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July 4th -- Happy "Presbyterian Rebellion" Day!
Calvinism in America ^ | 1932 | Loraine Boettner

Posted on 07/04/2010 2:24:16 PM PDT by Christian_Capitalist

When we come to study the influence of Calvinism as a political force in the history of the United States we come to one of the brightest pages of all Calvinistic history. Calvinism came to America in the Mayflower, and Bancroft, the greatest of American historians, pronounces the Pilgrim Fathers "Calvinists in their faith according to the straightest system." John Endicott, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony; John Winthrop, the second governor of that Colony; Thomas Hooker, the founder of Connecticut; John Davenport, the founder of the New Haven Colony; and Roger Williams, the founder of the Rhode Island Colony, were all Calvinists. William Penn was a disciple of the Huguenots. It is estimated that of the 3,000,000 Americans at the time of the American Revolution, 900,000 were of Scotch or Scotch-Irish origin, 600,000 were Puritan English, and 400,000 were German or Dutch Reformed. In addition to this the Episcopalians had a Calvinistic confession in their Thirty-nine Articles; and many French Huguenots also had come to this western world. Thus we see that about two-thirds of the colonial population had been trained in the school of Calvin. Never in the world's history had a nation been founded by such people as these. Furthermore these people came to America not primarily for commercial gain or advantage, but because of deep religious convictions. It seems that the religious persecutions in various European countries had been providentially used to select out the most progressive and enlightened people for the colonization of America. At any rate it is quite generally admitted that the English, Scotch, Germans, and Dutch have been the most masterful people of Europe. Let it be especially remembered that the Puritans, who formed the great bulk of the settlers in New England, brought with them a Calvinistic Protestantism, that they were truly devoted to the doctrines of the great Reformers, that they had an aversion for formalism and oppression whether in the Church or in the State, and that in New England Calvinism remained the ruling theology throughout the entire Colonial period.

With this background we shall not be surprised to find that the Presbyterians took a very prominent part in the American Revolution. Our own historian Bancroft says: "The Revolution of 1776, so far as it was affected by religion, was a Presbyterian measure. It was the natural outgrowth of the principles which the Presbyterianism of the Old World planted in her sons, the English Puritans, the Scotch Covenanters, the French Huguenots, the Dutch Calvinists, and the Presbyterians of Ulster." So intense, universal, and aggressive were the Presbyterians in their zeal for liberty that the war was spoken of in England as "The Presbyterian Rebellion." An ardent colonial supporter of King George III wrote home: "I fix all the blame for these extraordinary proceedings upon the Presbyterians. They have been the chief and principal instruments in all these flaming measures. They always do and ever will act against government from that restless and turbulent anti-monarchial spirit which has always distinguished them everywhere." When the news of "these extraordinary proceedings" reached England, Prime Minister Horace Walpole said in Parliament, "Cousin America has run off with a Presbyterian parson" (John Witherspoon, president of Princeton, signer of Declaration of Independence).

History is eloquent in declaring that American democracy was born of Christianity and that that Christianity was Calvinism. The great Revolutionary conflict which resulted in the formation of the American nation, was carried out mainly by Calvinists, many of whom had been trained in the rigidly Presbyterian College at Princeton, and this nation is their gift to all liberty loving people.

J. R. Sizoo tells us: "When Cornwallis was driven back to ultimate retreat and surrender at Yorktown, all of the colonels of the Colonial Army but one were Presbyterian elders. More than one-half of all the soldiers and officers of the American Army during the Revolution were Presbyterians."

The testimony of Emilio Castelar, the famous Spanish statesman, orator and scholar, is interesting and valuable. Castelar had been professor of Philosophy in the University of Madrid before he entered politics, and he was made president of the republic which was set up by the Liberals in 1873. As a Roman Catholic he hated Calvin and Calvinism. Says he: "It was necessary for the republican movement that there should come a morality more austere than Luther's, the morality of Calvin, and a Church more democratic than the German, the Church of Geneva. The Anglo-Saxon democracy has for its lineage a book of a primitive society — the Bible. It is the product of a severe theology learned by the few Christian fugitives in the gloomy cities of Holland and Switzerland, where the morose shade of Calvin still wanders . . . And it remains serenely in its grandeur, forming the most dignified, most moral and most enlightened portion of the human race."

Says Motley: "In England the seeds of liberty, wrapped up in Calvinism and hoarded through many trying years, were at last destined to float over land and sea, and to bear the largest harvests of temperate freedom for great commonwealths that were still unborn. "The Calvinists founded the commonwealths of England, of Holland, and America." And again, "To Calvinists more than to any other class of men, the political liberties of England, Holland and America are due."

The testimony of another famous historian, the Frenchman Taine, who himself held no religious faith, is worthy of consideration. Concerning the Calvinists he said: "These men are the true heroes of England. They founded England, in spite of the corruption of the Stuarts, by the exercise of duty, by the practice of justice, by obstinate toil, by vindication of right, by resistance to oppression, by the conquest of liberty, by the repression of vice. They founded Scotland; they founded the United States; at this day they are, by their descendants, founding Australia and colonizing the world."

In his book, "The Creed of Presbyterians," E. W. Smith asks concerning the American colonists, "Where learned they those immortal principles of the rights of man, of human liberty, equality and self-government, on which they based their Republic, and which form today the distinctive glory of our American civilization ? In the school of Calvin they learned them. There the modern world learned them. So history teaches," (p. 121).

We shall now pass on to consider the influence which the Presbyterian Church as a Church exerted in the formation of the Republic. "The Presbyterian Church," said Dr. W. H. Roberts in an address before the General Assembly, "was for three-quarters of a century the sole representative upon this continent of republican government as now organized in the nation." And then he continues: "From 1706 to the opening of the revolutionary struggle the only body in existence which stood for our present national political organization was the General Synod of the American Presbyterian Church. It alone among ecclesiastical and political colonial organizations exercised authority, derived from the colonists themselves, over bodies of Americans scattered through all the colonies from New England to Georgia. The colonies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, it is to be remembered, while all dependent upon Great Britain, were independent of each other. Such a body as the Continental Congress did not exist until 1774. The religious condition of the country was similar to the political. The Congregational Churches of New England had no connection with each other, and had no power apart from the civil government. The Episcopal Church was without organization in the colonies, was dependent for support and a ministry on the Established Church of England, and was filled with an intense loyalty to the British monarchy. The Reformed Dutch Church did not become an efficient and independent organization until 1771, and the German Reformed Church did not attain to that condition until 1793. The Baptist Churches were separate organizations, the Methodists were practically unknown, and the Quakers were non-combatants."

Delegates met every year in the General Synod, and as Dr. Roberts tells us, the Church became "a bond of union and correspondence between large elements in the population of the divided colonies." "Is it any wonder," he continues, "that under its fostering influence the sentiments of true liberty, as well as the tenets of a sound gospel, were preached throughout the territory from Long Island to South Carolina, and that above all a feeling of unity between the Colonies began slowly but surely to assert itself? Too much emphasis cannot be laid, in connection with the origin of the nation, upon the influence of that ecclesiastical republic, which from 1706 to 1774 was the only representative on this continent of fully developed federal republican institutions. The United States of America owes much to that oldest of American Republics, the Presbyterian Church."

It is, of course, not claimed that the Presbyterian Church was the only source from which sprang the principles upon which this republic is founded, but it is claimed that the principles found in the Westminster Standards were the chief basis for the republic, and that "The Presbyterian Church taught, practiced, and maintained in fulness, first in this land that form of government in accordance with which the Republic has been organized." (Roberts).

The opening of the Revolutionary struggle found the Presbyterian ministers and churches lined up solidly on the side of the colonists, and Bancroft accredits them with having made the first bold move toward independence. The synod which assembled in Philadelphia in 1775 was the first religious body to declare openly and publicly for a separation from England. It urged the people under its jurisdiction to leave nothing undone that would promote the end in view, and called upon them to pray for the Congress which was then in session.

The Episcopalian Church was then still united with the Church of England, and it opposed the Revolution. A considerable number of individuals within that Church, however, labored earnestly for independence and gave of their wealth and influence to secure it. It is to be remembered also that the Commander-in-Chief of the American armies, "the father of our country," was a member of her household. Washington himself attended, and ordered all of his men to attend the services of his chaplains, who were clergymen from the various churches. He gave forty thousand dollars to establish a Presbyterian College in his native state, which took his name in honor of the gift and became Washington College.

N. S. McFetridge has thrown light upon another major development of the Revolutionary period. For the sake of accuracy and completeness we shall take the privilege of quoting him rather extensively. "Another important factor in the independent movement," says he, "was what is known as the 'Mecklenburg Declaration,' proclaimed by the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians of North Carolina, May 20, 1775, more than a year before the Declaration (of Independence) of Congress. It was the fresh, hearty greeting of the Scotch-Irish to their struggling brethren in the North, and their bold challenge to the power of England. They had been keenly watching the progress of the contest between the colonies and the Crown, and when they heard of the address presented by the Congress to the King, declaring the colonies in actual rebellion, they deemed it time for patriots to speak. Accordingly, they called a representative body together in Charlotte, N. C., which by unanimous resolution declared the people free and independent, and that all laws and commissions from the king were henceforth null and void. In their Declaration were such resolutions as these: 'We do hereby dissolve the political bands which have connected us with the mother-country, and hereby absolve ourselves from all allegiance to the British crown' .... 'We hereby declare ourselves a free and independent people; are, and of right ought to be, a sovereign and self-governing association, under control of no power other than that of our God and the general government of Congress; to the maintenance of which we solemnly pledge to each other our mutual cooperation and our lives, our fortunes and our most sacred honor.' ... That assembly was composed of twenty-seven staunch Calvinists, just one-third of whom were ruling elders in the Presbyterian Church, including the president and secretary; and one was a Presbyterian clergyman. The man who drew up that famous and important document was the secretary, Ephraim Brevard, a ruling elder of the Presbyterian Church and a graduate of Princeton College. Bancroft says of it that it was, 'in effect, a declaration as well as a complete system of government.' (U.S. Hist. VIII, 40). It was sent by special messenger to the Congress in Philadelphia, and was published in the Cape Fear Mercury, and was widely distributed throughout the land. Of course it was speedily transmitted to England, where it became the cause of intense excitement.

"The identity of sentiment and similarity of expression in this Declaration and the great Declaration written by Jefferson could not escape the eye of the historian; hence Tucker, in his Life of Jefferson, says: 'Everyone must be persuaded that one of these papers must have been borrowed from the other.' But it is certain that Brevard could not have 'borrowed' from Jefferson, for he wrote more than a year before Jefferson; hence Jefferson, according to his biographer, must have 'borrowed' from Brevard. But it was a happy plagiarism, for which the world will freely forgive him. In correcting his first draft of the Declaration it can be seen, in at least a few places, that Jefferson has erased the original words and inserted those which are first found in the Mecklenberg Declaration. No one can doubt that Jefferson had Brevard's resolutions before him when he was writing his immortal Declaration."

This striking similarity between the principles set forth in the Form of Government of the Presbyterian Church and those set forth in the Constitution of the United States has caused much comment. "When the fathers of our Republic sat down to frame a system of representative and popular government," says Dr. E. W. Smith, "their task was not so difficult as some have imagined. They had a model to work by."

"If the average American citizen were asked, who was the founder of America, the true author of our great Republic, he might be puzzled to answer. We can imagine his amazement at hearing the answer given to this question by the famous German historian, Ranke, one of the profoundest scholars of modern times. Says Ranke, 'John Calvin was the virtual founder of America.'"

D'Aubigne, whose history of the Reformation is a classic, writes: "Calvin was the founder of the greatest of republics. The Pilgrims who left their country in the reign of James I, and landing on the barren soil of New England, founded populous and mighty colonies, were his sons, his direct and legitimate sons; and that American nation which we have seen growing so rapidly boasts as its father the humble Reformer on the shore of Lake Leman."

Dr. E. W. Smith says, "These revolutionary principles of republican liberty and self-government, taught and embodied in the system of Calvin, were brought to America, and in this new land where they have borne so mighty a harvest were planted, by whose hands? — the hands of the Calvinists. The vital relation of Calvin and Calvinism to the founding of the free institutions of America, however strange in some ears the statement of Ranke may have sounded, is recognized and affirmed by historians of all lands and creeds."

All this has been thoroughly understood and candidly acknowledged by such penetrating and philosophic historians as Bancroft, who far though he was from being Calvinistic in his own personal convictions, simply calls Calvin "the father of America," and adds: "He who will not honor the memory and respect the influence of Calvin knows but little of the origin of American liberty."

When we remember that two-thirds of the population at the time of the Revolution had been trained in the school of Calvin, and when we remember how unitedly and enthusiastically the Calvinists labored for the cause of independence, we readily see how true are the above testimonies.

There were practically no Methodists in America at the time of the Revolution; and, in fact, the Methodist Church was not officially organized as such in England until the year 1784, which was three years after the American Revolution closed. John Wesley, great and good man though he was, was a Tory and a believer in political non-resistance. He wrote against the American "rebellion," but accepted the providential result. McFetridge tells us: "The Methodists had hardly a foothold in the colonies when the war began. In 1773 they claimed about one hundred and sixty members. Their ministers were almost all, if not all, from England, and were staunch supporters of the Crown against American Independence. Hence, when the war broke out they were compelled to fly from the country. Their political views were naturally in accord with those of their great leader, John Wesley, who wielded all the power of his eloquence and influence against the independence of the colonies. (Bancroft, Hist. U.S., Vol. VII, p. 261.) He did not foresee that independent America was to be the field on which his noble Church was to reap her largest harvests, and that in that Declaration which he so earnestly opposed lay the security of the liberties of his followers."

In England and America the great struggles for civil and religious liberty were nursed in Calvinism, inspired by Calvinism, and carried out largely by men who were Calvinists. And because the majority of historians have never made a serious study of Calvinism they have never been able to give us a truthful and complete account of what it has done in these countries. Only the light of historical investigation is needed to show us how our forefathers believed in it and were controlled by it. We live in a day when the services of the Calvinists in the founding of this country have been largely forgotten, and one can hardly treat of this subject without appearing to be a mere eulogizer of Calvinism. We may well do honor to that Creed which has borne such sweet fruits and to which America owes so much.


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Happy Presbyterian Rebellion Day!!
1 posted on 07/04/2010 2:24:18 PM PDT by Christian_Capitalist
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To: Christian_Capitalist

No mention of Witherspoon ?


2 posted on 07/04/2010 2:30:55 PM PDT by gusopol3
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To: gusopol3

oops; I missed it :”When the news of “these extraordinary proceedings” reached England, Prime Minister Horace Walpole said in Parliament, “Cousin America has run off with a Presbyterian parson” (John Witherspoon, president of Princeton, signer of Declaration of Independence).”


3 posted on 07/04/2010 2:33:23 PM PDT by gusopol3
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To: gusopol3

Yep. Horace Walpole’s full quote was, “There no use crying about it — Cousin America has run off with a Presbyterian parson, and that is the end of it.”


4 posted on 07/04/2010 2:35:48 PM PDT by Christian_Capitalist (Taxation over 10% is Tyranny -- 1 Samuel 8:17)
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To: gusopol3

Yep. Horace Walpole’s full quote was, “There’s no use crying about it — Cousin America has run off with a Presbyterian parson, and that is the end of it.”


5 posted on 07/04/2010 2:36:01 PM PDT by Christian_Capitalist (Taxation over 10% is Tyranny -- 1 Samuel 8:17)
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To: Christian_Capitalist

Though certainly Calvinist, most of the New England Puritans were Congregationalists, not Presbyterians. Furthermore, there was a profound ideological difference between the Calvinism of New England and that of the middle and southern colonies in that Puritan Congregationalism was deeply platonistic.


6 posted on 07/04/2010 2:36:53 PM PDT by SeeSharp
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To: SeeSharp
I think that Boettner's focusing more on the denomination which did most of the fighting and dying for American liberty, that being the Presbyterians.

No doubt the Congregationalists helped; but in the main, it was a "Presbyterian Rebellion".

7 posted on 07/04/2010 2:39:34 PM PDT by Christian_Capitalist (Taxation over 10% is Tyranny -- 1 Samuel 8:17)
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To: Christian_Capitalist; drstevej; OrthodoxPresbyterian; CCWoody; Wrigley; Gamecock; Jean Chauvin; ...
Great thread, C_C. Bookmarked!

"Whatever the cause, the Calvinists were the only fighting Protestants. It was they whose faith gave them courage to stand up for the Reformation. In England, Scotland, France, Holland, they,... did the work, and but for them the Reformation would have been crushed... If it had not been for Calvinists,... and whatever you like to call them, the Pope and Philip would have won, and we should either be Papists or Socialists." ~ Sir John Skelton

As with the Reformation, so with the Revolution. No king but Christ!

Happy fireworks, saints!


8 posted on 07/04/2010 2:50:43 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Christian_Capitalist
No doubt the Congregationalists helped...

Helped? The Boston Tea Party. Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill, the evacuation of Boston...

As the hymn goes,

Let tyrants Shake their Iron rod
And slav'ry Clank her galling Chains
we fear them not we trust in God
New England's God for ever reigns

9 posted on 07/04/2010 2:58:43 PM PDT by omega4412
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To: Christian_Capitalist

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty!

I love Loraine Boettner. Tempted to name my son Loraine. I am afraid he would have hated me forever, though.


10 posted on 07/04/2010 3:02:35 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: SeeSharp

True, Penn was hardly a Presbyterian, either. Calvinists are not necessarily Presbyterians (more’s the pity :) )


11 posted on 07/04/2010 3:03:31 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: Christian_Capitalist

Obviously the American Revolution did not spring out of nothing. Even a minimal study of history shows that it had precedents in Britain, where Puritans (Calvinists) had overthrown the king and established a republic over a century before the American Revolution. Some of the leaders of the English republic, like Algernon Sidney, had great influence on the Founders of our own Republic. Unfortunately, most Americans today are neither knowledgeable Calvinists nor republicans, and the Left is dedicated to populating the U.S. with people who haven’t the slightest allegiance to Reformation or republican ideals.


12 posted on 07/04/2010 3:05:59 PM PDT by hellbender
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To: omega4412

Well, like I said, they certainly helped! Wasn’t denying that, honest...


13 posted on 07/04/2010 3:08:26 PM PDT by Christian_Capitalist (Taxation over 10% is Tyranny -- 1 Samuel 8:17)
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To: hellbender

Thanks for your #12, good post.


14 posted on 07/04/2010 3:09:02 PM PDT by Christian_Capitalist (Taxation over 10% is Tyranny -- 1 Samuel 8:17)
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To: Christian_Capitalist

Who were the Catholic Founders ?

Where there many?

Or just Protestants?


15 posted on 07/04/2010 3:13:13 PM PDT by NoLibZone (Liberals are right. The AZ situation is like Nazi Germany. Mexico is Germany and Arizona is Poland)
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To: NoLibZone

I think that there were a few Catholics; but mainly it was Calvinists in general, and Presbyterians in particular.


16 posted on 07/04/2010 3:16:55 PM PDT by Christian_Capitalist (Taxation over 10% is Tyranny -- 1 Samuel 8:17)
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To: SeeSharp

I think the Pilgrims were Congregationalist.
The Puritans who settled in Boston about l0 years after the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth had a different view of organized religion, and I believe they brought with them the Presbyterian Church.

Correct me if I’m wrong.


17 posted on 07/04/2010 3:21:51 PM PDT by MondoQueen
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To: Persevero
I love Loraine Boettner. Tempted to name my son Loraine. I am afraid he would have hated me forever, though.

Our son says he's going to name his first son "Calvin."

(I agree about Loraine. Life is difficult enought without losing permanent teeth in grade school.)

18 posted on 07/04/2010 3:22:28 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Christian_Capitalist
Our own historian Bancroft says: "The Revolution of 1776, so far as it was affected by religion, was a Presbyterian measure. It was the natural outgrowth of the principles which the Presbyterianism of the Old World planted in her sons, the English Puritans, the Scotch Covenanters, the French Huguenots, the Dutch Calvinists, and the Presbyterians of Ulster." So intense, universal, and aggressive were the Presbyterians in their zeal for liberty that the war was spoken of in England as "The Presbyterian Rebellion." An ardent colonial supporter of King George III wrote home: "I fix all the blame for these extraordinary proceedings upon the Presbyterians. They have been the chief and principal instruments in all these flaming measures. They always do and ever will act against government from that restless and turbulent anti-monarchial spirit which has always distinguished them everywhere." When the news of "these extraordinary proceedings" reached England, Prime Minister Horace Walpole said in Parliament, "Cousin America has run off with a Presbyterian parson" (John Witherspoon, president of Princeton, signer of Declaration of Independence).

Happy Presbyterian Rebellion Day!!

And to you, Christian_Capitalist!

19 posted on 07/04/2010 3:41:23 PM PDT by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2503089/posts?page=9#9)
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To: Christian_Capitalist

I read somewhere a breakdown between Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians that were the founding fathers.

Note even close. Baptists over 90%.

Don’t try to claim Calvanism was the founding force it was Protestantism.


20 posted on 07/04/2010 3:41:50 PM PDT by BereanBrain
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To: Christian_Capitalist
....we should not be surprised to find that the Calvinists took a very important part in American Revolution. Calvin emphasized that the sovereignty of God, when applied to the affairs of government proved to be crucial, because God as the Supreme Ruler had all ultimate authority vested in Him, and all other authority flowed from God, as it pleased Him to bestow it.

The Scriptures, God's special revelation of Himself to mankind, were taken as the final authority for all of life, as containing eternal principles, which were for all ages, and all peoples. Calvin based his views on these very Scriptures. As we read earlier, in Paul's letter to the Romans, God's Word declares the state to be a divinely established institution.

History is eloquent in declaring that the American republican democracy was born of Christianity and that form of Christianity was Calvinism. The great revolutionary conflict which resulted in the founding of this nation was carried out mainly by Calvinists--many of whom had been trained in the rigidly Presbyterian college of Princeton....

....In fact, most of the early American culture was Reformed or tied strongly to it (just read the New England Primer). Von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, a Roman Catholic intellectual and National Review contributor, asserts: “If we call the American statesmen of the late eighteenth century the Founding Fathers of the United States, then the Pilgrims and Puritans were the grandfathers and Calvin the great-grandfather…”
-- from the thread John Calvin: Religious liberty and Political liberty

Related threads:
John Calvin, Calvinism, and the founding of America
Calvin's 500th Birthday Celebrated: Critics and Supporters Agree He was America's Founding Father
AMERICA AND JOHN CALVIN
America's debt to John Calvin
Lessons to be learned from Reformation
Theocracy: the Origin of American Democracy
American Government and Christianity - America's Christian Roots
The Faith of the Founders, How Christian Were They
John Calvin: Religious liberty and Political liberty
Abraham Kuyper on American Liberty
The Man Who Founded America
The Puritans and the founding of America
Perhaps Puritans weren't all that bad
Who were the Puritans?
Bible Battles: King James vs. the Puritans
The Heirs of Puritanism: That's Us!
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Are new 'Puritans' gaining?
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The Pilgrims and the founding of America
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A time for thanks
Judge reminds: Faith ‘permeated our culture’ since the Pilgrims
In its 400th year, Jamestown aspires to Plymouth's prominence [huzzah for the Pilgrims!]
Rock of Ages and the rebel pilgrims [understanding the times re Augustus Toplady's famous hymn]
The Protestant Reformation and the Founding of America
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21 posted on 07/04/2010 3:44:11 PM PDT by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2503089/posts?page=9#9)
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To: BereanBrain
I read somewhere a breakdown between Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians that were the founding fathers. Note even close. Baptists over 90%. Don’t try to claim Calvanism was the founding force it was Protestantism.

Ping to post #21

22 posted on 07/04/2010 3:45:16 PM PDT by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2503089/posts?page=9#9)
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To: MondoQueen

I thought that prior to the English civil war Presbyterianism was pretty much a Scottish denomination. Both the Pilgrims and the Puritans came mostly from East Anglia.


23 posted on 07/04/2010 4:19:19 PM PDT by SeeSharp
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

HMMMMMMMM.

THX.


24 posted on 07/04/2010 4:47:20 PM PDT by Quix (THE PLAN of the Bosses: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2519352/posts?page=2#2)
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To: BereanBrain
I read somewhere a breakdown between Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians that were the founding fathers. Note even close. Baptists over 90%. Don’t try to claim Calvanism was the founding force it was Protestantism.

You "read somewhere"? Yeah, right. Post your citations.

The fact is, Calvinism is Christianity that includes Romans 9 in its Bible; and most of the Founders were overwhelmingly Calvinists.

Not a single singer of the Declaration of Independence was Baptist. By contrast, 49 out of the 56 Signers of the Declaration were covenanted members of EXPLICITLY Calvinistic denominations, who adhered to EXPLICITLY Calvinist Creeds. (For that matter, back then, even most American Baptists were good "Old School Baptist" Calvinists, not modern apostate "New School Baptist" Free-Willers).

25 posted on 07/04/2010 4:53:47 PM PDT by Christian_Capitalist (Taxation over 10% is Tyranny -- 1 Samuel 8:17)
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To: Christian_Capitalist
Love your signature!

(Taxation over 10% is Tyranny -- 1 Samuel 8:17)

26 posted on 07/04/2010 4:55:24 PM PDT by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2503089/posts?page=9#9)
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To: Quix

Interesting thread....

Where does that leave someone like me, who is rather calvinistic (small c), since I’m a TULI_ holder? One of these days, I need to write a post or find an article about how dispensationalism was founded by Congregationalists/Presbyterians/Calvinists (Darby, Scofield, and McGee come to mind).

Happy Fourth of July!!!


27 posted on 07/04/2010 4:55:24 PM PDT by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: Christian_Capitalist

Religious affiliation of the signers...

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2546951/posts


28 posted on 07/04/2010 4:56:44 PM PDT by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: Christian_Capitalist
Happy Presbyterian Rebellion Day!!

Ahh, Lorraine Boettner. Sure to elicit mouth foaming responses from certain quarters.

29 posted on 07/04/2010 4:57:26 PM PDT by Lee N. Field (that walking with God necessarily involved a sporadic flow of low-octane semi-revelation)
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To: fishtank

Dispensationalism really has been traced back to the early church.

And, of course, it’s in the Scriptures!

LOL.


30 posted on 07/04/2010 5:34:41 PM PDT by Quix (THE PLAN of the Bosses: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2519352/posts?page=2#2)
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To: BereanBrain; Alex Murphy; Dr. Eckleburg
"Whatever the cause, the Calvinists were the only fighting Protestants. It was they whose faith gave them courage to stand up for the Reformation. In England, Scotland, France, Holland, they, and they only, did the work, and but for them the Reformation would have been crushed... If it had not been for Calvinists, Huguenots, Puritans, and whatever you like to call them, the Pope and Philip would have won, and we should either be Papists or Socialists." ~ Sir John Skelton
31 posted on 07/04/2010 5:46:22 PM PDT by Christian_Capitalist (Taxation over 10% is Tyranny -- 1 Samuel 8:17)
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To: Christian_Capitalist

Pride goeth before a fall.

You got the pride part covered.


32 posted on 07/04/2010 5:48:55 PM PDT by big'ol_freeper ("Anyone pushing Romney must love socialism...Piss on Romney and his enablers!!" ~ Jim Robinson)
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To: big'ol_freeper
Studying HISTORY is "pride"? Uh huh.... Splinter, meet plank, "big'ol freeper".

Bancroft, who far though he was from being Calvinistic in his own personal convictions, simply calls Calvin "the father of America," and adds: "He who will not honor the memory and respect the influence of Calvin knows but little of the origin of American liberty."

33 posted on 07/04/2010 5:50:57 PM PDT by Christian_Capitalist (Taxation over 10% is Tyranny -- 1 Samuel 8:17)
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To: Alex Murphy

Thanks! And great post in #21.


34 posted on 07/04/2010 5:51:30 PM PDT by Christian_Capitalist (Taxation over 10% is Tyranny -- 1 Samuel 8:17)
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To: Christian_Capitalist

Factually most of the signers were Anglicans.

Live your fantasy.


35 posted on 07/04/2010 5:57:55 PM PDT by big'ol_freeper ("Anyone pushing Romney must love socialism...Piss on Romney and his enablers!!" ~ Jim Robinson)
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To: big'ol_freeper
Factually most of the signers were Anglicans. Live your fantasy.

By which you mean Episcopalian.

Factually, the Episcopalians of the time affirmed an EXPLICITLY Calvinistic Creed in their Thirty-Nine Articles.

To be a confessing Episcopalian, in good membership standing, at the time, meant being a Calvinist in terms of Predestinarian beliefs. By express creedal confession.

36 posted on 07/04/2010 6:01:20 PM PDT by Christian_Capitalist (Taxation over 10% is Tyranny -- 1 Samuel 8:17)
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To: Christian_Capitalist

LOL...ok...see your doctor for an anti-hallucinogen. It will work wonders.


37 posted on 07/04/2010 6:03:50 PM PDT by big'ol_freeper ("Anyone pushing Romney must love socialism...Piss on Romney and his enablers!!" ~ Jim Robinson)
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To: big'ol_freeper
Do you have nothing but low-brow personal insults to offer, or any actual historical citations?

You seem to know very little about the religious backdrop of the American Revolution, so instead you just vomit personal denigrations.

It's very childish.

38 posted on 07/04/2010 6:07:08 PM PDT by Christian_Capitalist (Taxation over 10% is Tyranny -- 1 Samuel 8:17)
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To: NoLibZone; Christian_Capitalist; Alex Murphy
There was only one Roman Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence, Charles Carroll. He had no part in drafting the document nor any of the debates; he just showed up to sign it.

He also refused to free his slaves when he died.

39 posted on 07/04/2010 6:52:58 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Christian_Capitalist; BereanBrain; fishtank; Quix; blue-duncan; Persevero; NoLibZone; hellbender; ..
Here's a great bit of historical recap...

THE PRESBYTERIAN REBELLION

It is estimated that two-thirds of the 3 million Americans at the time of the Revolutionary War were Reformed Protestants, and even that leaves out the many Episcopalians, who had a Reformed confession in the Thirty-Nine Articles, and the descendants of the French Huguenots. Presbyterians, above all, were responsible for convincing the colonists to revolt even though, prior to the war, about 40% of the population was pro-British.

"Whatever the cause, the Calvinists were the only fighting Protestants. It was they whose faith gave them courage to stand up for the Reformation. In England, Scotland, France, Holland, they, and they only, did the work, and but for them the Reformation would have been crushed... If it had not been for Calvinists, Huguenots, Puritans, and whatever you like to call them, the Pope and Philip would have won, and we should either be Papists or Socialists." ~ Sir John Skelton

"[Calvinists] are the true heroes of England. They founded England, in spite of the corruption of the Stuarts, by the exercise of duty, by the practice of justice, by obstinate toil, by vindication of right, by resistance to oppression, by the conquest of liberty, by the repression of vice. They founded Scotland; they founded the United States; at this day they are, by their descendants, founding Australia and colonizing the world." ~ French atheist Hippolyte Taine (1828 to 1893)

"Calvinism has been the chief source of republican government." ~ Lorraine Boettner

"In Calvinism lies the origin and guarantee of our constitutional liberties." ~ Goren van Prinsterer

Historian George Bancroft called Calvin "the father of America," and added, "He who will not honor the memory and respect the influence of Calvin knows but little of the origin of American liberty."

"John Calvin was the virtual founder of America." ~ German historian Leopold von Ranke

"The Revolution of 1776, so far as it was affected by religion, was a Presbyterian measure. It was the natural outgrowth of the principles which the Presbyterianism of the Old World planted in her sons, the English Puritans, the Scotch Covenanters, the French Huguenots, the Dutch Calvinists, and the Presbyterians of Ulster." ~ George Bancroft

It is no wonder that King James I once said: "Presbytery agreeth with monarchy like God with the Devil." In England, our First War for Independence was referred to as the "Presbyterian Rebellion."

A Hessian captain (one of the 30,000 German mercenaries used by England) wrote in 1778, "Call this war by whatever name you may, only call it not an American rebellion; it is nothing more or less than a Scots-Irish Presbyterian rebellion."

Another monarchist wrote to King George III: "I fix all of the blame for these extraordinary proceedings on the Presbyterians. They have been the chief and principle instruments in all of these flaming measures. They always do and ever will act against government from that restless and turbulent anti-monarchical spirit which has always distinguished them everywhere."

In a letter from New York dated November 1776, the Earl of Dartmouth was informed by one of his representatives: "Presbyterianism is really at the bottom of this whole conspiracy, has supplied it with Vigour, and will never rest, till something is decided on it."

John D. Sergeant, a member of the Continental Congress from New Jersey, credited the Scots-Irish with being the main pillar of support for the Revolution in Pennsylvania. A New Englander, not supportive of the Presbyterians, agreed, calling the Scots-Irish "the most God-provoking democrats this side of Hell."

Prime Minister Horace Walpole rose in Parliament to say: "There is no use crying about it. Cousin America has eloped with a Presbyterian parson," referring to John Witherspoon, president of Princeton University (the "seminary of sedition"), and the only minister to sign the Declaration of Independence. Witherspoon was not only one of the founding fathers, he was the instructor of the founding fathers. Nine of the 55 delegates at the Constitutional Convention had been students of Witherspoon's. In fact, David Barton notes that 87 of the 243 founding fathers graduated from Presbyterian Princeton, so it is hardly surprising that the founders created a republic.

"When Cornwallis was driven back to ultimate retreat and surrender at Yorktown, all of the colonels of the Colonial Army but one were Presbyterian elders. More than one-half of all the soldiers and officers of the American Army during the Revolution were Presbyterians." ~ J.R. Sizoo

"From 1706 to the opening of the revolutionary struggle, the only body in existence which stood for our present national political organization [republicanism] was the General Synod of the American Presbyterian Church... The Congregational Churches of New England had no connection with each other, and had no power apart from the civil government. The Episcopal Church was without organization in the colonies, was dependent for support and a ministry on the Established Church of England, and was filled with an intense loyalty to the British monarchy. The Reformed Dutch Church did not become an efficient and independent organization until 1771, and the German Reformed Church did not attain to that condition until 1793. The Baptist Churches were separate organizations, the Methodists were practically unknown, and the Quakers were non-combatants." ~ Dr. W.H. Roberts

Only the Presbyterian Church lined up solidly behind the colonists, and without them independence would not have been possible. Oh, and that Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson? It came along a full year after Scots-Irish Presbyterians in Charlotte, North Carolina, wrote their own declaration of independence. The Mecklenburg Declaration, written on May 20, 1775, "by unanimous resolution declared the people free and independent, and that all laws and commissions from the king were henceforth null and void," as Lorraine Boettner writes. Jefferson's biographer notes: "Everyone must be persuaded that one of these papers must have been borrowed from the other." George Bancroft observes that the Mecklenburg assembly consisted of "twenty-seven staunch Calvinists, one-third of whom were ruling elders in the Presbyterian church, including the President and Secretary, and one was a Presbyterian minister." Ephraim Brevard, who drafted the document, and after whom Brevard, NC, is named, was a Presbyterian ruling elder and a Princeton graduate. (Mecklenburg is far more desirable than anything inspired by John Locke. It is interesting to note that these Charlotte Presbyterians, who had been under the guidance of Alexander Craighead, later rejected the non-covenantal national Constitution.)

"[Patrick Henry's] mother drilled him in Presbyterian or Calvinistic theology, which provided the backbone for the American resistance to British tyranny. As one author has noted, Calvinism 'has been able to inspire and sustain the bravest efforts ever made by man to break the yoke of unjust authority...' It has 'borne ever an inflexible front to illusion and mendacity, and has preferred rather to be ground to powder, like flint, than to bend before violence, or melt under enervating temptation.' By the time of the American Revolution, approximately two-thirds of the colonial population had been 'trained in the school of Calvin.' Henry, through his mother, was a spiritual descendant of Calvin and represented the liberating element of a Reformed theology and world-view." ~ Isaac Backus

One example among many in the "Black Regiment" (of parsons) was the Rev. James Caldwell of the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethtown, New Jersey. Caldwell also served as chaplain to the Continental Army. A Redcoat murdered his wife by firing into his home. Leaving his children in the care of the townsfolk, Caldwell rejoined the fight, which had moved to Springfield. When wadding for ammunition ran low, Caldwell ran to the First Presbyterian Church of Springfield and returned with as many hymnals as he could carry. Tearing out the pages, he yelled, "Put Watts into 'em, boys! Give 'em Watts!" He was killed in battle one year later.

This was a man who carried pistols with him to church and laid them on the pulpit before he began the sermon. One of the nine orphaned Caldwell children became a U.S. Supreme Court clerk and worked for the cause of African colonization. A town in Liberia is named Caldwell in his memory. War hero Lafayette, George Washington's close friend, and the man who incidentally was given the honor of naming a cousin of mine from 5 generations ago (Carolina Lafayette Seabrook), took another of the Caldwell children home with him to France.

During the feudal era, bishops rode to war at the head of armies. There was a time in America when this was still the case.


40 posted on 07/04/2010 7:17:22 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

INTERESTING.

THX.

PRAISE GOD.


41 posted on 07/04/2010 7:32:14 PM PDT by Quix (THE PLAN of the Bosses: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2519352/posts?page=2#2)
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To: Christian_Capitalist

actually, I did a little googling and found that it was 57% Episcopalian, 23% Congregationalist, 21% Presbyterian,3% Quaker, etc

Why do I need a system of points to codify a belief if it is evident from the bible?

How does the protestant belief of “sola scriptura” that people died for, stand if I also require a system of points of belief?

Just some questions....it seems to be we have replaced one pope with another.

I believe in “sola sciptura” and the priesthood of the believer, in that we should all work out our salvation, with fear and trembling rather than rest on non-cannonical writings and musings of men. (and the Bible is NOT that - it ‘s divinely breathed, through the agency of God-fearing men)


42 posted on 07/04/2010 8:01:41 PM PDT by BereanBrain
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To: BereanBrain
Why do I need a system of points to codify a belief if it is evident from the bible?

You don't. The so-called "Five Points of Calvinism" are just Five Points of a summation on what the Bible says about Predestination.

Like a pastoral teaching outline. It's just a point-by-point listing of what the Infallible Bible says on the subject.

43 posted on 07/04/2010 8:06:55 PM PDT by Christian_Capitalist (Taxation over 10% is Tyranny -- 1 Samuel 8:17)
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To: BereanBrain; Christian_Capitalist
Why do I need a system of points to codify a belief if it is evident from the bible? How does the protestant belief of “sola scriptura” that people died for, stand if I also require a system of points of belief?

"....the various creeds and confessions of the historic church have been a useful means of codifying and focusing key Biblical doctrines, and by extension are very useful in matters of church membership (covenants) or forming definitions of heresy for Protestants. An interesting problem arises, as many "Protestant" churches, especially evangelical and non-denominational ones, reject the creeds as binding on themselves re matters of discipline or doctrine. How does St Simeon the Patient Reformed Church know that First Fundamental Independent Baptist Church of Christ Unified down the street is trinitarian and orthodox, if FFIBCoCU refuses to publish (or even write down on paper) their "what we believe" document, and also refuses to deny or affirm SStPRC's own "what we believe" document?

There is no simple way of determining whether some churches are "in the fold" of authentic Christianity or are apostate/heretical. We (the pro-creedal Christians) have to "take it on faith" that they (the anti-creedal Christians) are really our brothers in Christ. Now to some extent I'm exaggerating here in order to prove a point, but I think the question is a valid one.

I would never suggest that a creed is a substitute for Scripture itself, nor would I suffer accusations that creeds are fabrications of doctrine. I would say that creeds are excellent summaries of where Scripture speaks to certain subjects, and exist as historic documents as to who took what side in ecclesiastical/doctrinal disputes. IMO creeds were wisely formed to "redeem the time" (Eph. 5:16) when testing or investigating the confessions of a professing believer, and continue to be smart tools for the churches' use today.

Only those believers that individually and institutionally submit themselves to the historic creeds of the church can be said to be "in agreement" doctrinally. By their very nature, creeds define what two or more groups' shared beliefs are, and they provide a useful way for both insiders and outsiders to test themselves on whether they really are doctrinally and congregationally unified.
-- Alex Murphy, May 2, 2009


44 posted on 07/04/2010 8:11:24 PM PDT by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2503089/posts?page=9#9)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

Thanks for the ping. Bookmarked here, too.


45 posted on 07/04/2010 8:36:27 PM PDT by raynearhood ("As for you, when wide awake you are asleep, and asleep when you write"-Jerome (Against Vigilantius))
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To: Alex Murphy; BereanBrain; Christian_Capitalist
By their very nature, creeds define what two or more groups' shared beliefs are, and they provide a useful way for both insiders and outsiders to test themselves on whether they really are doctrinally and congregationally unified.

I was called out and saved 15+ years ago in a church who's history can be traced back to the American Restoration. An Arminian/semi-Pelagian church with an ambiguous Statement of Faith (though generally orthodox) that flexes and changes "with the times," the church had unofficially adopted the old statement "No Creed but Christ; no confession but the Bible." Many of my old friends were shocked and taken aback when they found out that I had "converted" to a confessionally Reformed faith. Question after question came my way, the most common being: "How can you hold a man made document above Scripture?" I started a blog and eventually flipped over to maintaining a family webpage to both answer questions and maintain a record (though I am fairly undisciplined in keeping the page updated). On our "What We Believe" page I answered that question thusly:
We want to be up front and answer the question most often posed when relating that we are confessional: "How can you hold a man made document above Scripture?" The answer is simple, we don't. We believe the that Confession we confess, the 2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith, to have authority in the church and amongst its members ONLY in that it agrees with Scripture and is a concise statement of sound biblical doctrines. We believe the creeds we confess to have authority in the church and amongst its members ONLY in that they agree with Scripture and are concise, yet thorough, statements of the orthodox faith. The Creeds and Confession are subservient to Scripture. Would they disagree with Scripture, we would reject them. But they don't disagree, so we don't reject them. They do agree, so we accept them.

Consider that most churches have a Statement of Faith developed from that church's understanding of Scripture. These statements explain what the church teaches and what its members believe. Members of the church are expected to understand that the Statement of Faith explains, as far as the church understands, proper doctrine in the church. In America, most of these statements are fairly ambiguous (some more than most). The Creeds and Confession are similar to a Statement of Faith, though much more thorough and much, much less ambiguous.

46 posted on 07/04/2010 8:55:54 PM PDT by raynearhood ("As for you, when wide awake you are asleep, and asleep when you write"-Jerome (Against Vigilantius))
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Comment #47 Removed by Moderator

To: raynearhood
We want to be up front and answer the question most often posed when relating that we are confessional: "How can you hold a man made document above Scripture?" The answer is simple, we don't. We believe the that Confession we confess, the 2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith....to have authority in the church and amongst its members ONLY in that they agree with Scripture and are concise, yet thorough, statements of the orthodox faith. The Creeds and Confession are subservient to Scripture. Would they disagree with Scripture, we would reject them. But they don't disagree, so we don't reject them. They do agree, so we accept them.

Consider that most churches have a Statement of Faith developed from that church's understanding of Scripture. These statements explain what the church teaches and what its members believe. Members of the church are expected to understand that the Statement of Faith explains, as far as the church understands, proper doctrine in the church. In America, most of these statements are fairly ambiguous (some more than most). The Creeds and Confession are similar to a Statement of Faith, though much more thorough and much, much less ambiguous.

What an excellent statement - thank you for pinging me to it. The "2nd Confession" is the 1689 version of the Baptist Confession, right? There's a great deal of commonality with the Westminster Confession of Faith, which is what I hold to myself. Glad to "shake hands" with a fellow Trinitarian believer!

48 posted on 07/04/2010 9:12:39 PM PDT by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2503089/posts?page=9#9)
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To: Alex Murphy
The "2nd Confession" is the 1689 version of the Baptist Confession, right?

That's the one! A quick and insufficient history of the confession would be that the Westminster Confession was so wonderfully thorough that the English Particular Baptists felt that the "initial cut" of the 1644 Version was woefully insufficient. So, in order to correct that, they used most of the Westminster Confession on matters to define matters of church doctrine; on polity they took from the Savoy Declaration; and on the sacraments/ordinances (I personally say sacraments) they restated from the 1644 Confession. Thus, the 2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith (1689).

More than a handshake, Alex, I thank God for you, Gamecock, and topcat54. You three, on this site, were the means by which I was first really exposed to the Reformed Faith (following a long story of not being "kept altogether from falling [yet not] falling altogether" -William Secker) a few years ago. Though I've never thanked you before, let me thank you now.

Thank you, and thank God for you.
49 posted on 07/04/2010 9:43:24 PM PDT by raynearhood ("As for you, when wide awake you are asleep, and asleep when you write"-Jerome (Against Vigilantius))
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To: Christian_Capitalist

This OPC elder is happy to follow in the footsteps of our forefathers. Thanks for posting this on the fourth.


50 posted on 07/04/2010 10:49:00 PM PDT by strongbow
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