I've refuted Barrett's 100 Scriptural Arguments before on this blog, which supposedly gives support for the Lord's humanity found in the N.T. Most of Barrett's reasons have nothing to do with the comparative essence of God the Son, the Father and the Holy Spirit, rather, his assertions are all based on semantics and perfidy. For example, No. 1. "Because Jesus Christ is represented by the sacred writers to be as distinct a being from God the Father as one man is distinct from another. “It is written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one who bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me,” John 8:17, 18." As you can see, this is just a diversion to deceive, since Christ says nothing about His essence. However, in the same chapter, John 8:58, Jesus calls Himself "I am." Strong's Concordance refers to the original Hebrew as "the self existent one" and "eternal being." Meaning, Jesus is claiming Himself Deity, but the Deity at the burning bush, where He initially said it to Moses. No. 2, Barrett writes "Because he not only never said that himself was God, but, on the contrary, spoke of the Father, who sent him, as God, and as the only God." Barrett ignored John 8:58 as did Adams, and Jefferson because of their own predisposition (sin). God has blinded the eyes of the reprobate (Romans 11:7-8). All Barrett's reasons are similar to No. 1 and easy to refute.
My post reflected the views of Martin Luther, given I was reading Trinity Foundation, which correlated the reformer and Constitutional rights. I linked this with all the posts about John Adams (ugh). Indeed, Luther was an Augustinian Monk, who didn't want to leave the Roman Church. He only wanted to reform it. All these ideas have influence with today's moral condition of our country. As TVD commented about protestant sects, this isn't as "off the wall" compared to what tragedies Luther's former church committed and the 80 to 100 million people they murdered, most of which were actual Christians who just wanted to worship and read the bible for themselves.
History proves, throughout the centuries, Popes were murderers, rapists, adulterers, pagans, and anti-Semites. "Of eighty popes in a line from the thirteenth century on, not one of them disapproved of the theology and apparatus of the inquisition (torture and murder)." (Peter De Rosa, Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy. New York, Crown Pub. 1988. 175-176). De Rosa is shorting the numbers too. The Romanists were murdering Jews before 1200 A.D. with no resistance from anyone. That is whacked out!
One husband murdered a pope while he walked in on him and his wife. It was the papacy that funded the Nazi Party and gave them status to win over the industrialists of Germany. On April 26, 1933, justifying his planned extermination of the Jews, Hitler reminded Catholic representatives Bishop Berning and Monsignor Steinmann that "the church for 1500 years had regarded the Jews as parasites, had banished them into ghettos, and had forbidden Christians [Catholics] to work for them..[and that] he, Hitler, merely intended to do more effectively what the Church had attempted....(Guenter Lewy, The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany (McGraw Hill, 1964). 274.
And they are the Vicars (representatives) of Christ? Lol. What a disgrace. There is no doubt whatsoever, the Roman Catholic Church is the woman in Revelation 17. They are the only choice and the only church body; actually they are a political organization calling themselves the body of Christ.
Anyway, some of the greatest historians say Calvin's ideas founded this nation. Luther is too anti-Semitic for me. Furthermore, Algernon Sydney was a Calvinist, who said Calvin was one of the greatest Christians that ever lived. Montesquieu said the same thing and he married a Calvinist. Even Emmerich Vattel, and his Law of Nations ideas found in Art 1, sect. 8 of the Constitution, was a Calvinist.
The founders never dreamed it would get like it is today because of how Christian they perceived society to be. The States establishing Christianity was not enough (those constitutions are gone). Christ needed to be the foundation of the national covenant as in Geneva. He was not named in the Declaration or the Constitution, which was the starting point for the erosion to begin. At least the liberal order would have had to eliminate His name from our national documents before they chopped away at our Christian morality. Look at us now; men want to be women and vice versa; among other delusions. What would George Washington do to these people?
As for John Adams; he was a heretic who didn't influence anyone for Christ; not even his son. His musings come from the fact he wasn't converted to Christ, which is why he could deny biblical inerrancy, the atonement, the trinity and Deity of Christ. He changed his views constantly and the other federalists in his cabinet: Wolcott, McHenry and Pickering didn't respect him. In fact, he plays a part in the dissolution of the Federalist Party, allowing the Democrats to control the Presidency for almost 40 years.
James Madison wrote some seemingly contradictory statements about Christianity or correct Christian discernment. It's important to note, Madison's best friend in college, the evangelical William Bradford, died in around 1795. Remarkably, Madison burned their correspondence for whatever reason. It would have been interesting to read what Bradford thought of his old friend's views.
Martin Luther's influence on the founding of the United States cannot be overstated. His legacy lives on to this very day, being the catalyst of the organized revolt against the Roman church, and the tyranny of the papacy, whose fundamental heresy from biblical Christianity was to discard salvation by Grace through faith, in Christ alone, for the remission of sins, in exchange for salvation by works; although there are not a few other unbiblical heresies found in the woman of the book of Revelation. In fact, the papacy convened the council of Trent on principles that are condemned by the new testament many times over.
Luther, who adhered to divine election, as did Thomas Aquinas, was quoted by ratifier of the United States Constitution, James Madison in relation to separation of church and state. It's unfortunate Madison did not support Reformation ideas on the Christian state such as Geneva or Holland. What Luther did in Wittenberg, Germany in 1517 was a new beginning for Democracy, civil rights and liberties, constitutional government, religious liberty, and the free market (Trinity foundation, Civilization and the Protestant Reformation (English), http://www.trinitylectures.org/civilization-and-the-protestant-reformation-english-p-47.html.
Putting it all together in a systematic theology was reserved for John Calvin, a Frenchman from Noyon, whose ideas about: separation of powers, covenant foundation for a republic, limited government, taxes for necessity only, separation of church and state (2 Kingdoms), Natural Law as a political theology, private property separate from governmental jurisdiction, Christian education, welfare, mission work, the dissemination of information spread throughout the world, freedom of the press, freedom to assemble, appellate courts, govt. recognized fast days (copied by the founding fathers), etc., established the foundation for this country.
The nineteenth-century German historian Leopold von Ranke referred to Calvin as the "virtual founder of America" (Ibid).
The death spiral of the Roman church began at the beginning of the 4th century, soon after Constantine christianized the Roman empire and the church became part of the state. Quickly, the Roman church was infiltrated by heretics, which connived a works salvation from inside of man, rather than from God and by the apostles doctrine, whereby salvation is through the righteousness of Christ.
Furthermore, crawling out of the Roman church, Luther soon advocated the Priesthood of Believers that became the foundation for modern political democracy--the equality of all men before God and the law (Ibid).
The priesthood of believers instilled an aversion to monarchy and because of equality under the law, everyone could read the bible and see the truth for themselves rather than get swindled out of their money (indulgences) and be led astray, which is what the romanists have done for centuries. the Bible says Pastors and teachers are to lead the body of Christ into truth and the correct understanding of scripture, receiving for themselves double honor, except this doesn't mean the flock is not to study to show thyself approved as a diligent student of God's word. The bible is the written constitution of the church. Luther, including the other reformers, saw "the written constitution--the Bible--limiting the power and authority of church (and later political) leaders. There is a direct connection between the Reformation cry of sola Scriptura and the American idea of the Constitution--not any man or body of men--as the supreme law of the land (Ibid)."
The Reformers explained that each believer has an individual call from God in how they should conduct their lives; the marriage bond, etc., something completely devoid in Roman Catholicism, where the papacy ruled over kings and queens, fighting wars for territory and power, living a life of debauchery and sin, and fleecing the people to serve the establishment in charge of their Ponzi scheme.
With the individual call by God's grace, people and contracts promoted free markets, and private property, all for the glory of God. In fact, capitalism is a direct result of biblical Christianity. The entire protestant work ethic in light of the calling of the individual established western civilization to what it is today. These concepts are not enumerated in the bible, but they are the result of biblical principles when Christians are focused on God's kingdom, and the blessings of God shine in each person.
In light of the systematized Christian system described by Calvin, the founding fathers had an excellent blueprint to establish a nation. The founders clearly made some mistakes in forming this country; one being the way they setup freedom of conscience. However, believe it or not, unbelievers desired to live in Geneva, including Jews. Why didn't they leave? All they had to fear were the romanists and the stake, nay, they knew they were protected from the romanists. The true version of history will affirm that the persecution of unbelievers in Geneva is a myth. Unchecked belief in idolatry like the founders allowed in this country was suicide and today is the proof of their error.
One of the main founders was James Madison. His understanding of religion and the state was different and he rejected Reformation principles on the subject. Madison's Notes preparing his Memorial and Remonstrance is filled with incoherency. He writes:
3. "What is Xnty? Courts of law to Judge." Did he forget the Westminster Confession and the Reformation altogether? The people are the judge, not judges in courts. This idea belongs to the legislature.
4. "What edition: Hebrew, Septuagint or Vulgate? What copy what translation? This is just to confuse and deceive the people of Virginia. Protestants rejected the Vulgate and rightly so. What translation of the bible is irrelevant.
5. "What books canonical, what apocryphal?" That Madison would include the apocryphal is tragic. The romanist apocrypha contradicts the New Testament. The papists rejected civil rights, yet to place their writings as authoritative in a protestant country is a marvel.
6. "Every letter by inspiration?" This sounds like it's written by an unbeliever. Who was in charge of the canon of scripture? If the Holy Spirit established His canon and some of His words are not genuine, don't they compromise the whole and reduce the Holy Spirit to error?
7. "Rejecting essential doctrines." Does rejecting essential doctrines make a Christian?
8. "Arianism, Socinianism? Madison was no doubt an ecumenist of the first order. Salvation by works? Read Romans 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.
9. "What clue is to guide a Judge?" How about the bible.
10. "Ends in what is orthodoxy." The answer lies in the New Testament.
An unbeliever could make the case Madison was no Christian at all with perfidious statements like these. Another founding father mentioned above, John Adams was a definite Unitarian, who denied parts of the bible, and was ignorant about the canon of scripture. Read his reasons on that blog. Today, Adams would be a liberal bigot, which is most of the democratic party. However, for Madison to even bring these ideas up is troubling. At least Bishop Meade believed he was a real Christian. I'm not entirely convinced to take his word for it.
Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Monroe, Barlow, Pickering and the other heretics are next to nothing among the majority of founding fathers. Those of the Reformed Calvinist outnumber them worse than at the Alamo. This list is not exhaustive: Roger Sherman, Oliver Ellsworth, John Langdon, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Josiah Bartlett (who had 12 children by his first cousin), William Whipple, George Read, Thomas McKean, William Hooper, Lyman Hall, James McHenry, John Langdon, Nicholas Gilman, William Samuel Johnson, Matthew Thornton, William Williams, Samuel Huntington, Oliver Wolcott, Phillip Livingston, William Livingston, Benjamin Huntington, Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Abraham Clark, Caleb Strong, Paine Wingate, Philip Schuyler, Abraham Baldwin, Jonathan Elmer, Fisher Ames, Abiel Foster, Benjamin Huntington, James Jackson, Jeremiah Wadsworth, Nicholas Gilman, Egbert Benson, James Schureman, Henry Wynkoop, Daniel Hiester Jr., Daniel Huger, Benjamin Bourne, William Paterson, William Smith, Hugh Williamson and the Mulinberg's.
The individual heretics were not the majority, nor did they establish a heterodox Christianity. Nature's God of the bible through the prophet Isaiah, the Apostle Paul, Richard Hooker, William Blackstone, Francis Bacon, Algernon Sydney, Montesquieu, and the Reformers, was not the god of Jefferson, and John Adams. The heretical views of a few people do not change the God of our founding. A different Jesus than the biblical Jesus gets you a different God:
"Most assuredly I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM. Then they took up stones to throw at; but Jesus hid Himself." John 8:58-59. This is one of the clearest examples of Jesus claiming to be God. He used the exact words Moses received at the burning bush. Jesus claimed to be the self existent one.
As to his son, why John Q. Adams would write parts of the bible are inspired, when he knows rejecting any part of it compromises the whole is strange. The best explanation is he made a mistake. Adams knew perfectly well Jesus claimed to be God:
"Now in the sermon upon the mount much is said about the kingdom of Heaven, and those who alone shall enter it. The preacher of that sermon announced himself as a being superior at least to human nature. If you say that he was a mere ordinary man, you include him also in the class of those who are not competent to dogmatize upon the system of the universe. You, or at least I, can by no possible process of reasoning consider him as a mere man, without at the same time pronouncing him an Impostor...I would also give up all the passages upon which any sound suspicion of interpretation can be fastened. But the sermon upon the mount commands me to lay up for myself treasures, not upon earth, but in Heaven. My hopes of a future life are all founded upon the Gospel of Christ, and I cannot cavil or quibble away, not single words and ambiguous expressions, but the whole tenor of his conduct, by which he sometimes positively asserted, and at others countenanced his disciples in asserting that he was God. You think it blasphemous to believe that the omnipotent Creator could be crucified. God is a spirit. The spirit was not crucified. The body of Jesus of Nazareth was crucified. The Spirit whether eternal or created was beyond the reach of the cross. You see my orthodoxy grows upon me, and I still unite with you in the doctrine of toleration and benevolence." pp. 134-135.
-Worthington Chauncey Ford. Writings of John Quincy Adams. 16 volumes. The Macmillan Company, 1913-1917.
Here Adams says every part of the bible is miraculous:
"The miraculous interpositions of Divine power recorded in every part of the Bible, are invariably marked with grandeur and sublimity worthy of the Creator of the world, and before which the gods of Homer, not excepting his Jupiter, dwindle into the most contemptible pigmies; but on no occasion was the manifestation of the Deity so solemn, so awful, so calculated to make indelible impressions upon the imaginations and souls of the mortals to whom he revealed himself, as when he appeared in the character of their Lawgiver. The law thus dispensed was, however, imperfect; it was destined to be partly suspended and improved into absolute perfection many ages afterward by the appearance of Jesus Christ upon earth."
-Letters of John Quincy Adams to His Son on the Bible and Its Teachings. Auburn: James M. Alden, 1850. 128 pp.
His comments on Islam are spot on:
"In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar, the Egyptian, combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the preternatural energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an impostor, proclaimed himself as a messenger from Heaven, and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth. Adopting from the sublime conception of the Mosaic law, the doctrine of one omnipotent God; he connected indissolubly with it, the audacious falsehood, that he was himself his prophet and apostle. Adopting from the new Revelation of Jesus, the faith and hope of immortal life, and of future retribution, he humbled it to the dust by adapting all the rewards and sanctions of his religion to the gratification of the sexual passion. He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST: TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE."
-Unsigned essays dealing with the Russo-Turkish War, and on Greece: Christianity -- Islamism". Originally published in The American Annual Register for 1827-28-29 (New York, 1830), Chapters X-XIV: 267-402. Reprinted in The United States Democratic Review, Volume 36, No. 5 (November, 1855), pp. 375-380.