You are hereA "Christian Nation?"

A "Christian Nation?"

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By TheIdealNate - Posted on 05 December 2006

by Nathan Dubois
Are we? What really makes us such? What has EVER made us such? No one disputes that many of the Founding Fathers were Christians. Three of the most essential to our Declaration and Constitution being Ben Franklin, James Madison and John Adams! But if that is the case, why is our Constitution void of any references to Christ or at least the God of the Bible? Why does the Declaration of Independance reference a "Maker," but not Jehovah?Are we? What really makes us such? What has EVER made us such? No one disputes that many of the Founding Fathers were Christians. Three of the most essential to our Declaration and Constitution being Ben Franklin, James Madison and John Adams! But if that is the case, why is our Constitution void of any references to Christ or at least the God of the Bible? Why does the Declaration of Independance reference a "Maker," but not Jehovah?The fact is that Christians, and other religious men of that day, believed that God was not a God of coercion. That he made the mind free to make up it's own mind, and that the government had no place supporting the Christian religion even over Islam. Both were to be equally supported under the government of the United States and both parties were to be equally free of feeling supressed by the other.

Unfortunately the more zealous demons of our nature do not inherantly support the wisdom that came from our Founding Fathers. These were men learning from the mistakes of the days of the foundings of Virginia and New England. Both of which had very oppressive laws and very strict punishment for breaking the tenants of what they considered the Christian faith. Strict church attendance, proper dress, and no ability to debate the ruling clergy were many issues that faced the pilgrims. Jefferson and Madison knew these lessons very well, and refused to repeat them.

Even today we see the zealous demons reappearing in our culture. The over reaction of the ultra-secularist is leading to an over-reaction of the ultra-conservative. The 10 Commandments on the walls, prayer in schools, crosses on public property, etc. are all issues that can be better resolved with a more proper view of history.

America is a Free Nation, founded by religious men, mostly Christians, who believed that America was a nation that should represent the freedom to worship in all faiths, or none, and violently oppose the coercion to worship, or the push to uplift, any one particular faith over another. They believed in this because they were mostly Christians. They believed that in setting up a government free from oppression, the best way to honor God would be to respect the inherant freedom in man to choose for himself the God whom he would serve.

Thomas Jefferson
"WHEREAS Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend to only beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as it was in his Almighty power to do; that the impious presumptions of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greater part of the world, and through all time; that to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagations of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical; that even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his personal contributions to the particular pastor, whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the ministry those temporary rewards ..."

James Madison
"Because we hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, 'that Religion or the duty which we oweto our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence.' The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in it's nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds, cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also, because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator...
Because it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much to forget it. Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christianity, in exclusion of all other Sects? That the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute three pence only of his property for the support of any one establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?...
Because the establishment proposed by the bill is not requisite for the support of the Christian Religion. To say that it is, is a contradiction to the Christian Religion itself, for every page of it disavows a dependance on the powers of this world: it is a contradiction to fact; for it is known that this Religion both existed and flourished, not only without the support of human laws, but in spite of every opposition from them; and not only during the period of miraculous aid, but long after it had been left to it's own evidence, and the ordinary care of Providence: Nay, it is a contradiction in terms; for a Religion not invented by human policy, must have pre-existed and been supported, before it was established by human policy."

This is not the talk we hear from the D. James Kennedys, Pat Robertsons, or Jerry Falwells. rather, we hear an extreme Republican pundit version of history, in an effort to rewrite our Founding Fathers intentions for America.

First and foremost, America was a nation founded on allowing all men to worship freely. No matter who they worship. Insuring freedom for Christianity in America, meant separating the government from ANY religion, including Christianity!! It is not that good men shouldn't lead. It is not that government would not benefit from having moral, Christian men at it's leadership; but can society benefit from another wannabe theocracy where fallible men, with false ideals, force the laws of God (in their own mind and interpretation) on all persons under that government? Let it not be.

As Preterists we should see this and readily identify with the heart of Jefferson and Madison, when we see the failed policies and teachings of fallible men in charge of the "church" today. Yet in politics and government, many Preterists still rally hard behind, and fight in force with, those who would rewrite our Constitution, and name it a Christian nation. It was not the intention of our Founding Fathers to establish a "Chrsitian nation," but a nation where Christianity is as free as any other sect of any other religion under that government. Let us never forget that the majority of abuses of mankind over the last 2000 years was in the name of Christ, protected by governments who claimed Christianity at it's core.

I recommend this book!
http://www.jonmeacham.com/

God Bless
Nate

How many people actually read this before saying "Yes we are!"?

Ed's picture

I am answering Parker here - sort of, due to the fact that the thread is getting too long.

My dear friend, Parker. It amazes me how you can take ANY thread that is started, from any article, no matter the subject, and turn it into a discussion about "The True Church."

I am not going to engage you on this article anymore, unless you want to talk about Christian culture - which I defined as both Protestant AND Catholic. I made favorable comments about the Catholic Church a number of times here - emphasizing her good work in establishing hospitals, orphanages, missions, etc.

You on the other hand ALWAYS attack Protestants, talking about schism, and how you guys are not...

Truth is, IF the many denominations are the reason for the secularization of the "Protestant" colonies, why is California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona secularized and divided into several states? Why is there no unity in South and Central America politically, since they have been controlled by Catholicism for centuries?

I'm sure you'll have some excuse, talking about how those Catholics are not following the Pope, but that very argument disproves your theory about the non-schismatic Roman Church. We've had this discussion before: your claim of unity, while at the same time having Ted Kennedy, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, et al as communicant members of the Catholic Church in spite of their approval of abortion. Or Shawn Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, Bob Novak, Sam Brownback, et al being communicant Catholics even though they support the War in Iraq.

Only Pat Buchanan is a Practicing Catholic who agrees with the Pope in the political realm. AND HE CAN'T GET ELECTED. So much for unity.

So, let's stop arguing about unity, and start practicing it. You are as divisive and schismatic as anyone else here. We all have the tendency to not see (or own, as Davo pointed out to me recently) our own sin. So, I am saying this to you respectfully and pleading with finding an end to this seemingly endless, unfruitful argument.

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Ed's picture

Lucy,
You should know also, as a history buff, that universalism wasn't necessarily started in the 1800s in the unitarian movement either.

Biblical, Trinitarian universalism was believed from the beginning and found its voice in Alexandria. We know Alexandria for their defense of the Trinity (Athanasius), but we must not lose sight of the fact that Origen and his colleagues all embraced a biblical universalism, based on the understanding of the word "aionon" (mistakenly translated everlasting in the bible) as being "of the ages."

Anyway, just wanted that record to be set straight. Not all universalists are UUA, and most of us are fully bible-believing Christians.

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Ed's picture

Lucy,
If you'd like to meet some fully bible-believing Christians who are universalists, you can do so by going to certain websites:

www.pantelism.com
www.talk-grace.com
www.infinite-grace.com
http://robertrutherford.org/
www.tentmaker.org

These are just a few. They are all over (as far as I know, these sites all believe in the deity of Jesus, as well as universal reconciliation. None of them are, nor wish to be, affiliated with the UUA.

My disclaimer here would be that the contents of each of these sites reflect their views, and not necessarily mine in every case.

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Virgil's picture

Nor do they necessarily reflect the views of PlanetPreterist or our members. :) Ed will get an invoice shortly with the advertising fees...

Ed's picture

What? Did I accidentally recommend Rod's site?

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

mazuur's picture

This whole article is a twisting of their words.

"Insuring freedom for Christianity in America, meant separating the government from ANY religion, including Christianity!!"

If this were true, then the below facts concerning Jefferson (which I will re-post), would not have happened or been tolerated by Jefferson himself, let alone every other Founder. I could also post similar facts for every other Founder showing them actively promoting Christianity.

How is it that the Government then did everything it could to promote Christianity, from creating Churches to religious schools using Government money and power, yet today we read the crap you just posted that states otherwise? Somebody is lying, and I don't think it is their actual writings and all the other historical documents we have.

Jefferson:

1) urged local governments to make land available specifically for Christian purposes; [1]

2) In an 1803 federal Indian treaty, Jefferson willingly agreed to provide $300 to “assist the said Kaskaskia tribe in the erection of a church” and to provide “annually for seven years $100 towards the support of a Catholic priest.” He also signed three separate acts setting aside government lands for the sole use of religious groups and setting aside government lands so that Moravian missionaries might be assisted in “promoting Christianity.” [2]

3) When Washington D. C. became the national capital in 1800, Congress voted that the Capitol building would also serve as a church building. [3] President Jefferson chose to attend church each Sunday at the Capitol [4] and even provided the service with paid government musicians to assist in its worship. [5] Jefferson also began similar Christian services in his own Executive Branch, both at the Treasury Building and at the War Office. [6]

4) praised the use of a local courthouse as a meeting place for Christian services; [7]

5) assured a Christian religious school that it would receive “the patronage of the government”; [8]

6) proposed that the Great Seal of the United States depict a story from the Bible and include the word “God” in its motto; [9]

7) closed his presidential documents with the phrase, “In the year of our Lord Christ; by the President; Thomas Jefferson.” [10]

8) Jefferson stated: "No nation has ever existed or been governed without religion. Nor can be. The Christian religion is the best religion that has been given to man and I, as Chief Magistrate of this nation, am bound to give it the sanction of my example." [11]

I guess this guy didn't know about today's interpretation of his own words. He should clearly have been impeached for ignoring the very laws he created.

Again, you do nothing but twist the Founders words to fit a context they do not exist in, to support a lie.

Rich

Sources below

[1] Letter of Thomas Jefferson to Bishop Carroll on September 3, 1801 (in the Library of Congress, #19966).

[2]American State Papers, Walter Lowrie and Matthew St. Claire Clarke, editors (Washington, D. C.: Gales and Seaton, 1832), Vol. IV, p. 687; see also Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U. S. 38, at 103 (1985), Rehnquist, J. (dissenting); see also, The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, Richard Peters, editor (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1846), Vol. VII, p. 79, Article III, “A Treaty Between the United States and the Kaskaskia Tribe of Indians,” December 23, 1803; Vol. VII, p. 88, Article IV, “Treaty with the Wyandots, etc.,” 1805; Vol. VII, p. 102, Article II, “Treaty with the Cherokees,” 1806.

[3] Debates and Proceedings of the Congress of the United States (Washington: Gales and Seaton, 1853), Sixth Congress, p. 797, December 4, 1800.

[4] See the records recently reprinted by James Hutson, Chief of the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. Religion and the Founding of the American Republic (Washington, D. C.: Library of Congress, 1998), p. 84.

[5] Id. at 89.

[6] Id. at 89; see also John Quincy Adams, Memoirs of John Quincy Adams, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1874), Vol. I, p. 265, October 23, 1803.

[7] Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Bergh, editor (Washington, D. C: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. XV, p. 404, to Dr. Thomas Cooper on November 2, 1822.

[8] Letter of Thomas Jefferson to the Nuns of the Order of St. Ursula at New Orleans on May 15, 1804, original in possession of the New Orleans Parish.

[9] Thomas Jefferson, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Julian P. Boyd, editor (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950), Vol. I, pp. 494-497, from “Report on a Seal for the United States, with Related Papers,” August 20, 1776.

[10] from an original document in the possession of Dave Barton of WallBuilders.com

[11] Hutson (see n. 8) at p. 96, quoting from a handwritten history in possession of the Library of Congress, “Washington Parish, Washington City,” by Rev. Ethan Allen.

-Rich

TheIdealNate's picture

1) urged local governments to make land available specifically for Christian purposes;

Sure, he would also encourage the same for any organization.

2) In an 1803 federal Indian treaty, Jefferson willingly agreed to provide $300 to “assist the said Kaskaskia tribe in the erection of a church” and to provide “annually for seven years $100 towards the support of a Catholic priest.” He also signed three separate acts setting aside government lands for the sole use of religious groups and setting aside government lands so that Moravian missionaries might be assisted in “promoting Christianity.”

Again, if you have really read his writings, are you saying he would not have done that for a Muslim contituancy majority if requested? He would have had to, under the precepts he advocated. I have never disputed that the majority of the nation was Christian, and therefore it's influence is throughout. But that does not dispute the precepts of equality and freedom to EVERY religion.

This mentality points to every example you chose. They did things for their majority, as every politician does. The crux, and Jeffersons foresight, is that in a future when Chrsitianity may NOT be the majority, the only way to preserve their freedom of religion is to allow that same treatment for everyone. He helped create laws that would ensure those same "grants" be granted to any religion, in a nation that is truly free!!

God Bless
Nate

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

Ed's picture

Nate, then we are arguing past each other. I never said that religious freedom was solely for Christians (and I don't think Rich is either).

However, that freedom is rooted in Christian thought - not Buddhist, Hindi, or Muslim. ONLY in Christianity is the conscience recognized as a legitimate starting point for religion.

You are here arguing against THEOCRACY. Fine, argue away. I will agree with you.

However, if you realized what I am saying, you could accept the fact that this is a Christian nation - that is inclusive in its history and practice.

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

mazuur's picture

Ed,

"You are here arguing against THEOCRACY."

This is exactly what he is doing. This is the same straw-man that all like him argue from. This way they have something to shoot at.

This is why, like I stated in another post, what it means to be a "Christian Nation" needs to be defined. Nate defines it as a Theocracy, and to believe in something else results in the death penalty.

I am done. It's like arguing doctrine. People are only going to see what they want to see and believe what they want to believe.

Rich

-Rich

TheIdealNate's picture

Nate defines it as a Theocracy, and to believe in something else results in the death penalty.

No, I believe that Christ ordains love, not law. I believe there are govenrments, and there needs to be to hold back evil men. But I agree with Thomas Paine. All government is evil, but a necessary one.

No secular government is in and of itself "Chrsitian," because it will always fall short of CHRIST!

God Bless
Nate

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

Ed's picture

Again, you are mixing words up Nate. You of all people should be more aware.

Now, you are arguing against this being a Christian gov't. That's different from "nation." That's different from "culture."

We need to define the terms, and then we can discuss this stuff.
ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

TheIdealNate's picture

Ed,
I agree that we need to define terms. Because if culture defines what a nation is, then I (currently in San Diego, Ca.) live in Mexico!

God Bless
Nate

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

Ed's picture

Nate,
If you spoke to an American Indian, you would find that "nation" refers to a people, not a geographical location. That is true of other cultures as well.

Culture is a belief system, which is why technically the term Multiculturalism has nothing to do with being black or white, seeing as how most blacks and whites are Christians. That makes us of one culture.

Now, Blacks may embrace a more Baptist Culture, while whites may embrace a Protestant Culture, and Mexicans embrace a more Catholic Culture, etc. However, if one is broad minded enough (and I am) we all embrace a Christian culture.

Technically, there is no such thing as a "biblical gov't." We see in the bible the nation of Israel (a people) being ruled by Judges, including women judges; Prophets, like Samuel; Kings, like David.

A government is established truly by the people and is answerable to God, regardless of whether they want to acknowledge that or not (aren't you a Calvinist?).

Our culture in this nation has been Christian. Our nation is being fragmented within our country (geographical). We are now truly multicultural: Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. all existing within this one nation of people.

We as Christians readily accept these new cultures, but in some cases to our peril. But that's for another post.

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

TheIdealNate's picture

Ed,
Christianity and nation are two seperate realities. Christianity's nation is in the heart only, not the secular government.

God Bless
Nate

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

Ed's picture

Oh, and what is in our hearts has no outward manifestation?

C'mon Nate, these men were raised in the scriptures, whether or not they believed all of them, or only some of them (Jefferson), they were influenced by Christianity. The "LORD" mentioned in the Constitution was the ONLY Lord upon whom a calendar was built - Jesus of Nazareth. Even you can admit that.

Is there a year of Allah? Jehovah? No, only Jesus, the Lord.

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

TheIdealNate's picture

Ed,
I do believe in outward manifestation.

We are known to be Christians because we display the love of Christ, not the law of Moses.

God Bless
Nate

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

Ed's picture

Nate,
You're arguing with a theonomist, not me.

I never said anything about Mosaic Law. IN FACT, am I not the one who has maintained for well over a year that the LAW was destroyed in AD70, after Jesus fulfilled it.

I am saying that this nation was founded on the biblical principles of the people that inhabited it at that time. You cannot have a culture without a system of belief - that's what CULT means, and it is the root of the word culture.

The Catholics on the West Coast and in the South, the Protestants on the East Coast and the North. The peoples lived Christianity, although imperfectly sometimes (thank God for grace).

But the culture that created this nation was Christian - and if the root is holy, so is the whole tree.

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

rfwitt's picture

“LK 22:24 Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. 28 You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

Perhaps if we put as much energy in fulfilling the words of Christ as we do in trying to preserve Christian symbols we would have a greater impact on our culture. Works of mercy can unite Christians. As far as being united in externals (doctrine, etc. only God knows if or when that will happen). Even Europe with its State Churches (and supposed unity of beliefs) has become greatly secular. As a nation we are heading in the same direction. Should our response be to decry the shift towards secularism or should we do what the Lord has called us to.

“ MT 5:13 "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
MT 5:14 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

TheIdealNate's picture

Amen and Amen!

God Bless
Nate

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

Ed's picture

Rich, I agree.

However, my point continues to be that it was biblical principles, Christian people and Christian symbols that built the culture that we live in here in the West (and formerly in the Byzantine Empire).

Where did the concept of charity begin? Who had the first universities, the first educational concepts. Who built the first hospitals, orphanages, human service organizations?

Christians...Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Anabaptist. They did it. It was a culture of Caring. Sure there were mistakes made along the way - usually when folks put doctrine before action. But the more "simple" the Christian, the greater the deeds. Monks, whose lives were simple, spent countless hours praying, working, and performing acts of charity. They took in orphans, educated them, gave them vocations, etc. Nuns started hospitals for the sick and diseased, etc.

The list goes on. And we can see it in the remnants of our Christian culture. What other nation reaches out to hurricane, tsunami, and earthquake victims? What other nation sends medical missionaries to hurting people? What other nation has homeless shelters, and human service organizations; e.g., Goodwill (started by a Methodist minister), Catholic Social Services, Lutheran Social Services, Compassion International, World Vision, Children's Hunger Relief Fund, etc., etc.

No other religion and no other culture has these type of organizations. They leave the sick and dying to die, oftentimes in their streets, in the gutters. Why? Karma, or "justice." ONLY Christianity teaches that God's mercy is extended to the sinner, the sick, the poor, and the dying.

Let's stop trying to "go back" and instead continue building on the culture that our forefathers built.

And here I agree with Parker, we need to unite to get this job done. Perhaps we'll get it right this time.

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

mazuur's picture

While partially correct, you fail to grasp the importance of ones surroundings. Take a family that has 4 kids. Ages 1-4.

Let's say the parents are very devout Christians and lead by great example. Let's also say their entire house is stripped of anything Christian. No Bibles laying around. No Christian art work. No Christian music ever getting played. No Christian books in the house. In fact everything Christian is replaced with something that teaches humanism. Now there are books teaching evolution laying on the coffee table. Music is playing that re-enforces evolution. Pictures throughout the house demonstrate evolution as being true. And the kids go to school for 8 hours a day and get taught evolution as fact. You get the picture.

Now how much of the parents teachings are going to get undermined by the children's surroundings? I would bet the parents would have a very difficult time trying to raise their children correctly.

Don't kid yourself, this country's surroundings have been and are continuing to be replace by everything anti-christian. And people sit around and can't understand why the morals in the country just keep getting worse and worse.

Our Founding Father would just plan freak-out if they were alive today.

Rich

-Rich

rfwitt's picture

The answer to your concern is that we are to obey God not men. Your example of Christians not being allowed, in their own homes, Christian materials (e.g. bibles, etc.) can be met with the advice of scripture of obeying God not men. It might even require Christians going to jail. I recognize that the secular fundamentalist have a hatred for Christianity. This is nothing new. The early church faced far greater obstacles then we do and they overcame the world by their faith and works of mercy. Our strong suit (so to speak) should be our good works in the name of Christ.
Richard.........

mazuur's picture

Richard,

I agree. And don't push the example too far, as it was just an example.

"The early church faced far greater obstacles then we do and they overcame the world"

This is true, but I would rather us not to have to let it get that far to force us to have to respond back. Do you want to let the cycle run its course again, or would you rather just keep all our Christian influences that are a result from the last push to over the greater obstacles?

Rich

-Rich

rfwitt's picture

Rich,
I believe we (like many Christians)are on the same page in regards to our concern with what is happening in our culture. I believe Christians a long time ago abdicated their responsibility to the state on health, education and welfare and we are reaping the effects of this today. I believe we have to start with our own families and reject the "state" as a god. We are going against the zeitgeist which includes many who claim to be going to Christian churches. We need to look no further then the shambles the church is in (all of them) and see how we've lost our salt (influence). This would be a good place to start.
Richard..............

Ed's picture

rfw,
how can we reclaim what you and Nate are claiming never existed? For us to reclaim our culture, there must have been a Christian culture to begin with, or else we are usurpers.

When you argue as Nate is, you give the secularists creedance, allowing them to point fingers at Christians and say "they are trying to impose their religion on us..."

The reason that is not true is that it was only within the context of this Christian nation that these secularists (i.e., atheists) could even exist. Do you think someone mouthing secularist filth would live for one minute in an Islamic country?

Our foundations were based on the message of mercy. We started off wrong - with slavery, but we rectifide that in less than a hundred years.

I believe that in some ways we are getting more Christian as time goes on. In others, more secular. The answer to that is to live our lives in service and ministry - in our jobs, in our families, etc. The secularist will see and proclaim God's glory - "look at how they love one another..."

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

EWMI's picture

Both Australia and America are said to be Christian nations. I can't help but wonder why each of their capitol cities are laced with masonic or kabbalistic symbols, not Christian ones. We see obelisks not crosses and pentagons not triquetras (recognised symbol of the Trinity) etc.

Perhaps a testament to the Deists in our past?

mazuur's picture

"Perhaps a testament to the Deists in our past?"

That is the biggest lie ever promoted by the humanist who are trying to strip our nation of its heritage. You seem to have fallen for it completely. You should go get some of the Founders actual writings and do some reading.

Just for clarification, I can't speak to Australia as I know nothing concerning their past.

Rich

-Rich

EWMI's picture

Rich, I havn't fallen for anything. I am just curious as to the nature of the symbols. What sparked my question is that I find it odd that Christians would erect an Egyptian style obelisk etc.

Ed's picture

Why not? Athanasius said that Christ has defeated all enemies. Isn't that scriptural (if you are indeed a preterist).

What fascinates me is how supposed Preterists fuss and fight about whether Xmas has pagan origins or not (of course it does), or if we should "worship the state," or all these various blah, blahs.

C'mon you Preterists. The bible says that when Christ comes, the Last enemy to be destroyed is DEATH. Did that happen? If it didn't then Christ has not come. If it did, then that was the LAST enemy. Why do you guys keep fighting enemies of God that don't exist?

What in the heck does it matter if we erect a building that looks like an Egyptian obelisk? Didn't God create shape? Didn't Christ redeem the world, and everything that is in it (Ps 24)? We are so superstitious that it is scary. AND WE ARE THE PRETERISTS.

Christ has defeated His enemies. Let's stop shadow boxing, and get on with life.

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

EWMI's picture

It's just a curiousity. I know full well that Freemasonry, like Islam and Leprechauns are powerless myths.

Ed's picture

Hmmm. Nate, I would ask you to take out your copy of the Constitution and look at the very bottom of the document. What you will find is an interesting statement, "In the Year of Our Lord." Funny thing for these men to say, don't you think?

Of the 13 original colonies, I believe that 10 of them had state churches. Pennsylvania was Quaker, Massachusetts was Puritan/Congregational, New York was Dutch Reformed, Maryland was Anglican, etc., etc. Virginia was one, along with Rhode Island, that practiced freedom of worship and non-establishment of a state church.

It is interesting that most of the founders were from Virginia, where the freedom to choose the church you would worship in was valued. Although you name Jefferson with the Constitutionalists, he was not there. He wrote the Declaration, to be sure, but he was in France at the time of the writing of the Constitution.

The agreement was that at the Federal level, there would be no establishment of one denomination over another. No test oaths, for that might offend folks like the Quakers, who weren't much for taking oaths. And so, our young Republic began, established on Western culture, whose roots were biblical - for they came from English common law.

When they built the new capital in the District of Columbia, they placed scripture on each building there. They placed the 10 Commandments over the hall of the Supreme Court, recognizing that God's word was supreme over all man-made laws. They established a chaplaincy for the Congress, and found money for the printing of bibles, purchase of lands for the building of churches, and established "days of worship" like Thanksgiving.

These were a religious people, a Christian people. Some were Quakers, some universalists, some Presbyterian, some Congregational, some Anglican, some Baptist, and some Methodist. But none were Islamic. None were Jewish. None were Hindu. None were Buddhists.

Yet today, you are correct, our land practices that freedom of religion. We accept other faiths on our shores. We don't attack synagogues or mosques (even after 9/11). We don't behead Buddhists. We recognize that the freedom that our founders established was meant for all faiths, even those who worshipped "false gods."

But to sit here and deny that the freedom that the founders established was meant for anyone but a Christian people is to exhibit an astonishing lack of thought on your part. There was nothing else here on our shores except Christianity and American Indian spirituality. And that was, at that time, being eradicated by the spreading of the good news of Jesus Christ by the gospel preachers that spread throughout the Western US territories (like California).

Those missionaries brought medicine and human rights to people, contrary to what some would claim. The Catholic missions of California was a haven for healing of the indigenous people. Hospitals and orphanages were established, just like in Europe, by monks, nuns, and priests. Schools were established for the teaching of the American Indian and the Christianization of a people.

Chief Bad Eagle (www.badeagle.com) was the first Comanche warrior to convert to Christianity, and he brought his entire tribe with him. And while some unscrupulous whites stabbed our Indian brothers in the back, it does not nullify that this continent was firmly established as a place where Christianity was to flourish.

Even in the plantations, many slaves were taught Christianity (which is still strong in the black community today) and educated by the northerners after the Civil War. Schools such as Paul Dunbar Academy were established to educate the free blacks. It's list of dignitaries included Thurgood Marshall and many other famous black heroes.

While this nation could have done things better at times, the truth is that biblical principles guided us. And though our journey twisted and turned before finding a path through "the straight and narrow gate" nevertheless we made it through that gate and outlawed slavery, segregation. We championed suffrage, emancipation, education, and economics. We have spread these victories throughout the world (unfortunately, we could have outlawed slavery as England did, without the shedding of one drop of blood, but radicals wanted war...).

Nate, you would do well to read Gary DeMar's Government series. DeMar has produced some of the most accurate and uplifting history books I've ever seen.

You can find them at www.americanvision.org

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

TheIdealNate's picture

Ed,
"In the Year of Our Lord." Funny thing for these men to say, don't you think?

Not really, they were all very religious. But the point is emphasised, they specifically avoided "Jehovah, Jesus, Christ," etc. for a very specific purpose, and instead used "Maker, Creator, and Lord." All of which can be apoplied to whomever one considered to fit that bill. If you have really looked into the debates over this, the reason is specific.
And the latter result was...Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I find it very interesting you point to the fact that many states had state churches. Which was precisely what made them realize that if even within the Christian religion they would not agree on a Federal church due to the dynamics of all the individuals, then many realized that that very dilemma plays over into other religions as well.

that the impious presumptions of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greater part of the world, and through all time

Read more carefully...
Although you name Jefferson with the Constitutionalists, he was not there. He wrote the Declaration, to be sure, but he was in France at the time of the writing of the Constitution.

Jefferson was a premier in the debate for states rights and the #1 anti-federalist, reguardless of his actual participation in the Constitution. He was an extreme influence against the likes of Madison, Jay, and Hamilton. He also debated Adams regularly on this very issue.
Which is beside the point, because I said "No one disputes that many of the Founding Fathers were Christians. Three of the most essential to our Declaration and Constitution being Ben Franklin, James Madison and John Adams!"
He was a founding father, don't you agree?

But to sit here and deny that the freedom that the founders established was meant for anyone but a Christian people is to exhibit an astonishing lack of thought on your part. There was nothing else here on our shores except Christianity and American Indian spirituality.

Or maybe you havn't read enough of the quotes by the actual founders to realize their forethought. You should re-read what I wrote. Better yet, read their own words in the many debates on this subject. You are pointing to what the Christian majority in office did under the laws. Of course! They were a Christian community and therefore exercised their bias' in government. However, the laws they created were not meant for Chrsitian domination, but pure freedom for all, which they thought was the foremost of Christina virtues.

Many founders brought up the arguments you point to as a reason NOT to allow so much freedom, Adams in particular. He was afraid of allowing an un-Christian majority to someday take power. But when writing the Constitution, they did not win that debate! Religious languages remaind generalized.

I agree with the natural progression of Christian values and Christian belief. God's kingdom is eternally increasing. I will not debate you that he used the means of establishing the "secular" nation of America to help spread His gospel truth. That does not condone all things done here, but I will always view the expansion of Christianity to have the sovreignty of God over it.

However, nations on earth can be nothing other than "secular" nations. God's kingdom is within, it is of the heart. No laws demanding adherance to scripture can stand for long. Tyranny has always, and will always, prevail when men try to do so.

God Bless
Nate

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

Ed's picture

Nate,
I'll tell you right now I did not read this entire post. I got half-way through and realized that you were attributing too much to me - bordering on false accusation.

Nowhere did I imply that this anyone intended to DOMINATE any other religion. What I clearly said was Christianity was the rule of the faith at that time in this nation. Of the two states that I can think of that did not have state churches, Virginia and Rhode Island, BOTH were founded and run by very Christian people.

This was a Christian nation. It focused on being a nation of servants, a nation of freedom. Freedom that you are trying to rip from its context is based on the liberty that is alone found in the Christian religion.

Not all religions are created equal - and I find it interesting that the Universalist on this site is defending that claim, while the Particularist here is arguing that all are.

Christianity stands alone as the ONLY source of freedom, service, and mercy. We, in our nation, have always attempted to provide for the fairness to the common individual. Even prior to the Civil War when blacks were enslaved, there were Christian people working to bring an end to slavery. Women's suffrage was championed by Christian women and men.

Every major hospital, human service organization, university, and charity has its roots in the Christian religion. This was a Christian nation, built upon that foundation of care for the downtrodden, the helpless, the weak.

Our Constitutional Republic ensured that the minority would not be bullied by the majority (as it is in a democracy). This is rooted in Christian principle.

Yes, we made errors. Yes, Jefferson didn't believe in a miracle working God. But Jefferson was from Virginia, just like Madison, Washington, and Jay.

Rush and Franklin were universalist Christians from Massachusetts and Pennsylvania respecively. These men believed in the goodness and mercy of God. And they believed that should be shown through the government. And it was.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

TheIdealNate's picture

Ed,
The idea that because Christianity is the only basis that can grant true freedom, is what I believe also. But to force a Muslim Congressman to swear on the Bible, or not allow Him to take office, goes against freedom!

There is no such thing as "Christian Laws." Only Christ can reveal Christian laws. Look at what Paul and Christ say about the letter.

2Corinthians 3:6 He has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit produces life.

This applies to anyone who thinks they can box Christianity up into a list of "moral laws" for a secular government. The same results will always occur.

Matthew 23:1 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples: 2 "The scribes and the Pharisees are seated in the chair of Moses. 3 Therefore do and observe whatever they tell you. But don't do what they do, because they don't do what they say. 4 They tie up heavy loads that are hard to carry and put them on people's shoulders, but they themselves aren't willing to lift a finger to move them. 5 They do everything to be observed by others: They enlarge their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. 6 They love the place of honor at banquets, the front seats in the synagogues, 7 greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called ' Rabbi' by people.

This is not the characteristic of Judasitic law, it is the characteristic of ANY legislation of mans dogmatic view of God's law. We will always get it wrong, that is exactly why God meant it to be written on the heart, not in the letter!

God Bless
Nate

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

Ed's picture

Nate,
Like I said, we are arguing past each other. I never said that the Muslim shouldn't be a Congressman, nor that he should swear on the bible. You can look at all the comments I made. I never once ever addressed that issue.

Your article was about whether this was a Christian nation or not. I claim that it is. It is ONLY a Christian nation that can secure freedom - to be right or wrong.

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

TheIdealNate's picture

Ed,
I am not trying to say "you said." I am unfortunately applying the logic of others who agree with you on these things, to your statements as well.

I apologize for any mischaracterization of your comments.

So I guess my response to you boils down to two things.
1. I do not believe it is possible under Christs covenant for a "Chrsitian nation" to exist.
2. I believe the founders, by the law they created and the comments form them in these debates, were Christians and yet founded a nation specifically general in religious nature. Their flowering of Chrsitan heritage makes sense, only in that they were a majority of Christians.

God Bless
Nate

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

vento's picture

Hey Buddy,

What do you make of this quote:

John Jay, America’s first Supreme Court Justice, wrote the following to Jedediah Morse on February 28, 1797: “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers. And it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”

Appears he thought it was a Christian Nation.

Talk to you soon.

Scott

TheIdealNate's picture

Hey Bro,
I do not doubt that there were many with the agenda for a "Christian Nation." That is why the issue of how to word the constitution and other issues like funding, official oaths, etc. were heatedly debated in the first American generation.

My point though is that the Thomas Jefferson's of the debate prevailed. The quotes I have above in this article are very minor compared to what is out there. But these men won.

Today we fight and declare thaqt we are a Christian Nation (because some founding fathers said so) yet the Constitution was plainly written under this mentality over any other: Because it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much to forget it. Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christianity, in exclusion of all other Sects? That the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute three pence only of his property for the support of any one establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?...

God Bless
Nate

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

Ed's picture

Jefferson's views did not win out. He did not participate in the writing of, nor the signing of the Constitution.

Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. In it, he spoke about Nature and Nature's God. The religious book that Jefferson utilized in his spiritual life was the bible, with all of Jesus' miracles cut out.

That says to me that when Jefferson wrote about Nature's God, he was refering to the God of the bible, but he viewed that God in very naturalistic way (thus, he was a deist).

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

mazuur's picture

Ed,

For a good perspective (and context) on this read this excellent article intitled:

"A Godless Constitution?: A Response to Kramnick and Moore"

http://www.wallbuilders.com/resources/search/detail.php?ResourceID=25

Good luck,
Rich

-Rich

Parker's picture

Good post, Ed. The reason the federal documents aren't very religious is because the States reserved for themselves the right to mandate state churches and religious laws. As you pointed out, most states had official churches and all manner of laws about religious duty and observation. The founders wanted this, and they wanted it handled at the State level.

I would argue, however, that this is where protestantism's lack of unity imploded upon the protestant colonies. The lack of unity among all these Christ-professing people was a scandal, and one they could not resolve at either a state or federal level. Had they all been on the same team, so to speak, we would have a very strong Christian majority today and a very weak secular population.

But because they couldn't agree on religion, the Protestants were forced to keep religion out of the federal powers (for obvious reasons). Over time, this was their undoing. As the federal government gained power and momentum, the country by necessity came to reflect the lack of religious prescription in the federal writ. In the meantime, the individual states, which were divided into religious sects, slowly lost their own sectarian heritages and trended towards secularism. This continuous weakening of the Christian traditions was due to the lack of unity. The good and pious early American protestants couldn't avoid the reality of Christ's warning: "a house divided against itself cannot stand."

Disunity among Christians has all but killed the West and its Christian heritage. The only way to reverse course is to find points of unity that can be established and maintained among Christian sects. I think the return to one ecumenical Catholic Church is yet a hundred or more years into the future, but a more immediate solution might be something like coalitions or even a Christian Unity Party. Something has to be done, or the West and its Christian heritage will be completely lost.

Perhaps if the East and West Catholics re-establish full unity, that will encourage protestants to resolve sectarian divisions. We can always hope.

Starlight's picture

Parker,

Interesting response

Parker said “I would argue, however, that this is where protestantism's lack of unity imploded upon the protestant colonies. The lack of unity among all these Christ-professing people was a scandal, and one they could not resolve at either a state or federal level. Had they all been on the same team, so to speak, we would have a very strong Christian majority today and a very weak secular population.”

I would of course contrast this analysis with the Catholics almost complete domain of the rest of the Americas south of the border. I would be interested in your take on how much more successful the Catholics have been down there in developing a strong people with biblical knowledge and passion for Christ. As we are sending missionaries to South America we find high incidences of European secularism and large vestiges of Indian paganism corrupting the Church if you really want to classify it as the church. It’s a ripe continent for Protestants to finally interject their gifts after 500 years of Catholic domination.

Also the Chinese are at the official level currently pursuing independent American modeled church methods to be introduced into their country. They are rejecting the Catholic model as the means for their people to embrace Christianity recognizing its inherent disadvantages for their cultural desires.

Norm

Parker's picture

Norm:
I would of course contrast this analysis with the Catholics almost complete domain of the rest of the Americas south of the border. I would be interested in your take on how much more successful the Catholics have been down there in developing a strong people with biblical knowledge and passion for Christ.

Parker:
The world owes a debt of gratitude to Hernan Cortez, Columbus and the early Catholic explorers. In South America, the indian peoples were sacrificing hundreds of thousands of people to their gods in bloody rites. Over time, the Catholics were able to establish Christianity among tribal peoples in S. America and bring that horror to an end. However, tribal religions continued to exist (as you pointed out), and there have been a few areas of unfortunate syncretism--none of which is acceptable Catholic practice. But that happens when you introduce Christianity to tribal peoples, and protestant missionaries encounter the same problems. It takes time to change a people's entire culture founded on their ancestral religions, and there are varying degrees of success.

But again, Christianity is losing steam in the West due to the Reformation and its ceaseless fragmentation. The disunity among protestant Christians creates great weakness in the face of secularism and Islam. This is the story of America. The early protestant colonists were forced to keep religion out of the federal writ because they could not agree on religion, due to their sectarianism. The Quakers, Dutch Reformed, Puritans, Anglicans, etc. couldn't agree with each other's religion and often accused each other of teaching a "false gospel." So their religious heritages were entirely divided, and this ultimately imploded upon itself, in accordance with Christ's teaching "a house divided against itself cannot stand."

Again, there was little religious prescription at the federal level because the colonists did not want one sect's views to have power over the others--and this led to a federal writ was very secular. Over time, as power shifted to the federal government, America was left governed by a non-religious federal code. Meanwhile, inter-state bickering among the protestant colonists led them to abandon their State religions over time--being replaced, of course, by secular ideas, as nature abhors a vacuum. This is how disunity eats itself. This is how Christian disunity has eaten up the West as a whole.

Norm:
It’s a ripe continent for Protestants to finally interject their gifts after 500 years of Catholic domination.

Parker:
See, if protestants would work together with each other, and with Catholics, it'd be a whole different ballgame. We'd have little secularism, and Islam wouldn't stand a chance. The only way Christianity can overcome secularism and Islam is through unity. There are 1.2 billion Catholics and nearly as many protestants (if you add up all the thousands of sects as one grouping). That's a major force, if it has unity. But divided, we are very weak, and the force of that 2+ billion becomes powerless. As a result, we are watching our common heritage erode to dangerous levels.

The only hope is for Christians to seek unity groups, be it a Christian Unity party or some other coalitions. This should be the near-term goal for Christians all over the West. Such unity will have to form around something like a Christian Unity Party, where preserving our common Christian heritage is the central idea, so that it will allow the sects to be united together by common causes.

I do believe it likely that most Christians will be Catholic again in the next hundred or so years, and here's why: once the Eastern and Western Catholics re-establish full unity, protestant sects will join in. The outside forces that threaten us all (secularism, Islam, etc) will cause us to unite for the purpose of our very survival.

Starlight's picture

Parker,

It would be instructive to possibly look at how the Catholic Church and Protestants united to fight the fascist movements during WWII. You would have thought that would have brought the groups together but if I remember correctly the Catholic organization became hostages of Hitler and Mussolini during that span. It kind of weakened their response I would suppose and left them in limbo so to speak. It’s going to be hard to project a unity scenario due to ever-changing dynamics of this world. The Lord is sovereign and I trust in Him. I also don’t feel as at a loss for this mirage of unity that you seem to yearn for. The Lord raises up his believers every where and the lord Jesus Christ is our Head of the body of believers and he works his sovereign ways despite mankind’s desire for man ordained institutions. We could debate the pros and cons of this issue until the cows come home and still not resolve it as there are human and spiritual concerns from all angles.

I also do not see the reason why after deriving possibly the most God fearing nation in history from the protestant movement that we would want to turn the oversight back over to a Johnny come lately religious organization. It appears to me the Catholics rode the coattails of our American Religious freedoms and were in effect bit players in our early development.

Norm

Parker's picture

Norm:
if I remember correctly the Catholic organization became hostages of Hitler and Mussolini during that span. It kind of weakened their response

Parker:
Pius XII did much to oppose Germany (see: The Myth of Hitler's Pope, by Rabbi David G. Dalin), and John Paul II was instrumental in the downfall of communism (see: His Holiness, by Carl Bernstein and Marco Politi). The Catholic Church continues to lead the global fight aganst communism, gay marriage, abortion, and secularism.

Norm:
I also don’t feel as at a loss for this mirage of unity that you seem to yearn for.

Parker:
Unity is not a "mirage": It is the essential characteristic of all successful organizations and groups that have ever existed. Furthermore, the Church was united as one from the time of Jesus Christ until the Reformation. It is no accident that Christianity's greatest Christianization of the West took place during those years, and it is no accident that the weakening of the West's christian heritage coincides with the past 500 years of protestant fragmentation. "A housed divided against itself cannot stand," said our Lord.

Norm:
I also do not see the reason why after deriving possibly the most God fearing nation in history from the protestant movement that we would want to turn the oversight back over to a Johnny come lately religious organization.

Parker:
To what Johnny-come-lately organization do you refer? The Catholic Church, which evangelized Europe long before there was such thing as a protestant? The Catholic Church, which sent Christopher Columbus and the other Catholic explorers long before the first pilgrims set sail? The Catholic Church, which was founded by apostles and continues to this day in unbroken succession as one denomination made up of a billion people? The Catholic Church is the largest "denomination" in the U.S.

Norm:
It appears to me the Catholics rode the coattails of our American Religious freedoms and were in effect bit players in our early development.

Parker:
The Catholics were the first to the Americas, and their settlements and populations spread from Canada to the tip of South America. The eastern colonies, were heavily protestant, for sure, but the Americas is a bigger place than just the eastern colonies.

But let's look at what part the Catholics have played recently, too. The entire conservative movement was started by William F. Buckley, Jr, a Catholic. Furthermore, Catholics are making a massive impact in the culture war in America today: (Justices Scalea/Roberts/Thomas/Alito; Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham; Phillys Schlafly, Bill O' Reilly, Bill Bennet, Peggy Noonan, Brent Bozell; Pat Buchanan, etc. etc.). I would argue that Catholics are even leading the fight against secularism (though the fight will only be won by a coalition of Catholics and protestants).

Starlight's picture

Parker,
Good points and well deserved adulation for those good things Catholics are to be noted for. I do consider you as a brother in Christ and yes we can forge together in some arenas.
The Johnny come lately was in reference to the United States religious developments. As I have stated earlier I will give you all the past credit for north and south of the border. And the men and women you listed are indeed to be worthy of praise in many regards although a couple of them are not always according to my cup of tea but that’s to be expected in diverse groups of any mention.
I still maintain that you overstate the “House Divided” judgment as it appears that you may be in fact denigrating the Body of Believers in over simplistic jargon.
Thanks again for the conversation.
Blessing

Parker's picture

Norm:
I still maintain that you overstate the “House Divided” judgment as it appears that you may be in fact denigrating the Body of Believers in over simplistic jargon.

Parker:
But Norm, I am stating the fact of how protestant disunity caused the weakening of the cause of Christ and the growth of secularism. It is a fact that the protestant sects established different states and considered one another's religion as heretical in nature. That is why they created a federal government that was secular while the states themselves had official, state-run, sectarian churches (Puritan, Dutch Reformed, Anglican, Quaker, etc.). And when we look at the laws of those states, we see just how religious those states once were. But over time, the disunity of the sects weakened the ability to maintain their laws, and they were eventually forced to trend towards a common secular position. Had there been unity among the American protestants, there would be no secularization here today, which has largely come through the secularized federal government, especially the judicial branch.

chef's picture

Hi Parker, I can agree that there is an unbroken chain dating back to the days of the apostles and that the Church Universal is still here today, unbroken and unified in Christ.

I am no historian per se, but I do pick up on things in our religious cyber space circles. Now concerning divisiveness, as I understand it, was not the Roman Catholic Church’s (a sect within the Church Universal) hand in the division from the Eastern Church (eastern orthodox. It seems to me that both groups were inflexible on some issue, as the Protestants are also inflexible with the tenets of Roman Catholicism.

Best regards,
Chef Tony

Chef Tony

Parker's picture

Hi Chef Tony. It is an historic reality that no modern protestant denomination exists prior to the 1500s. The only "unbroken chain dating back to the days of the apostles" is the Catholic Church.

You asked: "was not the Roman Catholic Church’s (a sect within the Church Universal) hand in the division from the Eastern Church"

First, the RCC isn't a sect--it is the Church of Rome established by the apostles. And, up until the Reformation, there was only one "denomination" -- Catholic. The eastern Catholics had some disputes with the Western Catholics, but the major division came at the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453. After this, the Muslims controled the whole Eastern Orthodox region until the 1900s. But since the 1900s, the Eastern Catholics and Western Catholics have been working their way back to full communion. Just this past week Benedict XVI met with the head of the Orthodox to discuss full reunion.

My hope is that protestants and catholics will find ways to unite around common causes, such as fighting abortion and preserving our common Christian heritage. Many groups could work together on something like that, even while maintaining their unique faith traditions and communities.

mazuur's picture

Parker,

Give me a break. If I have a stick and I break it in half, what gives one piece the right to say it is the original and the other is not? The fact that the Protestant Church broke off is the Catholic Church splitting. To say it is unbroken is a flat out lie. The very existence of the Protestant Church proves the Church did in fact split. Just because you cling to all the false teachings that had infected the Church then does mean you are the original.

I would say it is the Protestant half that is the original Church (of course I am not really claiming that as I understand all those who know Christ are his whether Catholic or Protestant). We left you behind to woller in your false doctrines, just as the early Church left the Jews behind who wanted to cling to the Law. God's truths will march on with or without you.

"...up until the Reformation, there was only one "denomination" -- Catholic...but the major division came...the Eastern Catholics and Western Catholics have been working their way back to full communion."

This parts gets me. In one breath you say up until the reformation there was no division and in another you demonstrate that prior to the reformation their was and is, the west and the east. The fact that they are "working their way back to full communion" is your admission that your have two denominations in your Church.

"My hope is that protestants and catholics will find ways to unite around common causes...and preserving our common Christian heritage...while maintaining their unique faith traditions and communities."

This gets me too. "common Christian heritage"??? I thought us Protestants were out of the "Church", thus not part of the "body of Christ" (thus lost)? Of course if you say that we are still part of the "body of Christ", then you demonstrate that we are part of the "Church". And in that case you are stating that there are now three "denominations" in the Church, 1) eastern Catholics, 2) western Catholics and 3) Protestants, which in turn debunks your "we are the true Church" mentality. Seems you are going to have to make up your mind.

Rich

-Rich

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