Our Founding Fathers: Were the Founding Fathers Really Christians?

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While it might seem like a trivial question, the answer is actually the birthplace of our national identity.  The beliefs and convictions of our founding fathers lay the groundwork for interpreting our Declaration of Independence and Constitution—the documents that direct our daily freedoms.

According to Real Clear Politics, an average of several polls observed over the past couple of weeks, a staggering 65% of Americans feel the nation is heading in the wrong direction.[1] What is more worrisome is the lack of consensus on what direction is right.

Political pundits assert that this is because of a lack of leadership; Christians say it is because we have rejected God; atheists assert it is because we have too much religion. With so many varying opinions, how are we ever going to move forward to be the nation we once were?

At the Constitutional Congress on July 28, 1787, the Congress had been in gridlock for over a month. After all, deciding on a brand new government with the voice and opinions of 55 men was no easy task. But it took the voice of one man to bring order to that meeting and determining our nation’s foundation.

“How has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly appealing to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings…I have lived, Sir, long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?”

constitutional-convention

Who said this? Benjamin Franklin.

For all of the critics who alleged that Franklin was a deist, is it unusual that he appealed to God to intervene in the affairs of men? What’s more, is that he is here quoting Jesus[2] at a government meeting?

This quote alone establishes that Benjamin Franklin, at least in the latter part of his life, was in fact not a deist.[3] While there is not enough time to dive completely into what Benjamin Franklin actually lived and believed (stay tuned at a later date for that discussion), these words allow him to be a variety of things. A deist is not one of them.

The result of this faith-ridden stance has been marked as the time when the Constitutional Congress began daily praying and attending church services…and subsequently established our revolutionary form of government in less than 6 weeks.

This Founding Fathers post will be the first of many in a new blog series that will seek to open the discussion on the Faith of our Founding Fathers.

Reestablishing our national identity requires looking to what that foundation was built on and who built it. To keep our foundation from being taken out from underneath us we must call to God for help.

President George Washington proclaimed, “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”

[1] Real Clear Politics averaged 6 polls conducted between 9/3-9/15/2014.http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/direction_of_country-902.html

[2] Matthew 10:29 “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.” (New International Version)

[3] Deism: 1. Belief in the existence of a God on the evidence of reason and nature only, with the rejection of supernatural revelation (distinguished from theism ). 2. Belief in a God who created the world but has since remained indifferent to it. Dictonary.com.

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