Friday, July 2, 2010

OUR FOUNDING FATHERS, Part 2

I feel I need to make a few more comments regarding the topic of my previous post. I want to clarify my views and position.

First of all, I need to point out that I was reviewing a book – I was not setting out to give my own views on the topic covered in the book, nor was I giving a blanket endorsement of the book. However, I believe the author gave a very honest and objective view of the facts and I found myself in essential agreement with her conclusions that our prominent Founding Fathers were not Christians and that Enlightenment thinking is prominent in our Constitution and other documents. I have read biographies of many of these men, as well as some of their writings and speeches. These works support her conclusions. The author did not, however, claim that none were Christians or that Christian thinking had no influence.

Now for my views:
  • The United States of America is not, never was and never will be a Christian Nation. “CHRISTIAN AMERICA” is a myth, as I have stated before. There is no such thing as a Christian Nation.
  • Whatever the motives of our Founding Fathers, we Americans are blessed with religious freedom like no other nation. I believe that real democracy is impossible without this right, guaranteed to us in our Constitution.
  • I am an admirer of the great men (and women) of American history, from its early settlement to the present day. I love to read their stories as well as their thoughts. I would love to be assured that all of my heroes were “born again.” The evidence, however, shows that many were not. This does not make their accomplishments of less value. Nor do their moral failures. Most were deeply flawed, often contradictory persons, who were somehow capable of great accomplishments.
  • The religious writings of many of these persons, while often moving, do not always point to Jesus Christ. I am not required to make them into saints, nor pronounce judgment on them as persons.
I find a similar situation with many of the characters in the Bible. We want to make them into more than they were. In a previous post, I referred to them as "EXAMPLES OF GRACE.” Perhaps we could extend that label to our heroes of history and of the present day.

So I can celebrate our great nation and the blessings God has given us, recognizing that “every good and every perfect gift” (James 1:17) is from Him. I can do this without making America into something it isn’t. And I can celebrate America’s heroes without canonizing them.

Bill Ball
7/2/2010

4 comments:

Sherry said...

I am so with you on this Dad. I get tired of hearing how perfect certain people from the Bible & history were. If there were perfect people, there'd be no need for Christ's death.

I think that flawed men coming up with great ideas is far more amazing than perfect people coming up with perfect ideas - I mean that's what they should be doing.

Mike said...

I have always found it fascinating that one of the greatest musical affirmations of faith, the Brahms Requiem, was written by an atheist. Proof positive that God works through even unwilling vessels.

Bill Ball said...

Love it!

gary said...

right on!