The deliberations of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were held in strict secrecy. Consequently, anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall when the proceedings ended in order to learn what had been produced behind closed doors. The answer was provided immediately. A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.
There has been much debate about whether our Founding Fathers were Christians, Deists, Atheists, or something altogether different.
HERE ARE THE FACTS
At the Constitutional Convention in 1787 the delegates got so angry with one another and because they couldn’t resolve their conflicts or agree on anything, they picked up their hats and started to leave.
Suddenly, Benjamin Franklin spoke up, “This country was conceived in faith in God. Many of us here believe in prayer. Let us get upon our knees and pray to Almighty God and see whether God shall give to us the answer to or dilemma.”
They got on their knees and prayed and out of that prayer meeting came the immortal Constitution of the United States of America.
1Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man. 2 For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? 3 O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. 4 Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God. 5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.~ Psalm 43:1-5
The writer of this psalm was asking God to send His light and truth to guide him to the Temple, where he would meet Him. God’s truth provides the right path to follow, and God’s light provides the clear vision to follow it.
Our Founding Fathers new this to be true. That is why they came to America, to follow the light of God’s grace and mercy. They wanted to build a nation led by God and the teachings of His Son Jesus Christ.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. ~ Psalm 33:12
God chose Israel, the nation He blessed… until they rejected Him over and over until they repented… over and over. Just as America had been chosen by our Creator, we to, as a nation have rejected him………. However,
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. ~ 2 Chronicles 7:14
Now here’s the good part!
15 Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. 16 For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there forever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.~ 2 Chronicles 7:15-16
Throughout our history we have seen many blessings from our Lord shown by the growth of our nation. Sure, we have seen many curses as well, such as drought, earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters and catastrophes. But we survived them all. We survived by people helping people, we survived because God wanted us to survive.
In his farewell address President Ronald Reagan said, “We are the light shining on the hill, a light shining for all the world to see and take notice.”
He was referring to:
Matthew 5:14 ~Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Can you believe a President of the United States actually quoted the Bible???
What was he thinking???
We were leading the world in prosperity. We were a world military power. We were the envy of every nation because we had the moral high ground. We showed the world what it was to be Godly. We showed the world what it was to be good. And we showed the world that we were afraid of no one.
We were afraid of no one not only because of our military might, but because we were on the side of God. And if God is for us who can be against us.
People from around the world wanted to come here to America to be part of this once great nation. They wanted to live the “American dream.”
19 But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; 20 Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations. ~ 2 Chronicles 7:19-20
There has been a lot written in recent years to try to dismiss the fact that America was founded upon Judeo-Christian principles and ethics.
Anyone who examines the original writings of our Founding Fathers will find an abundance of quotations showing the profound extent to which Christianity influenced their thinking and lives.
George Washington said in his farewell address: “It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible. Of all the dispositions and habits that lead to political prosperity, our religion and morality are the indispensable supporters. Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that our national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
John Jay, our first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, was a strong Christian, serving both as vice-president and president of the American Bible Society, believed that when we select our national leaders, if we are to preserve our Nation, we must select Christians…….. He said;
“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian Nation, to select and prefer Christians for their leaders.”
Notice he said, “Christian Nation”! The first Justice of the Supreme Court said that!!
He also said: “It appears to me that the gospel not only recognizes the whole moral law, and extends and perfects our knowledge of it, but also enjoins on all mankind the observance of it.”
The basic laws of our nation are founded on biblical principles….
Thomas Jefferson wrote: “I am a Christian, that is to say a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our Creator and, I hope, to the pure doctrine of Jesus also.”
April 21, 1803 (Jefferson to Benjamin Rush). “To the corruptions of Christianity, I am indeed, opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence; and believing he never claimed any other.”
Henry S. Randall, who interviewed Jefferson’s family members for his three-volume Life of Thomas Jefferson, claimed that Jefferson “attended church with as much regularity as most of the members of the congregation – sometimes going alone on horseback, when his family remained at home.”
Samuel Adams was one of Boston’s most prominent revolutionary leaders. His role in the origins of the American War of Independence cannot be understated.
His unique perspective and his ability to galvanize popular support were pivotal in the success of the Boston Tea Party and was instrumental in convincing people to join the Sons of Liberty. They were the ones who were at the Boston Tea Part, Lexington, Concord…They were the beginning of the Revolution!
Samuel Adams said: “The rights of the colonists as Christians…may be best understood by reading and carefully studying the institutes of the Great Law Giver and Head of the Christian Church, which are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testament.”
Another quote from Samuel Adams: “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.”
Now is there any doubt that this great country was founded on Christian principles and Christian ethics?
Here are more quotes from our Founding Fathers:
George Washington ~ “While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”
–The Writings of Washington, pp. 342-343.
John Adams ~ 2nd U.S. President and Signer of the Declaration of Independence “Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God … What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be.”
–Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, Vol. III, p. 9.
“The general principles, on which the Fathers achieved independence, were the only Principles in which that beautiful Assembly of young Gentlemen could Unite, …. And what were these general Principles? I answer, the general Principles of Christianity…”–Adams wrote this on June 28, 1813, excerpt from a letter to Thomas Jefferson.
John Hancock ~ 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.
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.” —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~ Signed of the Declaration of Independence and Ratified 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. .
Alexander Hamilton ~ Signed of the Declaration of Independence and Ratified 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.” —Famous American Statesmen, p. 126
Patrick Henry ~ Ratified 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.
~End of Part One~
Part Two Preview:
We have been hearing from our political leaders that we are not a Christian nation. It seems we are heading that way. Our children can’t pray in school, displaying the Ten Commandments in a courthouse is being challenged and we can’t even have the Cross displayed on government land! Just recently I read that an atheist group wants to have all crosses removed from a Veteran’s Cemetery, because it is on government land. The list goes on and on.
Look at our nation now. We have never been so divided in recent history. Christians and Jews alike in this country are truly being persecuted as never before. Churches and synagogues are being burned. We are told to keep quiet about our faith because we might offend someone…well I’m offended by that!
~Coming Soon!! One Nation Under God: Our American Heritage Ministries~
Note: All Scripture passage are from the King James Version of the Bible.