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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-22-2013, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Christianity andd America

Christianity and America


On another thread there was a discussion about Christianity and the American founding fathers. I wanted to add some facts to that discussion. Reprinted below is the beginning of that discussion



Quote:
Originally Posted by over20 :

Why do so many Americans not know that the founding father's were Christians??????



Reply by Coffee Amor
Because they all weren't. Take for example Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and a founding father, he was more a Deist than Christian. He left behind many writings that show while he believed in a god, he didn't believe in the Christian God. He didn't believe in the Trinity either or the birth of Jesus by a virgin. You can read his writings if you don't believe me.


They were not ALL Christians but there were a significant amount of founding fathers that were Christian. Below is a list of a few:

John Han****k
1st Signer of the Declaration of Independence

"Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual. ... Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us."
--History of the United States of America, Vol. II, p. 229.


Benjamin Franklin
Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Unites States Constitution

"Here is my Creed. I believe in one God, the Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His Providence. That He ought to be worshipped.
"That the most acceptable service we render to him is in doing good to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental points in all sound religion, and I regard them as you do in whatever sect I meet with them.

"As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and his religion, as he left them to us, is the best the world ever saw, or is likely to see;
--Benjamin Franklin wrote this in a letter to Ezra Stiles, President of Yale University on March 9, 1790.




Samuel Adams
Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Father of the American Revolution

"And as it is our duty to extend our wishes to the happiness of the great family of man, I conceive that we cannot better express ourselves than by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world that the rod of tyrants may be broken to pieces, and the oppressed made free again; that wars may cease in all the earth, and that the confusions that are and have been among nations may be overruled by promoting and speedily bringing on that holy and happy period when the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ may be everywhere established, and all people everywhere willingly bow to the sceptre of Him who is Prince of Peace."
--As Governor of Massachusetts, Proclamation of a Day of Fast, March 20, 1797.

John Quincy Adams
6th U.S. President
"
The hope of a Christian is inseparable from his faith. Whoever believes in the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures must hope that the religion of Jesus shall prevail throughout the earth. Never since the foundation of the world have the prospects of mankind been more encouraging to that hope than they appear to be at the present time. And may the associated distribution of the Bible proceed and prosper till the Lord shall have made 'bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God' (Isaiah 52:10)."
--Life of John Quincy Adams, p. 248.


William Penn
Founder of Pennsylvania

"I do declare to the whole world that we believe the Scriptures to contain a declaration of the mind and will of God in and to those ages in which they were written; being given forth by the Holy Ghost moving in the hearts of holy men of God; that they ought also to be read, believed, and fulfilled in our day; being used for reproof and instruction, that the man of God may be perfect. They are a declaration and testimony of heavenly things themselves, and, as such, we carry a high respect for them. We accept them as the words of God Himself."
--Treatise of the Religion of the Quakers, p. 355.


Roger Sherman
Signer of the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution

"I believe that there is one only living and true God, existing in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the same in substance equal in power and glory. That the scriptures of the old and new testaments are a revelation from God, and a complete rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him. --The Life of Roger Sherman, pp. 272-273.



Benjamin Rush
Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Ratifier of the U.S. Constitution

"The gospel of Jesus Christ prescribes the wisest rules for just conduct in every situation of life. Happy they who are enabled to obey them in all situations!"
--The Autobiography of Benjamin Rush, pp. 165-166.
"Christianity is the only true and perfect religion, and that in proportion as mankind adopts its principles and obeys its precepts, they will be wise and happy."
--Essays, Literary, Moral, and Philosophical, published in 1798.
"I know there is an objection among many people to teaching children doctrines of any kind, because they are liable to be controverted. But let us not be wiser than our Maker.
"If moral precepts alone could have reformed mankind, the mission of the Son of God into all the world would have been unnecessary. The perfect morality of the gospel rests upon the doctrine which, though often controverted has never been refuted: I mean the vicarious life and death of the Son of God."
--Essays, Literary, Moral, and Philosophical, published in 1798.
.


Alexander Hamilton
Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Ratifier of the U.S. Constitution

"I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man." --Famous American Statesmen, p. 126.


Patrick Henry
Ratifier of the U.S. Constitution

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here."
--The Trumpet Voice of Freedom: Patrick Henry of Virginia, p. iii.
"The Bible ... is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed."
--Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry, p. 402.


John Jay
1st Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and President of the American Bible Society

"By conveying the Bible to people thus circumstanced, we certainly do them a most interesting kindness. We thereby enable them to learn that man was originally created and placed in a state of happiness, but, becoming disobedient, was subjected to the degradation and evils which he and his posterity have since experienced.
"The Bible will also inform them that our gracious Creator has provided for us a Redeemer, in whom all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; that this Redeemer has made atonement "for the sins of the whole world," and thereby reconciling the Divine justice with the Divine mercy has opened a way for our redemption and salvation; and that these inestimable benefits are of the free gift and grace of God, not of our deserving, nor in our power to deserve."
--In God We Trust—The Religious Beliefs and Ideas of the American Founding Fathers, p. 379.
"In forming and settling my belief relative to the doctrines of Christianity, I adopted no articles from creeds but such only as, on careful examination, I found to be confirmed by the Bible."
--American Statesman Series, p. 360.



It appears to me that a least two mistakes are stated when talking about America and Christianity. One is that ALL the founding fathers were Christian and the other is that Christianity is not the main religion of early America and was and is a significant influence in America.

I am pleased that many of our founding fathers were Christian but frankly I do not put my trust in Christ because of any founding fathers of any country.

On the subject of a civil government there is no doubt that America has been heavily influenced by the Christian scriptures. Even though America’s main religion is Christianity, Christianity does not need America or any other nation to try and sell its legitimacy. Christ makes Christianity legitimate.


Christianity not only survived but prospered during the great Roman dynasty that persecuted Christianity for many years. The great Roman dynasty was more powerful in the world than America but they could not stop the influence that was brought out of Bethlehem; a child from peasant parents. Later the powers tried to stop this child from peasant parents and his mostly uneducated fishermen but failed. In fact that Christian religion later became the official Roman religion under Roman Emperor Constantine.



Christianity does not need any world government; Christianity is great because of Christ coming to earth!


Christianity has been and is today a powerful influence in government, families, and marriage relationships

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-22-2013, 06:48 PM
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Re: Christianity andd America

Great point!! I am sorry if my post from the other thread was confusing. I was trying to make the point that when this country was established, it was based on Holy Scripture. Some of our early leaders were Christians and some were not.

Yes, Christianity does not need any world government because God's kingdom is greater than the rulers on this earth.

Thank you Mr. Blunt for being very Blunt....it takes a lot of courage

Christmas Blessings!!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-22-2013, 08:44 PM
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Re: Christianity andd America

I Have only read some on 2 of those mentioned on your list... Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson....and please don't dislike me for my thoughts here.. most of my/our friends are Christians... yet I am a Deist... Can any of us know for sure..all we have is the traces of written books, personal written letters....to unravel the truth of what those men indeed believed.

I have a book entitled "2000 Years of Disbelief - Famous people with the courage to Doubt" ...

that makes the case for Ben Franklin, John Quincy Adams, Thomas Paine (the most influential Deist at the time) and Thomas Jefferson..as men of doubt with many quotes, taken from what was spoken in books, personal letters... with facts of their lives, churches they belonged to, etc...Unitarians they befriended... This is only 3 of the men on your list.. I checked for the rest, but only in passing a name was given for 2 others, but not a case for disbelief....so Christians they likely WERE.

There is an ongoing debate whether the majority of our Founding Fathers were indeed Christians or Deists.... (roughly equivalent to Unitarians)... who doubted Christ was a GOD, yet praised his message of compassion. They spoke of as the power behind nature, as discerned by science.

I believe it was a mixture for sure.. but their goal, passion for this New Land of Liberty superseded allowing their differences to be tear their goal to the ground.... I do believe they all had a firm belief in "the Golden Rule" and I've always felt this came off as an inspired document ... no matter our differing beliefs in doctrine or questionings.....



Just some facts....

When Jefferson entered Virgina's house of Delegates in 1776, state laws still decreed death for heresy & 3 yrs in prison for doubting the Trinity...along with Madi*son, George Mason & others Jefferson succeeded in halting tax support of the Anglican church and passing a statute of religious freedom, eliminating punishments for disapproved beliefs.. this led to Separation of Church & State...ending government enforcement of Religion..

If all of the founding Fathers believed whole heartily in Jesus being the son of God & the Trinity, would they have been inspired to separate Church & State? The age of Enlightenment was upon these circles, Jefferson was greatly influenced by Thomas Paine and it was Franklin who advised him to emigrate to America...

Quote:
Benjamin Franklin

"As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and his religion, as he left them to us, is the best the world ever saw, or is likely to see;
--Benjamin Franklin wrote this in a letter to Ezra Stiles, President of Yale University on March 9, 1790.
..The ending was cut off...

Read the full statement..you can google this on many sites...

Quote:
'Here is my Creed: I believe in one God, Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by his Providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable Service we can render to him, is doing Good to his other Children…. I think the System of Morals [devised by Jesus] and his Religion as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw, or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting Changes, and I have with most of the present Dissenters in England, some Doubts as to his Divinity."

Letter from Benjamin Franklin to Ezra Stiles
Popular history avoids mentioning that Jefferson , the chief creator of American Democracy , was a skeptic who wrote many attacks on the clergy...he has been called a "howling atheist" , a "Hardened infidel" , even an "enemy of religion"...

He was born in the Anglican Church & remained a life long member but he rejected the church's supernatural claims....such as the belief that Jesus was divine ...yet still felt he was a the human advocate of compassion & forgiveness .... the finest such in history.

He compiled what he termed "The Jefferson Bible"....purposely taking out the supernatural...

Quote:
The Jefferson Bible, or The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth as it is formally titled, was a book constructed by Thomas Jefferson in the latter years of his life by cutting and pasting (literally with a razor and glue) numerous sections from the New Testament as extractions of the doctrine of Jesus.

Jefferson's condensed composition is especially notable for its exclusion of all miracles by Jesus and most mentions of the supernatural, including sections of the four gospels which contain the Resurrection and most other miracles, and passages indicating Jesus was divine.

Jefferson Bible - Wikipedia
Then there is talk about the dozens of private letters Jefferson wrote to friends about his disbelief. He said in his full length book "Notes on the State of Virginia"...that christian conflicts have killed millions and that it did no harm for a person to say there are 20 Gods or no God".

Here is a link to a Christian website that lays all of this out, what he learned about Jefferson ..he then had to call him an Unbeliever.

Thomas Jefferson—Unbeliever
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-22-2013, 09:02 PM
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Re: Christianity andd America

The entire structure of our government rested on the understanding that rights were given to individuals directly from their Creator; that they loan a small portion of their Divine authority to representatives in order to construct government to serve their collective interests.
This structure would have been complete nonsense to a bunch of atheists. Without a Creator, there would be no source of rights other than those that leaders decided to extend or withdraw, for purposes of their own choosing. Extricate the Creator from our political structure and one removes the only legitimate source of irrevocable rights. Whether one privately believes in a Creator or not, we need to make and follow public policy as if we do.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-23-2013, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Christianity andd America

Quote:
Quote of Simply Amorous
I Have only read some on 2 of those mentioned on your list... Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson....and please don't dislike me for my thoughts here.. most of my/our friends are Christians... yet I am a Deist... Can any of us know for sure..all we have is the traces of written books, personal written letters....to unravel the truth of what those men indeed believed.

I have a book entitled "2000 Years of Disbelief - Famous people with the courage to Doubt" ...
Ahh my buddy Simply Amorours!!!

We have some discussions about Christianity last year that involved a lot of private messages. I did not dislike you then and I do not dislike you now!

There is no doubt that some of the early founding fathers were not Christian but there were several that were. I think that you and I agree on that. I am not going to get into a contest about how many of the funding fathers were and were not Christians. There is plenty of evidence that America has significant Christian influences but as I said earlier.

Quote:
Christianity does not need America or any other nation to try and sell its legitimacy. Christ makes Christianity legitimate.


The purpose of my thread was to add some facts to the discussion. I am not trying nor do I care to convert anyone to Christianity with this thread just giving some balance to the discussion.

I learned a long time ago to not base my faith on what other Christians or non-Christians do; that is way too risky!
That is why I said
Quote:
I am pleased that many of our founding fathers were Christian but frankly I do not put my trust in Christ because of any founding fathers of any country
.

I do enjoy discussing Christianity and history but I find that when you try and discuss Christianity and politics it is usually very difficult. One reason is that politics and Christianity are from different kingdoms and they have several significant differences. Thomas Jefferson had some very good ideas about a secular government as did the other founding fathers.

SA, we have had some good discussions last year didn’t we! I also notice that you are quite familiar with the Christian Bible.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-23-2013, 01:45 AM
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Re: Christianity andd America

There are religions all over the world. The essential story line is the same everywhere. A clever man or clever group of people devised moral teachings, explanations for why we suffered and died. Generally, major religions regulate behavior that leads to conflict. Excessive sexual behavior, a major source of discord is covered by Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, etc.

None of these religions urge people to fornicate, murder, steal, etc. All religions urger tolerance and forgiveness, except when they instruct us to visit the death penalty on sinners and unbelievers.

Miracles and the super natural were enlisted to bolster strength of faith. For Christianity that has been a real problem. Some people do not believe in immaculate connception. Greek mythology states that Zeus came to a mortal woman (Europa) in the form of a Bull so that he could seduce her. You may not choose to believe this story while believing that Christ walked on water or turned water into wine.

Today people do perform miracles. Mobile telephones allowing long distance calls between Kentucky and Kurdistan. Amazing. A wealthy couple in America can undergo fertility treatment and have their fertilized egg transferred to the womb of an Indian surrogate birth mother who carries the child for 9 months. Amazing.

And on Sundays people go to church to meet other people. Do they all believe in God? Do they literally believe the Bible? Some do perhaps. Others less so.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-24-2013, 01:38 AM
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Re: Christianity andd America

Well, SA, I think you have convinced dd18 and me to become Deists. Thank you!
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