Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Constitution’

We Forgot God

July 14, 2013

The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. (Ps. 9.17)

William Edgar, “The National Confessional Position,” in Gary Scott Smith, ed., God and Politics: Four View on the Reformation of Civil Government (Theonomy, Principled Pluralism, Christian America, National Confessionalism), p. 184:

The effort to make the Founding Fathers appear as militant secularists, like their French contemporaries, is a distortion of history. When today’s secular elites intone the First Amendment and rant about the wall of separation between church and state, so as to bludgeon Christians into public silence, they attribute a modern mentality to the architects of the Constitution, which they did not have. In fact, most of the Founding Fathers were indifferent to Jesus Christ (itself a terrible sin).

The Constitutional Convention never voted on Benjamin Franklin’s motion to begin each day’s deliberation with prayer….When asked why the Constitution did not mention God, Alexander Hamilton reportedly replied that the Framers had forgotten to.7

7 Mark A. Noll, The Search for Christian America (Westchester, Ill.: Crossway, 1983), p. 107.

Proceedings of the Fifth National Reform Convention, to Aid in Maintaining the Christian Features of the American Government, and Securing a Religious Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, Held in Pittsburg, February 4, 5, 1874, p. 41:

Dr. John Rodgers [1727-1811], 1788.

This eminent chaplain of the Revolution, observing with regret the omission of all acknowledgment of God from the Constitution, inquired of Alexander Hamilton, on his return from the convention in New York, how that body could fail to incorporate in the Constitution a suitable recognition of the Almighty. The well-known reply was, “Indeed, Doctor, we forgot it.” — Duffield’s “God of our Fathers,” p. 15.

 

National Covenanting, Jehoiada Vs the U.S. Constitution

November 1, 2012

 

The Foundation of Christian Social Covenanting, Part 2: The Covenant of Grace

August 22, 2012

Gary North on the Constitutional Convention of the United States

April 6, 2012

“Christians lost the battle in 1788. The lawyers in Philadelphia won it. Christians accepted the ratification of the Constitution, not just as good losers, but as enthusiastic cooperators. They have yet to identify their problem, as decade by decade, the American republic grows ever-more consistent with the apostate foundation of the Constitution. Christians find themselves besieged today, and they vainly expect to get rid of their problems by a return to the “original intent” of the Framers. On the contrary, what we have today is the political outcome of that original intent, as Patrick Henry warned so long ago. Darwinism, socialism, and several major wars speeded up the process of moral disintegration, but the judicial foundation of this disintegration had been established in 1787–88.” – Gary North, (Conspiracy in Philadelphia: Origins of the United States Constitution, Dominion Educational Ministries, Inc. Harrisonburg, Va. , 2004. P. 301).

Doug Wilson – Political Commentary on Constitutional Law

March 20, 2012

“In order to return to the Constitution rightly, we would have to begin with repentance. In repenting, we have to distinguish repenting of our sins against God’s law, and repenting of our “sins” against constitutional law. We have been guilty of both, but Moses outranks Madison. I am not opposing these men one to another — I like Moses, and I like Madison. I believe we should repent of both kinds of sins. I happen to believe that our constitutional sins have been, within their genre, egregious. But if we, in our current immoral and irreligous condition, return to a strict constitutional process, then we are asking the Constitution to do something it was never intended to do, and which it cannot do. It is a government for Christians, not libertines. We cannot ask the Constitution to be an adequate framework for men who frame iniquity with a law (Ps. 94:20). We cannot allow the Tenth Amendment to serve as a legitimate cover for murder and sodomy. It was never intended to created cities of refuge for wickedness. When the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do (Ps. 11:3)?”

Read the rest here.

Brilliant social and political commentary by Doug Wilson. The American Covenanter does not support Wilson’s federal vision views.

Gary North on the “original intent” of the Framers of the Constitution

March 17, 2012

“Political conservatives call for a return to the “original intent” of the Framers of the Constitution. If only, they say, we could just get back to original intent, things would be good once again. America would be restored. Christian conservatives follow close behind, affirming this recommendation. Problem: political conservatives are deceived theologically because they do not recognize the implications of the intellectual shift from the deistic unitarian god of Sir Isaac Newton to the purposeless universe of Charles Darwin. They do not comprehend that the Darwinian god of man-controlled organic evolu- tion (Lester Frank Ward)1 has replaced Newton’s god of the balanced machine. Process philosophy has replaced natural law theory. The conservatives’ allies, the Christian conservatives, also do not see this.”

CONSPIRACY IN PHILADELPHIA Origins of the United States Constitution, Forward, P. 8.

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Rev. David McAllister on the Constitutional Convention 1776

February 4, 2012

Rev. David McAllister

“The written constitution of the United States contains no such proper and adequate acknowledgment as the nation is bound to make of its relations to God. Up to the time of its adoption, the States in their constitutions did acknowledge God and Christianity. Some of the State constitutions yet contain similar acknowledgment. And in the actual administration of the national government the principle is admitted. But the national constitution contains no acknowledgment of God. The convention that framed it manifestly designed that all such acknowledgment should be omitted. Good men, and Christian men, as many of the members of the convention were, they made the deplorable mistake of yielding to others who were unwilling to express, nationally, any acknowledgment of the Almighty. The spirit that ruled in the framing of the constitution showed itself unmistakably in the deliberate refusal of the convention, after the full and urgent presentation of the matter, to ask God for guidance in prayer every morning before proceeding to business.[1] With such an omission of duty — nay, worse, such a deliberate decision not to seek God’s direction — on the part of the convention that framed the constitution, it is not to be wondered at that the instrument itself does not acknowledge God, and fails to place the government in its fundamental compact in its true relations to him.”

Rev. David McAllister

Memorial Volume.
Covenant Renovation in the Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America.

[1] The statement has been repeatedly made that Franklin’s motion was carried, and that prayers were thenceforth offered. Such writers as Morris, in his “Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States,” and Lossing and Goodrich, in their popular histories, make this statement. How such a statement came to be made at first, it is difficult fully to explain. Its repetition, when once sent forth, is not surprising. The following considerations may help to account for the assertion: 1. The public felt that prayers should have been offered, and could hardly be made to believe that a motion like Franklin’s could fail to pass. 2. Prayers were offered in the same hall at a former convention, when the Declaration of Independence was framed. This might naturally lead to confusion and misstatement. But the following facts are decisive proof, unpleasant as it is to be compelled to acknowledge it, that prayers were never offered in the convention that framed the constitution. 1. For nearly five weeks, the convention sat and never thought of looking to God in prayer. (See Franklin’s speech in support of his motion.) 2. Franklin’s motion for prayers, made in the fifth week, was opposed. A substitute was offered by Mr. Randolph, proposing that a sermon be preached on July 4th, about a week after, at the request of the convention, and thenceforward prayers be offered. Franklin seconded this substitute. The record of the convention, given in the Madison papers, says: “After several unsuccessful attempts for silently postponing this matter by adjournment, the adjournment was at length carried without any vote on the motion.” (Elliott’s Debates, vol. v, pp. 254, 255.) 3. Franklin’s own statement in a note appended to his speech is explicit. “The convention, except three or four members, thought prayers unnecessary.” (Sparks’ Works of Franklin, vol. v, p. 155.) No unauthenticated statement, though drawn up with minute particulars, and indefinitely repeated, can have any weight beside such fully authenticated facts.

Rev. R. C. Wylie on the Anti-Christian Constitution of the United States

February 4, 2012

Rev. R.C. Wylie

‎”In the United States we have a written constitution which may be read in half an hour. It is the nation’s fundamental law. All statute law must rest upon it. To it all national and State officers are sworn. To determine whether or not it is Scriptural is an easy matter. It contains no recognition of God as the source of authority, of Jesus Christ as the Ruler of Nations, and of the Bible as supreme law. Even the form of oath prescribed in Article II., Section 1, is destitute of any appeal to God. In this document there is no basis for moral legislation touching the Sabbath, the saloon, the family relation, or any other moral issue. While the United States has many Christian features, no authority has ever yet pronounced the government to be Christian. The Supreme Court once declared the nation to be Christian, but they borrowed the expression from our National Reform literature, in which the Christian character of the nation is employed to prove, not that the government is Christian, but that it ought to be.”

– Rev. R. C. Wylie, D.D. (First International Convention of Reformed Presbyterian Churches. Scotland, June 27-July 3, 1896 ) [Glasgow: Alex. Malcolm & Co., 1896?], pp. 255-264].

The Reformed Presbyterian Church, the United States, and Constitutional Liberty

February 3, 2012

“Reformed Presbyterians are Covenanters. They are persuaded that among the most precious instruments in all political history are the National Covenants of Scotland and the Solemn League and Covenant of Great Britain and Ireland. These Covenants are not only exponents of the principles of pre-eminently political constitutions, and their principles of constitutional liberty are applicable in all lands and under different forms of government. Reformed Presbyterians, constitutional liberty in the ecclesiastical sphere they are particularly those of us who belong to the United States, may be strongly inclined to the Republican form of government We may believe that that form is in closest harmony with the Divine standard which commands the choosing of able men and men that fear God from among the people, and the placing of these in the seats of political authority (Ex. xviii. 21). But we all agree, as Reformed Presbyterian Covenanters, that constitutional government, whether under the monarchical or republican form, is the main thing. So some of us may prefer, all things considered, a written political constitution. But whether the nation’s fundamental law or the political constitution may be written or unwritten, a constitutional government with its constitutional limitations, its adjustment of the legislative, judicial, and executive departments, its provision for its own modification in harmony with its stability, is that for which Reformed Presbyterianism has ever contended. These constitutional provisions of a republican government are the guarantees of liberty. They balance liberty with law. They are a sacred compact between the governors and the governed, and between the people of the sovereign nation among themselves. It is in this way that Reformed Presbyterianism reconciles the elements of truth in each of two apparently conflicting theories of the State, when it traces the sovereign power of the political organism to God, and at the same time recognizes the place of a political compact or covenant, or a constitution of government, into which the members of the nation enter with each other for the administration of civil affairs.  Avoiding the political error of the Divine right of kings, and the no less pernicious political heresy of the social compact, it anchors the State as sovereign under God to the Throne of God, and on the basis of his perfect law of liberty secures to all the members of the political body the Covenanted constitutional guarantees of both civil and religious liberty.”

Rev. Dr. McAllister, Pittsburgh, gave an address on , THE POLITICAL ATTITUDE OF REFORMED PRESBYTERIANISM P. 438.

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Rev. James R. Wilson on Religious persecution, the U.S. Constitution, and the Sabbath

January 26, 2012

James R. Willson (1780-1853)

“All the religious persecutions of modern times, are charged upon the doctrine, that civil rulers should obey the law of God. To stop the mails, on the ground that the law of God forbids their running, would establish, they assert, a principle leading to persecution. Here we have a very grave and deliberate disclaimance of all allegiance to God, and obedience to his precepts, on the part of the senate. The constitution, too, it is said, withholds from the government, the right to define the laws of God. The petitioners say to them: “Your transaction of secular business in the post-office department, on the Sabbath, violates the law of God; you are under law to God, and so should refrain from these Immoral practices.” They do not pretend that the charge of violating the divine law is groundless; but they put in the plea of irrelevancy. It may be true that we act contrary to the law of God; but we hold, according to the constitution; say they, that that law does not bind us as legislators;—That law may be proper for the private citizens, but we as a government are above all its claims, and without its jurisdiction. We cannot define it for the regulation of our proceedings, nor can we admit that it has any claims on us. Had they thought it possible to vindicate the practice against which the petitioners remonstrated, on the ground of its being a work of necessity or mercy, we may fairly presume they would not have resorted to an argument of this character. Perhaps there is not an instance in all the annals of legislation, in which rulers so solemnly and directly disclaim all subjection to the law of God. For the refutation of doctrines so monstrous, we refer to the argument on this topic, contained in a preceding part of this discussion. Yet it is a subject of so awful magnitude, of so deep import to the prosperity of this republic, and of so vital interest to the cause of morality and religion, that we shall in this connection prosecute it a little farther.

We hope it will be conceded that private citizens are under obligation to render obedience to laws enacted by God as the Supreme Legislator. Can any man assign the shadow of a reason why legislators should be exempted? That God himself has ever issued such an exemption has never been pretended, and it never can. The very thought that he has done so, is almost too preposterous to be entertained by any intelligent being. The whole tenor of the Bible is full and express to the contrary. If he has not, by what right is it claimed? Is their conduct less important to the glory of the Law-giver, or to their own good conscience, or to the good order of society, than that of the private citizen? Has God given the lights of his law to guide his creatures in the humble walks of private life, and withheld them from the legislator, whose duties are so much more arduous and important! If a human legislator can do what is either displeasing or pleasing to Him who rules the nations, is it reasonable that he has given him no information as to what he delights in, or what is offensive to him? On the principle of this reasoning of the committee, the only sin which the most cruel, tyrannical, and persecuting despots, have ever committed against God, was their falsely imagining that the law was obligatory on them; and even that, on this impious principle, could not be a sin against Heaven, as they were not under his law as rulers.

But the people, by their constitution, they tell us, have withheld from them the power of knowing or being governed by the divine law. This we deny. It is indeed to be greatly deplored, and good men do deeply deplore, that there is no formal recognition of the authority of him who is Prince of the kings of earth, in the Federal Constitution; but the constitution has no where said that the government either shall or may disobey God. Every member of Congress, and nearly all the officers of the government are bound by oath to administer their office faithfully. We do not like the form of the oath usually taken by the book. But even in that corrupt form, borrowed from Pagan usage, what is meant by the concluding phrase, “So help me God.” What do they mean by the “help?”—They do not take the oath as private citizens, but as public functionaries. In the very lowest sense it must involve a prayer, that God Almighty may aid them as legislators, as executive and as judicial officers in the discharge of their public duties, while they endeavour to be faithful to their trust. And on the other hand, it must imply, that should they prove treacherous in the trust committed to them, he will abandon them to themselves, give them no aid, and leave them to their own folly and iniquity. It involves more than all this. They lay their hand on that Bible which reveals a future state of rewards and punishments, which if it mean any thing, must be intended as equivalent to the last clause of the oath by the uplifted hand, “As you shall answer to God at the great day.” “So help me God,” then is an invocation of the divine wrath upon their persons is case of perjury. But if they are not, as the committee affirm, to know the law of God as obligatory on them, nor to acknowledge him as their Lawgiver, or judge, in their official capacity, how come they to invoke him thus solemnly, at their induction into office? How is he to aid them if they renounce his law? By what law is he to judge them, if they violate their oath? Perjury is a sin against the third commandment, as well as against the ninth. On the principle of the committee, should any one remonstrate with a member of the Senate who might be of breaking his oath, that he was violating the law of what kind of reasoning would it be for him to plead, there is no harm in perjury? I cannot as a legislator define the law of God.”

The Sabbath.  A Discourse on the Duty of Civil Government, in Relation to the Sanctification of the Lord’s Day.