Saturday, September 24, 2011

America IS A Christian Nation, Part II, The American Experiment

In the initial contribution to this new series, America IS A Christian Nation, I welcomed all who successfully concluded the last series entitled, Is America A Christian Nation.  This new series is a sequel of sorts, and it's foundation is the answer derived in its prequel.  So, because each new article, and indeed series of articles, builds from conclusions arrived in earlier articles and series, in Part I of this series I issued a fair warning that anyone who proceeds in this new series will miss out on much of the meaning that he or she will find, unless he or she has successfully completed the earlier series.  That series demonstrates a proof of sorts, that America is indeed a Christian nation, as defined as a nation that receives its authority from Jesus Christ, who according to those scriptures of the Bible and New Testament is given all authority in Heaven and earth.  That conclusion is derived by examining the paper evidence available from America's founding and early days, and understanding what that evidence accurately means.

Notice that the conclusion, that America is a Christian Nation, depends not upon whether any American actually believes in Jesus Christ.  No, truth does not depend on whether anyone believes it. Truth exists, on its own, mutually exclusive of anyone's opinion, world view, religious beliefs, political persuasions, or outlook toward life.  The truth is what it is, and no man can change the truth.

But men try to change the truth all the time.  That is what 'spin rooms' are all about, shading the truth, shaping it into less bitter pills for some to swallow or portray.  That's what courtrooms are about, discovering who is telling the truth, if anyone, and who is telling otherwise.

The reason men attempt to change the truth into something that it is not, or submit new truth in its place, has its foundation in one major characteristic of the natural world in which we live.  The natural world is an environment of limited resources.  Just think about it; if everyone always had all that they wanted, needed or desired, there would be no reason to lie, cheat, steal, covet, murder, and on and on...But scarcity of desired worldly resources adds a 'stresser' to the system.  Because there is only so much to go around, and because receiving these desired resources requires work, to circumvent scarcity and the requirement to work, the nature of men is to consider committing all of those acts I mention. Some actually follow through on that consideration.

Political rhetoric is one means that men commonly use to mold and shape desired impressions of the truth.  Because the fruits of political victories only accrue to the relative few number of winners of popular elections, political fruits are no less a scarcity than certain more tangible or material ones.  That is why any particular political season yields an abundance of candidates ready and willing to say whatever they need to say in order to receive the prize of being elected. 

But none of this changes the real truth. Real truth does not depend upon whether it is believed, only that it is.  Truth therefore transcends any worldly systems of beliefs.  Moral relativists contend that, regardless whether folks understand and act on the same truth, everyone owns and espouses the truth.  According to the relativist, truth is therefore relative to the observer.  If that is true, then what is true for me can be entirely different than what is true for you, forming a contradiction, yet we can both be right.  Disproving that assertion is no more difficult than shooting fish in a barrel, yet folks do believe it!

An early philosopher and all-around doer-of-a-guy, Avicenna, may have said it best.  He contended that the truth is always consistent from individual to individual.  He disputed that the truth can contradict other truth simply according to one's viewpoint and opinions.  He called it the Law of Non-Contradiction.  He illustrated that law contending
Anyone who denies the law of non-contradiction should be beaten and burned until he admits that to be beaten is not the same as not to be beaten, and to be burned is not the same as not to be burned.
I think Avicenna's contention stands on its own and illustrates well the 'true' nature of truth. 

But truth only relates to human beings.  Animals have no truth, at least as opposed to falsehood.  They only have what is and how they feel.  If an animal depends upon a false assumption, it never knows it and it likely dies.  So there in only one way for animals, and everything is true.  Everything the animal senses is an affirmation of truth.  There being nothing false therefore, all is true, which means that, to the animal, whether something is true is meaningless to consider.  Falsehood is not in the animal's imagination.

Regarding human beings though, truth is real, and falsehood is just as real, and both are absolute.  But because truth is absolutely true and falsehood is absolutely false, then consider the truth of God.  God is either truth, or He is not.  God is not 'true for some' but 'false for others.'  If that were 'true' then not being burned would be the same as being burned, which anyone caught in that situation would know without question that it is not.  And so, if God exists for one man, God exists for all men.  If God exists for one man then God is a universal truth.  Believing the universal truth of God, and that truth itself therefore derives from God, is precisely the point at which the American Founding Fathers stood as they considered the rationale documented in the Declaration of Independence. 

Those enlightened men had all previously considered the evidence of natural creation and none could reconcile that natural creation sprang from natural nothing.  Now these men had not the first inkling of Einstein, or the theory of relativity, or atoms and molecules, or of all of the other building blocks on which natural creation seems to depend.  But they knew, in fact they were born knowing in their hearts, that God is truth, that God created the natural world and therefore all that is true about the natural world derives from God.  The Founders had faith in that belief, so much faith in fact that these men relied upon that belief and termed that truth "self-evident."

The New Testament scriptures support that God is truth and that all truth derives from God.  Jesus Christ states this conclusion directly, "I am the way and the truth and the life." (John 14:6) Christian men, both in fact, and also in law, as the law of each colony required at the time the Declaration of Independence was signed, these men had faith in the truth of the Bible and New Testament scriptures.  One major tenet of Christianity is that God gives all men free will.  Free will derives from love, God's love, infinite love.  Love cannot be forced.  Love can only manifest if man is free to love.  According to Jesus Christ, the greatest commandment is to love God and to love others as we love ourselves.  Yes, that is a commandment.  But men are free to adopt it and live by it, or not.  Men therefore have free will to obey Jesus, or not.

The Founders, all professed Christian men, believed the Christian scriptures and understood that Jesus is indeed 'the truth.'  In fact, they understood that same truth to be self-evident to all men, given to them from God at conception, that all men are created equal and are deserved of love equal to the love of self.  They understood that God gives men full liberty, free will to live according to their own determinations.  And the Founders understood that God desires to bless men who choose to live according to His commands.

The scriptures teach that all good blessings come from God.  God's blessings are therefore the fruit of faith in God.  True happiness can therefore only derive from receiving God's blessings.  The Founders understood that God gives every man the right and free will to pursue true happiness, in any way he might imagine, but knowing that true happiness is only a result of faith.

So the enumerated foundation of self-evident truths the Founders offer in the Declaration of Independence derive directly from the Bible including the Christian Scriptures.  But also from those same scriptures, God promises to provide for men of faith.  Chapter 6 of the Book of Matthew is plain on God's desire to provide for mankind who trusts in Him, Jesus telling His disciples
25Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

 26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

 27Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

 28And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

 29And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

 30Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

 31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

 32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

 33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Verse 33 indicates that men who seek God's righteousness, by performing God's will on earth, those men shall receive the Providence of God, the divine Providence.  As a condition of their authority to represent each American colonist, the American Founders professed their belief in these scriptures.  The scriptures tell us that faith without works is dead, no faith at all.  So if they were truly faithful, these men had no choice.  If they were to live as Christians, their Christian faith had to be reflected in the works they performed.  Therefore, the Christian faith of our Founders is reflected in the Founding of America.  That Christian faith is on display as each Founder signed the document which affirms ,
"With a firm reliance on the divine Providence, we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."  
The Founders' reliance on the divine Providence is nothing but a work of faith in keeping with the Founder's Christian beliefs. 

Still, faith is only faith.  Faith is not based upon proof. It cannot be.  That is the nature of faith and removing that nature destroys faith.  And faith must be demonstrated.  Faith requires action, works.  To demonstrate the Christian faith of the American people, the Founders decided to put that faith to work in their design of the American nation.  In so doing, the new nation created under the expressions of the Declaration would be an experiment of sorts.  If the scriptures are correct, and if an earthly nation would design its use of God-given authority to fulfill God's will on earth, then that nation is promised God's blessing, the divine Providence.  That is the Founders' theory, in any event, the Theory of America. The United States of America is a nation created to test that theory.  America is an experiment, the American Experiment. And that is exactly why in his inaugural address, John F. Kennedy proclaimed,
'here on earth God's work must truly be our own.'
God's work must truly be our own for the American experiment to continue toward its final determination. Unless America works to fulfill God's will on earth, then the experiment is over and the final outcome is never determined.  John Kennedy understood the authoritative nature of the United States of America, and under his watch, this proclamation indicates that he would not allow the experiment to end.

In the next installment of America IS A Christian Nation, using the expressions of several early American statesmen, including some of the Founder's themselves, we will certify that America is indeed a nation designed as an experiment, and a nation solely authorized to fulfill God's will on earth, nothing more, and in so doing, receive the favor and blessings associated with the divine Providence.


1 comment:

  1. Once again, excellent! Enjoyed every word of it, Hank! Blessings!


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