Founding of US/ right or wrong?

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by av1611jim, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. av1611jim

    av1611jim
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    In another forum, this comment was made by HankD.

    "An example is that King Henry 8th (as well as King James) felt that the Church was subservient to the state. This resulted in the persecution, torture and even death of our anabaptist forefathers by the Church of England as well as Puritans and Dissenters who felt that this was an unscriptural teaching by the established Church of the English Crown.

    The ultimate result : The United States of America and the Baptist distinctive of the Separation of Church and State."


    HankD
    __________________________________________________

    What I would like to discuss is do you think the methods our forefathers used to establish the US was Scripturaly right or wrong?

    I am of the opinion that they were wrong for several reasons. I will only go into a couple of them.
    1st;
    The Rebellion. I can find nowhere in Scripture where God condones rebelling aginst the government no matter how evil or corrupt it may be. Instead what I find is Romans 13. I believe this was written during the evil reigns of the dictatorial Ceasers. ALL of the early church "fathers" submitted to the secular authorities in spite of its inherrent evils, and they told their contemporaries to do the same. This principle applies to us even today. "Be subject to the higher powers..."

    2nd; It is assumed that the concept of seperation of church and state came about because of the persecution by Romanists and Anglicans in England. Although this view does not take into account the persecutions BY the Calvinists of Geneva and Scotland and the Lutherans of Germany, I thought the seperation of church and state was a concept that Jesus gave us. "Render unto Ceaser...". Therefore, this concept is not exclusively Baptist, but more accurately it is Christian by it very nature. While true it is the "Baptists" who championed it in our country's early days, it is not "Baptistic" by any means, IOW, we don't have a monopoly on the concept.

    Please, PLEASE do not misunderstand. I love my country. I love how God's mercy has sustained us these two centuries in spite of our evils. But I have trouble making this nation out to be what it is not. And I have trouble with "revisionist" history be it done by the secular left or the religious right.

    Thoughts? Comments?

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  2. HankD

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    Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

    "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. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

    He has refuted his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

    He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

    He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

    He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

    He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

    He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

    He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

    He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

    He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

    He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

    For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

    For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

    For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

    For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

    He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

    He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

    He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

    He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

    He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

    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. 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, 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."

    --John Hancock

    New Hampshire:
    Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

    Massachusetts:
    John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

    Rhode Island:
    Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

    Connecticut:
    Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

    New York:
    William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

    New Jersey:
    Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

    Pennsylvania:
    Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

    Delaware:
    Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

    Maryland:
    Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

    Virginia:
    George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

    North Carolina:
    William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

    South Carolina:
    Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

    Georgia:
    Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

    Washington :
    HankD
     
  3. JGrubbs

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    I have a different understanding of Romans 13, the institution of government was ordained by God, but God doesn't approved of every specific government. Verse four tells us "For he [the government ordained by God] is the minister of God to thee for good." If a government is not a minister of God to the people for good, then it is not ordained by God (e.g. Ghadaffi in Libya, Hussein in Iraq, Bin Laden in Afghanistan, Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, Idi Amin in Uganda, etc.)

    The Presbyterians, Lutherans, Baptists, Congregationalists, and most other Christian denominations during the American Revolution all believed that Romans 13 meant they were not to overthrow government as an institution and live in anarchy, but that this passage did not mean they had to submit to every civil law (note that in Hebrews 11, a number of those who made the cut in the “Faith Hall of Fame” as heroes of the faith were guilty of civil disobedience — including Daniel, the three Hebrew Children, the Hebrew Midwives, Moses, etc.). Furthermore, the Apostles in Acts 4-5 also declared their willingness to be civilly disobedient —they would obey God rather than their civil authorities.

    The real key to understanding civil disobedience and Romans 13 under this view, then, is to determine if the purpose of opposition is simply to resist the institution of government in general (which would be anarchy and would promote a rebellious spirit), or if it is to specifically resist bad laws, bad acts, or bad governments. The American Founding Fathers understood and embraced this interpretation of Romans 13.

    Very clearly, the Framers did not view the American Revolution as an act of anarchy or of rebellion against God, the Bible or any of its teachings. Under the view of Romans 13 as understood by the Framers, the American Revolution was indeed a Biblically-justifiable act.

    Source: WallBuilders
     
  4. JGrubbs

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  5. mioque

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    "I can find nowhere in Scripture where God condones rebelling aginst the government no matter how evil or corrupt it may be."
    "
    Exodus?
     
  6. av1611jim

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    JGrubbs,
    It is that very phrase in Rom. 13 that you reference that destroys your viewpoint IMO.
    You give examples of Gadafy, Hussein, Idi Amin, etc. I could add to the list Hitler, Stalin, Napoleon, and many others throughout history. What your interpretation does not take into account is the fact that when Paul peened those words, Nero, I believe, was in power.

    I find it very difficult to reconcile your view in light of the political climate in which the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to pen those words.

    While civil disobedience is condoned in a limited sense in Acts, it does not go as far as your view seems to take it. Civil disobedience is only valid where that governing body insists on direct disobedience to God. See Daniel.

    Whether the framers of the constitution saw it that way or not is not what I think is the issue. What is at issue is were they right?
    I don't think Scripture will support that they were.

    Certainly we can point to several cases of civil disobedience in Scripture, but in every case, that governing body was commanding disobedience to God. Unless you can show differently, I don't think the Crown was doing so.
    While the Crown by no menas was a godly institution, neither was Nero, yet Paul admonished us to be subject to it.

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  7. av1611jim

    av1611jim
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    _________________________________________________

    OK. Let's look at it.

    Moses; "Let my people go worship God."
    Pharoah; "No."

    Moses; "We're outa here!"

    (Paraphrased and GREATLY shortened. LOL)

    In light of that, I still contend that governing authority was commanding disobedience to God. Hence, civil disobedience was justified.

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  8. HankD

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    The Puritans, anabaptists didn't rebel apart from rebelling against the established Church under the Crown. For that they suffered. John Bunyan spent 12 years in prison for preaching the Gospel apart from the Established Church and was then forbidden. But he felt it was better to obey God than man in that he had not been saved by the preaching of the Anglican priests and went out on his own and reaped a harvest of souls.

    The puritans, dissenters, anabaptists simply left, the Crown as happy to see them go as anyone.

    Later, the King made life intolerable and began imposing even worst restrictions upon them to the point of an immanent threat to life and limb, apparently the destruction of the colonies his ultimate goal.

    The root of the whole thing being their rejection that the King of England was the titular head of "The Church" which Church steeped in the Liturgy, dogma and graveclothes of it's parent the Church of Rome had become ineffective in the salvation of souls and in the understanding of the doctrines thereof.

    With brotherly love Jim, if you see our government as in rebellion in separating from the Crown, then she is still in rebellion and you should therefor renounce your American citizenship and leave for England and bring yourself back into the fold of the Anglo-Catholic Church. No?

    But then again you would have to grapple with the English wars: Fredrick the Great, Anglo v. Saxon, etc. and who rebeled against whom, etc, etc...

    HankD
     
  9. av1611jim

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    HankD Says;
    "The root of the whole thing being their rejection that the King of England was the titular head of "The Church" which Church steeped in the Liturgy, dogma and graveclothes of it's parent the Church of Rome had become ineffective in the salvation of souls and in the understanding of the doctrines thereof.

    With brotherly love Jim, if you see our government as in rebellion in separating from the Crown, then she is still in rebellion and you should therefor renounce your American citizenship and leave for England and bring yourself back into the fold of the Anglo-Catholic Church. No?"
    __________________________________________________

    To the first. They were indeed right in fleeing the King of England since there is no King of the church but Jesus Christ himself. Perhaps there is a fine line between fleeing to safety and outright rebellion. See Matt 24-25. OTOH, there were MANY who did not flee and their descendants to this day preach the pure Gospel in the midst of a nation still dominated by the Chruch of England. The same is true of Italy as pertaining to the RCC and Germany as pertaining to Lutheranism, and perhaps other countries dominated by the intolerant dogma of Calvinism, no?

    To the second. That makes no sense. I was born here according to the providence of God. Evidently He wanted me here. Duh? LOL

    See my first post. I love my country. It is the best thing going these days, in SPITE of its many evils.

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  10. James_Newman

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    Heb 11:16 But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

    I'm just passing through.
     
  11. JGrubbs

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    While he wrote most of his letters from prison cells . Would he have been arrested if he were obeying the laws? Would he have been known for "turning the world upside down"?

    I believe the founders were right in both their interpretation of the Scripture found in Romans 13 and in their rebellion to the antichrist spirit of the King.

    Another great Christian in history who resisted another antichrist government that was not ordained by God was Dietrich Bonhoeffer, he was arrested and killed for his rebellion against Hitler. Do you believe he was wrong too?
     
  12. Debby in Philly

    Debby in Philly
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    We're here now.
    We can't change the past.
    We can only hope to influence the future.
     
  13. av1611jim

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    While he wrote most of his letters from prison cells . Would he have been arrested if he were obeying the laws? Would he have been known for "turning the world upside down"?

    _________________________________________________

    Once again; those laws you refer to were such that COMMANDED worship of the Emperor as God. Obviously this is not the same as rebelling aginst taxes.

    Did Bonhoffer preach rebellion against the government or did he preach fidelity to Christ? I am not too keen on the man. If indeed Hitler was commanding worship of himself as God then of course Bonhoffer was right. But I don't think that was the case. I may be wrong on this and will defer to they who are more adept on WW2 history, particularly the doctrines of Hitler.

    Nevertheless, the point still stands. Was the Crown COMMANDING disobedience to God? If it cannot be shown that this was the case then Scripturally the revolution was based on inerrant interpretation of Scripture, IMO.

    In HIS service;
    Jim

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  14. HankD

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    So America was not born here on this continent as part of the Providence of God? Duh? LOL.

    The Pilgrims did the right thing in defying the King of England and then leaving. The Early American Patriots did the right thing in defending themselves against the King of England's tyranny.

    Sure it was a "Revolution" and God gave us the victory because England had spilled the blood of our brethren while they sojourned there under the watches of many brutal monarchs.

    HankD
     
  15. JGrubbs

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    So Jim, you believe the Christians in Germany that supported Hilter were right in doing so because of Romans 13?
     
  16. Joseph_Botwinick

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  17. robycop3

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    AV1611Jim:

    What I would like to discuss is do you think the methods our forefathers used to establish the US was Scripturaly right or wrong?

    I am of the opinion that they were wrong for several reasons. I will only go into a couple of them.
    1st;
    The Rebellion. I can find nowhere in Scripture where God condones rebelling aginst the government no matter how evil or corrupt it may be.


    Read Judges. Several times God allowed israel to serve other nation, and when they repented, He sent them a judge to lead them to military victory, whacking the enemy leader(s) in the process.


    Instead what I find is Romans 13. I believe this was written during the evil reigns of the dictatorial Ceasers. ALL of the early church "fathers" submitted to the secular authorities in spite of its inherrent evils, and they told their contemporaries to do the same. This principle applies to us even today. "Be subject to the higher powers..."

    remember, God punished ISRAEL severely for their continued idol-worship, and that He punished Judah much MORE severely for their outdoing the ten Tribes in idol-worship, in the face of what had happened by the hand of the Assyrians. God DECLARED the Jews would serve Babylon, and He allowed any who refused to serve babylon to be destroyed. After this, most jews correctly worshipped God, but fell away once again. remember, Moses, inspired by God, had told them that their punishments would increase in both SEVERITY AND DURATION long as they continued to deliberately sin. Thus, the Jews were ruled successively by the Persians, Greeks, & Romans, but as we see in the NT, many continued to live in sin, "having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof", so God allowed the Romans to destroy jerusalem in 70 AD. Still, the Jews continued their neo-worship, so God REALLY let'em have it in 135 AD with Hadrian's forces scattering the Jews hither, thither and yon. you know the rest; they were the most universally-despised people who ever lived. I believe God had also decided to let them serve Rome as part of their punishment.

    2nd; It is assumed that the concept of seperation of church and state came about because of the persecution by Romanists and Anglicans in England. Although this view does not take into account the persecutions BY the Calvinists of Geneva and Scotland and the Lutherans of Germany, I thought the seperation of church and state was a concept that Jesus gave us.

    Jesus served Rome and His Father both, only without sin.

    Many small nations served Rome willingly, in exchange for protection against their traditional enemies.



    "Render unto Ceaser...". Therefore, this concept is not exclusively Baptist, but more accurately it is Christian by it very nature. While true it is the "Baptists" who championed it in our country's early days, it is not "Baptistic" by any means, IOW, we don't have a monopoly on the concept.

    But many a Christian was martyred for defying Roman laws such as Caesar-worship, which went against the laws of GOD.
     
  18. billwald

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    No, there was no "Christian" right to rebel against a "Christian" king.
     
  19. Bro. James Reed

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    av Jim, is it also your contention that God would have us not fight a man, leader or not, who was set out to destroy our lives and most likely take them?

    Would you rebel if the government was imprisoning people and letting the army ruthlessly kill your fellow citizens for no reason?

    Is it not against God's command to allow someone to kill one of His children?

    If Osama bin Laden came here with an army, would you not fight him?

    If he "beat" our military and set himself up as our "leader", even if he didn't command us to convert, would you not continue to find him?

    The same can be said if a military coup were to happen in this country. If a general took half of the army, rose up against the other half and our leaders, proclaimed himself our true leader, who would you fight for or against?

    I'm not passive. I would fight for my country.

    To many of the colonists of early America, many of whom had never even been to England, this land was their country and these laws governed them.

    If Texas rebelled against the U.S.A., again, who could I follow and, in you opinion, not be in rebellion against my country? I'm a citizen of the state of Texas, so it is my duty to defend and fight for her and my leaders here.

    The same was the opinion of most Americans in 1776. This land was their home and this land was their true government, so they felt the need to support that government in defense against the invading British forces.

    IMO, the English government ceased being America's country when the Crown reneged on the laws which the American people had originally decided to uphold when they came here without even giving them a say.

    The King of England is head of that church. Would the colonists had been right in rebellion if their sole objection was the King being placed on equal footing with Christ as head of the church? That is certainly against God's command.

    With regard to Hitler, one of his ultimate goals was to destroy every religion except Nazism, so, yeah, I would say he was in opposition to God.
     
  20. poncho

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    SOURCE
     

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