1. The US Constitution: Its Biblical Design

1. The US Constitution: Its Biblical Design

Robert J. Allen
(Lecture on  6/27/09)

Words come don’t come from out of a vacuum.  They come from the belief system, and the related concerns, and goals of the person (people) who wrote them.  We are here to talk about the Constitution of the USA.  So, what was the belief system of the people who wrote the words in and of the Constitution?

Let’s let them answer this question themselves.  There are literally hundreds of quotations they left us.  So it is easy to determine what their belief system was.  I give you here only a tiny representative sample of what is part of a huge public record.  If you want more quotations, they are easy to find.  If you desire help in obtaining these, we at Starkville Tea Party can supply hundreds, and can give you sources and references to acquire even more.

Representative quotations:

America is based on Christianity

“The highest story of the American Revolution is this: it  connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government  with the principles of Christianity.” – President John Adams

“[T]he religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and His apostles… This is genuine Christianity and to this we owe our free constitutions of government.”

[O]ur citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament, or the Christian religion.133

“[T]he Christian religion… is the basis, or rather the source, of all genuine freedom in government… I am persuaded that no civil government of a republican form can exist and be durable in which the principles of Christianity have not a controlling influence.”
– Noah Webster: Revolutionary soldier; judge; legislator; educator; “Schoolmaster to America”

“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.” – John Adams, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, June 28, 1813, reprinted in The Adams-Jefferson Letters,ed. Lester J. Cappon (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1959), vol 2, pp. 339-40.

“The Holy Ghost carries on the whole Christian system in this earth. Not a baptism, not a marriage, not a sacrament can be administered but by the Holy Ghost. . . . There is no authority, civil or religious – there can be no legitimate government but what is administered by this Holy Ghost. There can be no salvation without it. All without it is rebellion and perdition, or in more orthodox words damnation”.

“In the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior. The Declaration of Independence laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity.” – John Quincy Adams – Sixth President of the United States; diplomat; secretary of state; US Senator; US Representative; “old man eloquent”; “hell-hound of abolition”

“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 noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian  nation.” – U.S. Supreme Court 1892, Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, 143 U.S. 457, 9-10.

“Our laws and institutions must necessarily be based upon  and embody the teaching of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that is should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent  our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian . . . this is a Christian nation.” – US Supreme Court, 1892

“The Bible is the Rock on which this Republic rests.” – President  Andrew Jackson

“America was born a Christian nation.” – President Woodrow Wilson, 1911

“[T]his is a Christian Nation. More than a half century ago that declaration was written  into the decrees of the highest court in this land. It is not without  significance that the valiant pioneers who left Europe to establish settlements here, at the very beginning of their colonial enterprises, declared their faith in the Christian religion and  made ample provision for its practice and for its support. The story of the Christian missionaries who in earliest days endured perils,  hardship–even death itself in carrying the message of Jesus Christ to untutored savages is one that still moves the hearts of men.” – Harry S. Truman, in a letter to Pope Pius XII, August  6, 1947, from the papers of Myron Taylor in the Harry S. Truman Library.

“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” – U.S. Chief Justice John Jay

To Abandon our Christian base is Commit National Suicide

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human
passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – America’s God and Country (10-11), (John Adams, 1798 – Address to the militia of Massachusetts), Signer of the Declaration of Independence; judge; diplomat; one of two signers of the bill of rights; second President of the United States

(Only Christianity, with its REAL God and with His help to us through His Word, His love, His indwelling Holy Spirit, and other benefits only Christianity provides, enables people to control [or “bridle”] our selfish, self-centered, short-term-oriented passions.  And in an open and free system such as our Constitution provides, non-Christian people will not exercise the self-control that is needed to support and preserve such a system.  Also, non-Christian people will claim – and even demand – the exercise of “rights” that God did not give.  We can see this is true and happening all around us as more and more non-Christian citizens claim rights to murder their own unborn, practice sodomy, divorce their spouses, and more.  John Adams warned us in this quote that our Constitution is not able to govern such people and if there are too many of them who are claiming to many false “rights”, the government will self-destruct under the weight of their unchecked immoral license. )

How do we know what rights we have? Samuel Adams and others answered this:

“…the right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty…’The Rights of the Colonists as Christians’…may be best understood by reading and carefully studying the institutes of the great Law Giver…which are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testament.” – Samuel Adams, “Rights of the Colonists”, 1772

“We’ve staked the whole future of American civilization not on the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us . . . to Govern ourselves according to the commandments of God. The future and success of America is not in this Constitution, but in the laws of God upon which this Constitution is founded.” – President James Madison

“Nothing is more certain than that a general profligacy and corruption of manners make a people ripe for destruction. A good form of government may hold the rotten materials together for some time, but beyond a certain pitch, even the best constitution will be ineffectual, and slavery must ensue.” – The Selected Writings of John Witherspoon, Miller ed. (140-1),  (John Witherspoon, 1776, The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men)

“[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.”  – The Life and Public Service of Samuel Adams, William Wells, vol. 1 (22), (Samuel Adams, 1749 – essay in The Public Advertiser)

“The fundamental basis of this nation’s law was given to  Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teaching we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul. I don’t think we emphasize that enough these days. If we don’t have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in the right for anybody except the state.”  – President  Harry S. Truman

“And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever.” –  Our Sacred Honor, Bennett (352), (Thomas Jefferson, 1781 – Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 18)

(Our dumbed-down Atheistic public schools and Universities, our liberal media, and our liberal churches have nearly succeeded in “removing God as the basis of our liberties”)

“The philosophy of the school room in one generation will  be the philosophy of government in the next.” – Abraham Lincoln.

“The only assurance of our nation’s safety is to lay our foundation in morality and religion.”- Abraham Lincoln.

“It is extremely important to our nation , in a political as well as religious view , that all possible authority and influence should be given to the scriptures, for these furnish the best principles of civil liberty , and the most effectual support of republican government. The principles of all genuine liberty, and of wise laws and administrations are to be drawn from the Bible and sustained by it’s authority. The man therefore who weakens or destroys the divine authority of that book may be accessory to all the public disorders which society is doomed to suffer….” – Noah Webster

“The Hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.” – The Writings of George Washington, Fitzpatrick, ed., vol. 12 (343),  (George Washington, 1778 – letter to Thomas Nelson)

“Before any man can be considered as a member of civil society,  he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.  And to the same Divine Author of every good and perfect gift [James 1:17] we are indebted for all those privileges and advantages, religious as well as civil, which are so richly enjoyed in this favored land.”
— James Madison

(No free government can exist if Christianity is not the predominate worldview and ideology of the land.)

“No free government now exists in the world, unless where Christianity is acknowledged, and is the religion of the country. Christianity is part of the common law.  Its foundations are broad and strong and deep.  It is the purest system of morality and only stable support of all human laws.” – Pennsylvania Supreme Court, 1824

(Miscellaneous Quotations)

“The morality of the country is deeply ingrafted upon Christianity, and not upon the doctrines or worship of other religions.  In people whose manners are refined, and whose morals have been elevated and inspired with a more enlarged benevolence, it is by means of the Christian religion.” – United States Supreme Court, 1811
http://www.shalomjerusalem.com/heritage/heritage10.html

“The American population is entirely Christian, and with us Christianity and Religion are identified. It would be strange indeed, if with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not often refer  to it, and exhibit relations with it.” -John Marshall, in a letter to Jasper Adams, May 9, 1833, in JSAC, p. 139. Marshall was Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1801-1835.

“The morality of the country is deeply ingrafted upon Christianity, and not upon doctrines or worship of other religions.” – United States Supreme Court, 1892
http://www.shalomjerusalem.com/heritage/heritage10.html

“The great vital and conservative element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and divine truths of gospel of Jesus Christ.” – US House Judiciary Committee, 1854

“There is no country in  the whole world, in which the Christian religion retains a greater  influence over the souls of men than in America: and there can be  no greater proof of its utility, and of its conformity to human nature, than that its influence is most powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.” – Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835 (New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House, n.d.), vol 1, p.294.

“Christianity is not the legal religion of the State, as established by law. If it were, it would be a civil or political institution, which it is not; but this is not inconsistent with the idea that it is in fact, and ever  has been, the religion of the people. This fact is everywhere prominent in all our civil and political history, and has been, from the first, recognized and acted upon by the people, as well as by constitutional conventions, by legislatures and by courts of justice.” – The New York Supreme Court, 1860,  in Lindenmuller  v. The People, 33 Barbour 561.

“”We have been the recipients  of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. . . . We have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!” – Abraham Lincoln, “Proclamation Appointing a National Fast Day,” March 30, 1863, reprinted in The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, ed. Roy P. Basler (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953),  vol. 6, p. 156.

“Among the features peculiar to the political system of the United States, is the perfect equality of rights which it secures to every religious sect.” – Our Sacred Honor, Bennett, pg. 333 (James Madison, 1820 – letter to Jacob de la Motta)

(“Sect” = denomination of Christianity)

The Declaration elucidates “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.” It also records “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…”

“I have examined all religions, as well as my narrow sphere, my straightened means, and my busy life, would allow; and the result is that the Bible is the best Book in the world.” – President John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, Dec. 25, 1813

We see then that there is no honest doubt or confusion as to what the great majority of Americans and their leaders believed at this time. They believed Christianity and designed the nation around the teachings of Christianity*

(* Yes, Liberals, leftists, Secularists, etc. have some very few statements that they claim are quotes of notable people that contradict these quotes.  The one from the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli, and attributed to George Washington, is probably the most common of these. [“The government of the United States is in no sense founded on the Christian religion”] This ONE QUOTE is said, by those who use it, to counter and cancel out all the HUNDREDS OF QUOTATIONS above and that could be cited.  There are several indications both that this particular quote is not a legitimate quotation of George Washington or that the treaty itself is even historically accurate and honest.)

What are some of those Christian beliefs?

Christianity Compared to All Other Ideologies

Item                                  Christianity                                           Other

1.God                                 Holy & All-knowing –                               fallible –
worthy to be loved/obeyed/followed          to be feared, placated

2. Nature of man               A sinner                                                    good

3. Status Among Men     all men created equal –                         natural inequality of man
in sight of God and the Law

4. Rights                          Rights-                                                        Privileges –                                     Unalienable:cannot be lost of even given up                                                                                                        can be lost, taken away
5.      Life                          Sacred                                                      Common, not “special”

6.      Liberty                      Freedom/free men                                      slavery

7.    Pursuit of Happiness        Self-realization                Labor for “masters”

8. Property             Private Ownership                 Group/State Ownership

9. Government         to serve and secure rights             to control people –
endowed by the Creator             to be served by the people

10.                Based on consent                 Based on power
of the governed                    over the governed

11. Leadership         freely chosen by citizens             Forced/imposed  upon citizens

12.                limited powers                Unlimited powers

13. Individual         Has independent,                Has value according
innate value                to his contribution to the state

14.                Superior to state                inferior to state

15. Constitution         Covenant – Voluntary contract
between parties
Republican form of gov            Tyranny
Law is king                    King is law

16. religion            voluntary                    Involuntary

Biblical References (for the above)

1. God knows all things and therefore is qualified to tell us what to do and how to do it.

Romans 11:
33: O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
34: For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
35: Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
36: For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Col:2:
2: That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
3: In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

2. Man is a sinner –

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
(Jeremiah 17:9)
“For all have sinned”.(Romans 3:23)

3. God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34)

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free male nor female all are one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:28)

4 “…have dominion…” (Genesis 1:28,29)

5. Each human life is sacred –

LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.

Life = freedom and safety of the innocent from being murdered

“Thou shalt not kill.( Exodus 20:13, Deuteronomy 5:17)

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

6. Liberty = freedom to do the good that the individual freely chooses to do.

“And he commanded a centurion to keep Paul, and to let him have liberty, and that he should forbid none of his acquaintance to minister or come unto him.” (Acts 24:23)

“Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.” (Acts 26:32)

“And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself.” (Acts 27:3)

“Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (Romans 8:21)

“The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.” (I Corinthians 7:39)

“But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.” (I Corinthians 8:9)

“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (II Corinthians 3:17)

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1)

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” (Galatians 5:13)

“As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.”  (I Peter 2:16)

7. Pursuit of Happiness = The opportunity to attempt to achieve that which brings good and personal fulfillment and satisfaction

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

8. “Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15)

“Thou shalt not covet” (Exodus 20:17)

9. Government is necessary

“…the way wherein the people must walk, and the work that they must do” (Exodus 18:20)

“Be thou for the people…” (Exodus 18:19)
“…minister of God for thee…” to restrain evil and reward good (Romans 13: 3,4)

“In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 17:6)

“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”(Judges 21:25)

10.  Based on consent    of the governed

11. Right to choose leaders

“…rulers of thousands…hundreds…fifties…tens…hard causes…Moses…small matters…themselves (Exodus 18:19- 26)

12. Limited powers

13.  Innate value of individual

14. Individual superior to the state

15. Covenant = Constitution

“The Lord made a covenant with them” (Genesis 15:18)

16. Freedom of religion

Freedom to be and do wrong.

“ Whosoever will may come” vs, “let him go”…not, “everyone must come”

We in this Christian nation may think these positions are typical of religions throughout the world and one of two of them can be found in one or more religions.  But no religion has all of these and many religions have none of them.  We tend to think these positions are rather common throughout the world – and in some places they are common — NOW – but that is only because of the influence and impact America has had upon the world since its founding.  But history shows that many of these ideas and positions did not exist anywhere in the world – they were literally political “inventions” – just like the cotton gin and the assembly line were among the many inventions of Americans.

Let John Adams speak to us again:
“But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American
war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations…This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.” – The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, Bernard Bailyn (160), (John Adams, 1818 – letter to H. Niles)

“In Europe, charters of liberty have been granted by power. America has set the example . . . of charters of power granted by liberty. This revolution in the practice of the world, may, with an honest praise, be pronounced the most triumphant epoch of its history, and the most consoling presage of its happiness.” – Advice to My Country, Mattern ed. (20); original Papers of John Madison, vol. 14 (191), (John Madison,1792 – National Gazette Essay)

“Noble Experiment”

Many people in all nations recognized that this new “American” view of man and politics was the best way to look at man and the best way to treat man.  But none of these people or nations had ever politically WANTED to, or even TRIED to, treat their citizens according to this view or this way.  And they were skeptical that a nation could have a government treat its people this way and survive.  Therefore, what America set out to do, in binding down power with the chains of a written constitution, in seeking  to prevent the excesses of government in order to protect the human dignity necessary for individuals to realize the full potential of their lives, and to be “of the people, by the people and for the people.” was considered to be an “experiment”… a  “noble” and unique experiment.
(And yes, we did not try this experiment consistently with our own ideals and view of man.  A powerful group of inconsistent and/or non-Christian politicians obstructed and interfered with these ideals to the point that the nation often violated our own beliefs with our practice of slavery, our unequal treatment of women and no voting rights, our failure to protect children from abusive practices – and of course our biggest and worst violation of all today with our murder of our own unborn children.)

We are familiar today with the protest many register in saying such things as, “Don’t push your religion on me.” … “Religion is personal – keep it out of public/political discussion.”

This type of complaint/protest is actually a shallow attempt by the speaker to “push his religion on(to)” the person he is talking to.  It is shallow attempt because, private beliefs are not – and cannot – be separated from all areas and levels of life.

Our forefathers did not keep religion out of public/political discussion – if they HAD, we would not have America.  Why think we should keep it out…, and how can we KEEP America if we DO keep it out?

A lot of people – even Christian people — think citing Bible verses like I have been doing  is “preaching”, and are uncomfortable with that.  They are sensitive to the general Secular trend of avoiding appearing “too religious” in public.  These people do not realize that the Bible is just as much a valid source of information on all aspects of life as is any other source they do not feel awkward referring to in public.  They don’t realize or won’t take a stand on the fact that the Bible provides more than any other source, THE basic information man has to start with in all his endeavors. To teach anything contrary to what the Bible teaches is to “preach” falsehoods.

This “embarrassment of the Bible and of open Christian endorsement” is the new way of thinking.  It is not the way it was understood to be only a couple generations ago.  This new way of thinking has been persuaded upon this nation primarily by the dumbing down of our public school system and by the misrepresentation of the facts of our Christian history.   As a result of this dumbing down and this teaching of outright falsehoods, now, many people are so uninformed and misinformed on and about the Bible, and It’s influence on the USA, that they are impatient with, and think a person is being unreasonable, unrealistic, outright unhistorical, and even a religious nut and wacko to insist that the Bible was important in our past, and is still important in our present.  In other words, if you talk like our forefathers did when they were building America, you are a “religious nut”.  But our forefathers had not been “dumbed down” like many of us (especially those under 30) today.  So, they realized, and informed Christians today realize, that the Bible is the “SOP”, “life- manual” for all day-to-day matters.  It should be read,  not just “devotionally” for its “spiritual” teachings, but pragmatically and practically for It’s concrete “How-to” information in all areas and levels of life.  They, and many of us today, know that if you want to do something “right”, do it God’s way.

Christianity introduced a whole new way of thinking about man, government, society, science, economics, history, and all things.

Acts 17:
1: Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:
2: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
3: Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
4: And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.
5: But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.
6: And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;
7: Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.
8: And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things.
9: And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go.
10: And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
11: These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
12: Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.
13: But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.

God has determined how long and where each nation shall exist

“…every nation standing before the throne.”  (Revelation 7:9)

“And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;”
(Acts 17:26)

“We shall not fight alone. “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. We shall not fight  alone. God presides over the destinies of nations, and will raise up friends  for us.  The battle is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant,  the active, the brave . . . Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, ALMIGHTY GOD! Give me liberty or give me death!” – Patrick Henry in a speech March 23, 1775. to the Constitutional Convention

Including America.

“Everything that is right or natural pleads for separation.  The blood of the slain, the weeping voice of nature cries, ‘tis time to part.’ Even the distance at which the Almighty has placed England and America is a strong and natural proof that the authority of the one over the other was never the design of Heaven.  The time, likewise, at which the continent was discovered adds weight to the argument, and the manner in which it was peopled increases the force of it.  The Reformation was preceded by the discovery of America, as if the Almighty graciously meant to open a sanctuary to the persecuted in future years, when home should afford neither friendship nor safety.”  – Thomas Paine, Common Sense, p. 27

How did their Christian beliefs affect how our founders set up the government of this nation?

The Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence is a Christian-based document..

Statements of Direct Christian Teaching and Reference in the Declaration

“… a decent respect to the opinions of man…”
No respecter of persons –
“…give an answer to every man…”

“…God…”
God is real
= THIS ELIMINATED ATHEISM

“…Nature’s God…
– the God Who created nature.

“We hold these truths…”
– Truth exists… reality is real (not illusion), nature is internally consistent, facts are real, discovery and knowledge (Science) are possible.  EVERYTHING IS NOT RELATIVE
= THIS ELIMINATED HINDUISM, etc.

“…self-evident…”
– accurate, logical, rational thinking is possible

“…created…”
– Not evolved (not self-generated)
= THIS REDUCED ALL THE POSSIBLE RELIGIONS DOWN TO JUST JUDAISM, CHRISTIANITY, ISLAM

“…all men are created equal…”
Created man with “equal” status to each other (in the sight of God and the Law)
= JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY – THIS ELIMINATED ISLAM

God is involved in the affairs of man –
THIS ELIMINATED DEISM (Deism teaches that God created a big “machine” universe, “wound” it up, and then “walked” away from it, to no longer be involved in it) these, “life, liberty, pursuit of happiness”

“…they are endowed…”
– From God to man.

“… rights…”
– NOT “privileges”

“…CERTAIN…”“AMONG these”
– we possess more than the 3 rights mentioned.

“… unalienable…”
Part of the “package” of each individual “human being”
Cannot “lose” or even give these rights up

“We…appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world…with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence…”
God protects and intervenes in behalf of individuals who can KNOW Him, trust Him, and depend on Him.

“…to secure these rights governments are instituted among men…”
The Constitution defined the type of government that would ensure the rights the Creator endowed were freely exercised in this new nation.

The Declaration of Independence is the charter of America

Charter =
1. A document issued by a sovereign, legislature, or other authority, creating a public or private corporation, such as a city, college, or bank, and defining its privileges and purposes.

3. A document outlining the principles, functions, and organization of a corporate body; a constitution: the city charter.

7. A written instrument given as evidence of agreement, transfer, or contract; a deed.

– The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

“The Declaration of Independence…[is the] declaratory charter of our rights, and the rights of man.” – The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Lipscomb and Bergh, eds.,15:200.(Thomas Jefferson, 1819 – letter to Samuel Adams Wells)

The Constitution is an extension/application of the Declaration of Independence.

Even though He is not specifically named,  by virtue of being the follow-up of what the Declaration announced, the Constitution is an extension/application of the Declaration and therefore God is INFERRED in, and throughout, the Constitution, just as much as He is DIRECTLY named in the Declaration

“Of course, the Constitution is subordinate to the Declaration of Independence. The Constitution’s author, James Madison, wrote Thomas Jefferson on 8 February 1825 these words concerning the supremacy of the Declaration of Independence over our nation’s Constitution: “On the distinctive principles of the Government… of the U. States, the best guides are to be found in… The Declaration of Independence, as the fundamental Act of Union of these States.” – U.S. Chief Justice John Jay

Next week, in Lecture 2 of this series, we will see a little on  how our founders Christian beliefs affected how they wrote the Constitution and set up thereby the government of this nation.

Thank you

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