Thursday, December 31, 2009

Silencing of God: The Dismantling of America's Christian Heritage, Dave Miller

Silencing of God: The Dismantling of America's Christian Heritage, Dave Miller

I have heard of Dave Miller’s DVD “The Silencing of God” but have only recently viewed it. I was able to get a preview at a Bible Reading Marathon conducted by the Toledo Road Church of Christ of Lorain, Ohio at the Black River Amphitheatre with the Scriptures being read by teenagers over a 24-hour period where Brother Miller was able to speak at this event. While he and I were discussing our concern about the direction our country is being pushed, I asked brother Miller if he thought about putting this material in book form so people could communicate these vital facts documenting our nation’s Christian heritage with others as they are able more easily. I was delighted to hear that a coffee table full-color edition of the book had just been published. As the adult class where we attend began viewing the DVD, I ordered a copy of this book for the church library. It is an excellent product both from content and the attractive quality of printing.

Those who know me personally know I attempt to keep up on national politics and the forces that are attempting to take us further away from God. So, the material in the DVD was not a total shock to me. What was surprising to me is the voluminous efforts early leaders made to ensure all knew our county was established to be a Christian nation—monuments, money, manuscripts, correspondence, speeches, mottos, oaths, songs, constitutions—Federal and States, etc. I often hear people say the United States is not a Christian nation and was never designed to be one. That the Founding Fathers desired to establish a secular government that merely tolerates various religions. I knew before watching the DVD that was absurdly FALSE. The Founding Fathers wrote the First Amendment to protect religious freedom as opposed to the sinister twisting of the phrase, “a wall of separation between church and state,” in a letter by Thomas Jefferson to a Baptist association to reassure them that the Federal Government would not interfere with religion to restrict the exercise of religion. I am alarmed that some fail to realize the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments, were written to preserve individual freedom from government interference. Particularly alarming is that few seem to realize that the freedom of the Press and Religion go together—these two are both in the First Amendment. Ask yourselves, “If the Press was being treated by the Federal Government the same way Christianity is, would they tolerate it?” It is a highly relevant question! 

What I learned from the DVD is just how overtly the Founding Fathers and early leaders were in favor of New Testament Christianity. Sometimes people like to refer to our “Judeo-Christian Heritage”; however, the Founding Fathers were more specific to our Christian Heritage. They pointed out that we are a tolerant Nation because of, not in spite of, New Testament Christianity. The degree to which they expressed this was rather eye-opening to me. One of the quotes I vividly remember was by John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the first U.S. Supreme Court. The early founders of our Nation were not shy about affirming the importance of Christianity to the preservation of the Nation. John Jay wrote about supporting infidel (non-Christians) leaders:

Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers. It is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.—Page 89.
Some refuse to be involved in politics in any way and prefer to avoid all discussion on this subject; however, political and societal forces are pushing churches into areas that we cannot support; e.g., accepting the homosexual lifestyle and using our tax dollars to fund abortions. If we do not use our rights to make Christ’s views, which must be our views, on these two subjects clear to our leaders, then we will lose these two battles. And these two highly activist lobbies will not be interested in letting the church exempt herself. I wish we could continue in the luxury on relying on others to shoulder the political fight so we can focus solely on spreading the gospel, but we cannot. We must devote resources in this struggle too, or our ability to spread the gospel may be severely hindered. If we do not bow to our knees in prayer to God, we may find our knees forced to the ground against our wills and then we will be willing to pray to God but it will be a cry out to God in despair.

I found the words of President James A. Garfield, a member of the Christian Church, to be worthy of adoption:

Now, more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to present them in national legislature…. If the next centennial does not find us a great nation…it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.—Page 89.
It is time for Christians to be “strong in the strength which God supplies thru His beloved Son.”

1 comment:

drkenney said...

Some well intentioned comments have been submitted on this post directing to various web sites on quotes from the Founding Fathers. Some seem to think that I may be too close-minded to read these. I tend to refrain from allowing posts of links to other sites and videos here since this often takes a reader to areas I would rather not send them. That being said, I do want to respond to these types of comments.

One must remember the context of the Founding Fathers’ statements. They were concerned in keeping the government from being dominated by a certain religious sect or denomination. They had witnessed what had happened with Catholics, Church of England and others had so controlled the government to the exclusion of other denominations. They knew of the bloodshed between Catholics and Lutherans and the governments dominated by them. Their point was to keep these sects balanced by not allowing them, as a certain sect, to control the government. For example, we would not become the United States of Catholic Churches of America or United States of Lutheran Churches of America at the exclusion of other denominations.

That the Founding Fathers sought neutrality among the sects or denominations of Christianity does NOT mean that they were neutral on Christianity itself. To twist them into opponents of the Christian religion ascribes to them a motive they did not have. They did not seek to create a Christian neutral government but a denominational neutral one. The monuments, writings, currency and such all bear this to be true. This is clearly seen in just one of Thomas Jefferson quotes that one commentator wondered if I was open minded enough to read—““I am for freedom of religion, and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another.” –Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to Elbridge Gerry, January 26, 1799

Some seek to substitute tolerance of denominationalism of Christianity with tolerance of all religious outside of Christianity utilizing the writings of the Founding Fathers. This is likewise without merit. There were no monuments erected to Mohammed, Buddha, etc by the Founding Fathers. The Founding Fathers clearly recognized Christianity as the religious foundation of the Nation, but were wise enough that people have differing opinions in Christendom. They sought a nation that held to Christianity but was respectful of differing opinions within Christianity. The United States is a tolerant nation because it holds to Christian principles of toleration not in spite of them.