By: Pastor Bill Shults
I started College in 1979. Most of my professors were “hippies” from the 1960’s. All of the required reading materials in Freshman English were anti Vietnam War. In the 1980’s some of the stories turned out to be not true. For example the story about the Mai Lai massacre was a complete fabrication; U. S. Servicemen did not massacre civilians in Mai Lai. Many things of this nature were presented to us as complete facts and we were supposed to write about how that made us feel. That was a very long time ago.
I wrote about the Founding Fathers of the United States in my second book Freedom Under the Law of God. Some of the materials that I looked up when I wrote have been taken down from the Internet. There is a move on the political left to remove our Founding Fathers (FF) from U.S. public discourse. It is not only about tearing down their statues; it is about removing them from our public lives. Invest some of your time reading about them; they were truly great men. They were also avid Bible readers. The U.S. in the 18th century was a very different place. Most of the people who started this country fled religious persecution in Europe to come here. They were serious about “the free exercise” of their religion. With religious persecution still prevalent, even in the colonies, many of them were not members of a church. Nonetheless, they all highly regarded the Word of God and seemed to live by it to the best of their abilities.
Liberty from Tyranny was foremost on their minds. As I looked into the lives of several of them, many of them regarded the ancient Israelites as the perfect republic. Several of them spoke about the perfect Constitution in the Torah, or first five books of the Bible. (I also found that an ancestor of George Bush taught Hebrew at a major University.) Our Founding Fathers gave us a system of minimal Federal government to hold together the several States. And, a system of stronger States to govern their cities and territory. Evidently they were looking to the time of the Judges in ancient Israel. George Washington among several FF wanted an energetic executive. His reasoning came from the indecision and fickleness of the Continental Congress towards the army that nearly led to our defeat by Great Britain. He desired an executive who could act on behalf of the nation, especially in times of war.
Some modern scholars have labeled the FF deists. I did find that Benjamin Franklin read some deists books. It seems that modern theologians can be as revisionist as the “woke” professorate. Franklin freely and regularly admitted that “Divine Providence” protected and nurtured this country’s founding. But, because he did not talk much about Jesus Christ, they do not want to admit that he was a Christian. From my reading and research, the FF were more interested in how you lived, than by how you spoke. When you consider the rampant corruption in the organized churches of their time, it is no wonder. Looking at modern life I tend to agree with them.
Benjamin Franklin was well aware that a Divine being answered the prayers of the FF as they struggled to bring this country into existence. “In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for the divine protection! Our prayers, sir, were heard; and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor.” (Taken from the Christian World Press Website) Deists do not believe that the Divine interferes in the affairs of men. Every FF that I have looked up was adamant that Divine Providence interfered on their behalf continuously from the Revolution until the adoption of our Constitution.
Concerning our Constitution Benjamin Franklin refrained from claiming Divine inspiration, but he was quite willing to admit Divine involvement. “I beg I may not be understood to infer, that our General Convention was divinely inspired, when it form’d the new federal Constitution…yet I must own I have so much faith in the general Government of the world by Providence, that I can hardly conceive a Transaction of such momentous Importance to the Welfare of Millions now existing, and to exist in the Posterity of a great Nation, should be suffered to pass without being in some degree influenc’d, guided, and governed by that omnipotent, omnipresent, and beneficent Ruler, in whom all inferior Spirits live, and move, and have their Being.” (Taken from the Christian World Press Website) That view is much easier to see from the year 2021, then from 1789. He may have been unwilling to go so far as to claim Divine inspiration, but I will, in my view their work was divinely inspired.
James Madison, the fourth President and one of the authors of the Constitution would agree. “Our Constitution represents the work of the finger of Almighty God.” (Taken from the A-Z Quotes Website) The FF were very interested in the early government of Ancient Israel and modeled much of our government on the ancient biblical system. “We have staked the whole future of our new nation, not upon the power of government; far from it. We have staked the future of all our political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments.” (James Madison, taken from the A-Z Quotes Website).
Daniel Dreisbach writing in Reading the Bible with the Founding Fathers writes: “The Bible left its mark on their political culture. Following an extensive survey of American political literature from 1760 to 1805, political scientist Donald S. Lutz reported that the Bible was cited more frequently than any European writer or even any European school of thought, such as Enlightenment liberalism or republicanism. The Bible, he reported, accounted for approximately one-third of the citations in the literature he surveyed. The book of Deuteronomy alone is the most frequently cited work, followed by Montesquieu’s The Spirit of the Laws. In fact, Deuteronomy is referenced nearly twice as often as Locke’s writings, and the Apostle Paul is mentioned about as frequently as Montesquieu.” (Taken from the How the Bible Influenced the Founding Fathers website) One might say they were Old Testament Christians.
Several websites that I visited tried to take away religion from the FF. Most were quotes concerning organized religions. Several sites tried to convince the reader that John Adams was not a Christian. Let’s look at President Adams own words. “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.” (In a letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson on June 28, 1813. Taken from the Wall Builders Website) Again he said: “The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity.” (Diary entry for July 26, 1796, taken from Wall Builders Website)
Along with James Madison, John Adams was deeply involved with drafting our Constitution. About the Constitution John Adams said: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” (Taken from the John Adams Historical Society website) The FF were clear that our form of self governance would only work for a Bible literate people who observe the Ten Commandments. As long as our people were those people, everything went well. As you see, because our people are not living by the Ten Commandments, things are not working well right now at all.
George Washington is rightly called the Father of our country. For anyone acquainted with our early history, it would be hard to see this nation without him as the Father of our country. George Washington was a vestryman in the Episcopal Church. His reliance on Almighty God probably had more influence than anyone else. “Providence has at all times been my only dependence, for all other resources seemed to have failed us.” (Taken from Christianquotes.info website) Further he says: “No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men, more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of Providential agency.” (From the first inaugural address, April 3, 1789, taken from taken from Mountvernon.org website) This man was at the forefront of everything undertaken to raise up this country. No one had a better view of God’s rich provision in creating this country.
As to his personal protection President Washington said this: “By the all-powerful dispensations of Providence I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me yet escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me!” (Letter to John Washington, July 18, 1755, Taken from Mountvernon.org website) Clearly the President understood that he not only was protected by “Divine Providence,” but that he was protected for a divine reason. I am convinced that the reason was for President Washington to be the Father of our great country
As President one of his more famous quotes is this: “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.” (Taken from Christianquotes.info website) (This quote has been challenged.) “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” (Farewell Address 09/19/1796 from ourdocuments.gov) If only our current leadership would take this to heart! If only our current citizenship would take this to heart! We live in a nation built for Ten Commandment Christians. If we want to keep our freedom, then we are going to have to return to Ten Commandment Christians.
I have presented to you the FF in their own words. Modern historians have tried to take their religion away from them. Is it because they want to take our religion away from us? America return to your roots. I encourage every reader to look up your FF and read for your self the “moral and religious” basis on which our country was founded. If like the FF you are not ready for an organized church, then at least get into your Bible.
America Bless God.