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Friday, November 11, 2011

"The Great Spirit" of the Indians

Gen. Rufus Putnam
I thank Jon Rowe, blogging at American Creation, for posting some interesting words by orthodox Christian Founding Father, Rufus Putnam. By reading Putnam's will, he was most likely an Evangelical in the mold of myself or Roger Sherman. You see there is a difference in the terms: orthodox and evangelical. Yes, the word Evangelical was in use in the 18th Century. An orthodox Christian is someone that generally adheres to all the Creeds of the Historic Christian Church without labeling that person part of a particular sect, such as Greek Orthodox. An Evangelical is someone that believes in Biblical Inerrancy over any man-made creed. A Creed is not Inspired as the Bible is.

Rowe quotes Gen. Putnam:
I thank the great Spirit who has inclined our Hearts to do good; and to establish a Peace between You and the United States — Brothers...I propose to send one Speech more requesting them to open a Road to some place or other, where we may meet and Speak to one another; And I trust with Your assistance, that the great Spirit will cause this good Work to succeed--
His point is most likely to link Putnam with the other infidel framers: George Washington, and James Madison, who used the same term referring to the Indian "Great Spirit." I call them infidels because that is what they would be if they considered the Indian god--or any god--the same as the Biblical God. The Bible says at least one thousand times, He is the Only God, the God of the Israel.

Not only is Rowe's implication far-fetched, it would make George Washington a very ignorant man, given a Christian high schooler understands the difference. That Putnam and Washington are placating diplomatically to the Indians by referring to God in their terms is obvious--however Putnam was an Evangelical. The only reason an Evangelical would link the Indian Great Spirit with the God of the Bible is to be diplomatic and accomodating. Here is Putnam:
[F]irst, I give my soul to a holy, sovereign God Who gave it in humble hope of a blessed immortality through the atonement and righteousness of Jesus Christ and the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit. My body I commit to the earth to be buried in a decent Christian manner. I fully believe that this body shall, by the mighty power of God, be raised to life at the last day; ‘for this corruptable (sic) must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality.’ [I Corinthians 15:53]
--Will of Rufus Putnam

 My point is supported by GW changing the word "God", to "Great Spirit" while writing to the Indians. He wanted to make sure he was as diplomatic as possible. Moreover, Joseph Story--deceived about the person of Christ--affirmed Biblical Inerrancy, used "The Great Spirit" when referring to the Indians.

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