Friday, October 21, 2016

The False Narrative of America’s Christian Roots

If one listens to evangelicals in the [u]nited States for very long, he will eventually come across statements like this:

Our Founding Fathers fashioned a republic to reflect "the laws of nature and nature's God." From their wisdom – based on God's wisdom – America emerged as the greatest nation in human history.

But now in 2016, the heart of America has become hardened to the things of God.

This nation, founded upon a respect for Judeo-Christian views of man, nature, and government, soon must regain that respect lest freedom give way to oppression, and democratic ideals are trampled underfoot by tyrants. This has been the pattern of history.

Source:  Tim Wildmon,, opened 7 Oct. 2016

The trouble is, most of this not true.  America has not got mainly Christian values at the heart of her political culture but Enlightenment and Whig ideas and so forth.  Unexpectedly, three evangelicals themselves, Mark Noll, Nathan Hatch, and George Marsden, in their book The Search for Christian America (The Search for Christian America, Expanded Edition, Colorado Springs, Helmers & Howard, 1989), do a good job of setting the record straight.  In this particular passage from their book, they show rather plainly the heretical route America has taken, particularly in equating her own identity and destiny with that of the Church:

American Christians were also especially susceptible to the lure of legend-building because they inherited a heightened religious interpretation of the nation’s founding.  As we have seen in Chapter 2, early New Englanders had determined that they were God’s chosen people because they had such pure religion.  By the time of the American Revolution, however, many throughout the colonies were making statements that America was elect because of the heights of civil liberty that it had achieved.  This is a significant shift, for it made it possible to express secular purposes in religious terms, as Alan Heimert has indicated:

In the years between the Stamp Act and the Revolution the evangelical ministry often spoke in the phrases of Sam Adams—who in 1772 explained that the religion and public liberty of a people are so intimately connected, their interests are interwoven and cannot exist separately.  Not the least of the consequences of such a blending of interests and issues was that elements of the Calvinist populace were allowed to think that they were defending religion when in fact they were doing battle for civil liberties.

 . . . At the time of the Revolution, the vision of America’s sacred destiny remained intense but with an altered foundation.  Instead of motivating men to create a Christian society, it encouraged them to bring about a revolution that would ensure the reign of civil liberty.

Between the American Revolution and 1800, the United States underwent a major religious depression, probably the low ebb of religious vitality in the nation’s history.  Yet in contrast to the downward state of religion, millennial expectancy during these years rose to new heights.  One minister triumphantly proclaimed that the advancing kingdom had delivered “the deadly shock to the last section of the Babylonian Image. . . . It trembles, it reels to and fro, and threatens to fall.”

But how could ministers rejoice in the success of the kingdom when their own churches lay devastated by the enemy?  Their answer was that God, in their view, had shifted his primary base of operations to the arena of nations.  In the ringing success of the American republic, they witnessed a model for the coming age:  “No sooner had the twenty years of our political operation built for us this political temple,” the same Presbyterian went on in 1796, “than wisdom fell from God in respect to the millennial temple.”

This transference of religious fervor to national ideals became the heart of American civil religion.  Christians began to suggest, as the Congregationalist John Mellen did in 1797, “that the expansion of republican forms of government will accompany that spreading of the gospel . . . which the scripture prophecies represent as constituting the glory of the latter days.”  This shift greatly strengthened the American republic, endowing it with a new sense of lofty purpose.  The nation rather than the church easily emerged as the primary agent of God’s activity in history (italics added).  (pgs. 112-4)

Because we have so many liberties, the American ‘fathers’ say, we must be blessed by God above all other countries.  And so delusion becomes more deeply set in the souls of Americans:

 . . . No less persuaded of the hand of Providence over the birth of the nation was George Bancroft, the best known historian of Antebellum America.  He judged the era of the Revolution second in importance only to the birth of Christ.  Of the Constitution Bancroft wrote, “The members were awestruck at the results of their councils. . . . The Constitution was a nobler work than any one of them had believed possible to achieve.”

Even those more directly concerned about evangelism, missions, and the church joined the chorus that identified the founding of the American republic as a signal event in redemptive history.  “The millennium would commence in America,” predicted the evangelical statesman Lyman Beecher, where “by the march of revolution and civil liberty,” the way of the Lord is to be prepared.  From this nation “shall the renovating power go forth.”  Only America could provide the physical effort and pecuniary and moral power to evangelize the world.  “Our Heavenly Father,” said William Williams in 1845, “has made us a national epistle to other lands.”  Even the Presbyterian Charles Hodge, who normally made a sharper distinction between the church and the nation, fell into step with his countrymen when he wrote in 1829 that “if the Gospel is to form our character and guide our power, we shall be a fountain of life to all nations (pgs. 108-9).” 

Such theologizing leads America to the point where she is now, that by virtue of her chosenness, she must have preeminence in deciding world affairs, to such an extent that she must slay the monster of tyranny, as she defines it, wherever she finds it in the world.  And so anything remotely resembling a patriarchal, hierarchical, traditional society, anything opposed to unnatural equality and rule by the masses, must be stamped out for the sake of ‘constitutional values’ and such like:

Even more puzzling is someone like Alexander Campbell, founder of the Disciples of Christ, who normally made short shrift of anything historical.   Campbell dismissed the value of all the church’s past experience since the age of the apostles—Protestant as well as Catholic.  All was entangled with Antichrist.  Like Jefferson, he thought no living generation should bow before its predecessors.  The only history that did not draw his contempt was the “Ancient Order of Things,” the purity and simplicity of the New Testament church.

Yet Campell’s distrust of history made room for one other exception:  the glorious events of July 4, 1776.  In 1830, he declared that this was “a day to be remembered with the Jewish Passover.”  . . .  On one such occasion [graduation day at Bethany College, West Virginia, on 4 July--W.G.] he called upon his students to imitate the work of Washington, Franklin, and Jefferson:

A more glorious work is reserved for this generation—a work of as much great moment, compared with the Revolution of ’76 as immortality is to the present span of human life—the emancipation of the human mind from the shackles of superstition—to deliver them from the melancholy thralldom of relentless systems. . . . This revolution, taken in all its influences, will make men free indeed.

Somehow the work of the founding fathers had escaped the corruption that had left its indelible stain upon two thousand years of history.  In Campell’s mind it was precisely the Revolution which broken the tyrannical grip of custom (p. 109). 

Sadly, a part of the South has also been enamored with this idea of equating republican/constitutional government with Christian progress (although, thankfully, there is another strain of Southern thought opposed to this.  Southerners have been woefully double-minded in their relationship to revolutionary/Enlightenment politics).  Someone who ought to have known better, the Rev James Henley Thornwell, summed up this particular belief of Southerners as well as anyone when he said,

We stand, indeed, in reference to free institutions and the progress of civilization in the momentous capacity of the federal representatives of the human race.  . . . The liberty of the world is at stake.  The American Congress is now deliberating upon the civil destinies of mankind.  . . . [T]he interests of religion are deeply at stake.  Here Protestant Christianity is ascendant, and stretches its missionary arm across the globe—we cannot interrupt this divine task with civil strife (James Farmer, The Metaphysical Confederacy, 2nd ed., Macon, Ga., Mercer UP, 1999, pgs. 248-9).

Significantly, there are also these lines that seem to haunt the minds of so many Southerners today:

Our glory is departed—the spell is broken—whenever we become divided among ourselves (p. 248).

Everything ‘depends upon Union’ (p. 248).

It is no great wonder, then, that so many Southerners no longer think about leaving the Union.  To take anything away from it, in their minds, would lead to the same result as Old Testament Israel losing the Ark of the Covenant:  The Glory of God would depart from them.

But what they must realize is that this trend toward democracies and republics, toward government of, by, and for the people, is not the will of God but of the enemy of mankind, the devil.  Now is a good time to remember something posted here in March 2014:

            . . . About his preceptor, Fr. Seraphim wrote:  “Archbishop Averky’s view of the contemporary world was sober, precise, and entirely inspired by the Sacred Scripture and Holy Fathers of the Church:  He taught that we live in the age of the Apostasy, the falling away from true Christianity, when the ‘mystery of iniquity’ has entered its final stage of preparation for the ‘man of sin,’ Antichrist.”
Like Fr. Seraphim, Archbishop Averky had made an extensive study of the philosophical roots of the apostasy.  As Fr. Seraphim noted:  “Archbishop Averky traced the development of this Apostasy in particular from the time of the schism of the Church of Rome (1054), through the era of Humanism, the Renaissance and Reformation, the French Revolution, nineteenth-century materialism and Communism, culminating in the Russian Revolution of 1917, which removed the last great barrier to the working of the mystery of iniquity and the coming of Antichrist.”
As we have seen, Archbishop Averky was in the direct spiritual line of the nineteenth-century Russian prophet St. Theophan the Recluse, whose prophecies—like those of his contemporary St. Ignatius Brianchaninov—he saw unmistakably being fulfilled around him.  St. Theophan had prophesied the fall of the Orthodox Tsar and its terrible aftermath, which he said must come as a punishment for the faithlessness, freethinking, amorality, and blasphemy among his countrymen.  “When royal authority falls,” Theophan had said, “and the people everywhere institute self-government (republics, democracies), then there will be room for the Antichrist to act.  It will not be hard for Satan to prepare voices in favor of renouncing Christ, as experience showed during the French Revolution.  There will be no one to pronounce the authoritative veto.  And so when such regimes, suitable for disclosing the Antichrist’s aspirations, are instituted everywhere, then the Antichrist will appear.”
            This was exactly what Archbishop Averky saw happening in the contemporary world.  “The fundamental task of the servants of the coming Antichrist,” he wrote, “is to destroy the old world with its former concepts and ‘prejudices,’ in order to build in its place a new world suitable for receiving its approaching ‘new owner,’ who will take the place of Christ for people and give them on earth that which Christ did not give them.”  In the words of St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, “The Antichrist will be the logical, just, and natural result of the general moral and spiritual direction of mankind.”
            Like his beloved St. John of Kronstadt, Archbishop Averky found that the most difficult thing to endure as an Orthodox pastor was to witness the apparent triumph of evil in the world.  He saw Christians of all different denominations “keeping step with the times,” unconsciously collaborating with the servants of the coming Antichrist by preaching humanistic, chiliastic ideas of “world progress” and earthly blessedness—ideas which appear motivated by “Christian love,” but which are in reality profoundly foreign to true Christianity.  “Bearing one’s cross is the natural way of every true Christian,” Archbishop Averky affirmed, “without which there is no Christianity.”
            Archbishop Averky was especially wounded at heart when he saw Orthodox leaders trying to keep up with these apostate trends for the sake of “ecumenical” progress, thus contributing to the “new Christianity” of the Antichrist—a “Christianity without the Cross” (Hieromonk Damascene, Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works, 3rd ed., Platina, Ca.: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 2010, pgs. 734-5, bold emphasis added).

But what do we find in evangelical communities today?  A call to pray for the return of God’s anointed in Russia?  Or, closer to home, for Christian kings in the States, or one in Washington City?  No.

Evangelical pastors overwhelmingly believe voting is a Christian duty. Almost all (94%) say American Christians have a biblical responsibility to vote. That includes pastors of all denominational stripes—from Pentecostal (98%) and Baptist pastors (95%) to Presbyterian/Reformed pastors (81%) and Church of Christ ministers (79%).

Voting - making one’s voice heard, forcing one’s will on another - is not a very Christian act.  Silent obedience, humility, cutting off one’s will for the sake of another - these are Christian virtues.  There are other ways to do good for society than participating in a system that overwhelmingly puts into the seats of government power those loyal to the globalist banksters and other transnational corporate interests (Monsanto, GE, etc.)  But the longer Southerners and all Americans continue to treat the u. S. Constitution as though it were holy writ like the Ten Commandments;

(From, opened 21 Oct. 2016)

the longer they continue to view America as the only nation able to receive God’s Grace and to dispense it to the other nations of the world in the form of paper constitutions, bills of rights, privately owned central banks, military bases, etc.;  the longer they will continue on in their political, spiritual, and cultural death spiral.

The world will be quite alright if America isn’t there to oversee its affairs.  It would probably be better off, in fact.  So instead of wasting time and energy fighting about Trump or Clinton, Supreme Court nominees, and all the rest of it, let Southerners, Midwesterners, Alaskans, Puerto Ricans, etc. start planning on how they can all peacefully go their own separate ways, building traditional Orthodox Christian societies as best they can within their new borders, and allying themselves with countries like Russia and Hungary who are in the vanguard of opposing the satanic New World Order, which would likely be hampered for a time without the resources of almighty Washington City at their beck and call.

May God grant the u. S., if it is pleasing to Him, a future that looks something like this:


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the South!

Anathema to the Union!

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