Pastor Roger Anghis
June 27, 2010
Discovering America’s Christian Heritage
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
So far we have concentrated on the least religious Founding Fathers. Let us look at some of the other Founding Fathers and see how they stood, religiously. John Witherspoon, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was an ordained minister wrote several books of sermons and was responsible for two editions of the American Bible. Charles Thompson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was the Secretary of Congress and was responsible for the Thompson Study Bible. John Hancock, Governor of Massachusetts, had made several proclamations for a day of prayer calling for the people to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. John Trumbull, Governor of Connecticut, also called for days of prayer and fasting and taking up a statewide collection for the Society of Missionaries for the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have looked at Benjamin Rush earlier but there are other things that he is well known for that we never hear from our new historians. He started 5 colleges and universities, the first college for women.
He is referred to as the Father of American Medicine and personally trained 3,000 medical students and made medical discoveries that are still beneficial to us today. He was a founder of our first abolition society and was a leader in that movement for 40 years. He founded the first Sunday school movement in 1791, and in 1808 he started the nation’s first Bible society. He also developed the first stereotype printing for the purpose of mass producing Bibles. He was instrumental in bringing John Adams and Thomas Jefferson back together as friends and even revealed to Adams that God had showed him in a dream that this would happen, but also that they would both die on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which they both did.
There are many others that had signed the Declaration of Independence that have made overt Christian declarations. Sam Adams stated “I rely upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins.” Robert Treat Paine: “I am constrained to express my adoration of the Author of my existence in full belief of . . . His forgiving mercy revealed to the world through Jesus Christ, through Whom I hope for never ending happiness in a future state.” Charles Carroll stated “On the mercy of my Redeemer I rely on my salvation and on His merits, not on any works that I’ve done in obedience to His precepts.” He also totally funded a house of worship. That in itself is a declaration of his dedication to Christianity.
Francis Hopkinson, also a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was a church music director and a choir director. He wrote the first American hymnal. Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was captured and severely tortured by the British. He would never recover from this ill treatment and as he set his house in order he stated in his last will and testament “I think it proper here not only to subscribe to the entire belief of the great and leading doctrines of the Christian religion, such as the being of God; the universal defection and depravity of human nature; the Divinity of the person and the completeness of the redemption purchased by the blessed Savior; . . . of Divine faith accompanied with the habitual virtuous life; . . . but also, . . .to exhort and charge (my children) that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. ”
Gouverneur Morris was the last signer of the Constitution and was the most active member at the Constitutional Convention. He spoke on the floor 173 times and he was the penman of the Constitution. He also helped France write their constitution and told them that education must include the teaching of God and the morality that is taught in the Bible.
Abraham Baldwin, a signer of the Constitution, was one of the nation’s youngest theologians and was offered Yale Divinity Professorship at the age of 21 and during the Revolutionary War served as a chaplain.
Roger Sherman, the only man to sign all four of our Founding documents, the Articles of Association (1774), The Declaration of Independence (1776), the Articles of Confederation (1771), The Constitution in 1787, he, too, was a theologian.
Benjamin Franklin stated that he could not say that the Constitution was divinely inspired, but it could not have come together without the guidance of the omnipotent, all powerful being.
James Madison, in his Federalist Papers that explained what they did in the Constitution stated, “To the pious man it is impossible not to recognize the Finger of the almighty Providence that was extended to us throughout the Revolution.” He also stated that the Constitution was a miracle. He is also called the Father of the Constitution. But he really wasn’t. For the first 100 years after the drafting of the Constitution there were four men that were spoken of as the Fathers of the Constitution, George Washington, Roger Sherman, Charles Cotesworth Pickney and James Wilson. Madison did propose 70 items for the Constitution but 40 of them were rejected. He was chosen to ‘represent’ the Founders because of later writings of his that made him appear anti-religious George Washington referred to the Constitution as a ‘miracle from heaven.’ Benjamin Rush declared that the Constitution was as much of a miracle as any of the miracles in the Old or New Testament.
William Samuel Johnson, signer of the Constitution, first president of Columbia (Kings College) and in a speech he gave at a graduation ceremony he actually gave a sermon referring to key principles such as maintaining a piety towards God, reverence and fear of His Holy Name, to reflect often and deeply on their relationship with God, and even quoted scripture. Today any speaker would be hushed immediately and removed from the ceremony.
Scripture tells us in Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” We, as a nation, have become ignorant of our foundations. We no longer know anything about our Founding Fathers. We have let the revisionist historians re-write our history without questioning their so-called facts.
When they wrote the Declaration of Independence there were four clauses referring to judicial activism. When they wrote the Constitution they gave us six clauses to make sure that we don’t have judicial activism. Yet today, because of ignorance of what is in the Constitution, courts all over this nation are practicing judicial activism including the newest appointed Supreme Court Justice who flagrantly stated that this is what courts actually do! We have a provision in the Constitution that states that no judge is to hold a lifetime appointment, Article 1; Section 3, yet all the Supreme Court justices have lifetime appointments. Many believe that we have three equal branches of government and we don’t. The judicial branch is the least powerful yet it acts like the most powerful.
Jacob Broom, signer of the Constitution, was a devout Christian and raised his children in the Christian faith as exhibited in a letter to his son James when he was at Princeton where he reminded him to not forget that he was a Christian and to live that lifestyle while at college.
James Wilson was one of only six people who signed both the Declaration and the Constitution. He was the second most active member at the Constitutional Convention speaking on the floor 168 times. He was appointed by George Washington as one of the original members of the Supreme Court. He started the first law school and wrote the book that was used to teach law and stated in that book that ‘civil law must be based on divine law.’ He believed that if our civil laws contradicted divine law, the civil law was wrong.
When you look at the actual Congressional records you will find that most of the laws that were proposed in Congress would be given Biblical reference to its validity by the sponsor of the proposed law.
James McHenry, signer of the Constitution and our first Secretary of War under George Washington and John Adams was also the founder of the Baltimore Bible Society, now the Maryland Bible Society, strongly supported the importance of the Bible in society stating “Public utility pleads forcibly for the general distribution of the Holy Scriptures. These can alone secure to society, order and peace, and to our courts of justice and constitutions of government, purity, stability, and usefulness. In vain, without the Bible, we increase penal laws and draw entrenchments around our institutions. Bibles are strong entrenchments. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses.”
John Dickinson, signer of the Constitution, stated “Rendering thanks to my Creator for my birth in a country enlightened by the Gospel, to Him I resign myself, humbly confiding in His goodness and in His mercy through Jesus Christ for the events of eternity.”
Gunning Bedford, also a signer of the Constitution, declared “To the triune God- the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost-be ascribed all honor and dominion, forevermore- Amen.”
John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and author of the Federalist Papers declared “Unto Him Who is the author and giver of all good, I render sincere and humble thanks for His manifold and unmerited blessings, and especially for our redemption and salvation by His beloved Son, Blessed be His holy Name.”
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The removal of the real history has happened over a long period of time. Modern books about our Founding Fathers almost never reference any source older that the 1920’s. Even a reprint of a book on George Washington has removed all references to his religious beliefs and his personal writings about his religious beliefs. If we continue to allow ourselves to be ‘dumbed down’, we will lose all of what has made America great.
© 2010 Roger Anghis - All Rights Reserved
Pastor Roger Anghis is the Founder of RestoreFreeSpeech.org, an organization designed to draw attention to the need of returning free speech rights to churches that was restricted in 1954.
President of The Damascus Project, TheDamascusProject.org, which has a stated purpose of teaching pastors and lay people the need of the churches involvement in the political arena and to teach the historical role of Christianity in the politics of the United States. Married-37 years, 3 children, three grandchildren.
Web site: RestoreFreeSpeech.org