As the nation celebrates American liberty on the Fourth of July each year, it would be appropriate for all Americans (including those who have come here from other nations in search of that same freedom), first of all, to reflect on the Christian foundations—including genuine creationism—on which our nation was built.
In a previous article on this theme (see the July 1996 Back to Genesis article, “Sweet Land of Liberty”), it was noted that many of the founding fathers of our country were strict creationists and that this fact was reflected in the Declaration of Independence itself. In this article, several more testimonies are cited in support of this vitally important fact.
For example, John Hancock, who was the first to sign the Declaration, had been president of the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts a year before when he issued a proclamation calling for “A Day of Public Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer,” referring to “that GOD who rules in the Armies of Heaven and without whose Blessing the best human Counsels are but Foolishness—and all created Power Vanity.”1
That same year, the Continental Congress had also passed a stirring resolution expressing “humble confidence in the mercies of the Supreme and impartial God and ruler of the universe.”2
George Washington (often called “the father of our country”) was also a strong Bible-believing Christian and literal creationist. Among other things, he once commented as follows: “A reasoning being would lose his reason, in attempting to account for the great phenomena of nature, had he not a Supreme Being to refer to: and well has it been said, that if there had been no God, mankind would have been obligated to imagine one.”3
It has long been argued as to whether or not Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin were genuine Christians, but there is no doubt that both men were convinced creationists. Franklin is especially remembered for his stirring exhortation to the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 to pray for God’s guidance and blessing in the framing of our United States Constitution. James Madison then made the motion, seconded by Roger Sherman, to open all future sessions in prayer, and this was unanimously approved by the delegates. God’s resultant blessing is a matter of history. In his autobiography, Franklin wrote as follows:
I never doubted, for instance, the existence of the Deity: that He made the world, and governed it by His providence.4
James Madison, who is often considered the chief architect of the Constitution as well as the Bill of Rights, was a profound Bible student studying for the ministry during his college days at Princeton (then known as the College of New Jersey). Although he eventually became a lawyer and statesman, his Christian convictions never wavered. It was especially his influence that eventually established religious freedom in our country. He later wrote that “belief in a God All Powerful, wise and good, is…essential to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man.”5
Madison’s theology had been largely shaped by the teachings of President John Witherspoon of the College of New Jersey (also a signer of the Declaration), whose strong biblical Calvinist faith included the doctrine of the natural depravity of man. This truth in turn was behind Madison’s unique insistence on a government of checks-and-balances in which the innate sinfulness of men attaining power could be prevented thereby from usurping total power. This doctrine, of course, rests squarely on the biblical record of the creation and Fall of man.
Consider also the testimony of John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. In an address to the American Bible Society (of which he was then president), he said:
The Bible will also inform them that our gracious Creator has provided for us a Redeemer, in whom all the nations of the earth shall be blessed: that this Redeemer has made atonement for the sins of the whole world, and . . . has opened a way for our redemption and salvation.6
Continue Reading on www.icr.org