This week my wife and I attended a lecture at Providence Christian College in Pasadena. The lecture was on ‘The Religious Beliefs of Key American Founders,’ and ‘Examining the Evidence for a Christian America.’
The speaker was Dr. Gregg L. Frazer. Dr. Frazer coordinates the Political Studies program at the Master’s University. He has spent a significant amount of time investigating the philosophies of America’s Founding Fathers, and authored the book ‘The Religious Beliefs of America’s Founders; Reason, Revelation, and Revolution.’
Via his PowerPoint presentation, Dr. Frazer provided enough evidence to prove that America’s key Founders such as John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington, were not born-again Christians, in fact they were “theistic rationalists.” Moreover based on some of their own writings, they were heretics.
He gave a convincing rebuke of how so many professing Christians within America have wrongfully Christianized the forefathers, wrongfully teaching that they were all born-again followers of Jesus Christ. He also spoke on how many Christians have wrongfully categorized the United States of America as a “Christian Nation.” He refers to those that do this, as “Christian America Advocates.” However the evidence tells just the opposite of our Forefathers, and Nation.
I too was once a Christian America Advocate (CAA), but it was around 2010 when the evidence proved to me otherwise. It was then that I realized that my Patriotism had become idolatry, and I repented.
Dr. Frazer did an excellent job at reaffirming these truths and convictions, but I also learned new things as well.
He also spoke on how CAA’s maliciously altered or misused some of the Fathers quotes. For example
- They twisted Scripture to support their so-called “truths”
- They have changed some of the Founders quotes, by replacing their own ecumenical words like “religion” or “religious” with “Christian” or Christianity.”
- They have taken them out of context, misquoting them
- They have misused and misplaced ellipses’ to make their point (admittedly this word had slipped my vocabulary)
- They have falsely attributed quotes from Christian men, to some of the Founding Fathers
- They used “early pronouncements” out of context
- They have distorted a ‘Biblical Christianity’ with an Americanized Christendom.
I have to admit, some of this reminded me of a class I took on detecting deception by performing a forensic analysis of written statements.
Using a respectful tone, Dr. Frazer spoke of one well-known CAA named David Barton, and how many Christians (myself included), have been wrongfully indoctrinated by David Barton. That Barton is not a scholar, nor a trained historian; and by utilizing some of the above tactics, Barton lacks intellectual honesty (I was a Barton fan in the 1990’s).
Having said all that, though Dr. Frazer did an outstanding job of exposing the intellectual dishonesty of CAA’s, he also warned to avoid the dangers of the opposing extreme views, and that there is a healthy balance.
Since the inception of social media I have noticed that many professing Christians have given the appearance of committing idolatry with our U.S. Constitution. Many of them have put the Bill of Rights above and before the Scriptures. The truth is, our Constitution was penned by “theistic rationalists.” Though I greatly benefit from the First Amendment, I must see it for what it is. It is a secular ecumenical document that fosters an environment for ecumenicalism and religious pluralism. That my friend is not Christian.
Lastly, I am grateful for this lecture, and for our experience at Providence Christian College. After talking to some of their staff, speaking with my own pastor, and doing further research, if you’re seeking an undergraduate degree, please consider this college.
May I close with a passage that puts this into perspective.
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself” (Philippians 3:20-21).