Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Jefferson’

An impressive voter packet mobilizing opposition to Barack Obama recently arrived in the mailbox of Christian Conservatives nationwide.

Sent out by Faith & Freedom Coalition – the new face of the old Christian Coalition – it pitted “Obama vs The Constitution” in a bid “to restore constitutional government to America.”

The eight-page letter said nothing about national repentance to God or a return to the law of God, but had much to say about a return to the U. S. Constitution.  For example, the goal of the “November 6th Project” is to prove “that restoring Constitutional government is both a winning political strategy and America’s only real hope for survival as ‘the land of the free.'”

Notice that “our only real hope for survival” is “restoring Constitutional government“, but nothing is said about restoring America’s broken covenant with God and His law.  The solution to our dilemma is framed in exclusively political rather than spiritual terms.  The goal is presented in terms of American freedom, not God’s glory and offended justice.

The letter portrays Christian conservatives as innocent victims, not as co-belligerents  with liberals against the authority of the law of God.  When Daniel prayed for restoration of the nation he started with an acknowledgment that “we have sinned…even turning aside from Thy commandments and ordinances…therefore the Lord has kept the calamity in store….” (Dan. 9:5,14).  He didn’t distinguish between the “good guys” and the “bad guys” in the nation because there really were no “good guys.”

The letter said nothing about Christian conservative neglect of God’s ordinances (Ex. 21-23), but had a lot to say about President Obama’s offenses against the Constitution and the American people.  “Barack Obama’s hostility toward America’s Constitution is just as intense as his hostility to Christianity.  And he’s open about it.  He has called our Constitution ‘deeply flawed.’  So Obama has made it clear that he REJECTS  the Constitution and really doesn’t care what the law is.” 

According to Faith & Freedom the choice before the voters in 2012 should be this:

 “Do you stand with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James      Madison,  America’s Founding Fathers, and the U.S. Constitution?

 Or do you stand with Obama, who does not believe in liberty, and who has no respect for our constitution?”

Myth:  A return to the United States Constitution is equivalent to a return to the law of God

To assist our investigation of this myth, History MythBusters turned to a new book by Pastor Ted Weiland, entitled, “Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution.”  Many theologians have pointed out various Biblical inconsistencies in the U. S. Constitution.   But to our knowledge, this book is the first attempt to analyze the Constitution paragraph-by- paragraph according to the Bible.  Our research found the U. S. Constitution to be Biblically deficient on almost every point of law.  Here are a few examples.

  • The Constitution derives its governing authority from “we the people,” whereas the Bible says all governing authority is derived from God (Rmn 12:1).
  •  The Constitution requires that runaway slaves be returned to their masters, whereas the Bible forbids returning runaway slaves to their masters (Dt. 23:15).
  •  The Constitution allows for unlimited offensive war, whereas the Bible prohibits offensive warfare (Dt. 17:16; II Chr. 35:21-24).
  • The Constitution outlaws Biblical character requirements for public office” (Art. VI), whereas the Bible requires such qualifications (Dt. 1:13, Ex 18:21)
  • The Constitution allowed slave trading for 20 years, whereas the Bible requires the death penalty for kidnapping.
  •  The Constitution states all manmade laws and treaties are the “supreme law of the land (Art. VI),” whereas the Bible insists its law is supreme.  (I Tim. 1:8-11)
  • The Constitution protects public worship of false gods (1st Am), whereas the Bible forbids the public worship of false gods (Ex. 20:3)
  • The Constitution requires a census every ten years, whereas the Bible forbids the census (II Kgs 20:12,13; 24:1-4)
  • The Constitution has no limit on taxation above the 10% which the Bible calls slavery (I Samuel 8)

Case Closed:  Remarkably almost every paragraph of the United States Constitution was found to be in violation of the law of God.  MythBusters counted at least 75 violations of the Bible in the U.S. Constitution.  Thus, those who claim that the Constitution is a Christian document are either ignorant of the Constitution , ignorant of the Bible, or both.

It was ratification of the U. S.  Constitution in 1788 that provoked the wrath of God against America.  That wrath long restrained in mercy is now being unleashed.  To call for a return to the very document that caused the offense is the height of folly and can only aggravate the wound.

And so the assumption that a return to the “original intent” of the United States Constitution is equivalent to returning to the law of God is a myth.  MythBusters Rating:  Red Flag to Faith & Freedom Coalition for perpetuating this dangerous myth.  Christians should analyze the writings and pronouncements of this group with great caution.

On occasion cars get recalled because of a threat to the physical health of their owners, but it is rare that a book gets recalled because of a threat to the spiritual health of its readers.

Yet that’s exactly what happened to self-proclaimed “Christian history expert” David Barton of Wallbuilders when he recently tried to whitewash the image of Thomas Jefferson for Christian readers. His book, The Jefferson Lies, reputed to expose alleged myths about American founder Thomas Jefferson, was recalled by the publisher August 10.

Nashville based publisher Thomas Nelson cited “historical errors” and stated that “it was in the best interest of our readers to cease its publication and distribution.” The recall was prompted by complaints from a group of conservative scholars and from a group of Cincinnati ministers.

MYTH: Even the most heretic of America’s founders may be enlisted to prove a Biblical worldview in America’s founding documents because they were constrained by the prevailing Christianity in the culture.

For years Wallbuilders’ spin of American history has been an embarrassment to the evangelical church, but David Barton consistently got away with it. Wallbuilders preys on an historically ill-informed Christian public. MythBusters was gratified with the news that they were finally called on the carpet.

As one lay reader admitted before the recall, “…from what I’ve read from the “academic” detractors, I find Barton’s positions to be more compelling. That may be because I want to believe in the goodness of the Founders.”

Wanting to believe the best, most Christians will give groups like Wallbuilders the benefit of the doubt and are consistently misled. Christian apologists for the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution like David Barton typically rely on the supposed Christian convictions of the founders to prove that these are Christian documents.

They seem willing to go to almost any length to create this impression, including attempts to “baptize” the image of even the most heretical of the founders like Jefferson and Franklin. It’s like washing a pig and expecting him to stay clean.

Volumes could be written to demonstrate that Jefferson was no friend of the evangelical church, but MythBusters will summarize just a few points here from our investigation.

  • Jefferson was a self-professed Unitarian and Epicurean. These are hardly philosophies compatible with the Christian religion.
  •  It is not Jefferson that the Left has sought to denigrate as David Barton contends, but rather the Christian conservative caricature of Jefferson, of which Barton is typical. It was after all the New Deal Democrats who adorned the currency and coinage with Jefferson’s profile. They also carved his image in stone at Mt. Rushmore and erected a shrine in his honor at the nation’s capitol.
  • No matter how David Barton tries to sugar-coat it, the fact remains that Thomas Jefferson did excise the miracles of Jesus from the New Testament in his notorious Jefferson Bible. In so doing he stands condemned by the New Testament itself which warns, “if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book” (Rev. 22;19).
  • Christian leaders of Jefferson’s era were not buying Wallbuilders’ version of Thomas Jefferson.  Pastor Timothy Dwight, president of Yale University, was a prime example of those detractors. During the campaign [of 1800] Dwight took advantage of his pulpit to rain fire and brimstone on Jefferson. He said, “Can serious and reflecting men look about them and doubt that, if Jefferson is elected, those morals which protect our lives from the knife of the assassin, which guard the chastity of our wives and daughters from seduction and violence, defend our property from plunder and devastation and shield our religion from contempt and profanation, will not be trampled upon? For what end? That our churches may become temples of reason, the Bible cast into a bonfire, and that we may see our wives and daughters the victims of legal prostitution?”  (Gregory W. Hamilton, The Revolution of 1800)
  • Most freemasonic organizations claim Jefferson as a leading member of the craft and he was in full sympathy with their revolutionary aims. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the Jacobin-inspired French Revolution and endorsed its lawless, bloody purge, which claimed 14,000 victims. He welcomed Citizen Genet to America with the words, “All the old spirit of 1776 is rekindling.” In other words, he saw the same spirit in the American Revolution as that which animated the French.  Citizen Genet is  said to be the guiding force behind the Whiskey Rebellion.
  • The bottom line is that the best assessment of an individual founding father is a careful analysis of what they gave us. For one thing Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence draws its inspiration and authority from the autonomous mind of man (self-evident truth) rather than the Bible. For another, the Bible knows nothing of “inalienable rights,” but rather declares man to be “dead in sin” from conception and responsible to God’s law, with blessing dependent on obedience. The reader is referred to another article on this site for a more in-depth treatment of problems in the Declaration of Independence.

Case Closed: It does nothing for the Kingdom of God to pretend that infidels like Thomas Jefferson were in any way a friend of the church. The very words that Wallbuilders employs in praise of Jefferson – “classical Renaissance man” – are the words that condemn him from a Biblical perspective. The philosophy of the Renaissance was anti-Biblical to the core.

MythBuster Rating:  Blue Flag to Thomas Nelson for integrity in publishing and Wallbuilders gets our Red Flag.  David Barton’s writing should be approached with extreme caution by evangelical readers.