Apr 27

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Just how far removed from the revolutionary war do we go until those who served this nation are no longer considered to be part of that group of leaders, are no longer part of the “founding fathers?” The Constitution became the authority by which America would be governed; it is the base, the foundation of law! Those who worked on it, for sure, are correctly called “the founding fathers!” Also those who served this nation in giving the Constitution.
Just a brief look at the events that produced our Constitution and how it became the legal body of law for the United States of America is here given. The Continental Congress met in Philadelphia with the Declaration of Independence would also rightly belong in that group of these men who are called “the founding fathers!” The Continental Congress selected a committee to produce a draft of the “Declaration of Independence” from England. The group of men appointed were: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman. It should be noted that two of these men would serve as President of the United States of America and they are John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
With this bit of history, we are ready to look at the thoughts of the fourth President of America. He was, of course, James Madison, Jr. (March 16, 1751 – June 28, 1836), who was an American statesman, lawyer, diplomat, philosopher, and one of the “Founding Fathers” of our great Nation. He served as President from 1809 to 1817; a total of eight years! Here is a most important point about Madison; he was nicknamed “Father of the Constitution” later in life for his important contribution to the creation of the Constitution! Before continuing, it should be called to the readers attention that he was co-writer of the Federalist Papers.
Now, what were the thoughts and views of Madison on the Bible? Not only was Madison known as the “Father of the Constitution,” but he was also known as the “defender of religious freedom!” Madison said: “all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion.” He was baptized (More than likely he was sprinkled.) an Anglican but studied under both a Presbyterian educator and the president of the College of New Jersey (which is now Princeton University) and who embraced the Presbyterian Faith and logic alike. However, there is little information about his religion. Most historians have found little indication of his religious leanings after he left college, there are scholars who indicate he learned toward “deism.” Still others maintain that Madison accepted Christian tenets and formed his outlook on life with a Christian world view. Therefore, the conclusion is reached that Madison’s own beliefs embraced “religious liberty!”
Therefore, though our fourth President does not help our search for what the “founders” thought about the Bible and Christianity, his embrace of “religious liberty” is very important to our study. The person who believes in Christianity and who embraces “the teaching of Christ,” but Madison’s strong belief that there should be no “state religion,” is also very important to our study! The Christian has no use for a “state religion;” thus, it might be said that the Christian does believe in a “separation of state and church,” but these words do not mean what is generally put forth when such words are used! If these words are used to say that there should be no “state church,” then the Christian agrees! On the other hand, if these words are used to say that “the state (government) should reject and have nothing to do with Christianity,” then the Christian disagrees!
The question might be asked, “Why include a ‘founding father’ who did not believe in the Bible and who had little to nothing to say about the Christianity?” It is a matter of honesty! If a person only looks at one side of the subject, he is dishonest and this we refuse to be! It has never been the case that the “founding fathers” were all believers in the Bible, nor has it been the case that we believed that all the “founding fathers” made a claim of being Christians! Our aim is to honestly show that the majority of our “founding fathers” did believe in the Bible and had good things to say about Christianity and the Bible; and show that this nation was founded upon the precepts and principles of the New Testament!

Frank R. Williams

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