Paul's Passing Thoughts

Is America a Christian Nation? Dissecting the Worldview

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on January 22, 2016

blog-radio-logoOriginally aired January 31, 2015

Tonight we are discussing the question, “Is America a Christian nation?” Is America a Christian nation? The fact that the question is trending really should alarm us. The fact that the very question is trending is an open display of the average Christian’s errant view of history and really reality itself. Because of Protestant tradition, most Christians have a completely bogus worldview. Nevertheless, we will answer the question biblically tonight. We will present a truly biblical worldview. We’re not going to spend a lot of time on that. I’m going to present what I think is the biblical worldview at the end of the presentation reading from Romans Chapter [UNINTELLIGIBLE 0:03:35]. Really another way you could ask it is, “How should true Christians process reality itself?”

Well, where to start? First, let’s start with defining what a Christian is. Christian is one of those generic words that we kind of throw around, right? We are going to stop here and ask why that is. Why do we just kind of – are able to throw around these words like Christian, Gospel and so on and so forth? And we need to look at that because it speaks hugely to the point at hand here. How can we have this conversation without a definitive understanding of what the word Christian means? This question is discussed on radio and other venues, that is, the question of “Are we a Christian nation?” America, that is. The question is discussed on radio and other venues comfortably while crossing every line between everything and the kitchen sink that calls itself Christian, and nobody blinks. How can this happen? Well, here’s how. Because all stripes under the nomenclature of Christian define the word this way. You ready? Not secular. That’s the definition of Christianity, not secular.

So during the day when Christian soccer moms are running the home base and listening to this discussion on the radio via the Janet Mefferd Show or whatever, it can be Catholic, Jehovah Witness, Mormon, Unitarian or whatever. To all of them, the word Christian in this context means the same thing: not secular. Yes. While this subject is being discussed, all theological differences can be put away because all of these parties have one thing in common. They believe in God in one way or the other. For the time being, they are united against the greater evil, the secular, the big S, those who don’t believe in God. And as we know, the godless have been out to destroy the godly since the beginning of time, us against them. Yes, as we think, the primary nemesis of the Church has been all of those secular people who don’t believe in God. And on the other hand, you could also say their definition of secular are those who don’t believe in God. Usually, more times than not, it’s just equated with atheism. Secular equals atheism.

This so not human history. Do this. Find one account in human history where a secular government persecuted religion. Well, your answer is probably going to be, “Well, Marxism.” But even if that’s true, even if you could use Marxism as an example, Marxism is a parenthetical historical anomaly really. But let’s look at the notion. Marxism was/is an equal opportunity persecutor when it gets right down to it, that is merely intolerant of different views on how to achieve its utopia. I think it’s fair to say for the most part Marxism doesn’t care what you believe. It primarily believes whether or not you give them any trouble or stand in their way. Those who die under its tyranny usually do so as a result of its policies, not a targeted persecution. Its targeted persecution is usually against dissenters. Even if you find fault with my assessment, remember Marxism is primarily a 19th and 20th century phenomenon. And, by the way, secular governments in general are really a post-American Revolution phenomenon. Before that, church states were the norm, and by church, which is a very handy word with a 5th-century etymology, we mean organized religion. Organized church states were always the norm by and large before the American Revolution, and again, really, the whole secular government thing is kind of a post American Revolution phenomenon.

Okay. So here at TANC, which sponsors this radio show, we are big on defining words because words mean things. “Church” is defined as a religious institution with an authority structure. By and large, all international violence in human history is predicated by religious intolerance. This is a violence that will not even tolerate those who keep their mouths shut and look the other way. This is a violence that goes door to door demanding that you agree with them. This is an intolerance that one day announces that your race has been proclaimed anathema. Have a nice day. Please note the first step kind of sounds like this: Don’t you want a government ruled by godly principles? Of course, you do. Christian good, secular bad. Those who believe in God, good. Those who don’t believe in God, bad. Second step, once they get into power using that ploy, hark! Not all who claim God really believe in God. Then the secular boogeyman that never existed in the first place is now the pseudo-Christian. Let the slaughter begin. That’s history, period. This is the way it always happens.

So this is what we really are asking when we ask if America was founded on Christian principles. Was America founded on belief in God? Was belief in God principal in which the nation was supposed to function? After all, don’t we have money with “In God we trust” printed on it? We have defined what is really behind the trending conversation. I’m going to pause and give a short answer to the question, really longer than I thought it would be, and then develop the first notion. Really, I’m going to first develop more the second notion, that is, what’s behind the trend? I’m going to address the second notion first, actually. What is the true historic answer to the question? Then I’m going to conclude with what a true biblical worldview should be.

So I’ll come back and revisit the notion Christian good, secular bad. As we had a great fellowship last night with some people, the way it was framed in a discussion we had over dinner was everything in reality is either 100 percent good or 100 percent evil. And you know, really when it gets right down to it, if you read the Heidelberg Disputation, that’s fundamentally Protestant idealism, this whole idea that it’s either 100 percent pure or it’s 100 percent evil, and that is really Luther to the core. It really is. Which is why the Protestant reformers, Luther and Calvin, believed that even a Christian do no work or good work pleasing to God. We also discussed this with these wonderful Christian people that we’re friends with, this whole idea that Martin Luther’s mortal sin versus venial sin, which is to Luther, mortal sin was actually the belief that you could do something pleasing to God. And this plays in hugely to this. So again I’m going to now get into what really the answer is historically. Then we’ll revisit the whole a little bit. We’ll come back and kind of revisit the whole, you know, Christian good, secular evil motif, and then we’ll conclude with the actual biblical worldview.

Now what’s the true historic answer to the question? No, America was not founded on a Godward epistemology meant to dictate the function of government. The founders of the American Constitution were a mishmash of Christians and philosophers with varying beliefs about God and reality. Belief in God was not, I repeat, not, the least common denominator that drove their agenda. Belief in God was not the horse that pulled the wagon. The horse that pulled the wagon was the competence of man, the freedom of man, and the fact that these were self-evident. Let’s read from the opening statement of the Declaration of Independence. It reads as follows: “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Primarily, the Framers of the American Constitution were made up of two kinds of men: those who believed man is competent and free because God had made him that way, and men who believed mankind was competent and free because that fact is self-evident, whether there is a God or not. Notice the very wording of the Declaration of Independence. God made man free and endowed him with the right to pursue happiness. Competence, of course, is the center. Notice also that a “decent respect to the opinions of mankind” is required, and the government is for one purpose and one purpose only: to preserve the right of man to pursue life and happiness. America is a government by the people and for the people because of God’s order of things, not his dictates. The horse that pulled the wagon was man’s self-ownership, competence and endowed right to pursue happiness. The Declaration of Independence is not because God said so. It is because of what is self-evident and of “facts submitted to a candid world,” that also from the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence is first and foremost a man-centered document because of how the Framers perceived God’s order of things, i.e., God created mankind as competent beings who can self-govern. Chaos will not ensue but rather prosperity.

Let’s read further from the document. “In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

“Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity.” I think I pronounced that right. “We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

“We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States;” listen, “that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

Now notice that they declare a firm reliance on the protection of the Divine Providence. They call on God for his help, but if you back up through the statement–and this is more wording to kind of reiterate this–what is their authority ? What is the authority that the Framers of the Constitution are pointing to? Here it is: “Do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare.” The authority of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of the America was the authority of good people and free people. This is stated over and over again in the document and that that authority is self-evident. They called on God for help, but the authority was based on God’s natural order of things and what is self-evident to man. Again we see that the document and its authority isn’t a “Thus sayeth the Lord.” They talk about God. They call on God. But in no place in the document do we have a “Thus sayeth the Lord” but rather what is self-evident to man because of how God created man and the rights also endowed by him. The Framers pointed to the authority of God’s natural order, but notice that they do not they quote the Bible even once.

Now look, I stumbled upon this whole new area of research here. I stumbled on this in preparation for this show tonight, and it has rattled my cage and totally turned my world upside down. Once again, in Susan’s and my journey, in the thinking for ourselves and using the brain that God has given us, we stumble upon another epiphany. And for me, it’s the fact that apparently, according to my research thus far, no direct citation of the Bible appears in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the Federalist Papers or even the copious notes of the Framers or the Constitution according to historians.

I could get into what Thomas Jefferson and others were quoted directly saying what the foundational documents were founded on, but I’m not going to get into that. I called a friend of the ministry, John Immel, who, of course, is our resident expert on all this sort of things, and he thought perhaps that in second-tier, third-tier documents that there might be direct citations of the Bible. He is not sure. Certainly he confirmed, and my research confirms in the primary documents that I name–Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, all of those really upfront foundational stuff–no, not one biblical, direct Bible citation.

And this is what really has my attention, and he’s now – put it this way: I’m going to dig into this and address this at the conference because, like I said, this has completely rattled my cage and turned my world upside down. And you’re going to find out why this has affected me so dramatically. And, like I said, so far I can’t find any examples of the Bible being quoted directly in any founding documents in the United States, yet what I have found by many is the following: They will take a principle from one of the founding documents like “all men created equal” and cite Bible verses that speak to those same principles. Hence, the conclusion is that the founding documents were taken directly from the Bible. It doesn’t mean that at all. It merely means that the principles are the same.

Now let me give you an example of this. Let me see here. I’ve got this chart that I found online, and it was put out by somebody I think attached to the WallBuilders or what’s that’s guy’s name? Something Bart or whatever, you know, these guys that are really big on propagating the idea that America was founded on the Bible specifically and that all of the founders of the Constitution were hardcore Bible-thumping Christians in the vein of the Puritans who came across the pond, the Pilgrims and the Puritans. In fact, what they do is make this direct connection between the Puritans and how the Bible was their authority in the very founding of the United States of America. This has profound implications for today’s Christianity and us as Christians.

Now check out this chart. It’s a three-column chart. And on the left, it has the principle, and then in the middle it has the legal document, and then over to the right it has Bible. So let’s take one, principle, the sovereign authority of God, not sovereignty of the state or sovereignty of man. Legal document Mayflower Compact, Declaration, Constitution, currency oath, mention of God in all 50 state Constitutions, Pledge of Allegiance, Bible verses, and they cite a whole bunch of Bible verses that say the same thing. Wow. Check this one out. Principle: All men are sinners. Wow. All men are sinners. Legal document, constitutional checks and balances and then Bible. See? Here’s where it says it in the Bible. What’s the message there? Wow. This is stunning. The insinuation is that the Founders of United States of America, the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution believed in total depravity, the total depravity of man. Whoa.

Now I did some research on this of what the religious backgrounds were of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and I forget how many guys signed the Declaration of Independence. I think – don’t quote me on this, all right? I think around 50 for the Declaration of Independence and then maybe like 140 for the U.S. Constitution. I’m not sure about that. But going through the list, I found one Calvinist, one. And I have – don’t quote me on any of this and make me drive a stake on it. I’ve still got a lot of research to do. I’m in preliminary stages, but I just wanted to point that out.

Now let’s take another principle. All men created equal. Legal document: the Declaration of Independence and then Bible Genesis 1:26, Acts 10:34, Acts 17:26, Galatians 3:28, First Peter 2:17. What’s going on here? Okay. Well, what’s going on is we have this principle that stated the document it came from and then this. See? See? See? The Bible says the same thing in all of these verses. So obviously, the Framers of the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence obviously were driven and got all of their ideas from the Bible. See? The same ideas are in the Bible.

My contention is that what’s going on here is that the Bible contains the same principles that the Framers of the Constitution believed in because guess what? Secular principles are often the same principles as the Bible because – we’re going to discuss that. But what I’m saying here is there are common principles between secular and Christian, and we’re going to get into that later. But see what they’re doing here? They are likening the same principles to a direct citation of the Bible.

Now in the same article – and let me kind of squeeze this in. I don’t want to confuse, but the huge problem with this is they’re taking the reality that in the secular realm there aren’t really same principles as there are in the Bible. That’s impossible because secular bad, Christian good. Therefore, we’ve got to take all of the founding principles of the United States of America and make those biblical principles and strip any secularism whatsoever out of the founding of the United States of America. And we’re going to find out why that’s a huge problem in a profoundly defective worldview.

Now in the same article, they cite this research and here’s what they say. Listen carefully to the word. “In a ten-year study,” and I’m quoting here. “In a ten-year study undertaken at the University of Houston, researchers examined 15,000 documents from America’s founders and determined that,” listen, “34 percent of their quotations came from the Bible, the highest by far of any source.” Stop right there.

They’re not saying 30 percent direct citations from the Bible, obviously, and this quotation is just a couple of paragraphs away from their chart that I cited. Let me see here. Got the document right here. I’m not sure. It’s in the same article, maybe more than that, but it’s right on the tail end of their chart. Let me just confirm that. Yeah, yeah, just actually three paragraphs away, and there’s really nothing in between that indicates that they’re diverting away from this three-column system. So you read that, and you say, “Wow! Almost 40 percent or well over a third of everything these guys noted in their documents putting together all of the documents that the United States was founded on, a third of the time they cite the Bible direct. Wow!” But see, that’s not what’s being said here at all. What they’re saying is in essence a third of the time the principles were biblical-like. That’s huge. I’ll just be honest with you, and this is what has me really looking hard. It’s changing what I’m going to present at this year’s conference and really pinning my ears back and researching all of this issue deeply. I really resent the outright deception here. I really do, making like principles to actual insinuating that they actually cited the Bible and that the Holy Scriptures was the actual authority of the Framers of the Constitution of the United States. I resent that, and we’re going to find out why.

Everybody knows my view of the Bible. Everybody knows my view on the sufficiency of the Bible. But my bone of contention here is the worldview that we’re talking about and how this is used to present a certain worldview amongst Christians, that is–here we go–Christian good, secular bad. Everything is either a hundred percent pure or a hundred percent evil. There is no commonality between the secular and the godly. Nothing is common. And I think we function as Christians like this, in this kind of thinking and ideology, more than we want to believe. Again this implies direct quotes from the Bible. But are same principles really being spoken of here? Indeed, my research thus far indicates that there are no direct quotations from the Bible in any founding documents of the United States, nor even the copious notes of those who worked on the documents. And let me pause here to share some more documentation. Here it is right here. We’ve got it, same set, stack.

I don’t know a lot about this site, but go to a site called The Bad Idea blog. And I don’t know what their ideology is or anything else, but there’s an article on there entitled–and you can Google it, The Bad Idea blog–Constitution founded on the Bible? Nope and not even the Declaration. And there’s a lot of good information here about the fact that even in the Federalist Papers, there is no mention of biblical resources for any of the Constitution’s principles either. One would think that they could squeeze them in among the 85 essays if they were indeed the sources, especially since the audience was common men who were familiar with and have respect for the Bible. The word God is used twice, and in of those is a reference to the – one of the two is a reference to the pagan gods of ancient Greece. And this is really the quotation I want. Really, the quotation that I wanted regards the fact that even in the copious notes studied by those who put the Federalist Papers together and the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, not even in the copious notes are there any direct citations in regard to the Bible.

Now this other document that I read seems to indicate that a third of the time that was the case. But again, are they talking about like principles or actual citations such as 1 John 1:9? You see what I’m saying here. There’s another quote in this document that, in fact, quotes Henry Lee, Jefferson on May 8, 1825 identifies the sources for the Declaration’s principles. He names his sources Aristotle, Locke and does not mention the Bible. He goes on to say, “Then again the terminology in the Declaration is not specifically Christian or even biblical with the exception of Creator. The term providence is never used of God in the Bible nor our Nature’s God or Supreme Judge of the world ever used in the Bible.” I don’t know about that argument. His point is that I think that it’s been stated elsewhere that some of the Framers actually cited Aristotle and Locke and said specifically in interviews and in some of their notes that really the inspiration of the founding papers of the United States of America was more Aristotle and Locke than anybody. And I don’t know much about Aristotle. I’m learning more and more about Locke, and, of course, Locke believed in God and even had some pretty conservative ideas about God. But again, I don’t want to get away from my point. The point here is that the Framers believed in God, appealed to God, depended on God, but when it came down to the authority of that document, the authority was in regard to the competence of man, the freedom of man, the ability of man and the rights of man in regard to how God had created them. That was their authority.

So there is that document, but another thing that was interesting that I found on this site is an article entitled “Huckabee Admits Constitution not Founded on God’s Standards.” All right. Get ready for something – and this is why I wanted to bring all of this up because this plugs in to this very relevant stuff that’s going on in politics right now. So this is something here that should make the hair stand up on the back of your head. Huckabee is quoted as saying, “I have opponents in this race,” this is back when he was running the last time for president. “I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution.” Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday, “But I believe it’s a lot easier change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that’s what we need to do, to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with the contemporary view.” Okay. Well, that’s scary, and the writer of this article says, “Yeah, that’s pretty scary.” But the main point the writer wants to make is Mike Huckabee, who is amongst the crowd that waxes eloquent constantly that the United States of America was founded on the Bible is really admitting here that, in fact, the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were not founded on the Bible but needs to be. And you can Google this, the Bad Idea blog, entitled “Huckabee Admits Constitution Not Founded on God’s Standards.”

So what’s my point here? Here’s my point. The first principle of a proper biblical worldview in regard to this topic follows: secular is not inherently evil. It’s not either all good, this Christian, or all evil, this secular. Christianity shares common principles that are good with the secular because of God’s natural order of things. Cars are not necessarily evil because they aren’t in the Bible and were invented by lost people. You may think that’s a silly assertion on its face, but now watch how Christians function is a result of their traditional Protestant worldview.

Let’s talk about that a little bit. Again in our four-and-a-half-, five-hour fellowship and in closing down [UNINTELLIGIBLE 0:50:55] last night, we discussed this, the fact that how does this worldview affect, for instance, homeschooling. Well, it’s better if little Johnny or little Sally is making F’s rather than have them in public school. Why? Christian good, secular evil. It’s better than to have them in the good realm making F’s rather than in the evil realm making straight A’s. This the kind of results that this worldview produces.

And in addition, if we note we just read in the Declaration of Independence–now we’re going to get into a little bit of history in regard to this–it was the result of British tyranny. Remember reading that? We just read that in the Declaration of Independence. One of the reasons, you know, they have this list of grievances against the British Crown and British tyranny. Well, how did that happen? How did we get from Puritans coming over the pond and settling in the New Land to British rule over the 13 colonies? That’s easy. The Puritans brought the tyranny with them. The Pilgrims/Puritans were sponsored by charters overseen by the British Crown and the Church of England, a church state, or the British/Church of England church state. The Pilgrims were not a group of malcontents that decided to pitch in together and buy a big ship with a crew and sailed for America. It just didn’t happen that way. They had sponsorship. The Puritans were extension of the Church of England and considered themselves under its authority. In fact, at some point the Church of England revoked the right of colonial Puritans to carry out executions. Why? Well, they got carried away with executing Quakers. This is where the connection between the colonial English Puritans who oversaw the colonial American church state and American founding values is just really bad, bad, bad, bad, misinformation. One of the catalysts of the American Revolution, in fact, one of the major catalysts was the colonial Puritans. Why? The colonies were a church state ruled by the Church of England, and all of the European tyranny that set Europe on fire for the better part of 800 years was brought with them. The witch wars that went on for 300 years in Europe that almost at one point wiped out the entire female population of Germany was brought over and the result of that ideology, the Salem witch trials, the execution of Quakers just because they had different beliefs than the Puritan Calvinists and a lot of the connections that aren’t made with Christians in our studies of these things is – okay, and I know there were technical differences between the Pilgrims and the Puritans but not enough to dissuade us from the major pits being made here.  Pilgrim is Puritan, and Puritan is Calvinist. Okay, Pilgrim and Puritan is a little bit less related, but Puritan is Calvinist. The American colonies before the American Revolution was a church state run by the Puritans. And one of the major catalysts of the American Revolution was the Puritans and Calvinism itself.

Now something like ten years after the American Revolution we’ve got the Puritans trying to weasel back into the American government, and James Madison throws a hissy fit, otherwise known as the Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments. And I’m going to a little bit of reading from that here shortly. Let me dig up my notes on that. What I wanted to stick in here, just remembered it, the American Revolution starts immediately after the Declaration of Independence as far as I can tell from my research, and that makes sense because the document is clearly “We’re breaking all ties with you. You have no authority over us. We’re our own authority and that’s that.” So the American Revolution starts immediately after that, and it was [SOUNDS LIKE 0:57:52] hard because in my research I’m pretty astounded at how many British troops there were over in the American colonies. I had no idea. So basically you had this complete church state with British soldiers and the Puritans, Puritan Calvinists. Really, the more I’m studying this, and it’s all preliminary, but the more I study this, the more it becomes apparent that the American colonies were little – more or less than Calvin’s Geneva. And this is what’s being pushed back against.

Now the American Revolution was officially ended in 1781 when some British general, along with about 5,000 British troops, surrendered – again, don’t hold me to it. I don’t have my notes right here in front of me. I think it was in New York or some place called Yorkshire or something like that. Again, I think what I’m going to do is retool what I had ready for this year’s conference and really pin my ears back and do my presentations on this whole issue. And I think it will fit well with what the other speakers are doing. Susan is going to be doing something on the Puritans. John is going to be doing something on the collectivism, and Andy is going to be doing something on our ability to study the Scriptures for ourselves. And that’s a good fit because that speaks to the whole ability of man or competence of man and self-evidence, what is self-evident. And the self-evidence of man and what is self-evident to man was the authority that the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence was founded on. And I love this. Let me put it this way out of the Declaration of Independence, what is “candid in the world.” I love that.

So anyway, the American Revolution ends in 1981 [SOUNDS LIKE 1:00:58]. It started in 1776, ended in 1981 [SOUNDS LIKE], and that is just stunning. The British forces up against the colonists and the fact that that war was ended in what, five years, that’s just stunning. Now this is kind of weird. The actual United States Constitution wasn’t adopted until 1787, so that’s around five or six years after the American Revolution ended. So that’s going to be some interesting study there. But two years before the United States Constitution is adopted, we have the Puritans trying to weasel back into the American government and James Madison throws a total hissy fit and writes this Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments. Now this is one of the guys that was a major player in the United States Constitution, and what he has to say in this document about religious involvement in government is interesting. Let’s read some.

James Madison states, “We, the subscribers, citizens of the said Commonwealth haven’t taken…” and I must admit, by the way, that I’m taking this out of John Immel’s PowerPoints from our first conference where his third session – all three sessions were excellent, but that study is – I’ve made that available free online. You can actually get it for 65 bucks from TANC Publishing, but I’ve also made it – if you want the actual workbook, that’s like 200 pages or something like that. But it’s a must-read study. It’s a thumbnail of this whole issue and historically what the Christian worldview should be on all of this, and it’s just a must-read. At any rate, I’m stealing from John’s PowerPoints. They’re the relevant citations for this, and here we go.

James Madison states, “We the subscribers, citizens of the said Commonwealth, having taken into serious consideration, ‘A Bill establishing a provision for Teachers of the Christian Religion,’ and conceiving that the same if finally armed with the sanctions of a law, will be a dangerous abuse of power, are bound as faithful members of a free State to remonstrate against it, and declare the reasons by which we are determined. We remonstrate against said Bill.”

And that’s a new word for me, remonstrate. Susan will have to tell me after the show what it means.

So some kind of bill was introduced that gave what Madison called teachers of the Christian religion some kind of authority in governing in the commonwealth.

Madison goes on, his reasons: (1) Because we hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, “that Religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence.”

So basically what Madison is saying is you can’t give these guys the power of the state. The government is for the sole purpose of facilitating and protecting free men in their endeavor to pursue happiness in life.

Another quote, point two, James Madison: (2) Because the Rulers who are guilty of such an encroachment, exceed the commission from which they derive their authority, and are Tyrants. The People who submit to it are governed by laws made neither by themselves nor by an authority derived from them, and are slaves.

So what Madison is saying there, the religious assessments, when you give religious assessments the power of the state, they make the people slaves, and they are tyrants.

Madison goes on: “Because the free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much soon to forget it.”

Hey, listen, we just got done fighting a war over this. What are you thinking? Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity in exclusion of all other religions may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians in exclusion of all other sects? You see his point there?

He continues: “Because experience witnesses that ecclesiastical establishments, during almost 15 centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.”

That’s James Madison. This is his assessment, over 15 centuries of organized religion, the church, and I believe I put a definition of church. How do we like to define words here? What is a definition of church, this word that has sixth [SOUNDS LIKE 1:08:57] century etymology? It’s a religion, a systematic doctrine of religion that has an authority construct. That’s what church is. That’s how we define it.

Madison goes on: “Because what influence in fact have ecclesiastical establishments had on Civil Society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the Civil authority; in many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny: in no instance have they been seen the guardians of the liberties of the people.”

Now that was James Madison’s view of giving a formal Christian establishment the power of state. And so what these guys had on their mind when they penned the U.S. Constitution was a pushback against what they perceived of 15 centuries of Christianity being on trial and the fruits that came forth from that. And whatever you think of Ayn Rand, she said it both. The combination of faith and force is the destroyer of Western culture, and in history that always, always, always proved to be true.

Now in conclusion, revisit how this Christian good, secular evil worldview is kind of playing out in our day. Well, we have this article, again, that you can Google, “The Terrifying Book that Pope Francis Wants the World to Read.” It’s written by a guy named Dan Joseph, and you can Google that. And on several occasions the Pope, Pope Francis, has recommended this book entitled Lord of the World by Robert Hugh Benson. Lord of the World trace a dystopian of future calamities that culminate in the final battle between humanism and Catholicism. You got that? Humanism and Catholicism. Let me read, interpret it for you: secular versus Christian, which eventually leads to Armageddon. The author depicts a Marxist world in which a charismatic senator from Vermont named Julian Felsenburgh promises world peace if world citizens follow him obediently. The only problem is the Book of Revelations makes it pretty clear that whoever the Antichrist is, he is a religious fellow, and basically what we find in the Book of Revelations is a steroidal version, really the epic version of the epic church state, and the results are exactly the same as they’ve always been in history.

Continuing here, he is made president of Europe, and then the world, due to his charisma and promises of utopia, but little remains known about him even after his rise to power. He replaces the belief in God with secularism. You got that? Here it is. I’m reading it right here. “Even after his rise to power he replaces the belief in God with secularism and tortures and kills those who oppose this doctrine.” Now I’m not going to go on here, but you’ve got evangelical Christians in our country, and many of our political candidates who are going to be running Republican in 2016 saying, “Yeah, even though he’s the Pope, amen,” that, you know, us against those secular guys.

Then we’ve got this other thing from Reuters [SOUNDS LIKE 1:14:34]–you can Google this as well–“How the Russian Orthodox Church Answers Putin’s Prayers in Ukraine.” The article starts out: “After weeks of defying international pleas to free eight European officials they had captured in May, pro-Russian rebels in the east released them unexpectedly in June, following a public appeal by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill. The role of Kirill’s resurgent church played in the release of the monitors who were from the Organization for Security and cooperation in Europe sheds light on how a close cooperation between the state and the church in Russia is now playing out in Ukraine. What the Russian Orthodox Church presents as its humanitarian mission in the east Ukraine, Western diplomats see as a pattern of cooperation in which the church is acting as a ‘soft power’ ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

So what you’ve got going on in Russia is this marriage of church and state where this guy, this resurgent Russian Orthodox Church, actually has power to call the shots and you’ve got Vladimir Putin speaking out against homosexuality and all of these horrible social woes and secular evil in Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church agreeing with him, so you have this united front against all of these evils like homosexuality, et cetera.

So basically, you’ve got people in the United States commending that and saying, “Oh my, oh, you know, that we had a leader like Putin who has enough sense to get in bed with the Church because a church government is this good government.” And I used to be, you know, I’m guilty like most Christians way back in the day of thinking back then – I’m kind of dating myself a little, thinking that it would just be the most wonderful thing in the world if Jerry Falwell was President of the United States. Whoa! This is the same mentality.

Now I want to also insert a very major premise of this, and here it is, this whole idea theologically that God’s kingdom is presently on earth, that the coming of Christ and dying on the cross inaugurated God’s kingdom on earth. And as a seminary student at Criswell Institute for Biblical Studies, I’ll never forget Tony Evans preaching at a chapel service and saying that Christ conquered sin and the world on the cross, God’s kingdom is now on earth and as Christians we’re down here doing mopping-up operations. And I as a fairly new Christian was in the audience. Amen, it sounded good to me. This whole idea that God’s kingdom is presently on earth and as Christians we’re doing the mopping-up operations and more and more and more and more, the world is going to manifest a godliness. And as Christians it’s our job to get involved in art, politics, you know. This is very much along the lines of what Huckabee and all of these guys running believe. They’ve said it. Well, that’s a problem, and even though many Christians would deny being a Dominionist or being a believer in Dominion Theology – I forget what the other official name for it is. Reconstructionism, I think, is one term, whatever. It’s very much part of this Christian good, secular evil worldview rather than there being common principles between the two. And then, of course, you get the atheist, and here is where things get dicey. Unfortunately, atheists and secularists know history better than Christians do because in church and in seminary – well, in seminary, you get a bogus education concerning [SOUNDS LIKE 1:21:15] Church history. So if you’re a seminary student or a seminary graduate, again you need to get Immel’s presentation in our first conference because that’s the truth about Church history and the way it should be seen, and it’s well documented.

So anyway, Christians don’t know Church history. It’s not taught in the local church. And so basically though secularists and atheists, they do know church history better than we do, and they see this mentality that they’re evil and only Christians good, and then they know what the results of that are, and they feel very threatened. And you hear them say, “Look, if guys like Huckabee and all of these people…” and, of course, they were terrified of the moral majority and all of that stuff. And basically, you’ve got to understand what atheists see is a return to what was going on in Europe for years and years and years, and they feel very threatened by that. And so basically that’s the problem that you have, and as a Christian, it’s going to be very difficult for you to witness [SOUNDS LIKE 1:22:51] to an atheist because of this, you know, how Christians are perceived. Not only that, this is so bad and the ignorance is so bad about – a lot of times that young mission Christians that go overseas perceive the persecution they receive as, “Oh, secular against Jesus. We’re being persecuted because we’re Christians.” No, you’re being persecuted because they see the fact that you’re a Christian as a threat to their sovereignty because historically Christians have had this dominion mentality. And if you do believe that God’s kingdom is presently on earth, you can deny that you’re of Dominion Theology, but really you can’t because kingdom is presently on earth and we’re doing the mopping-up operations. That’s a military footing. That’s a dominion footing. That can’t be avoided.

Well, what’s the truth? The truth is as Christians, and this is part of the worldview that we should have, the Bible calls us what? The Bible calls us ambassadors, right? What’s an ambassador? You can answer that for yourself. I’ll let you answer that on your own. I don’t have to answer that for you. Christ said that my kingdom is not of this world. If it was, we’d fight, but it’s not of this world. God’s kingdom will be actually on earth in the millennial kingdom. I’m not going to get into all that eschatology.

Now this is really unfortunate. Where does all this lead? It leads to scary places because it goes from Christian good, secular evil to faith good, worldly knowledge bad. And John Immel also talked about this on our first conference in 2012 about faith being a license to turn off your brain. And, in fact, I’ve got the manuscripts from several sermons that people send me from New Calvinist churches where pastors say knowledge is arrogant. Faith is good. Faith is arrogant. What did the one guy say? Stop studying your Bible. Knowledge is puffed up. This is a quote. “To the puffy, I say stop studying your Bible.” And often we hear terms like this.

To what degree does this faith good, worldly knowledge bad lead to? Well, let me give you a good example of it. Let’s talk about – you can read this article if you want. Google it. Paul’s Passing Thoughts. I do have a search engine there on the blog where you can search. The title of this article is “Something More Virtuous than Reason in the Road to Holocaust.”

I’ve got some quotations here, first from Paul David Tripp in his book How People Change. Listen to what he says. “Jesus comes to transform our whole being, not just our mind. He comes as a person, not as a cognitive concept we insert into a new formula for life. That good work begins in relationship to Jesus and is brought to completion within an ever-deepening union with them. This is a most unique aspect of a biblical view of change. It is not less than cognitive change. It is so much more. The Bible gives us more than exhortations and rules for change. The great gift Christ gives us is himself.” He also says, same book, “These truths are not just cognitive tools to adjust your thinking. They’re intended to increase your love for Jesus Christ.” So he’s dissing the cognitive. He’s dissing knowledge that leads to change and it’s change for this deeper, personal relationship with the person or with [SOUNDS LIKE 1:28:53] Christ.

Now let me compare that to quotes from – how about this quote? Robert Ley who was the internal education minister for Adolf Hitler. He stated the following in his speech entitled “Faith–I Believe.” He says, “Understanding sometimes is not enough to explain something. Only faith is sufficient. The Fuhrer in Nuremberg said woe to him who does not believe. He who does not believe has no soul. He is empty. He has no ideals. He has nothing to live for. He has no sunshine, no life, no joy in life. He is a poor, poor man. What is wealth? What are possessions? What does it all mean? Problems come despite them. Only faith is left. Woe to him who does not believe.”

Let me tell you that sounds a whole bunch like the New Calvinists in the present day who are also, not by coincidence, very anti-American. The American Dream is defined as materialist. The American Dream equals materialism. No, it equals man’s right, inalienable rights and self-evident right to be free and pursue life and happiness. No, they define it as materialism. Faith good, materialism evil. It’s this dualism that’s a hundred percent A or a hundred percent B, and read the Heidelberg Disputation for yourself written by their hero Martin Luther, which by the way, John MacArthur himself is having a big, I think, The Shepherds’ Conference 2015 in which Martin Luther and John Calvin are held up as these big heroes of the faith, and well, that speaks for itself.

So you just heard that quote, and I’ll end this session with this quote. And this quote is from Rudolf Hess in his speech “The Oath to Adolf Hitler.” Here’s what he says: “Do not seek Adolf Hitler with your mind. You will find him through the strength of your hearts.” And I’ve defined what heart means in the Neo Calvinist construct. Heart – I think I went over this a couple of weeks ago. Heart, when they talk about heart change, that is the heart’s ability to perceive or see what faith sees. And we’ve talked about this before. Heart change – and, of course, they’ve redefined everything. Heart change does not mean the actual personal change. It merely means an increased capacity to see and to experience whatever God is manifesting in his kingdom on earth, not anything you do, and we’ve discussed that before.

Is this Christian good/secular bad worldview the gateway to a return to church state and its accompanying tyranny? Yeah, I believe it is. This worldview – listen to me. This worldview has already led to quasi church state known as the American Institutional Church. Through brainwashing and Protestant orthodoxy, the present day American Church functions like a church state in every regard. I am convinced, and I mean this literally, God’s people of the United States of America need a home fellowship, declaration of independence from the Protestant Church. We really do. We need to declare an independence that frees our mind from the slavery and bondage to the quasi church state that the American evangelical church has created in our day.

And we even had this conversation last night where this brother that we talked to has helped some guy leave – this isn’t a singular testimony. I hear these testimonies all the time as people are learning more and more about this, leading people out of these churches.  It’s a deep programming, and these precious people are like, “Can we really leave? Can we actually still be Christians and leave?” Again – and let me repeat this. I am convinced God’s people need a home fellowship declaration of independence from the Protestant Church, and you can almost go through the Declaration of Independence of the United States and put like elements side by side that we also need independence from. We need independence from the propaganda and the bogus worldview that they fed into our mind.

Now I’ve already [UNINTELLIGIBLE 1:35:54] to what our worldview needs to be as far as eschatology in the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is not on earth. You’ve got stop buying into that right now. The kingdom of God is in heaven. We’re ambassadors here. But I’m going to read – I’m going to conclude with Romans 2:12 following in regard to one principle anyway of what our worldview should be. Listen carefully, please. First quote:

“For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; for it is not the hearers of the Law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the Law who will be justified. For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do,” that is, the written law like the Jews did, “by nature do what the Law requires .” Let me read that again. “By nature they do what the Law requires. They are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the Law. They show that the work of the Law is written on their hearts while their consciences also bear witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse, or even excuse them, on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.”

So basically, what do we learn from that passage? We learn from that passage that all people born into the world have a conscience that is their judge. It either accuses or excuses them, and they have the works of God’s law written on their heart. That’s every human being born into the world. They’ve got a conscience and – let me put it this way. Do we see this idea in the Declaration of Independence? Well, we most certainly do. The freedom of man and the competence of man and all these other things are what? Self-evident. They’re intuitive. But you know what? It would be extremely wrong for me to now go and say, “See? See? They cited Romans chapter 2 verse 12 and following. That’s where they got that.” See, that’s a huge problem, okay? Because now there isn’t a commonality between Christians and the secular in regard to conscience. Now this enables them to institute this construct of everything is either a hundred percent evil or a hundred percent good–Christian good, secular evil. Come heck or high water, never put your child in a public school. It’s better if you keep them in the Christian realm and they’re making straight F’s. And that’s just the most handy example of many, many, many that I have.

So basically, what we have here is a commonality with the secular and that they’ve got a conscience. So basically, especially in regard to Protestant epistemology, we get into a huge problem here. Because if Christians believe that the Bible is all about showing us how evil we are and every verse in Scripture is about justification or every verse in the Bible is about the Gospel and every verse in the Bible is about Jesus and not about how to learn how to live life wiser and to have life and have it more abundantly, now we’ve really got a bad situation because now we have secular people who might be living by their consciences better than Christians live by the word of God. So when you’re witnessing to somebody and they say, “Well, you know what? I don’t want to be a Christian because Christians are a bunch of hypocrites,” well, you know, there may be more truth in that than what we want to believe.

And with that, I think we will conclude the show by checking in with Susan and seeing if she has any concluding remarks. Here we go. Are you there, Susan?

SUSAN:  Yes, I am. I’ve been [UNINTELLIGIBLE 1:42:05]

PAUL:  We’ve got about 16 minutes left. And I didn’t think it would go this long, so I apologize because I know that people listen to the show and are clamoring about to really hear your remarks, so I apologize. So what are your thoughts? We’ve got about 16 minutes left, and we don’t have any other callers, so you have the floor.

SUSAN:  Well, 16 minutes is not enough to summarize American history. You know, I taught high school history, and I’m here just squirming all over the place because of the things that you brought up in regard to the early history of our country, and I just cringe at what I remember reading in the Christian textbooks that we had to use that were really a distortion of what actually happened. And I remember a student confronting me about Thomas Jefferson when I stood up in class and said that we need to be careful, that not all of the Framers of the Constitution were Born Again believers, and I said, “For example, Jefferson was a deist.” And after class, this one student took it upon herself to rip me up one side and down the other. I was very unpatriotic, and I was a distorter of history because I said that Thomas Jefferson was not a Born Again believer. Whether or not he’s Born Again, I don’t know, and that’s not for me to judge, but he was a deist, and he wrote in his documents that – in his personal diary and correspondences how he felt about God, et cetera. But Christian textbooks today pick and choose how they want to word history and slant it in the favor of making America appear to be a Christian nation. They do forget one important thing, and that is, number one, yes, many Judeo-Christian ethics, principles show up in the Constitution and in the Declaration of Independence. And that’s a valid statement because from the Old Testament and the New Testament and from how Judaism and Christianity work under the law, the law of God, and have a moral foundation to that law and an obligation to care for neighbors, both Old Testament and New Testament, those ethics show up in our documents, in our [UNINTELLIGIBLE 1:45:51] of our Constitution. Those principles also show up in other countries’ constitution as well. So the influence of the Judeo-Christian ethics is there in other countries’ constitutions and not just our own. Are you there?

PAUL:  I am, yeah. I’m listening.

SUSAN:  Oh, okay. I couldn’t tell by my phone whether or not. The other thing is we are not a democracy. We’re a constitutional republic, and that’s another fallacy taught in a lot of Christian textbooks, that we are a democracy. We are…

PAUL:  Real quick…

SUSAN:  Uh-huh.

PAUL:  I’m going to stick this in real quick. I am very pleased with the quality of the Blog Talk Radio, and as a note to other callers who might call in in the future in what we just experienced, the connection is so clear that at times you’re like, “Am I on? Did I fall off air?” But anyway, I just wanted to stick that in there. Go ahead.

SUSAN:  Good because there’s not any of that background buzz or anything.

PAUL:  Yeah. Right.

SUSAN:  But when we study government, a lot of the Christian focus is we’re a democracy. No, we’re not. We’re a constitutional republic, rule of the people, rule under the law and rule of law. And we get a lot of the ideas – the Framers of our Constitution used Greco-Roman history, along with the Enlightenment thinkers of the day, John Locke being one of them, as well as others, give the philosophical framework for how our country is going to be run. That consent of the governed, that came from Greek, the early Greek government. And under the law, that was Roman. That came from the Roman. You can trace that back to the Roman government, with the rule of law.

And they took these wonderful philosophical ideas because they were not constrained by the censorship by the Puritan educational system and how they were encouraged, tutors and their parents, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and these others who were not constrained by the Puritan strictness of what you are allowed to learn, terrible censorship in the Puritan colleges and seminaries and in the school on what you were allowed to read and what you were allowed to think and learn philosophically. But yet the Framers of the Constitution pushed back against that, rebelled against that. Benjamin Franklin, being one, who was raised in a Puritan environment and rebelled against that, ran away from it and educated himself in the philosophies of the world to come up with a wonderful fundamental foundation philosophically to help our nation get started.

None of these though was brought out in the curriculum in our Christian schools and in the home school movement. It is all this glossy overed [SOUNDS LIKE 1:49:57], cotton candy approach to teaching American history. And I just have to really cringe at the disservice we are giving our young people when we do not allow them to look at the secular aspect of the history of the United States, the early history of America, and move away from these Puritan-type textbooks and give them opportunity to do the research on their own and look into these documents written by the person themselves or written about them and let them piece together a more accurate account of who the Framers were, what their motives were and why they were so insistent upon the Constitution being the way it was, especially the Bill of Rights and the balance of power and the three branches of government, and why they were so insistent on this being this new idea of how to have a government where tyranny would not – where they would not have to live under tyranny again. And then, of course, we have a president right now who [UNINTELLIGIBLE 1:51:50] and we can see the hand of tyranny raise its hand here when the Constitution is not followed the way that it’s supposed to be followed. We can see shadows of that, and this should be red flag for the American citizens.

Now the only theocracy I know of that was given a stamp of approval by God was the nation of Israel in the Old Testament. That was his chosen people, and he was their God. He said, “I will be your God, and I will lead you, and I will be with you.” That’s my understanding, that they were not to go out and convert the other nations to Judaism so that they could also be a part of the theocracy because they were not God’s chosen people. The Puritans came over with the concept that they were replacing the nation of Israel in America. This was the Promised Land. This was Zion. And they misrepresented Scripture, and they convinced the people we are God’s chosen people. This is his Zion. We are to build his kingdom here in America.

PAUL:  We replaced Israel as God’s kingdom on earth.

SUSAN:  That’s right. And this why the New England colonies had that rigid Puritanical approach all those years, and this is why the other colonies were established. People began thinking for themselves and saying, “I don’t have to live here. I’ll go start me another colony.” Roger Williams and others started colonies because they did not agree with how the Puritans wanted the theocracy here. They wanted ultimately freedom of religion. Other colonies in the South were started for religious reasons. You know, Oglethorpe and some of the others started colonies to get Catholics freedom to come over and establish a colony, and, of course, Pennsylvania for the Quakers and all the others. But the southern colony did not have that heavy hand of Puritanism like Virginia and some of the others, and this is where a lot of the Framers of our Constitution were born and raised and educated, away from that terrible shadow of that censorship of the Puritan school system and…

PAUL:  James Madison was from Virginia. And what did he say about Virginia?

SUSAN:  Well, Virginia, they weren’t influenced by the Puritans. They had the plantation type of economy, and so the children tended to be educated by tutors at home and were given a whole different awareness of education than the system of New England where it was the forced Puritan-type Christian education up there, and there was a lot more freedom learning and thought in some of these colonies where there wasn’t an established school system by the government where the community did the grammar schools, but then after that the parent hired tutors to teach their children the higher levels of math and Latin and the different languages and philosophy and the classics. And this why you have a lot of your different thinkers, different philosophers coming from that background of education. I know I’m going to get blasted for that, but anyway – but I was told when I taught in a Christian school – and this is going to be my closing statement. I was told…

PAUL:  That’s good. We have 90 seconds.

SUSAN:  That the only good teacher was a Christian teacher in a Christian school. And when I went to work on my master’s, I met a lot of unsaved teachers who taught in public school that were way better teachers, had a better handle on knowledge and education than I did, and I totally changed my philosophy of what the definition of a good teacher was from working on my master’s at a secular university.

PAUL:  And I’m so glad. We’ve only got like 50 seconds, and I just want to tell you I’m so glad you brought that up. I wanted to mention that earlier, but didn’t want to speak for you but your whole mentality that you had to come out of, that the only good teacher was a Christian teacher.

SUSAN:  In a Christian school.

PAUL:  And with that, thank you so much, Susan. And we’re just about off the air here. Good night to everyone and we’ll see you next week.

SUSAN:  Alrighty. Buh-bye.

PAUL:  Good night, everyone.

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