by David Barton
In early America, Christians and ministers were responsible for shaping our form of government. We were involved in three vital arenas.
Christians were involved in shaping worldview.
We taught society that everything in life can be addressed by principles in the Bible. Ministers addressed issues people were dealing with at the time, and gave them God’s wisdom about those subjects. They also taught their congregations from the Word what their civic responsibilities were in regard to elections, government leaders, etc.
Christians were responsible for creating a biblical worldview throughout the culture. Even atheists knew what was right and wrong, knew the Ten Commandments and often followed them. Christians had tremendous influence in society by demonstrating that the Word of God was practical and applicable. Their example and ideals helped shape the culture that led to the American Revolution.
Our Constitution contains radical ideas that no other nation has ever put into practice. In fact, it contains so many novel concepts that political science professors investigated to find out where the founding fathers got their ideas of separation of powers, checks and balances, and democratic elections. After 10 years of studying 15,000 writings, they discovered that 34 percent of the quotes in the Founding Era came from the Bible. And in the writing of the Declaration, the source quoted most often was Two Treatises of Civil Government, a book that cites the Bible more than 1500 times. Biblical thinking so undergirded our founding documents that John Adams stated, “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were…the general principles of Christianity.”
Christians, pastors and churches were also intricately involved in the making of governmental policy.
Today many people believe that government is a secular institution and religious people should not be and never were involved in the process. That view can only be held because they don’t know who our founders really were. For example: Rev. Dr. John Witherspoon had numerous volumes of gospel sermons published. He was responsible for two American editions of the Bible, including America’s first family Bible.
Dr. Benjamin Rush started the first Bible society and Sunday school society in America. He believed if people would only read and study the Bible, all social problems could be resolved.
Of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, 24 held what would today be considered seminary or Bible school degrees.
Men like these formed our early laws and policies. In fact many ministers and theologians were members of Congress and members of their state assemblies.
Finally, Christians were actively involved in defending our country.
Many brigades in the American Revolution were made up of ministers who led their parishioners to defend their rights. The minutemen in Lexington, Mass., were deacons of Rev. Jonas Clark’s church. They followed their pastor as he led the charge to defend the town. These Christians and many others understood that we have “dual citizenship” and stewardship responsibilities here on earth as well as in heaven.
When you look at American history, Christians, pastors and churches were responsible to a large degree in shaping worldview, in shaping policy and in defending our country. As Christians, God made us stewards of the nation He gave us. It’s time to renew our minds to that truth and get involved again in shaping America.
David Barton, nationally known author and public speaker, is the founder and president of WallBuilders, a pro-family organization which seeks to educate grass-roots society to rebuild America’s constitutional, moral and religious foundations.
For more information go to www.wallbuilders.com, call 1-817-441-6044 or write to WallBuilders, P. O. Box 397, Aledo, TX 76008-0397.