The Church & America

The Church & America

Today I am writing about the Church and America.
In my last blog concerning the Church I defined the church. Today I want to take a look at the church and America. When I speak of the church I am not speaking of a particular denomination, but rather the Christian church as a whole.
From the very beginning when the Pilgrims came to America the church played a role. Most, if not all, had been persecuted for their faith. They saw America as their last chance to be able to worship God as they believed the Bible taught.
The Mayflower Compact
This document signed by the pilgrims starts out by saying, “In the name of God.” I counted four times that God is mentioned. Moreover there are references to “Defender of the Faith,” and “Christian faith.” It is a document that represents both their spiritual outlook and their commitment to the faith once delivered; a faith based on the Bible.
Declaration of Independence
This document authorizes our independence and the establishment of a constituted government and is bathed in references to God’s involvement. It begins with a prologue, if you will, that sets the stage by appealing to the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God. But then follows the famous line, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator …” We have not always lived up to these words but God has honored them. With those few words we were aligning ourselves with God and His Word.
Has America always lived up to that commitment? No. But it doesn’t change the commitment. We even had to fight a Civil War to bring us into line with His will. But He has blessed us to this very day because of our forefather’s commitment even though we have in recent decades slipped!
He has sent mighty revivals that have altered our destiny. Our nation has been either honored or reviled for our faith, but He has remained true.
The Constitution
While this document does not contain references to Christianity the very first Amendment does: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…” Please note it says Congress shall make no law. Up to that time nations around the world had national churches where citizenship required adherence to a particular religion. Here in America people were free to worship God how they wanted to. While Christianity was assumed, it was not mentioned thereby allowing other religions the same freedom.
The Jefferson Letter
This letter is not a law but a private letter from President Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists (American Baptist Assoc.) who expressed concern over the lack in their state constitution of explicit protection of religious liberty, and against a government establishment of religion. He assured them there was a wall between church and government. While many ‘experts’ claim this was to protect the citizens from establishing a state religion, already stated in Amendment 1, the history surrounding this letter shows that the wall was to protect all churches from government intrusion.
Our History
Throughout the history of the United States of America the Christian faith and thereby the Christian church has been a bedrock of strength. Many times we have faced crisis and turned back to God. In my life I remember 9/11. Throughout the nation people flocked to church, seeking God and praying to Him. Men and women, conservative and liberal sought God. Unfortunately it didn’t last long as within weeks the nation reverted to its worldly outlook. Even so many lives were saved and eternally changed!
President Trump
The President has claimed he is a Christian and there is no reason to doubt that. Does he have a checkered past? Yes. But God changes people and so far all the negatives we hear are about his past. Without a doubt he is a lightning rod  to those who favor elitism and the power of a central government. But God has and still is using him to turn the country around whether it be political or economical.
One thing is for sure, President Trump has gotten government out of the way of Christianity. We were headed for a secular nation influenced by violence and a disregard for Biblical faith to go against religious liberty. That violence is now blamed on him but a closer look shows that it comes from the left who cannot understand how they got left out in the cold. It’s just my opinion, but I believe the majority of Americans, whether Christian or not, believe that Christianity is what is right for America.
Revival
I quite often point out that the need in America is for revival. I need it and so does everyone else who claims the name of Jesus! Neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence can bring about revival. That must come from each of us seeking God. Only He can bring revival.
Some people claim it is too late for revival. I respectfully disagree. Read the Old Testament. The Jewish people were at least as bad as we have become. They turned away from God and worshiped false gods. They also sacrificed their children to false gods. Therefore God brought judgment and revival came. Here, in the United States, we have turned our backs on God and substituted our own religion. I believe that in recent years we have entered a  period where God is showing His displeasure with the direction of our nation. It is not the final judgment, but rather now He may be giving us an opportunity to turn back to Him and once again be a Christian nation.
What will we do with that opportunity?
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship to the Stars I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

HAVE A HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Advertisements

Profile in Faith John Dickinson

Profile in Faith John Dickinson

John Dickinson (1732-1808) was a Revolutionary General, Signer of the Constitution, Governor of Delaware, and Governor of Pennsylvania. More importantly he was a professing Christian. Listen to these words provided to us by Wall Builders:

  • Rendering thanks to my Creator for my existence and station among His works, for my birth in a country enlightened by the Gospel and enjoying freedom, and for all His other kindnesses, to Him I resign myself, humbly confiding in His goodness and in His mercy through Jesus Christ for the events of eternity.
  • [Governments] could not give the rights essential to happiness… We claim them from a higher source: from the King of kings, and Lord of all the earth.

Known as the “Penman of the Revolution” because of his twelve letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, Dickinson was very involved with the revolution and the establishment of a new nation. Consider:

  • Member of Continental Congress.
  • Signee to Continental Association.
  • Drafted 1774 Petition to the King.
  • Member of 2nd Continental Congress.
  • Wrote Olive Branch Petition (to the king).
  • Wrote final draft of Declaration of Causes and Necessity of taking Up Arms.
  • Wrote the Model Treaty.
  • Wrote first draft of Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union.
  • Member of 1786 Annapolis Convention calling for Constitutional Convention of 1787.

Dickinson’s religious affiliation was Quaker, Episcopalian. In his Last Will and Testament, he wrote: Rendering Thanks to my Creator for my Existence and Station among his works, for my Birth in a Country enlightened by the Gospel and enjoying Freedom, and for all his other Kindnesses, to him I resign Myself, humbly confiding in his Goodness, and in his Mercy through Jesus Christ, for the Events of Eternity
This was a man who practiced his faith. He had strong views and he put them into action even at the risk of life and limb. We owe a debt to men such as he!
– – – – – – –
R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Profiles in Faith: John Quincy Adams

Profiles in Faith: John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams was not only the 6th President of the United States, he also served as Secretary of State, U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator and Ambassador.

“My hopes of a future life are all founded upon the Gospel of Christ…” is a bold and clear statement of faith. In that same statement he allows that Christ allowed his disciples to call Him God. John’s faith was rock solid and appears to have influenced him greatly in whatever position he held.

Another statement, quoted here in part, states: “The hope of a Christian is inseparable from his faith. Whoever believes in the Divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures must hope that the religion of Jesus shall prevail throughout the earth.”

This statesman was firmly rooted in the Christian faith and played an integral role in the founding and early history of our nation. Some views, such as his view on slavery, evolved over time. Although he never became an abolitionist, because they called for disunion of America, he became a strong advocate for the removal of slavery. He accurately believed it would only come with the permission of the South or through civil war. (source: wikipedia.)

Both John Adams and John Q. Adams were members of the United First Parish Church, which originally was a Puritan Congregationalist church. Later the church would become an Unitarian  Universalist church. But in Adam’s day it was the former. Also known as the Church of the Presidents because of their membership, the building has been designated an historical landmark.

John Q. Adams was a strong defender of the Constitution even to the point of successfully opposing President Jefferson’s power grab where a Supreme Court justice faced removal from the Bench. In addition, he is the father of space exploration through his efforts that spurred the construction of astronomical observatories across the nation—so-called “lighthouses of the sky”—to study the heavens. (source: Constitution Daily.)

This great Christian statesman stood tall in his generation. And although we should never judge people of the past by morals of today, he would pass such a judgment today.

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Profiles in Faith Gouverneur Morris

Profiles in Faith Gouverneur Morris

Known as the man who wrote the final draft of the Constitution, Morris was also the man who spoke the most often during the Convention (173 times).

But what is known of his faith?

Actually we don’t know that much in spite of his much speaking. Nonetheless, we can surmise a few facts.

First of all we know that he was a member of the Episcopal Church. While little is known of his activities within the church it is hard to believe that this gifted man simply faded into the background. It is likely that he served within the church and, since he came from wealth, gave substantially to it. This is speculation, but this author feels it is a logical conclusion.

Second we know he was familiar with the Bible. This is based on his speeches and his writings where he often quoted the Bible. This suggests that he spent a fair amount of time in the reading of the Bible, which would not be the habit of a deist.

Third, he believed in the depravity of man which was more in line with Christianity than the Enlightenment. Deists tend to believe in an absentee God rather than a personal God. They also reject the supernatural as seen in the Bible. Morris, as stated above, was very acquainted with the Bible and was apt to quote it.

Fourth, while some claim he was a deistic realist, the evidence seems to be more correctly that he was influenced by this thinking.

Fifth, he strongly favored freedom of religion.

Sixth, he was against slavery.

The truth is we simply don’t have enough information to say whether Morris was a Christian or not. However, his career reflected not only a highly education mind (attended King’s College, later known as Columbia), but a mind attuned to Christian thought.

So where do we place him?

In my opinion he would be considered within the Christian faith. Probably a weak Christian (theologically speaking) with ties to both Christian and Enlightened thought. He was also a close friend of George Washington whom we will profile next.

A comment on historians who point to Deism as the religion of our founders. First, this time period coincided with the Enlightment, so historians seem to think this impacted everyone. Second, modern day historians may have a bias against Christianity. Yet the founding documents of this nation (Mayflower Compact, Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution) all indicate a Christian belief. I think the burden of proof must lay with those who claim deistic beliefs of our fathers and we should assume Christian beliefs unless proven otherwise.

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Profiles in faith James Madison

Profiles in faith James Madison

Many people, including historians, claim that Madison and the other founders as well were deists. But they do so without much evidence. But what do Madison’s own statements reveal?

“…watchful eye must be kept on ourselves lest, while we are building ideal monuments of renown and bliss here, we neglect to have our names enrolled in the Annals of Heaven.” (emphasis added)

Notice the words Annals of Heaven. This is not a deist term, but clearly speaks of heaven, whereas the word ‘annals’ would indicate a book or record. In other words, he is speaking of salvation and having our names written in the Book of Life, which is Christian in doctrine and thought.

“For men who occupy the most honorable and gainful departments and [who] are rising in reputation and wealth, publicly to declare their unsatisfactoriness by becoming fervent advocates in the cause of Christ.”  (emphasis added)

Here he indicates a desire that men of high position be bold in their faith, even becoming fervent advocates in the cause of Christ! This is a strong statement and evinces a belief in personal soul winning.

On these two quotes alone we can safely surmise that Madison was a Christian not a Deist. But there is more.

Although initially opposed to amendments, he supported the idea of freedom of religion where the government does not favor one denomination over another. He wasn’t afraid of the church influencing government, but rather government establishing a national religion. Read:

“The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established.” (emphasis added)

An interesting fact was that he was inclined to have paid chaplains for Congress. As President he signed a bill that economically aided a Bible Society to distribute Bibles. Further, as President he signed proclamations for national days of prayer, fasting, and thanksgiving. These are not the actions of a Deist.

Later in life he seems to have retreated from these positions with his ‘Detached Memorandum.” However, this memorandum does not reflect his public statements and actions, which in my opinion makes one wonder if it was written by him at all. But whether it was or wasn’t the fact remains that both publicly and historically his actions were that of a believer in Christ and not that of a Deist.

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Profiles in Faith James Madison

Profiles in Faith James Madison

Many people, including historians, claim that Madison and the other founders as well were deists. But they do so without much evidence. But what do Madison’s own statements reveal?

“watchful eye must be kept on ourselves lest, while we are building ideal monuments of renown and bliss here, we neglect to have our names enrolled in the Annals of Heaven.” (emphasis added)

Notice the words Annals of Heaven. This is not a deist term, but clearly speaks of heaven, whereas the word ‘annals’ would indicate a book or record. In other words, he is speaking of salvation and having our names written in the Book of Life.

“For men who occupy the most honorable and gainful departments and [who] are rising in reputation and wealth, publicly to declare their unsatisfactoriness by becoming fervent advocates in the cause of Christ.”  (emphasis added)

Here he indicates a desire that men of high position be bold in their faith, even becoming fervent advocates in the cause of Christ! This is a strong statement and evinces a belief in personal soul winning.

On these two quotes alone we can safely surmise that Madison was a Christian not a Deist. But there is more.

Although initially opposed to amendments to the Constitution, he supported the idea of freedom of religion where the government does not favor one denomination over another. He wasn’t afraid of the church influencing government, but rather government establishing a national religion. Read:

“The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established.” (emphasis added)

An interesting fact was that he was inclined to have paid chaplains for Congress. As President he signed a bill that economically aided a Bible Society to distribute Bibles. Further, as President he signed proclamations for national days of prayer, fasting, and thanksgiving. These are not the actions of a Deist.

Later in life he seems to have retreated from these positions with his ‘Detached Memorandum.” However, this memorandum does not reflect his public statements nor his actions, which in my opinion makes one wonder if it was written by him at all. But whether it was or wasn’t the fact remains that both publicly and historically his actions were that of a believer in Christ and not that of a Deist.

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Profiles in Faith: George Washington

Profiles in Faith: George Washington

We have been taught for years that George Washington was a Deist and not a Christian. And most of us accepted this as fact since we were told so by ‘experts.’ But is it true?

Some time back I got curious and started investigating this question. What follows is the result of that investigation.

I am a Christian and within that I am a Baptist. But I don’t feel it would be fair to check on whether Washington was a Baptist or not (and I don’t believe he was). So in the table below I am comparing his beliefs against commonly held tenets of the Christian faith regardless of the denomination.

QUOTES                                     BELIEF        CHURCH      G.W.
“The propitious smiles          Creator             Yes            Yes
of Heaven can never be
expected on a nation that
disregards the eternal
rules of order and right
which Heaven itself has
ordained”

“O eternal and ever               Eternal God       Yes           Yes
lasting God”

“It is the duty of all                Providence        Yes            Yes
Nations to acknowledge
the providence of Almighty
God, to obey his will, to
be grateful for his benefits,
and humbly to implore his
protection ad favors.”

“What students would          Jesus Christ        Yes            Yes
learn in American schools
above all is the religion
of Jesus Christ.”

“Direct my thoughts, words
and work. Wash away my sins
in the immaculate blood of
the lamb, and purge my
heart by thy Holy Spirit,”

Wrote his own Prayer          Prayer               yes           yes
Journal

This table admittedly only has a few quotes, but if you’re interested there are many more quotes of George Washington regarding his faith. I would also add that history has shown God’s protecting hand upon the General during the Revolutionary War and before. This may not be proof of his being a Christian, but surely it gives us pause to consider.

Ultimately you decide what his faith amounts to, but I would contend that he was a Christian in thought and action. Just the few quotes above show that Washington trusted God’s guidance, and protection. Although he never mentions salvation the weight of all his quotes suggest this was a private man who trusted God for everything, including his salvation.

Not only did he write his own Prayer Journal but there was at least one witness to his prayer life. I expect to meet him in heaven someday!

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

.