Over the years I’ve known you, you’ve been a staunch supporter of the popular notion than we’re a Christian nation and the founding fathers were serious disciples of Jesus. But I detect with the obvious modern demise of our republic here in America that falsely morphed into a “democracy” over the years, that perhaps your heart is open to another perspective. So, without further delay, let me share what my search has revealed. We both can agree we want to follow hard and fast after our Savior without any deception.
What did America’s top 5 founding fathers really believe in their heart of hearts? Were they as widely reported to be all famous followers (aka disciples) of Jesus? Or were they something much much different and again we’ve been lied to in the name of an agenda by our political leaders?
Let’s examine them all one at a time: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin.
These men, save Ben Franklin, were all the first President’s of the fledging Republic (not democracy). So, it is widely proclaimed that the United States of America was founded and is a “Christian nation,” and needs to be won (again) for Jesus.
But what does history really show us in their lives? We, dear brother, more than others in our country here, must be diligent to present Christ.
George Washington – Not Much to Say About Religion and Nothing of Christ
Of all the five top founders, George Washington (1732–1799) is the arguably the most idolized by Americans over the years. After all, he was the General who vanquished the Brits and gave us our “independence and freedom.” Yes, we acknowledge that God mysteriously directed certain American Revolution events to help establish the new republic. But God uses less-than-stellar world events to populate, mature, and complete the kingdom of God to keep His plan on track.
Washington had the least to say of the top 5 founding fathers about religious things throughout his life. He wrote in 1795, “In politics as in religion, my tenets are few and simple.” Ok, we get it. He was a member of the transplanted English aristocracy that was now running America. Being baptized in the Anglican (Episcopal) church without a profession of committed faith in Jesus, he was by all standards a nominal member of his denomination.
When pressed, he kept any religious belief very, very private. Just like most pagans we all know. “Well, my religion (not faith) is a private thing,” pagans usually reply. How many times have we all heard that from unbelievers?
During 8 years as President, he did indeed speak some of religion. Usually in a distant, cold, non-passionate, impersonal terminology. He described his God as “the Higher Cause,” “the Governor of the Universe,” “the Grand Architect,” “the Great Ruler of Events,” and “the Supreme Dispenser of all Good.” Hardly what we evangelicals would describe as personal. And he never gave a public conversion testimony in all his years. Never.
In 1789 after the American Revolution, some real time Presbyterian believers admonished Washington that the Constitution was void of any reference to Jesus Christ as God. His response? Not what a member of the God squad might expect. He calmly replied, “The path of true piety is so plain as to require but little political direction.” So, was his whole life one of directly avoiding Jesus and any mention of our Savior or true Christian fruit?
On rare occasion, one may find a note in his prayer journal about Jesus. But he killed his enemies, piled up tremendous amounts of mammon, and never associated with the lonely…he owned them instead as slaves. Hardly Christ-like.
Why was Washington so popular, both then and now? His lack of Jesus allowed him to be supremely tolerant of all basic religions. That fruit now allows Wiccans, dope smoking American Indians, etc. to be wrongly classified as “religions.’ Is this a great country or what?
How are we batting so far? 0 for 1.
John Adams – Wisdom Is The Main Thing From God
John Adams (1735–1826), born in Massachusetts and highly influenced in France by the Enlightenment (with a capital E), was to say the least a very free thinker about God and religions matters.
He followed hard after Unitarianism when his fellow Congregational members embraced that rapidly growing heresy. Sounds a bit like our modern days today, no? He proclaimed that others failed to demonstrate ultimate patience in accepting other doctrines, like his that then said all people will go to heaven ultimately.
As a Deist, Adams was mesmerized by the powerful sovereignty of God and his rhetoric was soaring as he attempted to extol God. But no word of Christ and His role in the Father’s plan. Very disturbing that our 2nd President seemed at times to be so close and yet so far from the real truth.
What were some of his quotes? “I feel an irresistible impulse to fall on my knees in adoration of the Power that moves, the Wisdom that directs, and the Benevolence that sanctifies this wonderful whole.” What? Where is Jesus the Creator as extolled by the apostle in the book of Colossians? Missing in action, I’m afraid. The capital letters here, the P-W-B, are the result of the age of Reason and John Locke.
Another heresy for Adams? He quickly and completely dismissed the doctrine of original sin. In 1815 he unfortunately replied, “I am answerable enough for my own sins…I know they were my own fault, and that is enough for me to know.” Oops.
But he did believe in an eternal life, but one of his own design, saying, “…without the supposition of a future state, I can make nothing of this universe but a chaos…If I did not believe in a future state, I should believe in no God.”
Ok. 2 up and 2 down. 0 for 2. Next up, please.
Thomas Jefferson – Creating His Own Bible Without the Miracles of Jesus
As our 3rd President, dear brother, Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) left us quite a heritage of religious matter into his heart. He could be rightly claimed to be the master of American religious freedom. To this we can all be grateful.
He championed measures of religious freedom even in his home state of Virginia. He was ecstatic “to see the standard of reason at last erected.. (and that men) had the courage to declare that the reason of man may be trusted.” What? Not Jesus, but Reason and Man.
Of all his works, he wanted this fact and the Declaration of Independence on his tombstone. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? If you happen to be a white, wealthy, European land owner. Jefferson’s sexual escapes and resulting offspring with his black female slave are legendary. What about her liberty and pursuit of her happiness?
But where was Christ in all this? Since Jefferson too spent much time in Europe and was hugely influenced by its philosophies, he vehemently argued for his type of “Christian” religion of certainty that rallied around the Enlightenment standards of Reason and Nature. Notice the capital letters E-R-N. But never the capital C for Christ.
Jefferson wrote in 1803, “I am a real Christian … sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others.” But then he developed his own Jeffersonian Bible and had all references to the miracles of Jesus removed. If we had a modern church member do that in our group, what we say to him or her, dear brother?
And what action would we take if they, like Jefferson did, steadfastly refused to stop insisting upon and promoting this cut-and-paste Scripture method like the Mormons or JW’s?
In the end, Jefferson just plainly rejected that Jesus was God. Furthermore, he claimed that Jesus refused His own divinity. Also, he blew off the Trinity as “mere abracadabra.”
His crowning achievement of religion seven years before his death? His statement that “I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know.” A factious man, says the Word of God, must be avoided, being perverted and leading others astray.
0 for 3. Next batter up.
James Madison – Lifelong Struggle For Religious Freedom
Well, now we have James Madison (1751–1836), our 4th President, and fellow defender of religious freedom and great friend of his fellow Virginia leader Thomas Jefferson.
In fact, the separating of the church and state was just as much his battle as it was Jefferson’s, although Jefferson is given the most public credit for he coined the phrase. Madison, rightly in our opinion here, championed the opposition to patriot zealot Patrick Henry’s tax bill to support “the Christian religion.” I mean, what would we think if a Muslim American president sought to make the Koran the religion of the land, even if untrue? The true truth will always rise to the forefront for those in pursuit of God, for the Holy Spirit guarantees that goal as God’s current viceroy. Anyone can pray to Jesus silently at any time in school or elsewhere.
Madison is thought to have embraced that the true Deist doctrines of the day which were a belief in God, freedom, and immortality. But we’ll never know for certain on this side of the sod for he kept silent about his true faith. This tell tale sign again betrays a lack of love for the Christ of God.
He did write that all laws pertaining to religion should be left to, “the Supreme Lawgiver of the universe.” Earlier he seemed warmed to the things of the true faith when he joined himself to the College of New Jersey (Princeton). The faculty members there seemed to be deep believers, albeit extreme Calvinist Presbyterians. But alas, in the “Revolutionary” fervor, that small flame was snuffed out. Another non-physical and religious casualty of war and failure to love your enemies. Nasty theology from Patrick Henry and his “kill ‘em all” buddies helped obscure the real teachings of Jesus once again.
What if Patrick Henry had proclaimed, “Give me Jesus, and give me His cross!” Well, he’d have been relegated to a footnote in history and drummed out of town. The pulpits always, and I mean always, whip up the patriotic fervor to begin war, thus sending the young boys to do the bidding of the older gents with all the ideas and money. The bankers who fund all the war make a killing, while guys like George Washington, Robert E. Lee, Franklin Roosevelt, and George W. Bush make a killing of the boys for the idea of in-dependence from any 3rd party. Jesus weeps and prepares for wrath when He returns to blow this place up in His fury of the Father.
But Madison, about 10 years prior to his death, was pursued to explain his religion about God. His response? That he had basically ignored that part of life for the last fifty years, and that particular subject was nobody’s business anyway.
All batters have been retired in order so far. 0 for 4. Last batter, please.
Benjamin Franklin – Close At Times To Hearing the Spirit of God
Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) was unquestionably the most admired, winsome, and popular at home and abroad of the top 5 founding fathers. His multi-talented personality displayed wisdom, poise, politics, curiosity, and business acumen.
But he was by all standards a free thinker and deist just like his other 4 contemporaries. Many Christian denominations attempted to pigeon hole him into their doctrines, which Franklin steadfastly refused.
The closest he came to faith in Jesus was the influence of the great evangelist and Christian social reformer George Whitfield, a phenomenon and supreme orator in his day. Franklin is on record as saying when he personally heard Whitefield preach he gave large sums of money to his cause and was drawn to the message of Jesus. But “Poor Richard” Ben never surrendered, as far as we know, to the claims of Christ as the record firmly shows.
In the end, he rested on his own creed of common sense and found his “revelation” not in the Word of God. Unfortunately, Franklin, like his 4 peers, sought Reason and Nature and again was captured by the free thinkers.
These free thinkers believed in a God, freedom to humans to make choices (unless these humans were their own slaves, of course), and high morals. If churches adhered to these high morals they would be of value.
Interesting, Franklin was furious at the churches of his day that focused mostly on doctrine but mostly ignored the teaching and living of high morals. To those who ignored this high moral code, they received the ultimate rebuke from him in the form of sarcasm and isolation. Faith, to Franklin, was just a tool for clean living, a means to an end only.
In the last year of his life, Puritan Ezra Stiles, president of Yale, when Yale like Princeton was a Christian college, sought to get Franklin to express his religious thoughts.
Franklin replied simply. “Here is my creed. I believe in one God, Creator of the universe: that he governs the world by his providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable service we can render to him is doing good to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal and will be treated with justice in another life respect[ing] its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental principles of all sound religion, and I regard them as you do, in whatever sect I meet with them.”
When pressed about Jesus, Franklin was unsure. He liked Jesus moral teachings, but His divinity left him with “some doubts.”
Only five weeks before his death, he cryptically prophesied, like Caiaphas the night of Jesus’ mock trial, that it was “needless to busy myself with it (faith) now, when I expect soon an opport[unity] of know[ing] the truth with less trouble.”
As far as we can tell, dear brother, Benjamin Franklin, the last of the top 5 founding fathers, died in his sins. My prayer is that all the mercy shown to him throughout his life by other Christians came to bear on his heart and he repented before the evil angels claimed his soul for Hades.
So, all 5 batters were retired in order by Satan as far as we can tell. 0 for 5.
We take solace in the fact that God loves these men and is perfectly just in how He attempted to draw them to His heart. God is truly, as His word proclaims, no respecter of persons.
Brother, we can rest in that great truth. And if Ben made it by God’s magnificent grace, I want to spend some time with him in eternity about that kite and electricity!
Still not convinced in some small way?
Below are some best resources by top Christian authors and leaders of the very obvious fact that America is not and never was a “Christian nation.” Are you sincerely open, dear one, to another sacred cow in your life being slain at the altar of truthful obedience? Let us all leave behind every demon inspired tradition of man.
Yes? Then these are some of the absolute best, in this order:
UnChristian America: Living with Faith in a Nation That Was Never Under God – by Michael Babcock
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Your friend and brother in fighting the good fight,
Saints, we’re one day closer to Home, and Him! Love Him wholeheartedly!
You may view our Archives here: DEAR BRETHREN – ARCHIVES; Complete Archives; feel free to write and proclaim your leadings in the Spirit in an honorable fashion. May our Father richly bless you with His grace, through Jesus Christ our Lord, in order to walk worthy of His name.