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DEFINING AMERICA AND AMERICA'S EXCEPTIONALISM
PART 1

 

By Pastor Roger Anghis
May 8, 2011
NewsWithViews.com

All through man’s history up until the forming of the government of the United States there had been only kings and dictators who held complete control over its people. When the United States won its independence from Britain our Founding Fathers established a government that the world had never seen before. There were shades of it in Greece and Rome, but never had there been a government where the people controlled who governed them.

For the first time in man’s history if a people did not like those who governed them, they could peacefully and non-violently replace them. When, at the end of George Washington’s second term and he stepped down and the office of the president went to the newly elected John Adams, the world witnessed for the first time a change of a ruler without bloodshed. America is the only nation explicitly founded upon the principles of human equality and natural rights or as our Founders referred to it, God given rights.

The American experiment, in my opinion, is the ultimate lesson in exceptionalism. Never before had a people created a government that allowed the people to attain the wealth and freedoms that the American people have. There are other nations with wealthy people but only in America can a person be born into abject poverty and through the sweat of his brow and perseverance become unimaginably wealthy. Many have done it. Many more will. Why is this a possibility only in America? There are many factors that can be accounted for this but I believe that the foundation for the unparalleled success of the American experience is the principles of the Founders that were grounded in their Christian faith. Those principles created a nation of people that are the most affluent, generous, hard working and educated, and dedicated to their Christian God than any other nation on earth. America has only 6% of the world’s population but we produce 25% of the world’s wealth.

The American system not only successfully created a sovereign people but put into the hands of the people the political authority needed to allow the people to be as successful as they wanted to be while at the same time keeping government from controlling that growth. It is a unique blend of Western civilization, Judeo Christian values all combined with political liberties. This had never been tried before. In most cases it had never been allowed. Our Founders believed, and rightfully so, that the only legitimate power of government is through the consent of the governed. This concept is the foundation of the American government, the source for our independence and the guidelines for our society.

The unfounded declaration from today’s revisionist historians that our Founders were atheists and deists has no written historical basis. In fact when you study the personal writings of the Founders and of the Founders contemporaries you find just the opposite. Even the records of Congress refute that unfounded claim. Elias Boudinot, President of Congress; signed the peace treaty to end the American Revolution, was the first attorney admitted to the U. S. Supreme Court Bar; was a framer of the Bill of Rights and Director of the U. S. Mint stated before the First Provincial Congress of New Jersey: “[L]et us enter on this important business under the idea that we are Christians on whom the eyes of the world are now turned… Let us earnestly call and beseech Him, for Christ’s sake, to preside in our councils. . . . We can only depend on the all powerful influence of the Spirit of God, Whose Divine aid and assistance it becomes us as a Christian people most devoutly to implore. Therefore I move that some minister of the Gospel be requested to attend this Congress every morning . . . in order to open the meeting with prayer.”[1] In the belief that Christian principles were the most valuable to mankind John Jay, President of Congress; Diplomat; Author of the Federalist Papers; Original Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and Governor of New York stated: “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”[2]

Most of the Founders made similar statements. Benjamin Franklin stated: “As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and His religion as He left them to us is the best the world ever saw or is likely to see.”[3] James McHenry, Revolutionary Officer; Signer of the Constitution; Ratifier of the Constitution; Secretary of War under George Washington and John Adams claimed: “Public utility pleads most forcibly for the general distribution of the Holy Scriptures. Without the Bible, in vain do we increase penal laws and draw entrenchments around our institutions.”[4] Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence; Surgeon General of the Continental Army; Ratifier of the Constitution; “Father of American Medicine”; Treasurer of the U.S. Mint; “Father of Public Schools under the Constitution” stated: “The Gospel of Jesus Christ prescribes the wisest rules for just conduct in every situation of life. Happy are they who are enabled to obey them in all situations!”[5]


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Being the “Father of Public Schools under the Constitution” Benjamin Rush confirmed his belief in the need for Biblical training when he made this statement: “The Bible, when not read in schools, is seldom read in any subsequent period of life… [T]he Bible… should be read in our schools in preference to all other books because it contains the greatest portion of that kind of knowledge which is calculated to produce private and public happiness.”[6] I could continue with quotes from the Founders concerning their belief in the importance of Christian principles not just in private lives but public lives AND the foundational principles of government, but I believe that the point has been made and as we continue in this study it will become clear, despite what revisionist historians have stated, that this belief was their foundation and it should be our foundation as well.

The whole basis of the American experiment is based and founded on Christian principles. No other nation has attempted to establish a society and government rooted in Christian principles. These principles allow the people to govern themselves politically yet set boundaries for moral guidelines. These principles also allow the people to keep the fruits of their labor. Scripture informed the Founders that when a people obeyed God’s commands and followed His principles, they would be putting themselves into a position to reap blessings from God. Deuteronomy 28: 1 “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: 2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.”[7] The word used here for “blessings” (vs 2) is berakah and it means prosperity, liberal.

This gives us an indication that the blessings that will come upon us will be of great quantity. This promise was verified in Ecclesiastes 2:24 “There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.”[8] We have to remember that when America began to be populated in the early 1600’s, they were coming from lands where aristocracy ruled the land and individuals did not own property unless you were of royal heritage. Being able to own the land and keep the profits from the fruit of that land was never an option for the vast majority of the people. In this new land they wanted to establish a society that was grounded on the Word of God were a man could eat the fruit of his labor.

It is important that we spend a little time looking at why America was such a desired place to go during this time. America had begun to establish a society that was freer than any other nation in the world. That society was being built on the teachings of the new Geneva Bible. Up until the Geneva Bible no Bible was available in the English language nor were there any commentaries to explain many aspects of the teachings found in scripture. The Bible had just begun to be translated into the English language. The New Testament was first printed in 1526 by William Tyndale. In the process of translating it he was forced to flee England because of persecution from the Crown and go to Germany and then to Belgium before finishing the translation. Six thousand copies were smuggled into England and that caused Tyndale to be hunted down and imprisoned. Then on March 6, 1536 he was strangled and burned at the stake, all for printing the New Testament in the English language. In 1553 was the reign of ‘Bloody Mary’ Tudor who was determined to force the English back to Roman Catholicism.

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She ordered the burning of all copies of the Bibles in English and caused more than 300 reformers, pastors and Bible translators to be burned at the stake. This caused about 800 English scholars to leave England, for safety reasons, and they gathered in Geneva culminating in the grouping of the finest theologians and Biblical scholars in the world at that time. There between 1557 and 1560 they began to translate the entire Bible into the English language. In this Bible were footnotes and commentaries from John Calvin, Thomas Sternhold, John Hopkins, William Whittingham, Miles Coverdale, John Knox and many more. These commentaries infuriated King James because they began to teach against a monarchy and totalitarian rule, supported individual freedoms, property ownership and many other things that took power and authority away from the king so in 1606 he ordered that a Bible without notes and commentaries be made available for him. This became the King James Version we have today.

Click here for part -----> 1,

Footnotes:

1. Elias Boudinot, The Life, Public Services, Addresses, and Letters of Elias Boudinot, J. J. Boudinot, editor (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1896), Vol. I, pp. 19, 21, speech in the First Provincial Congress of New Jersey.
2. William Jay, The Life of John Jay (New York: J. & J. Harper, 1833), Vol. II, p. 376, to John Murray Jr. on October 12, 1816.
3. Benjamin Franklin, Works of Benjamin Franklin, John Bigelow, editor (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904), p. 185, to Ezra Stiles, March 9, 1790.
4. Bernard C. Steiner, One Hundred and Ten Years of Bible Society Work in Maryland, 1810-1920 (Maryland Bible Society, 1921), p. 14.
5. Benjamin Rush, The Autobiography of Benjamin Rush, George W. Corner, editor (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1948), pp. 165-166.
6. Benjamin Rush, Essays, Literary, Moral & Philosophical (Philadelphia: Thomas & Samuel F. Bradford, 1798), pp. 94, 100, “A Defence of the Use of the Bible as a School Book.”
7. The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.) (Dt 28:1-2). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
8. The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.) (Ec 2:24). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

2011 Roger Anghis - All Rights Reserved

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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

E-Mail: editor@restorefreespeech.org


 

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The unfounded declaration from today’s revisionist historians that our Founders were atheists and deists has no written historical basis.