We left off last week talking about Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptist Church. That letter has become so distorted and mis-used since the FDR Supreme Court ruled that “Freedom of Religion” and “Separation of Church and State” meant that no state-run agency of facility could promote the name of Jesus Christ under the guise that it infringed on the rights of other religions. What a farce! What a fraud! Let’s dig down deeper into this discussion today as we pick up where we left off last week. Understand that, as we do so, we are now discussing issues that became part of the foundational understanding that eventually formed our Constitution.
Guess I need to finish my story regarding my congressional campaign in 2003-2004. My story is really nothing but a microcosm of what has taken place nationally in our abandonment of responsibility for the nation, and accepting the instruction that Paul gave to Timothy when he wrote, I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (I Timothy 2:1-4)
Last week's sharing spent a bit more time than planned on William Penn. Meant to hold down the length a little more, but I really wanted to finish up in one day with William Penn and his establishing of the Pennsylvania Colony. Still, the history and details of Penn's faith, and the lengths to which he went to incorporate a firm understanding of God's governance in our society are nothing less than amazing!
As we get into today’s sharing, let me ask you this question. Are you beginning to see just how much the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ was incorporated into the foundations of the United States of America? Are you seeing the covenant commitment that our founding fathers had with the Lord, and why they were so driven to establish a nation in which Jesus Christ was Lord?
There is a lot of ground to cover today, so let’s get right to it. Humanism plays upon people's fears. It gets its governance in society by creating a multitude of "what if?" scenarios. People react to those scenarios in fear, and Humanism has accomplished its ends. Socialism steps into that reactive place and says, "I have the answer for you. Let me create a government program to solve it."
We wrapped up last week quoting from the apostle Paul where he instructs prayers and intercession on behalf of our leaders and representatives in government. Let’s pick up where we left off. We are taking a short break in our narrative on the founding documents for the colonies. Paul laid out very clearly what kind of government God purposes for a praying people. The verse I just quoted is a small portion of what Paul had to say on the topic.
It becomes pretty clear when you read some of the early founders’ documents that they had a VERY strong purpose in establishing this nation – as well as the early colonies – as a place where Jesus Christ is Lord! The way they expressed themselves back then would go over about like a lead balloon today, but when you realize that they were fed up with a state-sponsored religion, as was England, it isn’t hard to understand their vehemence. Last week, we quoted the first part of Maryland's Act Concerning Religion. There’s a lot more to go, so let’s take a look at it. An Act Concerning Religion (continued)
As you will see (and continue to see) in the following documents, the term, “religion” did not mean, Buddhist, Muslim, Confucianism, or any of a host of other non-Jesus Christ honoring beliefs. For our early settlers and founding fathers, “religion” simply meant differing denominations or sects, but all believing in the same fundamental tenets of Christianity. They could differ on doctrines, but NOT on the supremacy of the Lord Jesus Christ.
After our Christmas and New Year’s holiday break, let’s continue looking at the specific wording that our early settlers used in describing the covenants they made with each other in the establishing of this country. Two weeks ago, I said that we would take a look at the charter that John Winthrop wrote (actually, he wrote it jointly with roughly a dozen other men) for the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It would take up all of today's Coffee Break, and then some, if we were to quote the entire charter; but there is a paragraph in the charter germane to our ongoing discussion, and that's where I'd like to begin today.
It has been a constant source of amazement to me that Jesus has always been painted as poor and indigent -- never mind what the Word clearly states. Ever since the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D., error after error after error has crept into the body of Christ and promulgated with traditions that have no validity in the Word. The compromises that Constantine made with church leaders in order to bring the Roman Army into the church and declare them to be "Christian" have contaminated the truth ever since.