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Founding Fathers = Christians or...?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by amadeus, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

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    Consider these quotes:


    "The United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian Doctrine."
    George Washington

    "I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature."
    Thomas Jefferson

    "The Bible is not my book, and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma."
    Abraham Lincoln

    "Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst."
    Thomas Paine

    "During almost fifteen centuries the legal establishment known as Christianity has been on trial, and what have been the fruits, more or less, in all places? These are the fruits: pride, indolence, ignorance, and arrogance in the clergy. Ignorance, arrogance, and servility in the laity, and in both clergy and laity, superstition, bigotry, and persecution."
    James Madison

    "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his Father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classified with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and the freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated Reformer of human errors."
    Thomas Jefferson

    "When the Know-Nothings get control, it [the Declaration of Independence] will read: "All men are created equal except negroes, foreigners and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy."
    Abraham Lincoln

    "In every country in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own. "
    Thomas Jefferson, from letters to Horatio G. Spafford and Dr. Thomas Cooper.

    "An alliance or coalition between Government and religion cannot be too carefully guarded against......Every new and successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters is of importance........religion and government will exist in greater purity, without (rather) than with the aid of government."
    James Madison
     
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  2. John Caldwell

    John Caldwell Well-Known Member

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    @amadeus ,

    Insofar as Jefferson I am not surprised (he was not a Christian).

    I can find nowhere George Washington actually stated what is quoted.

    In the Treaty with Tripoli (1797) I find this:

    "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion..."

    But this is not Washington.

    Do you have a reference for the quote?
     
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  3. Helen

    Helen Well-Known Member

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    Wow John!
    Is this for real?
    Where did you find it?

    Have you known about it before?

    It all sounds strange to me.

    I will be watching this thread very closely!! :)
     
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  4. John Caldwell

    John Caldwell Well-Known Member

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    It does not bother me much either way (nations are not "Christian" as the Kingdom is not of this world).

    Jefferson did not believe in the supernatural (to include the belief Christ was resurrected). He was a deist.

    But as far as I know the others were Christians.

    I'm really just wondering where Washington made the statement.
     
  5. Prayer Warrior

    Prayer Warrior Well-Known Member

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    I doubt the authenticity of these quotes. I've seen some to the contrary.
     
  6. Prayer Warrior

    Prayer Warrior Well-Known Member

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    This is from George Washington's Farewell Address:

    …let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in the exclusion of religious principle.​
     
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  7. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, but no! I copied it to my computer from someone's post on another Christian forum probably more than ten years ago. It interested me at the time so I simply copied and saved it as it was presented. I was looking through some my many hundreds of such things saved and came across it. I thought some here might know more about it or have opinions on the ideas expressed or even question their authenticity as you have done.

    As to the statement in question...

    I have not read enough about Washington, the man, to know much more than that he was not very close to being what they taught me when I was in school.

    Notice that the sentence uses the phrase, 'Christian Doctrine' without attempting to define it. A person who saw no church or denomination which accurately even attempted to teach and live by the example Jesus provides in scripture might say such a thing. I might say it myself but my own knowledge in U.S. history would likely not be up to the accuracy of my statement.
     
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  8. Prayer Warrior

    Prayer Warrior Well-Known Member

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    These quotes on the American Bible Society's website. :)

    From the signing of the Declaration of Independence to the Civil Rights movement to today, God's Word has inspired American heroes and ordinary citizens to pursue liberty and justice for all people.

    As you celebrate the spirit of liberty that gave birth to our nation 241 years ago, take a moment to reflect on these quotes about the Bible from six men who played a key role in the founding of our nation, including two early presidents of American Bible Society—Elias Boudinot and John Jay:

    1. John Adams: “The Bible contains the most profound philosophy, the most perfect morality, and the most refined policy that ever was conceived upon earth.”
    2. John Quincy Adams: “[The Bible] is of all books in the world that which contributes most to make men good, wise, and happy.”
    3. Elias Boudinot: “Were you to ask me to recommend the most valuable book in the world, I should fix on the Bible as the most instructive, both to the wise and ignorant.”
    4. John Jay: “Let us therefore persevere steadfastly in distributing the Scriptures far and near, and without note or comment. We are assured that they ‘are profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16).’”
    5. Thomas Jefferson: “The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man. … Had the doctrines of Jesus been preached always as pure as they came from his lips, the whole civilized world would now have been Christian.”
    6. Benjamin Rush: “The Bible contains more truths than any other book in the world.”
    This 4th of July, no matter how you celebrate the political freedom established in our nation’s founding era, let us give thanks for the book that is still changing lives and bringing spiritual freedom to people around the world:

    There is no condemnation now for those who live in union with Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit, which brings us life in union with Christ Jesus, has set me free from the law of sin and death.
    Romans 8:1-2 (GNTD)
    Source: 6 Quotes About the Bible from the Founding Fathers | Blog | News | American Bible Society
    .
     
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  9. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

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    I don't know but I do have the date I copied it in May, of 2012 from a 97 Microsoft Word program format to my TextMaker which can read the MS Word. It may be much older than that as I transferred a lot of things from an older computer to a new one around that time using Textmaker program. Many of my documents saved from forums I know are nearly 20 years old, but because of those transfers few of them show a date earlier than 10-12 years ago, unless there is a date entered on the writing itself.

    I knew something about some of Jefferson's less than Christian beliefs. I've read more about Lincoln than the others. While I am not familiar with these particular quotations from Lincoln, they do seem to fit what I know about him. Some say that Lincoln was not a Christian, but they usually mean that he was not orthodox and I certainly agree with that. His ideas on Christianity are not in some areas far from my own.
     
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  10. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps some well read historians will visit us and help in this. The only ones I would tend to believe based on personal reading to be authentic would be Jefferson and Lincoln.
     
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  11. Prayer Warrior

    Prayer Warrior Well-Known Member

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    I quoted some from the American Bible Society. Did you see them?
     
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  12. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but like the ones I posted someone apparently picked statements fitting their own purposes. They don't really tell us much about where the individual actually was in any walk with God... or even if he did walk with God.

    Jefferson was sincere in what he believed but few if any Christian groups today would want someone with his beliefs among them. Maybe I am being more severe toward them than of him. I remember reading a detailed biography about him a few years ago and my main problem was with his inability to take action with regard to freeing his own slaves because it would cost him so much money and force him to diminish his expensive life style. Yet, in his writings anyway he really did express a desire to eliminate slavery in the United States. He was unable however, for aforesaid reasons to ever take the necessary first step himself.

    As for Lincoln, I liked this one quotation I got from book about him I read over 20 years ago. It was a library book but it was read during a time when I did not really believe I could forget something like the name of a book I had enjoyed... I have forgotten and have given up hope of every knowing it again. I saved the quotation to my computer but neglected to annotate it with a source and date. I do agree with the essence of his statement:

    "I have never united myself to any church, because I have
    found difficulty in giving my assent without mental reservation,
    to the long complicated statements of Christian doctrine which
    characterizes their Articles of Belief and Confessions of Faith.
    When any church will inscribe over its altar as its sole qualification for membership the Savior's condensed statement of both Law and Gospel, 'thou shalt love the Lord thy God
    with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and
    thy neighbor as thyself' that church will I join with all my heart and all my soul"

    Abraham Lincoln
     
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  13. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    Consider these quotes:
    JOHN ADAMS -- The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God. (in a letter to Thomas Jefferson)

    JOHN QUINCY ADAMS -- My hopes of a future life are all founded upon the Gospel of Christ and I cannot cavil or quibble away [evade or object to]. . . . the whole tenor of His conduct by which He sometimes positively asserted and at others countenances [permits] His disciples in asserting that He was God (The Selected Writings of john and John Quincy Adams)

    SAMUEL ADAMS --
    I . . . [rely] upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins...The name of the Lord (says the Scripture) is a strong tower; thither the righteous flee and are safe [Proverbs 18:10]. Let us secure His favor and He will lead us through the journey of this life and at length receive us to a better (Footnotes to sources of quotes supplied).

    For those who want to see an extensive list of actual quotations and the sources given, please review this article:

    The Founding Fathers on Jesus, Christianity and the Bible - WallBuilders

    So the OP is pretty bogus.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
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  14. John Caldwell

    John Caldwell Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I have seen it attributed to Washington before but have never seen where he actually said it.

    I also "collect" quotes and it bugs me when I can't verify one. OCD I guess.
     
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  15. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for sharing... but your use of the word, bogus, on what we have so far including your link is I believe, at this point, inappropriate. You might say, doubtful or even suspect, but bogus seems a bit too strong to me especially considering how far removed we, you and I, are from being first hand witnesses to behavior and beliefs of these "founding fathers".
     
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  16. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

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    In more recent years, I have learned finally to be more careful to annotate a saved document with at least the date I acquired it was much earlier than the date I saved it. Also it may be important I include the source of the information. Unfortunately there are many hundreds of saved documents with no date but the one showing when I saved it. Too often that was years after I actually obtained it.

    I do sincerely hope that when I am gone, one of my children or grandchildren will make good use of what I have saved...
     
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  17. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    With all the Fake News being published today, those quotes could well be bogus. But not your fault, since you were quoting a third party's materials.

    We should keep in mind that the Left-Liberals today have no interest in the truth, or any kind of righteousness. They hate Christians and Christian values, they hate the Founding Fathers, the Constitution, the rule of law,morality, fairness, justice and truth. And the one behind all this is Satan.

    Kindly read that article I have posted so that you have a first-hand glimpse of the past.
     
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  18. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the U.S. was established as a Bible believing Christian nation.

    You must first go back to the beginning, not 1776. The founding of the New World coincided with the Reformation movements in Europe. In this you can see that God was providing a place for Protestants to go, where they could exist, and not be under the heavy hand of Romanism. The Roman Church was involved in the founding of the New World, but America would later become Protestant to the core.

    You look at Plymouth Rock and Jamestown to see how America started. It was Christian through and through. The fabric that made up the nation that would be America was Christian and had a high reverence for the Bible, the Word of God.

    And yes, these were white Europeans. Oh my! Perish the thought Yet it was Europe that was Christianized by God. From King to peasant. That too was God's decision. (Acts 16:6-10) (Gen. 9:27)

    As to Abraham Lincoln's quotes, he had little to do with the origin of America. He had much to do with destroying it. He indeed has replaced Washington as the father of America.

    Stranger
     
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  19. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

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    It was simply your manner of expressing this in your earlier post. The way you say it now I like a lot better, that is , that "they could well be bogus", I like much better.

    Thank you for this. My point was to simply open a discussion to hopefully help all of us come to a better understanding of what has happened in the past and what is happening today... as it pertains in particular to God's plan. Thank you for your input.

    Thank you for your opinion here. I am not nor have I claimed to be an expert on the political views and activities in the United States today... but I do recognize that our leadership as a whole is very unchristian or even anti-Christ. Of course, I also consider that those who follow the leaders have generally gotten what they really wanted or perhaps a better would be, deserved. Is that not what happened in Canaanland at the end of the time of Judges when the people approached the prophet/judge Samuel asking that he give them a king?

    There are people in our country who love God and work to please Him always... there are too many among those who attend churches regularly who missed the boat on this and too often simply really do not seem to care: "Just so it doesn't adversely affect me and mine" might be what they are saying.

    I looked the article over briefly when I first read your post. Now I have gone back and spent more time looking at the names of each writer and reading some of what he wrote/said. It is a good collection of the words of those involved at the time of our revolution against England and the beginnings of our nation. It still, of course, does not set in concrete what those men were as servants of God. Most of us here on this forum at times say 'good' things about our walk with God, but the same thing holds for us when it comes to a final judgement.

    God undoubtedly used those men as He also uses you and me and others here today. Staying always in His right hand rather than His left is an important thing for each of us to remember. The final judgement of each of us... will depend on what we are doing at our end.
     
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  20. FHII

    FHII Well-Known Member

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    Well, I agree with this on the surface... I'd have to read the whole context, though.

    This one needs some background info to understand it... The "know nothing's" were a political party that was against immigration... They ceased to exist in 1860.

    All these quotes are interesting, but again, I'd have to look at the context.
     
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