The driver of tomorrow is not thinking Green...

The driver of tomorrow is not thinking Green...
He's thinking Classic. (click on photo)


Blog Archive

Jun 10, 2009

Mr. Chadwell - Pt 5 (and final?)

One other aspect of this that needs some light…

It is a popular notion that many of the founding fathers were "deists" and not Christians. Benjamin Franklin is often slapped with the "Deist" label. But if you compare the belief of Deism against some things that Franklin actually said, it makes you wonder.

The term "deist" today is a term reserved for a person who believes in a deity, but a deity that created the universe and essentially walked away. A disinterested deity. A deity that does not interfere in history, that doesn't interact with humans, and is generally not concerned with anything that goes on down here. Given that understanding of "deism", consider very carefully these quotes from Benjamin Franklin and ask yourself whether what he says is consistent with that sort of belief:

"…how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly appealing to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible to danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard and they were graciously answered… And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance?"

Daily prayers? To whom? A god that doesn't care? A god that walked away? Divine protection? The god of deism won't protect anyone… he doesn't care, he walked away. Prayers heard and graciously answered? The god of deism doesn't answer prayers. Powerful friend whose assistance we need? What assistance does the god of deism offer us? None. Here's another.

"…I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth––that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probably that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that "except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel…"

Does the god of deism govern in the affairs of men? The god of deism notices if a sparrow falls to the ground? Does the god of deism raise up empires? Does the god of deism assure us of anything? Does he reveal himself in sacred writings?

Clearly, Benjamin Franklin was no deist… at least not as deism is described today. Be very skeptical of claims about the founders being "deists."

How did the Founders' religious beliefs break down?

The denominational affiliations of the 55 "Founding Fathers" were a matter of public record. Among the delegates were 28 Episcopalians, 8 Presbyterians, 7 Congregationalists, 2 Lutherans, 2 Dutch Reformed, 2 Methodists, 2 Roman Catholics, 1 unknown, and only 3 deists… this at a time when church membership entailed a sworn public confession of biblical faith.

This demonstrates that the members of the Constitutional Convention, the most influential group of men shaping the political foundations of our nation, were almost all Christians, 51 of 55--a full 93%. Indeed, 70% were Calvinists (the Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and the Dutch Reformed), considered by some to be the most extreme and dogmatic form of Christianity.

The conclusion here, of course, is that the vast majority of the founders were Bible-believing Christians, and even one that may have described himself as a "deist" (Franklin) wasn't a deist by today's vernacular and seems to indicate a firm faith in God of the Bible.

All important information to have when considering whether American is a Christian nation.

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