Scripture, referring to chapter and verse for every principle of law he cited. Blackstone’s Commentary on Law, introduced in 1757, became the law textbook for lawyers for 160 years, and the Supreme Court quoted from it to settle cases. It explains: For Tax Exemption for Churches our Founding Fathers looked to Ezra 7:24. The three branches of government are based on Isaiah 33:22 “For the LORD is our Judge, The LORD is our Lawgiver, The LORD is our King; He will save us” and the separation of powers is based on the Book of Jeremiah. The inscription on the Liberty Bell, the Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly asked that a portion of Leviticus 25:10 be used. There are a lot more historical truths which prove our Founding Father had good knowledge of God’s Word. (Liberty University Faculty Publications and Presentations, Clarence Holland; Wall-Builders, David Bartan)
Blessed Is The Nation: Psalm 33:12,18 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord… the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him.” A God fearing people can make a powerful difference in God’s dealings with a nation. The Bible gives us powerful truths worth clinging to, “The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.” (Psalm 147:11) On July 2, 1776, Congress voted to approve a complete separation from Great Britain. On July 4, the early draft of the Declaration of Independence was signed. Four days later, July 08, 1776 – members of Congress took that document and read it aloud from the steps of Independence Hall, proclaiming it to the city of Philadelphia, after which the Liberty Bell rung. The inscription around the top of the bell, a key truth found in Leviticus 25:10 – “…proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants.” John Adams wrote to his wife in a letter about the day America declared her independence. He wrote, “This day will be the most memorable time in the history of America. …it will be celebrated by succeeding generations…” Mr. Adams said, “The general principles the Fathers achieved in independence were the general principles of Christianity.” The Founding Fathers had a reverent fear of the Lord. A truth God still honors today. John Adams, concerning Independence Day celebrations said, “It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.” (Wall-Builders, David Barton) Earlier Court Convictions: The Bible says, “Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the LORD your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly. Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the LORD your God is giving you.” (Deuteronomy 16: 18-20) George Washington said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.” America needs God to restore our Supreme Court system to making decisions like the one made in 1892, “Our laws and our institution must necessarily be based upon and embody the teaching of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and institutions are emphatically Christian. This is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making affirmation. We find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth. These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial utterance that this is a Christian nation.” (Justice Brewer delivered the opinion of the court on February 29, 1892) In the late 1950’s the former Chief Justice Earl Warren, addressing the annual prayer breakfast of the International Council of Christian Leadership said, “I believe no one can read the history of our country without realizing that the Good Book [the Bible] and the Spirit of the Savior [Jesus Christ] have from the beginning been our guiding geniuses. Whether we look to the first Charter of Virginia or to the Charter of New England or to the Charter of Massachusetts Bay or to the Foundational Orders of Connecticut, the same objective is present: A Christian land governed by Christian Principles. I believe the entire Bill of rights came into being because of the knowledge our forefathers had of the Bible and their belief in it: freedom of belief, of expression, of assembly, of petition, the dignity of the individual, the sanctity of the home, equal justice under the law, and the reservation of powers to the people. I like to believe we are living today in the spirit of the Christian religion.” The lack of hunger for God’s Word, the living for self, the influences of this world views, the lack of knowledge of our Founding Father’s efforts to please the Lord in governing this nation has caused many Americans to loose sight, “God Rules Over Nations.” This fact is seen in declarations made by several of our resent national leaders saying, “Americans do not consider ourselves to be a Christian nation” in attempt at historical revisionism. Chief Justice William Rehnquist wisely observed, “No amount of repetition of historical error… can make the error true.” (Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U. S. 38, 106-107 (1984), Rehnquist, J.) The Holy Spirit of Christ wants Americans to understand, we are to appoint “judges” (Hebrew- sapat) who have the conviction that they are judging for the Lord. Servants Who Fear God: The Lord had called forth a great leader, Moses. While Moses was judging the disputes of the people, Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, gave Moses some very good advice that Americans would do well to heed. “Select capable men from all the people–men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain–and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.” (Exodus 18:21) Matthew Henry in his exposition on Exodus 18:21 wrote, “[Jethro] advised such a model of government… [which believes] there is a God above them, Whose eye is upon them, to Whom they are accountable….”
We need statesmen, not politicians, who are men and women of prayer and who passionately seek God’s wisdom through the written Word of God. Most of our Founding Fathers had great knowledge of God’s Word and they knew what was to be done. One of them was Noah Webster. He wrote: “When you become entitled to exercise the right to vote for public offices let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose as rulers men who rule in the fear of God… The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect this duty and place unprincipled men in office the government will soon be corrupted…” It is a necessity that we have leaders who have the Godly character of Hezekiah who “…trusted in the Lord…. He held fast to the Lord and did not cease to follow Him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses.” (2 Kings 18:5) God has always raised up possible rulers: 1.) Those who serve themselves, taking from the people of God (1 Samuel 8) or 2.) Rulers who rule in the true fear of the Lord. Which one will you vote for?
Separation of Church and State: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…” (excerpt from Amendment I, U. S. Constitution) The phrase, “Separation of Church and State” is not in the Constitution nor, according to the Congressional Record, was it ever even mentioned during the framing of that document in 1789. The phrase is not Constitutional at all! It has been wrenched out of context from a private letter written in 1802, 11 years after the First Amendment was ratified. There was a widespread rumor going around at the time that one particular denomination was to become the official national religion. This concerned the other denominations a great deal since some had fled religious persecution by the official church of England. President Thomas Jefferson wrote to the concerned Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut assuring them that under the Constitution the federal government would not, and indeed could not, establish a national Christian denomination. In other words, the United States Congress could not legislate that all Americans had to be Lutherans, or Episcopalians, or Baptists, or whatever. The courts, media and special interest groups have convinced the American people that we must have freedom from religion in the public square. Nothing is further from the truth. As a nation, we have been increasing the judicial and public approval and practice of shedding innocent blood of the littlest human beings, flaunting all sorts of abominations and sexual sins, forsaking our marriage covenants, calling good evil and evil good, and now pushing even the mention of God’s Holy Name out of public life under the false guise of “Separation of Church and State.” To such a people God’s Word says, “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” (Isaiah 29:13) At this time of history God’s Word says, “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord…” (Isaiah 55: 6, 7a) The Hebrew word “wicked” (rāšā) is used 264 times, often referring to those who are in the wrong. It is wrong to keep Americans from the historical facts, as a whole, our nation’s Founding Fathers never intended to keep God’s truths from having an influence on the governing of a nation with a motto, “In God we trust.”
Reformation is Called For: Biblically examining the rule of kings who oversaw the nations of Judah and Israel reveals the truth, God blesses obedience and He chastens for disobedience. 2 Chronicles 17-20 reveals God’s view on the reign of Jehoshaphat. Understanding how God worked in the life of King Jehoshaphat helps us understand how the Lord wants to work in America. Like Jehoshaphat, American government has given into the desires of the wicked, giving them what they want, even though it breaks the heart of the Lord. Just like the “seer, Jehu” was sent to King Jehoshaphat, it is time for modern day teachers of God’s Word to begin to rebuke politicians who help those whom the Bible says live in ways that are displeasing to God. Sadly, many in leadership claim to know God, but choose to live for the flesh and are lured by a world view. Watching the TV news and reading the daily newspaper reveals God’s wrath being poured out. (Read Romans 1:18-32) After the man of God’s rebuke to Jehoshaphat for showing un-biblical love to those who hate the Lord’s truth, the Bible records the fruit of repentance the king showed. He went among the people of the land and told them to return to the Lord. He appointed judges in the land, told them that they should carefully choose what they do, for they were to be judging for God, not for man. They were to let the fear of the Lord be in their hearts. These judges were to warn people not to sin against the Lord, otherwise God’s wrath will be upon them. (2 Chronicles 19: 1-10)
The questions must be asked, does our education system teach these historical facts? Do you live by the truths laid down by the signers of The Declaration of Independence? Does our government have the same convictions as our Founding Fathers? This Fourth of July, do you live by the general principles of Christianity? Americans need to become wise – they need to do the hard work of study, find out what our Founding Fathers truly believed. Take God at His Word, repent, turn to Christ and beseech God to intervene for our nation once again. This July Fourth, take time to thank God for His blessings and chastisements upon the United States of America!