Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Dirt IS Flying at American Creation

It's sad to follow the dialogue at American Creation; a blog that supposedly discusses the Founding Fathers, and their religious beliefs. Instead, after I quit that blog, it has become a Christian theology blog, apparently controlled by Lindsey Shuman. Lindsey, you definitely know how to throw mud. Just read some of her posts, insulting any, and everything inerrantly Christian, including: David Barton, Newt Gingrich, or any fundamentalist Christian, with the feracity seen only on anti-christian blogs. It's not just her attacks on anything Christian, but she personally attacks people. In this recent post, where much can be learned, especially from Dr. Frazer and his interpretation of a Christian incidental; the bias is obvious. Yet American Creation was not designed to be a theology blog.

Her agenda doesn't appear to promote debate about the religious views of the framers, but to moderate what is acceptable in her own mind, and squash any comment that differs from her own viewpoint. From my perspective, American Creation focuses to undermine the Orthodox Christian Nation Thesis. Where will you find a post supporting the Founding Orthodox ratifiers, and Orthodox Christianity on that blog? No where! It's almost sad what the blog has become, since we can learn a great deal without personally attacking people.

For instance, the moderator of that blog would never allow a comment such as,

"Joseph Smith's parents declared their son, the founder of Mormonism, an occultist. Orthodox Christians have claimed Mormonism a cult for almost two-hundred years."

Yet, Lindsey is using terms such as, "arrogant jerk." Lindsey, it is you that comes off WAAAAY to strong? Another familiar insult used on that blog is "delusional."

What hypocrisy! What a sad forum to spray insults at people who express their views in a civil manner.

Notice the diatribe,

"My God, Tom! You really don't listen to anyone do you? I don't want to counter your arguments here in this thread. I don't give a care. My whole entire point has been that you come off WAAAAAY too strong. You attack people on a regular basis, and as a result, you have alienated the overwhelming majority of people here. To speak in simply terms, you come off being arrogant, condescending, self-righteous and downright aggressive. How many people have you rubbed the wrong way over the months, Tom? That should tell you enough...at least it would to anyone paying attention."[bold face mine]

Of course you don't care about an alternative viewpoint from your own. You are confortable with your bias. Incredibly, that response came after this,

"No, Gregg, I'll give you Jefferson and half [mebbe 3/4] of the confused John Adams. Otherwise, it's game on. And you're a public intellectual now. The heat comes along with it. But, person to person, I deleted a comment I made in a thread above this one out of courtesy for your recent personal loss because I thought it would be unfair that you wouldn't be here to defend your thesis. But here you are back again. And no, as your thesis is in public discussion, where presumably a man of letters would want it, no, I cannot "leave you out of it."[Although I will work hard to bifurcate your POV from your personal beliefs, as we previously agreed.] And por favor, man, STOP YELLING AT ME, Gregg. I hear you fine, and I understand you fine. However, you don't understand the underpinnings of my argument yet atall. But I'll get to them. Best regards as always, and my prayers are with you in this difficult time."[bold face mine]

Arrogant, condescending, self-righteous, and downright aggressive? So that warrants you calling the guy an "arrogant jerk?" Should I post all the arrogant, condescending, self-righteous, and downright aggressive statements you've made on that blog?

Mr. Frazer, with all do respect to your views of Romans 13, which appears biblically sound, your "theistic rationalist" term is vulnerable. Are you upset at the critique? Were you called a jerk by Lindsey? I still haven't read clear evidence from James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton denying the miraculous, or inerrancy while forming the nation? Madison's views noticeably changed, and Hamilton's words were consistent all his life. The definition of your term is no less incredible than the Natural Law interpretation of Romans 13.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

David Barton and Romans 13

David Barton, of Wallbuilders, has posted a recent article on Romans 13, and the right to overthrow tyrants. David's excellent article, again, reiterates the false claim that the 18th Century Enlightenment had anything to do with the theory of righteous rebellion against corrupt governments. Rebellion against tyrants was couched in "Right Reason" of Natural Law, spelled out in Romans 2, by the Apostle Paul, and Reformation Philosophers.

In my previous post, I mentioned the "Old Lights," Liberal Preachers, such as: Jonathan Mayhew, and Samuel Cooper, who were raised in the 18th Century Enlightenment, however did not use enlightenment principles in their view of Romans 13, but used the Biblical Text, and Natural Law, from centuries earlier.

The Old Lights, who were of the minority viewpoint in their theological reasoning, could not, by their lack of numbers, and limited geographical base; Massachusetts, be the majority impetus for the American Revolution. There were countless, more Orthodox Clergy, from Rhode Island to Georgia, who chanted rebellion through ink, and from their pulpits. The Orthodox were the major voice for Revolution interpreting Romans 13. The Old Lights, therefore, were a theological minority in voicing their opinion, although their voice, in some areas, appeared louder than the others.

The correct, and majority American Political Theology, must therefore be Orthodox Christian.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The "Old Lights" and Rebellion

What the Scriptures "actually say" pertaining to Romans 13, may or may not be consistent with Natural Law, thus, did the Founding Fathers have the right to rebel against Great Britain? Inasmuch the literal reading of Romans 13 is inconsistent with the American Revolution, as it could be; along with the Founding Fathers, the Heterodox, Elite, 18th Century Christian Preachers, are an important dynamic within Founding American Political Thought. Regardless of the correct biblical exegegis; righteous rebellion from Natural Law, espoused by Thomas Aquinas to the Founding Fathers, has a strong historical tradition.

In my last post, I overlooked Founding Father John Jay's defense of the Natural Law tradition of Romans 13, by ignoring the correct context of of John 18:36, which Mr. Jay apparently missed:

"My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place." [bold face mine]

Mr. Jay understood a right to rebellion by Jesus' disciples (the people), granted that universal right for any nation, was couched in Natural Law. But Jesus' Kingdom is not of this world, until the start of the Millennial Age. Jesus' Kingdom has been called by God. It appears the text says "Every" governing authority is granted by God. If the right to rebel against any authority has support in Romans 13, it's in the Greek rendering of the word "resist." That word, refers only to "standing against." It is never used in the New Testament for fighting. If fighting against governing authorities is granted by God to the people, why didn't Paul use a different word? That point, however, may be incidental, as the text seems to imply the people should submit to every authority they are under.

The "Old Lights" referring to New England Preachers of the liberal bent, include: Jonathan Mayhew (1720-1766), Charles Chauncy (1705-1787), Simeon Howard (1733-1804), Samuel Cooper (1725-1783), Ebenezer Gay (1696-1787) and Samuel West (1730-1807). West, was a member of the committee which framed the Constitution of Massachusetts, and member of the Mass. Convention which ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1788. These men are interesting characters, in that most of their theological reasoning discarded sixteen-hundred years of Church tradition for the freedom to interpret the Scriptures in their own way. This is all fine and dandy involving the incidentals of Christianity. These men owe our respect for their involvement in the Revolutionary cause; risking their lives, and promoting freedom of conscience to all men.

These men ranged from Arians to Socinians, having denied the Trinity as unreasonable, they rejected seemingly Calvinist principles promoted by Jonathan Edwards, Samuel Davies et. al. in the Great Awakening. Having free reign to interpret the Scriptures, and rejecting Church Creeds, led these men to deny the fundamentals of Christian Theology. The departure of fundamentals did not start at rejecting inerrancy, but rejecting the Deity of Jesus Christ, which led to rejecting Christ's Vicarious Blood Atonement for Sin. To them, only God can forgive sin, and Jesus was not God, negating Jesus' capacity for blood atonement. Scripturally, they rejected the atonement, looking to God's forgiveness through character. Amazingly, they discarded the entire sacrificial system of the Old Testament, along with God's promise of a final sacrifice for sin. A little leaven leavens the whole lump, which begs the question, "How much virtue does it take to outweigh one sin?"

This exaltation of character over, or even to partner, the free gift of grace, took them off track in God's plan of Salvation. Character is not a part of salvation, but is an evidence of salvation. Character is an evidence, not a requirement. These "Old Lights" mixed grace and works, perhaps due to their emphasis on Natural Law.

They preached in Congregational Churches limited to the Boston area of Massachusetts, before the Unitarian split in the early 19th Century. A good question to these men is how did they get around taking communion? If membership required adherance to Church ordinances, how did Samuel Cooper for instance, get around not taking communion when he adminstered it at Brattle Street Church in Boston? Brattle Street Church was Baptist that eventually became First Baptist Church. His congregation was seemingly more secretive in its Unitarianism than Jonathan Mayhew's Church, with past communion members such as: John Hancock, and Samuel Adams.

A small group of Elite Founding Fathers embraced the psuedo-arminianism of the Unitarian Preachers, some of these men included: Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Massachusetts men: John Adams, his son John Quincy, William Cushing, James Bowdoin, and Paul Revere. The division in Unitarian theology did not happen until the 19th Century, with William Ellery Channing. The key to unlock the religious views of the Founding Fathers is tied to their position on atonement-depravity. The pseudo-arminians viewed man as good, the Calvinists or nominal Calvinists viewed man as depraved.

Whatever theological beliefs they had, they were instrumental, along with the Orthodox Preachers, in arousing fervor for revolution against Great Britain. These Old Light preachers are an important element in the American Revolution.

If righteous rebellion is not correct biblical exegesis as some commentators insist, the American Revolution was un-biblical, no matter its inclusion into Natural Law. If the Revolution was un-biblical, does an incidental in Christian theology affect the Christian Nation Thesis?