The Reformation and the USA

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Nevada, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. Nevada

    Nevada
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    I'm new here, so I goofed and tried this thread in another area. As I'm not Baptist, lemme put it here and try again.

    I suspect the USA has roots in -2- historical events:

    The Reformation
    The Enlightenment

    First, the Reformation allowed in pluralism. Lutherans, Calvinists, etc. However, there was still persecution back and forth, and it took devotees of the Enlightenment to carry things one step further: Separation of Church and State. Which, I've heard, was the only original thing about the newfangled American government of 1776. Democracy, bicameral legislature, balance of powers, had all been tried elsewhere, before. Only The Wall was new. At the time, it appealed to both the secularists (often deists, not Christians) and the faithful of the colonies.

    So, the USA is kind of a hybrid culture; millions of very religious folk, plus secularists. That we have the system we have today is proof they saw a common goal in 1776.

    So. the USA has roots in The Reformation, and, the Enlightenment. Today, over 200 years later, how many of us appreciate this? If we don't, might we stray? Leading to the politicized religion of 17th century Europe?

    Feel free to disagree. I could be wrong. Just gimme your thoughts.
     
  2. BobRyan

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    I cover this point in the "America in Bible Prophecy" thread as well.

    1. America's Protestant principle of freedom of Religion - has been key to our success.

    2. So also our republic form of Government -- a modified Democracy.

    3. It is not so much the "age of enlightenment" as the Protestant principle of "Sola Scriptura" freeing the people from the bondage of man-made-tradition that has also been a blessing.
     
  3. Johnv

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    The government of 1776 made no provisions for a Separation of Church and State. Not even the Constitution of 1787 had such a provision. It was not until 1791, when the Constitution was amended, did a concept of Separation of Church and State become codified. To be more specific, the concept is actually one of two clauses: The religious establishment clause, and the religious free excercise clause.
     
  4. BobRyan

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    The 14 year period between 1776 and 1791 was not the "sea change" that many have imagined. Religious persecution is what drove many pilgrims to come to America, while they at first - short sightedly applied some of the same RCC principles of intolerance in their own colonies - they soon realized that "the difference" between the New World and the Old -- was in NOT doing things the old way. Not binding conscience to the will of the state.

    Essentially we had the same people living here in 1791 as we had 14 years earlier in 1776.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  5. Nevada

    Nevada
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    Thanks Johnv. Now I know the specifics.

    Already, I do know that written on Thomas Jefferson's tombstone are his proudest accomplishments. One is his authorship of the Virginia Act of Religious Freedom. He wrote it in 1786, a year prior to the US Constitution. Though Virginia didn't enact it until later, his authorship shows what his mindset was in 1786.

    http://religiousfreedom.lib.virginia.edu/sacred/vaact.html
     
    #5 Nevada, Oct 30, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2009

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