were our founding fathers real Christians?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by massdak, May 19, 2004.

  1. massdak

    massdak
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    I have read some information that seems to suggest that most were deists or unitarians or held some form of doctrine that was contrary to biblical doctrine.
    does anyone have information on this ?
     
  2. JGrubbs

    JGrubbs
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    The Founding Fathers and Deism

    by David Barton

    (We receive numerous requests from across the country to answer various editorials and letters-to-the-editor. The subject is usually the religious persuasions of the Founding Fathers, and the standard assertion is that they were all deists. The following is but one of many possible replies to such accusations.)
    http://www.wallbuilders.com/resources/search/detail.php?ResourceID=29
     
  3. JeffM

    JeffM
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    Yes, most of the founders were very devout Christians. The least Christian of the bunch were Jefferson and Franklin, but even they acknowledged a Supreme Being.

    All one has to do is read Washingtons Farewell address to see just how Christian he was and just how Christian this nation was.

    Most of the signers of the Declaration were ordained ministers and members of the Bible Society.

    You need to get a book written by David Barton of WALLBUILDERS entitled ORIGINAL INTENT. It gives inarguable proof of the Christian roots of the founders using original books written from that era. Books atheist revisonist would rather ignore.

    WALLBUILDERS also has an extensive collection of videos and DVD's hosted by Barton that also prove our Christian heritage, and as always, Barton backs up his facts with books written from that era.

    I myself own an original book printed in 1820 called "LIVES OF THE SIGNERS" and it contains bios on all of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. This book has many Christian references, unlike revisionist versions of today.

    These are things every American should know.
     
  4. GeneMBridges

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    Does anybody have information on exactly which ones were ordained ministers and which ones weren't? I'd be interested in reading some of what they wrote and / or preached. Just like today, being ordained does not equal holding to orthodoxy/evangelicalism. Liberalism had already begun to creep into Christianity even at that time, you know, though it did not grow as pervasive in American theological circles until later in the next century.
     
  5. massdak

    massdak
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    i take it you are not a fan of finney and billy graham?
     
  6. Johnv

    Johnv
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    were our founding fathers real Christians?

    Some were, some weren't.
     
  7. GeneMBridges

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    i take it you are not a fan of finney and billy graham? </font>[/QUOTE]Quite the contrary. Traditional Calvinists, with the exception of hyperCalvinists whom we reject, rejoice whenever the gospel is preached and people are gathered into the family of God. Arminians and Calvinists are brethren, though we disagree. TULIP is not the heart and soul of the gospel. Even the professors at SBTS and Reformed Theological Seminary will agree with that.

    I do not agree with Finney's theology because of the cultural influences that he very clearly incorporated into it, especially his belief in the moral influence theory of the atonement. Christ did not die for people in his own view, He died for a purpose, to be an example. It was precisely this theology that became so prevalent in 20th century classical liberalism, because, once liberal epistemology took root, which said that the Bible was useful for motivating people to acts of civil virtue and human good but not of literal truth, that view of the atonement was the accepted view. Finney also took a Pelagian, not a semi-Pelagian view on depravity and election. He wrote "The doctrine of an imputed righteousness, or that Christ's obedience to the law was accounted as our obedience, is founded on a most false and nonsensical assumption." After all, Christ's righteousness "could do no more than justify himself. It can never be imputed to us...It was naturally impossible, then, for him to obey in our behalf." This "representing of the atonement as the ground of the sinner's justification has been a sad occasion of stumbling to many" (pp. 320-322)." I view these words as attacking very heart of Christianity itself: The atonement.


    Billy Graham does not believe that. For Graham, the purpose of Christ's death is a substitutionary atonement. His methods reflect revivalism, but his overall theology is semi-Pelagian.

    Many people came into the family of God under Finney. Of that there can be no doubt. However, his theology itself went far beyond the accepted Arminian views. He went back to Pelagius, who was condemned at the Council of Carthage.

    Graham is not Finney, though he does come from that line. He is an Arminian, but not a classic Arminian, as he believes in eternal security. While he accepts unlimited atonement, he rejects the notions of Finney in favor of traditional substitutionary atonement.
     
  8. Johnv

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    D James Kennedy has recently stated that, while Jefferson was a Christian in practice, there's no evidence that he was a born again believer. Of course, this is a reversal of Kennedy's position of several years ago, where he said Jefferson was a devout Christian, and that rumors of him having an affair with Saly Hemmings were all a bunch of liberalist lies.

    Many contend that Washington wasn't a Christian because he was a Mason.

    I don't think that's correct. Although many were no doubt religious, to my knowledge only three theologians were signers. Aside from Paine (who was no longer practicing at the time of the signing), the most obvious was John Witherspoon but I recall that Lyman Hall was involved in theology in Connecticut prior to going into medicine. There were a few others who had done at least some study for the ministry, but chose another profession.

    I've see a period quote floating around some circles that says that 2/3 or 3/4 of the Signers were seminary students. [or graduated from a seminary, or some such] The quote is real, but the meaning of seminary in the 1700's was what we call 'college' or 'university'.

    Here's a breakdown of professions of the D of I signers:

    32 public service prior to 1770
    22 lawyers
    11 Judges & Justices
    [28 were either lawyers or Judges or Justices before they signed]
    18 merchants
    16 planters, farmers, agriculturists
    6 academics
    5 authors
    4 surveyors
    3 doctors
    3 ministers

    Also of interest, only John Hancock and Secretary Chas. Thomson signed the declaration after approval by the Continental Congress on July 4th, 1776. The majority of the signers penned their names on August 2, 1776 but a few signed later than that such as Matthew Thornton who I believe signed in November. Although there may be some controversy about this as far as I know, the last signer was Thomas McKean in 1781.
     
  9. rsr

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  10. JGrubbs

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    All I see on that thread was the following quote:

    This is just one person's opinion and doesn't prove "Barton's credibility has been damaged by sloppy sourcing"

    Here is what Barton has to say about "sloppy sourcing":

    In our research, we have not previously used a quote that was not documented to a source in a manner that would be acceptable in a scholarly work or a university text. However, we strongly believe that the debates surrounding the Founders are too important to apply solely an academic standard. Therefore, we unilaterally initiated within our own works a standard of documentation that would exceed the academic standard and instead would conform to the superior legal standard (i.e., relying solely on primary or original sources, using best evidence, rather than relying on the writings of attorneys, professors, or historians).

    SOURCE
     
  11. massdak

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    it seems that this is going to be a subjective decision on which info seems more credible
     
  12. JGrubbs

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    Here are ten signers of the Constitution that were either founders of Bible societies or theologians:

    Charles Pinckney and John Langdon—founders of the American Bible Society; James McHenry—founder of the Baltimore Bible Society; Rufus King—helped found a Bible society for Anglicans; Abraham Baldwin—a chaplain in the Revolution and considered the youngest theologian in America; Roger Sherman, William Samuel Johnson, John Dickinson, and Jacob Broom—also theological writers.
     
  13. rsr

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    Barton was really an afterthought, but he was quoted so I thought I would throw that in.

    A case:
    BAD QUOTES
     

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