John Eidsmoe’s review of Chris Pinto’s “The Hidden Faith of Our Founding Fathers” is typical of the pietistic response to America’s founders for the past 200 years.
This is one more in an endless stream of apologies attempting to prove the legitimacy of the U.S. Constitution by demonstrating that the majority of the founding fathers were “real Christians.” Upon investigation this approach garnered the HistoryMythBusters “yellow flag” rating.
MYTH: If we prove that most of America’s founding fathers were “real Christians” it follows that the U.S. Constitution they drafted is a Christian document.
Even if all of the claims regarding the founders’ personal Christian faith were substantiated, the only thing that matters is the doctrinal integrity of the document that they gave us: the United States Constitution. If this principle is not kept front-and-center, the debate inevitably degenerates into a war of quotations.
For example, there are abundant citations on both sides of the question of Washington’s personal Christianity to fill many books. But the key question is “so what?”, in light of the unbiblical document that Washington gave us in Constitution Hall,
This is like two Israelites arguing – 200 years after Jeroboam set up his golden calves in Israel – whether or not Jeroboam was a true “Christian.” The question is irrelevant, in light of what Jeroboam actually did to lead Israel away from following God and His law. Lobbing quotes back and forth is an exercise in futility because Jesus said, “by their fruits you shall know them.”
As Chris Pinto has demonstrated quite effectively in his documentaries, it is very easy to prove by selective quotation that both Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi are genuine Christian believers. Most (but unfortunately not all) Christians are not fooled by these documented quotations because they know their legislative fruits (related to abortion, sodomy, etc). However, these quotes will no doubt be bandied about by naïve Christians 200 years hence to “prove” the “Christian convictions” of Obama and Pelosi.
To avoid this trap, Christians must constantly remind themselves of the unbiblical nature of the U.S. Constitution. Pastor Ted Weiland has recently published the first paragraph-by-paragraph analysis of the Constitution from a Biblical perspective. He has documented at least 75 points at which this so-called Christian document is in direct conflict with the Bible. Here are a few of them:
1) making “we the people” rather than God the source of governing authority. (Preamble)
2) rejecting the Bible in favor of itself (“this constitution”) and all treaties and human laws “made in pursuance thereof” as “the supreme law of the land.” (Art VI)
3) outlawing all Biblical requirements for public office. (Art VI)
4) contradicting God’s First Commandment to “have no other gods before me” (First Amendment)
In “The Atlantis Connection” Chris Pinto suggests an additional reason why reliance on religious quotations by the founding fathers is problematic. That is the deceptive influence of Rosicrucianism.
According to Chris Pinto, when Elizabeth I assumed the throne in England, the Pope commissioned assassins to eliminate this rising Protestant threat. The intelligence network that united around Elizabeth as a body-guard, also shared esoteric goals that would have been unacceptable to the prevailing Christian culture.
Francis Bacon and his mentor Dr. John Dee were key members of this clandestine coterie. To mask their intentions, they established the Rosicrucian movement, whose icon is a rose (symbol of secrecy) superimposed over a cross. Thus, their writing and speech is a confusing mixture of Christianity and paganism. Nor did they shrink from membership and leadership within the church as a key element in their strategum. From this is derived the term “subrosa”, meaning “in secrecy or confidence” – beneath the rose.
Bacon helped fund and seed the Jamestown expedition with many adventurers of his persuasion in the New World. Many, but not all of the founding fathers were influenced by this spirit, if not formal Rosicrucians, according to Chris Pinto. Franklin was the most egregious example. In many cases this explains their use of Christian terminology, references to Scripture, and church membership, which confuses so many Christians today. Jesus warned us about those who would come to us as wolves in sheep’s clothing.
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Dr. Eidsmoe devotes considerable space to excusing Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoly, which states that ” …”the government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion…..” In spite of all the fancy footwork employed by Dr. Eidsmoe and others to deny the import of the statement, it was never repealed and according to Article VI (noted above) remains “the supreme law of the land.”
Perhaps more perplexing is Dr. Eidsmoe’s admission that “…even if that Article is genuine, there is nothing in that language with which I would disagree.” In the same paragraph he states that it simply means that “we do not have an ‘established religion’ in the United States.'” But the all-inclusive nature of Article 11 clearly goes far beyond that.
Moses would never have made such a statement about the government he established upon the law of God. Nor would any American official have assented to such a statement if America was truly founded upon “Christian and Biblical principles” as Dr. Eidsmoe asserts.
This misperception of the nature of Biblical civil government is also reflected in Dr. Eidsmoe’s assertion that whether one is “fit to be a good citizen or statesman, the question focuses more upon whether his moral values are ocnsistent with those found in the Word of God.”
The problem with that definition is that it makes Christian government dependent on the fluctuating heart of man rather than the law of God. This was the approach taken by Abraham Kuyper in Holland and explains why his dramatic cultural reforms died when he died.
The Bible and many of the earlier colonial charters required government officials to be bound by a religious test oath to govern by the Word of God. As noted above, Article VI of the Constitution outlawed any such oath.
Moreover, Dr. Eidsmoe fails to distinguish between freedom of religion and freedom of conscience. The First Commandment forbids freedom of religion in terms of public expressions of worship to any false god in a Christian nation. Elijah showed zero tolerance for the prophets of Baal. On the other hand, the unbelieving alien (stranger) was given special protected status in Israel and the Israelite was forbidden to coerce him in any way.
Key History MythBuster Findings:
- When evaluating any historical character find out if what they did lines up with what they said.
- Be aware of the influence of Rosicrucianism among the intelligencia of Elizabethean England and subsequently the founding fathers in colonial America.
- Do not ignore the many points at which the United States Constitution is in direct conflict with the Bible.
Case Closed: While impressive in length, Dr. Eidsmoe’s review of Chris Pinto’s “Hidden Faith of the Founding Fathers” is seriously flawed. MythBusters Rating: Hence our “Yellow Flag” cautionary rating. The review relies primarily on what America’s key founding fathers said, while ignoring what they actually produced. The review naively whitewashes the lack of orthodoxy among many of the key founders. For example, Jefferson’s excising the miracles of Jesus from the New Testament is justified by his supposed interest in “converting the Indians to Christianity.”
Moreover, Eidsmoe stated that “Franklin was a Mason, but there is little evidence that Freemasonry influenced his thinking.” Only if you can swallow the notion that Franklin’s leadership of the Masonic lodge in Philadelphia, initiation of Voltaire into the Nine Sisters lodge in Paris, and his leadership of the London Hell Fire club had no influence on his thinking.
There is much more that could be said of this review, but space does not allow.