Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Founding Fathers Justified Righteous Rebellion From the Bible

The Founding Fathers justified their civil war(as it was called in the beginning) by the will of God in the Bible, not by enlightenment rationalism, or any other ism(sp), by infidels like: Jean Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, or Joseph Priestley.

Romans 13:
3For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
4For he is the minister of God to thee for good.

Rulers in this case is the government correct? God says this ruler is the minister of God, correct? Only good government is ordained by God, that evil government is ordained by God is not possible, and irrational, though all power is ultimately from God. This is all common sense. The heroes of the faith in the book of Hebrews rebelled against authority; they are exalted because what they rebelled against was contrary to the Law of Nature. That God would ordain wickedness and corrupt government, which He condemns in His Word, is absurd!

Here, John Jay speaks of Biblical justification for righteous rebellion in Romans 13:

"As to the first species of warfare, in every state or kingdom, the government or executive ruler has, throughout all ages, pursued, and often at the expense of blood, attacked, captured, and subdued murderers, robbers, and other offenders; by force confining them in chains and in prisons, and by force inflicting on them punishment; never rendering to them good for evil, for that duty attaches to individuals in their personal or private capacities, but not to rulers or magistrates in their official capacities. This species of war has constantly and universally been deemed just and indispensable. On this topic the gospel is explicit. It commands us to obey the higher powers or ruler. It reminds us that “he beareth not the sword in vain”; that “he is the minister of God, and a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” Now, if he is not to bear the sward in vain, it follows that he is to use it to execute wrath on evildoers, and consequently to draw blood and to kill on proper occasions.As to the second species of warfare, it certainly is as reasonable and as right that a nation be secure against injustice, disorder, and rapine from without as from within; and therefore it is the right and duty of the government or ruler to use force and the sword to protect and maintain the rights of his people against evildoers of another nation. The reason and necessity of using force and the sword being the same in both cases, the right or the law must be the same also."

John Jay, appointed by President George Washington as the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. In addition to serving on the Supreme Court, Jay had a very distinguished history of public service. He was a member of the Continental Congress (1774-76, 1778-79) and served as President of Congress (1778-79); he helped write the New York State constitution (1777); he authored the first manual on military discipline (1777); he served as Chief-Justice of New York Supreme Court (1777-78); he was appointed minister to Spain (1779); he signed the final peace treaty with Great Britain (1783); and he was elected as Governor of New York (1795- 1801). Jay is also famous as one of the three coauthors, along with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, of the Federalist Papers, which were instrumental in securing the ratification of the federal Constitution. John Jay was a strong Christian, serving both as vice-president of the American Bible Society (1816-21) and its president (1821- 27), and he was a member of American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. In this series of letters, John Jay expounds on the Biblical view of war. The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, Henry Johnston, editor (New York: G. P. Punam's Sons, 1893), Vol. IV, pp. 391-393, 403-419, letters to John Murray, October 12, 1816 and April 15, 1818. http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=64

Founding Father James Otis (a leader of the Sons of Liberty and the mentor of Samuel Adams) in a 1766 work argued that the only king who had any Divine right was God Himself; beyond that, God had ordained power to rest with the people:

Has it [government] any solid foundation? any chief cornerstone. . . ? I think it has an everlasting foundation in the unchangeable will of God, the Author of Nature whose laws never vary. . . . Government. . . . is by no means an arbitrary thing depending merely on compact or human will for its existence. . . . The power of God Almighty is the only power that can properly and strictly be called supreme and absolute. In the order of nature immediately under Him comes the power of a simple democracy, or the power of the whole over the whole. . . . [God is] the only monarch in the universe who has a clear and indisputable right to absolute power because He is the only one who is omniscient as well as omnipotent. . . . The sum of my argument is that civil government is of God, that the administrators of it were originally the whole people.
James Otis, The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved (Boston: J. Williams 1766), pp. 11, 12, 13, 98.

Rebellion against corrupt govt was approved by the framers:

[T]here was no anarchy. . . . [T]he people of the North American union, and of its constituent States, were associated bodies of civilized men and Christians in a state of nature, but not of anarchy. They were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of the Gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledged as the rules of their conduct.
John Quincy Adams, An Address Delivered at the Request of the Committee of Arrangements for the Celebrating the Anniversary of Independence at the City of Washington on the Fourth of July 1821 upon the Occasion of Reading The Declaration of Independence (Cambridge: Hilliard and Metcalf, 1821), p. 28.

Notice that Adams, and the rest of the Founding Fathers believed the author of nature, state of nature, is God, not just man's reason. To separate reason from the Creator of Reason is laughable, and illogical.

31 comments:

Hercules Mulligan said...

Oh, I forgot to say earlier, OFT:

HAPPY REFORMATION DAY!

Hercules Mulligan said...

Hello OFT. I don't know if you received my response from your comment on my Hamilton blog. But I wanted to make sure you knew about the resource I linked to. Thanks to the Alexander Hamilton Exhibition website, many of Hamilton's UNPUBLISHED writings can now be viewed online! I wanted to point you to that resource, because of your statement:
"I bet there are still some of Hamilton's writings that show his faith, let's find them."

So I thought you would be interested.

On my comment at my blog, I spelled the site out in a bit more detail, so I won't fill up so much space again here.

Our Founding Truth said...

Herc,

I emailed Mr. Moore to look at my blog; I told him I wanted to see how to get involved with their organization. Those unpublished writings are a blessing.

OFT

Our Founding Truth said...

Bro, this is great! Where did you find this?

The triumphs of vice are no new thing under the sun, and I fear, till the millennium comes, in spite of all our boasted light and purification, hypocrisy and treachery will continue to be the most successful commodities in the political market.
~ To Richard Harrison (1793)>

Millennium? Is Hamilton talking about the Millennium in the Bible, the thousand year reign of Christ with believers? A pseudo-christian would never mention that. And the date is 1793; philosophical terms? no way. Maybe Witherspoon or John Jay, would speak on the millennium, only hardcore Christians who studied the Word, spoke about that. Although he never finished at King's, he knew the Bible.

Hercules Mulligan said...

Hi OFT.

I found this quote (I love it too, it's one of my favorites) in Henry Cabot Lodge's edition of Alexander Hamilton's works.

Did you find the quote on my Hamilton Patriot blog? I believe I hyper-linked the reference of the location here, in Hamilton's Works, volume 10.

*I just found out that the link was broken, so I just fixed it.

To answer your question, I believe that the "millennium" mentioned in the Bible is the only "millennium" that Hamilton could have been talking about. There are two reasons why I believe this is accurate:
First, the millennium of the Bible is talking about the perfectly just government of the perfectly just Christ, upon His second coming to earth. This millennium of the "thousand-year reign" of the saints with Christ. Also, Hamilton makes another indirect mention of the millennium in denouncing the absolute power of the Roman Catholic pope:
"They [the popes]did not seem to be satisfied with the title which Christianity gave them to the next world only, but chose to infer from thence an exclusive right to this world also." From "The Farmer Refuted" (emphasis added)

Second, Hamilton could not have been referring to, say any following millennium (centuries), because he did not believe that man could be perfected over time, but that the selfish nature of man never changes.

The millennium of the Bible is the only "millennium" which fits the context of Hamilton's quote here, and his beliefs in general.

Yes, Hamilton studied the Bible. So far as I know, he studied it in his youth, and in later years, according to his son John, who said he found his father's hand-written study notes in the margins of the Bible. In Hamilton's youth, Hamilton studied the Bible at Francis Barber's Academy, and wrote notes (which I have not yet been able to locate) on the books of Genesis and Revelation (see The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, vol. 1, ed. by Harold C. Syrett) as part of a school assignment (*GASP*).

During his time at King's College, Robert Troup said that Hamilton studied "polemical writers on religious subjects," and that Hamilton defended "the fundamental doctrines of Christianity" publicly.

In case you aren't aware, "Alexander Hamilton's Religion: Part Two" is up on my Hamilton Patriot blog, in case you want more of this kind of information.

Whew! I wrote a lot! I hope this helps.

Mrs Mecomber said...

Excellent point about civil disobedience (it is their Right, it is their Duty...)

I sadly see so many secularists credit Jefferson and Locke for these sentiments. But even these men received the word! Samuel Rutherford and his kingdom-shattering "Lex Rex" was the seminal work that spawned the Founders to dissolve the bonds of tyranny. And of course, Reverend Rutherford received it by revelation from the scriptures.

Jonathan said...

Samuel Rutherford and his kingdom-shattering "Lex Rex" was the seminal work that spawned the Founders to dissolve the bonds of tyranny.

Neither the Founders nor Locke nor Jefferson cited Rutherford for the proposition of rebellion.

Hercules Mulligan said...

The Founding Fathers cited Locke, it is true, but where did Locke get his ideas?

Doctor Francis Schaeffer, who passed away nearly 20 years ago, who was one of the greatest philosophers of the last century, stated that Locke derived his ideas from Rutherford, and presented Rutherford's ideas in a format that was directed towards all people, and not just Christians.

But whether or not Rutherford was cited directly by our Founding Fathers is irrelevant to the point: which is, that "Lex Rex," or, "The LAW is King." This idea is truly "revolutionary," and without it, America would not have been its own nation.

The idea that "Law is King" predates the Enlightenment by thousands of years, and this is a precept that is embodied in God Himself - HE OBEYS HIS OWN LAW.

The Founding Fathers did not have to end every other sentence of theirs with a Scripture verse, or to sanctify what they said by ending with "in the name of the Trinity" just to satisfy skeptics like you, Jonathan. And remember, there are many more founding fathers than just Thomas Jefferson.

Hercules Mulligan said...

The introductions to Sam Rutherford's book by Jon Roland Attributes Rutherford's work to the English Revolutions which occurred not long after the publication of Lex Rex, and eventually our Revolution and founding documents.

If you honestly believe that Rutherford wasn't cited by the Founders, simply search the Records of the Debates at the Constitutional Convention, which record that Rutherford was sometimes read in the Convention as an authority for such arguments as, "the states should have an equal vote in the federal govt.," etc.

Jonathan said...

"but where did Locke get his ideas?"

Locke never cites Rutherford. I did the search and Rutherfords name did not come up in "the Records of the Debates at the Constitutional Convention."

Hercules Mulligan said...

Ok then, here it is:

From Max Farrand's Records of the Debates:

"Mr. L[uther] Martin ... read other passages in Locke & Vattel, and also Rutherford: that the States being equal cannot treat or confederate so as to give up an equality of votes without giving up their liberty ..." (1)

"[Mr Luther Martin said]: Vattel, Rutherford and Locke, are united in support of the position, that states, as to each other, are in a state of nature." (2)

Obviously, the Founding Fathers read Rutherford and considered him an authority if they were willing to read him alongside Locke and Emerich de Vattel at the Convention. No delegate would have wasted his time reading Rutherford to give authority to his point at the Convention is Rutherford was not widely considered an authority among the Founders.

Jonathan said...

He was probably referring to Thomas Rutherford, a noted 18th century legal commentator, in his Institutes of Natural Law. Samuel Rutherford was a relic of a bygone era.

Samuel Rutherford would have executed the key Founding Fathers, b/c that's what he thought theological unitarians deserved:

"It was justice, not cruelty, yea mercy to the Church of God, to take away the life of Servetus, who used such spirituall and diabolick cruelty to many thousand soules, whom he did pervert, and by his Booke, does yet lead into perdition."

http://www.covenanter.org/Antitoleration/knoxdefended.html

Our Founding Truth said...

"It was justice, not cruelty, yea mercy to the Church of God, to take away the life of Servetus, who used such spirituall and diabolick cruelty to many thousand soules, whom he did pervert, and by his Booke, does yet lead into perdition.">>

Anyone who wanted to execute Servetus, was wrong, period! But, you are aren't making the correct distinction between leading people away from God, as Servetus did, and belief in heterodoxy, which Jefferson, Story, Marshall(became a Christian later), Franklin, and Washington did. They are two different things.

Our Founding Truth said...

Samuel Rutherford would have executed the key Founding Fathers, b/c that's what he thought theological unitarians deserved:>

Did he advocate executing unitarians?

Jonathan said...

He supported the execution of Servetus for simply speaking his unitarian mind, publicly criticizing the Trinity. It was Calvin, btw, who saw Servetus executed.

Hercules Mulligan said...

Ah, this link that you have here, Jonathan, is by JOHN KNOX, not Samuel Rutherford.

And no, they wouldn't have had the FOUNDING FATHERS executed, if Rutherford supported such an idea at all. If he did he did support the execution of heretics (which is wrong -- the Bible never advocates this practice; see for example Luke 9:51-56), it probably would have been a very small minority.

I think you are falling into the error that Jefferson, Madison, etc. were the most important Founders. This is not true. Jefferson, for instance, contributed nothing to the Founding documents other than the fact that he wrote the 1st draft of the Declaration of Independence, and it is a highly "plagiarized" document. He had nothing to do with the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, and therefore is not much of an authority on either, compared to the others who actually framed them. Madison was a bit more involved in the framing of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and is therefore a better authority on both; however, he even waived the term of being the "father of the constitution."

Most of the Founding Fathers were believers in the Bible, so far as their writings show. However, over the past century, thanks to secularist revisionism, the names of Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, & Paine (who is not arguably a FOUNDING FATHER) have been so often repeated that the others have disappeared into oblivion.

Jonathan said...

The Knox link quotes and sources Samuel Rutherford. If you research this further you'll probably find that it's accurate. Samuel Rutherford of "Lex Rex" fame didn't believe in tolerating Arminians, Socinians or Arians, which right there is almost all of the Founders. Even Benjamin Rush, who remained Trinitarian, became an Arminian and then a Universalist denying eternal damnation.

I really don't pay much attention to Paine. Rather I focus on John Adams because it's generally understood that he was politically more conservative and much less of a "separationist" than Jefferson or Madison. Yet, on the nature of God, there is little if any difference that can be shown between what Jefferson and Franklin believed on the one hand, and Adams on the other. That just shows how "mainstream" Jefferson's and Franklin's unitarianism was among the Whigs.

Our Founding Truth said...

Even Benjamin Rush, who remained Trinitarian, became an Arminian and then a Universalist denying eternal damnation.>>

Maybe he was a universalist, but, he was orthodox, believing in the fundamentals for salvation. If Rush was a universalist, he wasn't very good at reading comprehension; Jesus made it clear, "no one comes to the Father but by me." John 14:6.

But, like I said before, salvation is personal, if Rush believed in inherency, Jesus' Deity and Virgin Birth, Atonement, Death and Resurrection, and Physical Return to the Earth, he has nothing to worry about. Those are the fundamentals of Christianity, mandatory for salvation, made clear in the Word of God.

My wife and I disagree with some of the points of Calvinism.

Jonathan said...

If Rush was a universalist, he wasn't very good at reading comprehension

I think the universal salvation proof text is the part of the Bible that says something about every knee bowing for Christ. People in Hell aren't bowing their knees for Christ. If/when they do, they no longer will be in Hell.

Instead of rejecting Christ' Atonement as the unitarians did, the Trinitarian Universalists believed it's through the universality of Christ's Atonement that all eventually are saved.

But you are right, as far as I understand, Rush's Christology remained orthodox even as he converted to Universalism.

Our Founding Truth said...

I think the universal salvation proof text is the part of the Bible that says something about every knee bowing for Christ.>

That is regarding submission, not salvation.

People in Hell aren't bowing their knees for Christ. If/when they do, they no longer will be in Hell.>>

They're weeping, like Jesus said, but it's too late. They understand their plight, but will always be in hell.

Instead of rejecting Christ' Atonement as the unitarians did, the Trinitarian Universalists believed it's through the universality of Christ's Atonement that all eventually are saved.>

Precisely; doesn't that seem bizarre to you? Did Rush ever hear of something called Faith, and "there is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus"?

Jonathan said...

I'm not going to argue the soundness of his theology -- I find the whole notion of eternal damnation unsound and unbelievable. All I can give you is the quotation of his of which I am aware:

He writes in "Travels through Life," his autobiography:

At Dr. Finley's School, I was more fully instructed in these principles by means of the Westminster Catechism. I retained them but without any affection for them 'till abut the year of 1780. I then read for the first time Fletcher's controversy with the Calvinists in favor of the Universality of the atonement. This prepared my mind to admit the doctrine of Universal salvation, which was then preached in our city by the Revd. Mr. Winchester. It embraced and reconciled my ancient calvinistical, and newly adopted Armenian principles. From that time I have never doubted upon the subject of the salvation of all men. My conviction of the truth of this doctrine was derived from reading the works of Stonehouse, Seigvolk, White,Chauncey, and Winchester, and afterwards from an attentive perusal of the Scriptures. I always admitted with each of these authors future punishment, and of long, long duration.

Hercules Mulligan said...

"I find the whole notion of eternal damnation unsound and unbelievable."

I know this is a slight departure from the subject, but I am curious. I have read and studied the subject, and thought through the objections and the evidence, and the idea of hell seems quite justifiable to me.

Why, Jonathan, do you think such a doctrine "unsound and unbelievable"? If you have some evidence, I would like to see it. But if your argument is simply "I don't feel comfortable about it," or "Nobody can offer me tangible evidence that such a place or state exists," than I am not asking for that, because such things are irrelevant to truth.

You do not have to answer if you do not want to, but it is a question that is very important, because eternity exists, and each individual is going to spend some time doing something (even if it could be doing nothing, which seems to be your belief) in that space of eternity.

Hercules Mulligan said...

But back to the subject, which was Rutherford's ideas and the Founders ideas.

I am not (yet) a student of Rutherford's works. However, it is obvious that Rutherford's thesis that law, and not the government, was the ultimate authority, no doubt accounted for the revolutionary movements in England, and eventually our American Revolution, and the framing of our Constitution and our constitutional republic.

Jonathan said...

Hell

Infinite punishment for finite sins = unjust.

Our Founding Truth said...

Infinite punishment for finite sins = unjust.>

It's not unjust if you understand the Holiness and Righteousness of God. God is perfect justice, so if He forgave iniquity for no reason, he wouldn't be Holy, and Perfect Justice. He has to punish sin, and it has to be eternal punishment. If He didn't punish iniquity, He wouldn't be God.

Then, this opens up all kinds of problems with God's attributes.

But, thank God, He provided an answer, and a Redeemer for that sin, and has kept His words, undefiled in the Bible; Jesus Christ is the answer, and every person has the free will to find Him; He is at the door, knocking; Who will let Him in? Let Him in, because He Loves us, and proved His Love, by taking our place, to die for us.

On to universalism, I thought about it last night; I could be wrong about claiming they are Christians, for the fact that, The Holy Spirit is inside a person, convicting the truth of Jesus Christ, not of Buddha, or anyone else. Maybe Rush just suppressed that conviction, like a person suppressing the free will to eat any food, which God has ordained.

Universalism is a tricky subject.

Hercules Mulligan said...

If I may add:

No sins are ultimately "finite." Each sin has infinite repercussions. God is not limited by time, and therefore looks at the whole grand scale of time and events. He is not limited to our feelings and perception of the "now."

Our Founding Truth said...

No sins are ultimately "finite." Each sin has infinite repercussions. God is not limited by time, and therefore looks at the whole grand scale of time and events. He is not limited to our feelings and perception of the "now.">

I agree, wholeheartedly. A committed sin has to have an infinite penalty, or God's justice would be limited; by not punishing sin properly, God's omnipresence is questioned, because He is eternal, and our spirits are eternal. God cannot give a penalty for ten years, and then allow that person into Heaven, that all is well; sin must be judged, the soul that sinneth must die(spiritual death, that's eternal death, unless God take on the form of a man, keep the law perfectly, die, and become the final sacrifice for that sin, which Jesus fulfilled. There, is where faith comes in. We are not finite beings; therefore, our penalty for offending a Holy God, is infinite.

If Benjamin Rush was a universalist, he was an immature Christian to say the least, because he never would have spread the Good News to anyone, allowing them to die in their sins. He then, failed to adhere to the Great Commission.

Jonathan said...

If Benjamin Rush was a universalist, he was an immature Christian to say the least, because he never would have spread the Good News to anyone, allowing them to die in their sins.

I don't believe Rush was a theistic rationalist. But his Arminian universalism certainly could have led him to flirt with it. For instance the theistic rationalists think all religions are valid because they all teach a necessary state of future rewards and punishments with Christianity being "better" because of the superiority of Jesus' moral teachings.

Rush said the following:

Such is my veneration for every religion that reveals the attributes of the Deity, or a future state of rewards and punishments, that I had rather see the opinions of Confucius or Mahomed inculcated upon our youth, than see them grow up wholly devoid of a system of religious principles. But the religion I mean to recommend in this place, is that of the New Testament.

If Christianity is the only way and the other religions lead people to Hell, then what difference would it make if someone were an atheist or a Muslim or a Confucionist? Why would an orthodox Christian have any veneration for any false religion?

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch18s30.html

Jonathan said...

I agree, wholeheartedly. A committed sin has to have an infinite penalty, or God's justice would be limited;

A drawn out theological discussion among us would be pointless; but let me make one small and final point: I find this as crazy as the notion that God would send 19 highjackers into the WTC and reward then with virgins in Heaven.

I've seen the Ray Comfort Kirk Cameron "challenge" where they question folks about their sins. For instance, have you ever stolen anything? I've give you the only time I remember doing so: When I was 14, I stole a comic book worth $1. I guess that makes me a theif. But do I deserve eternal punishment for this? Hell no. If I were apprehended I would have had to pay a small fine, or as an adult perhaps spend a few hours, if any in jail. Why don't we chop someone's hand off for stealing a piece of pizza? Because we realize the punishment wouldn't fit the crime. Infinite punishments for our finite crimes or sins is not just irrational, it is the most cosmically unjust idea ever put forward, the worst case of the punishment not fitting the crime, taken to the level of infinite.

Or let's say I burglarized a home and got caught and spent 10 years in jail. If I died and faced God and He questioned me on this: I'd reply: "I paid IN FULL for that one." People already suffer and hence pay the price for their sins. Some pay in part; some pay in full; some suffer more than they deserve and overpay. If there is a God and an afterlife I'd image the reckoning is the meting out of rewards and punishment in a just way taking into account all that one has done and all that one has paid.

Our Founding Truth said...

If Christianity is the only way and the other religions lead people to Hell, then what difference would it make if someone were an atheist or a Muslim or a Confucionist? Why would an orthodox Christian have any veneration for any false religion?>

That is part of my point, it is illogical, which is what happens when a person neglects the clear teaching of the Word of God.

Since man is born in sin, and God is Holy, see my earlier post for the answer to your last email.

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