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April 10, 2006 issue - America's first fight was over faith. As the Founding Fathers gathered for the inaugural session of the Continental Congress on Tuesday, September 6, 1774, at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia, Thomas Cushing, a lawyer from Boston, moved that the delegates begin with a prayer. Both John Jay of New York and John Rutledge, a rich lawyer-planter from South Carolina, objected. Their reasoning, John Adams wrote his wife, Abigail, was that "because we were so divided in religious sentiments"â€”the Congress included Episcopalians, Congregationalists, Presbyterians, and othersâ€”"we could not join in the same act of worship." The objection had the power to set a secular tone in public life at the outset of the American political experience.
Things could have gone either way. Samuel Adams of Boston spoke up. "Mr. S. Adams arose and said he was no bigot, and could hear a prayer from a...
Neil, We must often compromise to survive. Any authority must have absolute and objective standards while at the same time allowing these to be transgressed enough to keep the ball rolling and enforcing them enough to keep the organism healthy. We do this as Christian parents everyday. However, any Christian in authority who radically changes the standards set by our Lord (as many of us have done on this subject) or considers them to be irrelevant (a manifestation of a form of godliness without power) risks being a traitor to Jesus. Even if Christians in authority during the Founding had to form an alliance, they did not have to reject the biblical role of Church and State and embrace a novel teaching which had no history in the orthodox churches, only heretical sects such as Anabaptists and Quakers. There have been many Christians throughout the last 250 years who spoke against and confessed a solid and orthodox view, and we today simply do not have the option of rejecting that view without serious consequences. Even though there is diversity within the orthodox camp, accepting an unorthodox view is going too far. The Truth is for the health and wellbeing of the Church and the State and the temporal and eternal welfare of individuals, whether believers or unbelievers.
Craig, I have no problem with pointing out inconsistencies/objections with historical events, persons, and confessions (I'm aware of the Americanizations of the WCF); I just think it would be more productive to be specific here (as your last post was). I don't like the Deistic/Unitarian/Rationalist streak among the Founders any more than you do. But they DID have some deference to the politics implied by the Reformed confessions & writings of the preceding century.
Many colonies had established but different churches. In this case, should they have just given up, going their separate ways, instead of seeking an "ecumenical" federal solution by papering over faith differences and downplaying it in the Constitution? There would have been obvious problems with the survival of such a solution (imperial Europe might have gobbled them up). This is a sincere question, sorry for my sarcasm before.
Neil, It is one thing to accept the flow of history in God's providence when it flows against the Church, as has been the case for awhile, but it is another thing altogether to conform our confession to this turn for the worse. The American Presbyterians and all Christians should have then and now resisted the change of the Confession of Faith and the generally historical Christian doctrine of the relationship of Church and State (the original Confession probably being the clearest expression in extrabiblical literature) to an opposite doctrine advocating this false teaching. If we cannot conform a stubborn world to God's law it does not give us the right to mutate our doctrine into their way of thinking. I'm sorry if this is offensive.
Craig, I see mostly scolding from the "John Knox Only" camp on the subject of American history ("repent of thy wicked Independency"). And sweeping generalizations about "American theological heresy" are useless. If only you're trying to disabuse us of the idea that the Founders weren't perfect, don't bother, we weren't born yesterday.
So what should the Presbys then have done? Walked out & founded their own state so they could scold the other colonies from there?
Beloved in Christ:I have prayerfully decided to take a "respite" from the forum.As a believer who has always respected Puritan theology, I have seen myself portrayed in the writings of those learned men who warned that man is so sinful, & prideful that even when he serves God he is likely to do so with the intention of gaining vainglory (they LOVED that word).I am taking too much pleasure in my comments & responses for me to not question my motives.I have recently been impressed with the words of Christ:"Judge not lest ye be judged, for with the same judgement ye judge others, it shall be meted out to you". To both the regenerate & the reprobate, I encourage you with the admonishment of Jonah 2:9,"SALVATION IS OF THE LORD". It is not in the local church, the denominiation, the traditions, the confessions, the minister, Augustine, Acquinas, Luther, Calvin, Ryrie, Sproul, Scholfield or Pink and it certainly is not in Mary, or "saints". SALVATION IS OF THE LORD. The Angel of Death went through Egypt land with one criteria. "Who is under the blood of the lamb?" At the last moment of your life, the same criteria will be used.Are you under the Blood of The Lamb of God? Anything else will damn you forever. Sola Dei Gloria.Amen.
Mike from New York: "Don't you want to be Illuminati(ed), Cheryl?"
No, but I'd like to illuminate THEM. They are fixing to kill us all because they think the earth is theirs and we are obstructing their view.
Since they started chemtrailing here we have had NO RAIN. This is a record for March. The barium salts make the water droplets so tiny they turn to aerosol and can't form droplets big enough to fall to the ground. So no rain.
Plus who wants to breathe in barium and aluminum particles? Plus other things I'm told which I won't mention.
Most days no sun. Thick ugly black clouds or kind of a sickish whitish overcast. But no rain.
The planes are silent, unmarked, with red tails and spew jets mounted under the wings. The trails spread and melt into each other and form a total overcast.
Newsweek is an Illuminati publication. I was reading a recent issue in the muffler shop a few days ago - a big puff piece on Cheney.
Of course the Illuminati wants people to think once savead always saved, so the Christians will sit back and let them chemtrail away and do all their other unspeakable deeds as they work feverishly to bring in the New World Order.
Who watches TV or reads Newsweek nowadays? Not me, that's for sure. I got enough to think about without reading stupid Illuminati propaganda.
V. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, ***He frees him from his natural bondage under sin; and, by His grace alone, enables him *freely to will* and to do that which is spiritually good;*** yet so, as that by reason of his remaining corruption, he does not perfectly, or only, will that which is good, but does also will that which is evil.
V. The will of man is made ***perfectly and immutably free*** to do good alone in the state of glory only.
Let the Arminians please repent at Newsweek from their errors and confusion they are spreading.
"â€˜We Shall Overcome:â€™ Kingâ€™s movement was fueled by faith AP â€˜We Shall Overcome:â€™ Kingâ€™s movement was fueled by faith The Founding Fathers and presidents down the ages have believed in a God who brought forth the heavens and the earth, and ***who gave humankind the liberty to believe in Him or not,*** to love Him or not, to obey Him or not. ***God had created man with free will,*** for love coerced is no love at all, only submission. That is why the religious should be on the front lines of defending freedom of religion."
That is not true. Man was created with a dead will, not free, since the fall.
It only becomes a free-will to do good after salvation ordained by God. Before this it is totally dead in trespass and sins.
Unfortunately, another Arminian in error writing the article.
Neil, The Left hates, the Christian loves. In love, I believe the article is historically accurate and the religious system which evolved to facilitate the "experiment" as described in this piece is not Biblical. I'm sure you would agree. That being said, I would say shame is most appropriate when looking at the story seldom told, which is how the Federal Government by force of law constrained the states and local governments, who had a much more Biblical religion, to conform to their heresy. So, I am thankful for the godlier heritage of state and local governments and am ashamed of the forced Universalism of the Federal Government.
As part of the article said, "As it was in the beginning, so it has been since: an American acknowledgment of God in the public sphere, with men of good will struggling to be reverent yet tolerant and ecumenical."
Tolerant and ecumenical are not the same. We may forbear from violent reactions, but this doesn't mean we approve of ecumenical practices.
Pastors should avoid a public meetings, unless they speak the truth and that wouldn't be ecumenical.