Defending the Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & the American Constitution
Sunday November 23rd 2014

Self-Educated Man

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S.E.M., Vol. 1, No. 6


The President's Duty to Faithfully Execute the Law. According to Art. II, Sect. 3 of the Constitution, what is the President's duty? According to Lincoln, what does a man trample on, when he tramples on the law? According to Rep. Goodlatte, what is the value of strictly observing even bad laws until they are repealed? In a republic, why else, in your opinion, is obedience to laws put in place according to the process outlined in the Constitution, regardless of our personal opinions, important, if not vital?

Read full text of questions and respond.


The Pulpit and the American Revolution: Closing Remarks and Modern Reflections

Leonard O. Goenaga

Article Series: The Pulpit and the Patriots

WEEK 8: The Pulpit and the American Revolution: Closing Remarks and Modern Reflections

It shall here be noted that this survey only reviewed six such preachers. By simply observing both the influence of their efforts and the substance of their writing, one can begin to paint the picture of wedding the congregant to the cause. To then imagine that this recap contained only single samples of their preaching among thousands and over decades seems to belittle their influence. Compound upon this the number of pastors engaging in such efforts, and it then becomes eye opening. We must remember that this survey was restricted to six preachers and their churches. These Pulpit Patriots were six of over 1,900 Congregational, Presbyterian and Baptist churches, containing pastors preaching similar political sermons for over a century.[i] With the additional understanding that over two-thirds of the colonial population were the influenced by-products of Calvinism, a world-view, which set the tone of their preaching, is understood.[ii] Franklin P. Cole is not in error when he concludes, regarding these preachers and their influence on the American Reformation, that, “There is probably no group of men in history, living in a particular area at a given time, who can speak as forcibly on the subject of Liberty as the Congregational ministers of New England between 1750 and 1785.”[iii] Nor is Ellis Sandoz, when he summarizes in the forward of his work containing in its entirety sermons of New England Preachers, that

 Although they present a range of viewpoints on many different problems over a period of seventy-five years, all our writers agree that political liberty and religious truth are vitally intertwined. And while the role of the clergy as the philosophers of the American founding has not received great attention from students of political theory, it was abundantly clear to contemporaries.[iv]

William Gordan, a contemporary of the American Patriots, discusses the role of the ministers of New England during the American Revolution:

The clergy of this colony are as virtuous, sensible and learned a set of men, as will probably be found in any part of the globe of equal size and equally populous …
[I]t is certainly a duty of the clergy to accommodate their discourses to the times; to preach against such sins as are most prevalent, and to recommend such virtues as are most wanted … You have frequently remarked that though the partisans of arbitrary power will freely censure that preacher, who speaks boldly for the liberties of the people, they will admire as an excellent divine, the parson whose discourse is wholly in the opposite, and teaches, that magistrates have a divine right for doing wrong, and are to be implicitly obeyed; men professing Christianity, as if the religion of the blessed Jesus bound them tamely to part with their natural and social rights, and slavishly to bow their neck to any tyrant…[v]

In short, we should conclude that, on the basis a sampling of six out of 1,000+ patriots and the roles their Pulpits played in the American Revolution, we are reasonable to acknowledge that there existed real contributions from the Pulpit. This is seen in various earlier noted historical realities: (1) Their close and privileged relationships with key founding figures were, by the words of such founders, influential,[vi] (2) The wide popularity, readership, and audience of both their pamphlets and their political sermons, (3) The clearly discernable idea, preceding various secular Revolutionaries, as seen in Mayhew and Jefferson, that liberty can be approached as an issue of divine relevance, thus consisting of specific mandates regarding man and his response to tyranny, and (4) That their roles as pastors, discipling the sheep of America, should be undeniably influential in a Revolution regarding ‘We the People.’[vii] In the 18th century, the minister was the educated man of his era, displaying a diverse variety of learning. Although this spot would later be filled, post-Constitution, by the Lawyer, the theologian carried the weight of progressing both theological and civil ideas. It should then come to no surprise that, when called to engage with an issue rooted in both tyranny and liberty, the Pulpit would rise to play its influential role. Should we be surprised? Should it be ignored? What greater force in society could exist, to motivate man to act passionately upon defending the gift of liberty, then the Church and its Pulpit? With this, firm agreement is found with Ellis Sandoz, who in summarizing his view on the matter, rightly states:

To permit the religious perspective concerning the rise of American nationhood to have representative expression is important because a steady attention to the Pulpit from 1730 to 1805 unveils a distinctive rhetoric of political discourse: Preachers interpreted pragmatic events in terms of a political theology imbued with philosophical and revelatory learning. Their sermons also demonstrate the existence and effectiveness of a popular political culture that constantly assimilated the currently urgent political and constitutional issues to the profound insights of the Western spiritual and philosophical traditions. That culture’s political theorizing within the compass of ultimate historical and metaphysical concerns gave clear contours to secular events in the minds of Americans of this vital era.[viii]

Concluding Remarks and Modern Reflections

With this work coming to a close, it has become apparent that the force of the Christian religion in both shaping the People’s worldview, and prompting them into action during the American Revolution, was significant.

Little did John Winthrop know that his reference to Puritan New England as ‘a city upon a hill’ would set into motion forces that would eventually contribute to the birth of a new nation. “The Lord will be our God, and delight to dwell among us as His own people [as He did among Israel],’ he opined, ‘and will command a blessing upon us in all our ways, so that we shall see much more of His wisdom, power, goodness, and truth, than formerly we have been acquainted with.[ix]

The forces of the worldview, as shaped by Calvinist Christianity, have been made evident. It is traceable not only to the messages preached on political subjects in churches all over the colonies, but also observable in the presumptions of man’s nature and the question of responding to it in the form of the American government. We can conclude that a mentioning of such persons who preached such views on liberty and freedom, even decades before being penned by Jefferson and others, are worthy of a reference and lecture on the subject of the Revolution. Also worthy of mentioning are the influential intellectual forces of Calvinism and its byproduct, Puritanism. However, what relevance does all this hold for today? To that we turn and conclude.

It is observable that several principles the Founders grounded the structure of their American experiment on are under attack. The view of man’s depravity is being replaced by a post-modernist update to socialist theory that perceives man as essentially good and in need of various forms of state-sponsored aid. In addition, government grows at a rate unimaginable, whereas spending has tripled in comparison to the former presidency, and the nation’s debt stands at over $13,000,000,000,000.00. The rapid growth in the size of government is no myth, nor is it unfair to contrast the reality of its growth with the centrality of the principle of limited government within the Founding Fathers.[x] Regarding a growth in government, various branches have increased in power over the 20th century, bringing with it the challenges to the principle of checks and balances. Also of concern is the increase of a post-modernism that rejects objective truths in favor of a relativistic understanding of what is best for individuals, focusing more on one’s experience than a reality of absolute timeless principles.[xi] This is maximized further, and made evident, by the rise of various social ills and a breakdown of the family.[xii] The central pillars of the Founder’s experiment seem to be under attack: limited government, liberty from financial restraint, presumption of human depravity the need for checks and balances, objective unalienable rights as the source of law, and a healthy society rooted in strong families and True Religion. How do we approach these modern day challenges with the words of John Adams, who said, “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”[xiii] Can our political system survive upon the foundations of a form of government structured on essential societal and intellectual assumptions no longer held by our society? The prospect seems grim.

It is difficult to imagine that a society rejecting the foundational premises of its political structure would not experience some serious complications. Perhaps the tremendous national debt serves as a warning. Perhaps social attitudes as reflected in the breakdown of the family multiply the warnings.[xiv] Regardless, there does appear to exist a noticeable difference between the philosophies of the Founders and the attitudes of today. If such a threat were real, then what can the experience of our Pulpit Patriots teach us? With their essential role in promoting the ideas of civil and religious liberty in which both society and government benefited, is the same needed of modern day pastors? Surely there is a genuine concern regarding pastors preaching politics, but if they served such an essential role in society preaching biblical unalienable truths, then would not a fear of political correctness do more harm then good? This is not to say that we should have pastors at the Pulpit telling us which politician we are to vote for.[xv] Rather, this is to say that: if the Pulpit was essential to promoting the objective nature of rights, the exclusive character of truth, and the Divine source in which all laws are judged, pastors serve an essential societal function. They are the glue that wed essential attitudes to the American governmental model. Some deem it popular to exclude from the Pulpit and the role of minister anything having to do with the ‘world’ and its politics. However, if the church is called to be the light and salt of the world, and our political system is build upon the very principles cherished and wedded to the Church, is it responsible, or even possible, to ignore preaching these realities? Can a system, which presupposes “Laws of Nature, “Nature’s God,” and “unalienable Rights” “endowed by their Creator,” survive when those entrusted through the revelation of Scripture remain silent on the character of this Creator, and the revealed source of the Gospel and Law? Thomas Jefferson, having penned those very words in the Declaration of Independence, had this to say on the proposed concern: “God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed their only sure basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that those liberties are the gift of God?”[xvi] By the example of the Pulpit Patriots, and the essential role they played in this Nation’s founding, we can responsibly answer Jefferson with a ‘No, they cannot’. If the Pulpit will not again serve its role in promoting a biblical understanding of man, his God-given liberties, and the source of all unalienable rights and virtue, then who?

The Pulpits and the Patriots: Key Political Sermons

 

Sermons may be freely accessed from The Moral Liberal’s “Called Unto Liberty” Library.


Chronology: 1688–1773

  • I: Benjamin Colman, Government the Pillar of the Earth
  • 2: Joseph Sewall, Nineveh’s Repentance and Deliverance
  • 3: Elisha Williams, the Essential Rights and Liberties of Protestants
  • 4: George Whitefield, Britain’s Mercies, and Britain’s Duties
  • 5: Charles Chauncy, Civil Magistrates Must Be Just, Ruling In the Fear of God
  • 6: Samuel Davies, the Mediatorial Kingdom and Glories of Jesus Christ
  • 7: Samuel Dunbar, the Presence of God With His People
  • 8: Jonathan Mayhew, the Snare Broken
  • 9: John Joachim Zubly, an Humble Enquiry
  • 10: John Allen, an Oration Upon the Beauties of Liberty
  • 11: Isaac Backus, an Appeal to the Public For Religious Liberty

 

Chronology: 1774–1781

  • 12: Samuel Sherwood, Scriptural Instructions to Civil Rulers
  • 13: John Wesley, a Calm Address to Our American Colonies
  • 14: Anonymous, a Constitutional Answer to Wesley’s Calm Address
  • 15: Moses Mather, America’s Appeal to the Impartial World
  • 16: Samuel Sherwood, the Church’s Flight Into the Wilderness: an Address On the Times
  • 17: John Witherspoon, the Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men
  • 18: John Fletcher, the Bible and the Sword
  • 19: Abraham Keteltas, God Arising and Pleading His People’s Cause
  • 20: Jacob Cushing, Divine Judgments Upon Tyrants
  • 21: Samuel Cooper, a Sermon On the Day of the Commencement of the Constitution
  • 22: Henry Cumings, a Sermon Preached At Lexington On the 19 Th of April

 

Chronology: 1782–1788

  • 23: Anonymous, a Dialogue Between the Devil, and George Iii, Tyrant of Britain
  • 24: A Moderate Whig [stephen Case?], Defensive Arms Vindicated
  • 25: George Duffield, a Sermon Preached On a Day of Thanksgiving
  • 26: Samuel Mcclintock, a Sermon On Occasion of the Commencement of the New-hampshire Constitution
  • 27: William Smith, a Sermon Preached Before a Convention of the Episcopal Church
  • 28: Samuel Wales, the Dangers of Our National Prosperity; and the Way to Avoid Them
  • 29: Joseph Lathrop, a Sermon On a Day Appointed For Publick Thanksgiving
  • 30: Nathanael Emmons, the Dignity of Man
  • 31: Elizur Goodrich, the Principles of Civil Union and Happiness Considered and Recommended
  • 32: Samuel Langdon, the Republic of the Israelites an Example to the American States
  • 33: Elhanan Winchester, a Century Sermon On the Glorious Revolution

 

Chronology: 1789–1794

  • 34. Richard Price, a Discourse On the Love of Our Country
  • 35: James Dana, the African Slave Trade
  • 36: Israel Evans, a Sermon Delivered At the Annual Election
  • 37: John Leland, the Rights of Conscience Inalienable
  • 38: David Tappan, a Sermon For the Day of General Election
  • 39: Peter Thacher, a Sermon Preached Before the Artillery Company
  • 40: Samuel Miller, a Sermon On the Anniversary of the Independence of America
  • 41: Enos Hitchcock, an Oration In Commemoration of the Independence of the United States of America
  • 42: Jonathan Edwards, Jr., the Necessity of the Belief of Christianity
  • 43: David Osgood, the Wonderful Works of God Are to Be Remembered
  • 44: Noah Webster, the Revolution In France

 

Chronology: 1795–1805

  • 45: Bishop James Madison, Manifestations of the Beneficence of Divine Providence Towards America
  • 46: Stephen Peabody, Sermon Before the General Court of New Hampshire At the Annual Election
  • 47: John Thayer, a Discourse, Delivered At the Roman Catholic Church In Boston
  • 48: Timothy Dwight, the Duty of Americans, At the Present Crisis
  • 49: Henry Holcombe, a Sermon Occasioned By the Death of Washington
  • 50: John Smalley, On the Evils of a Weak Government
  • 51: John Mitchell Mason, the Voice of Warning to Christians
  • 52: Tunis Wortman, a Solemn Address to Christians and Patriots
  • 53: Stanley Griswold, Overcoming Evil With Good
  • 54: William Emerson, an Oration In Commemoration of the Anniversary of American Independence
  • 55: John Hargrove, a Sermon, On the Second Coming of Christ

 

The Pulpits and the Patriots: Selection from Political Sermons

Source: Cole, Franklin Paul. They Preached Liberty. Indianapolis: Liberty Press, 1977

Included are several selections from Franklin P. Cole’s wider collection. The various quotations of New England ministers gives insight into what was preached to the public regarding several major political issues of their times. Within their sermons can be noted the Calvinist and Puritan influences of man’s depravity and the fear of power. Also noticeable is a major focus on the issue of civil and religious liberty, in which we have already observed, played a role in influencing the development of the nation.

I. Divine Source of Liberty

“All power is originally from God, and civil government his institution, and is designed to advance the happiness of his creatures. Civil power ought therefore ever to be employed agreeable to the nature and will of the supreme Sovereign and Guardian of all our rights.”

Benjamin Stevens, A.M., of Kittery; Mass. Election Sermon, 1761.

“Life, liberty, and property are the gifts of the Creator”

Daniel Shute, A.M., of Hingham; Mass. Election Sermon, 1768.

“Next to the gospel of peace, civil government bespeaks the great good-will of the Most High, to the children of men.”

Eliphalet Williams, M.A., of Hartford; Conn. Election Sermon, 1769).

“The Scriptures cannot be rightfully expounded without explaining them in a manner friendly to the cause of freedom.”

Charles Turner, A.M., of Duxbury; Mass. Election Sermon, 1773).

“Unlimited submission and obedience is due to none but God alone. He has an absolute right to command; he alone has an uncontrollable sovereignty over us, because he alone is unchangeably good… And to suppose that he has given to any particular set of men a power to require obedience to that which is unreasonable, cruel, and unjust, is robbing the Deity of his justice and goodness.”

Samuel West, A.M., of Dartmouth; Mass. Election Sermon, 1776).

“But, depend upon it, no government is God’s ordinance but that which is for the good of mankind.

Samuel Webster, A.M., of Salisbury; Mass. Election Sermon, 1777.

II. Heritage and Nature of Liberty

“No man denies but that originally all were equally free. Men did not purchase their freedom, nor was it the grant of kinds, no from charter, covenant, or compact, nor in any proper sense from man: But from God. They were born free.”

Samuel Webster, A.M., of Salisbury; Mass. Election Sermon, 1777.

“Where the magistrates and people are generally virtuous, the people may be tolerably happy under almost any constitution, or indeed without any. Yet as the world is, a good constitution is by no means to be disregarded; but is the first foundation to be laid for the happiness of the people; and of great importance.”

Samuel Webster, A.M., of Salisbury; Mass. Election Sermon, 1777.

III. Balance of Power and Constitution

“A good constitution of government, such as one that secures the mutual dependence of the sovereign or ruling powers, and the people on each other, and which secures the rights of each, and the good of the whole society, is a great blessing to a people.”

Ebenezer Bridge, A.M., of Chelmsford; Mass. Election Sermon, 1767.

“Happy are those whose political plan allows such prerogative as is sufficient to the vigor, uniformity, and dispatch of public measures, but at the same time with such restrictions, that the liberties of the subject are safe… The balance of power in a mixed government is no empty theory. The destruction of it is terrible.”

Edward Barnard, A.M., of Haverhill; Mass. Election Sermon, 1776.

“But the British legislature, consisting of three branches; to check, moderate, and temper each other; it is imagined is preferable to any other we have the knowledge of.”

Samuel Lockwood, A.M., of Andover; Conn. Election Sermon, 1774.

“If laws, when made, exist only on paper and ink, what benefit can a people derive from them? The divine law is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword; and surely his ministers ought to make the laws, which they execute, bear some resemblance to his.”

Moses Mather, Conn. Election Sermon, 1781

IV. Tyranny and Human Nature

“Arrogant pretenses to infallibility in matters of state or religion, represent human nature in the most contemptible light.”

Samuel Cook, A.M., of Cambridge; Mass. Election Sermon, 1770.

“If we look over the prophets [of the Old Testament], we shall find that the rulers are peculiarly guilty: the princes were become mighty oppressors: and when foreign enemies attacked them, unnaturally joined and conspired their ruin! This was a crime of the highest nature. For nothing can be more aggravated than for the shepherds to mislead and butcher the flock they were set to defend and feed! And the guardians of the public interests, to turn traitors and assassins to them that raised them to their high places!”

Samuel Webster, A.M., of Salisury; Mass. Election Sermon, 1777

V. Obligations of Liberty

“ ‘Tis certain that the gospel, above all other religions, instructs mankind in the duties they owe unto their lawful rulers.”

Edward Dorr, A.M., of Hartford; Conn. Election Sermon, 1765.

“Is Christianity inconsistent with patriotism? God forbid that any should imagine such a thing. The true Christian is the best qualified to act the part of the patriot, if he hath other qualifications also which are requisite.”

Ebenezer Bridge, A.M., of Chelmsford; Mass. Election Sermon, 1767.

“Let us act as free! Let us stand for our just rights; but consider ourselves at the same time as servants of God, and submit to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake. Let us never use our liberty for a cloak of maliciousness.”

John Tucker, A.M., of Newbury; Mass. Election Sermon, 1771.

VI. Civil Liberty

“Persecution and intolerance are not only unjust and criminal in the sight of God, but they also cramp, enfeeble, and diminish the state.”

Jonathan Mayhew, D.D., of Boston; Mass. Election Sermon, 1754.

“If the repeal of this [Stamp] Act should be the means of continuing our religious as well as civil liberties, and of transmitting pure and undefiled religion to future ages: Oh! What a resource will it be of perpetual and everlasting praises!”

Nathaniel Appleton, M.A., of Cambridge; Thanksgiving Sermon, 1766.

“Civil government among mankind is not a resignation of their natural privileges, but that method of securing them.”

Daniel Shute, A.M., of Hingham; Mass. Election Sermon, 1768.

VII. Religious Liberty

“On the free exercise of their natural religious rights the present as well as future happiness of mankind greatly depends.”

Daniel Shute, A.M., of Hingham; Mass. Election Sermon, 1768.

“Religious liberty is so blended with civil, that if one falls it is not to be expected that the other will continue.”

Charles Turner, A.M., of Duxbury; Mass. Election Sermon, 1773.

“Whereas in ecclesiastical affairs we are most solemnly warned not to be subject to ordinances, after the doctrines and commandments of men. Col. 2. 20, 22. And it is evident that he who is the only worthy object of worship, has always claimed it as his sole prerogative, to determine by express laws, what his worship shall be, who shall minister in it, and how they shall be supported.”

Isaac Backus, Middleborough; Mass. An Appeal to the Public, 1773.

“All acts of executive power in the civil state, are to be performed in the name of the king or state they belong to; while all our religious acts are to be done in the name of the Lord Jesus; and so are to be performed heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men.”

Isaac Backus, Middleborough; Mass. An Appeal to the Public, 1773.


The Moral Liberal Research Writer, Leonard O. Goenaga, is a Baptist Associate Pastor (assigned to the Youth) at Glory of God Christian Fellowship, Raleigh, North Carolina; a Mentor (Computer Lab/Technology) at the Wake Forest Boys & Girls Club; a husband (to Katrina); and rugby coach. He holds a B.A. in Political Science (with a specific concentration in Political Theory, Social Contract, and Constitutionalism), a second B.A. in Religious Studies (with a concentration in World Religions and Early Christianity), a Master of Divinity in Christian Ethics, and an A.A. in Entrepreneurship. He has begun Ph.D with a concentration likely centered on an analysis of Locke’s Social Contract, H.L.A. Hart’s Legal System, American Constitutionalism, and Baptist Ecclesiology of Covenant. Visit his website at Leonardooh.com


Footnotes

[i] “In 1780 there were over 1900 congregations of Congregational-Presbyterian-Baptist persuasion, whence much Revolutionary talk and Action came.” Martin Marty, Religion, Awakening and Revolution: 120.

[ii] George Bancroft, Quoted by Loraine Boettner. The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination. Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Co, 1932: 389.

[iii] Franklin Paul Cole, They Preached Liberty: 40.

[iv] Ellis Sandoz. Political Sermons of the American Founding Era, 1730-1805: Foreword.

[v] William Gordon. The History of the Rise, Progress, and Establishment of the Independence of the United States of America. Freeport, N.Y.: Books for Libraries Press, 1969: 273–74.

[vi] The words of John Adams in 1818 acknowledge the influential role such pulpit patriots had, placing them on par with the likes of James Otis and Samuel Adams: “The most ardent and influential in the revival of American principles and feelings from 1760 to 1766 were, first and foremost, before all and above all, James Otis; next to him was Oxenbridge Thacher; next to him, Samuel Adams ; next to him, John Hancock ; then Dr. Mayhew; then Dr. Cooper and his brother.” Franklin Paul Cole, They Preached Liberty: 40.

[vii] These pastors must also be known for not simply preaching men into action, but engaging directly as patriots. Baldwin explains such direct involvement: “When the news of Lexington and Bunker Hill arrived, parson after parson left his parish and marched hastily toward Boston. Before daylight on the morning of April 30, 1775, Stephen Farrar, of New Ipswich, New Hampshire, left with ninety-seven of his parishioners. Joseph Willard, of Beverly, marched with two companies from his town, raised in no small part through his own exertion. David Avery, of Windsor, Vermont, after hearing the news of Lexington, preached a farewell sermon, then, outside the meeting-house door, called his people to arms, and marched with twenty men. On his way he served as captain, preached, and collected more troops. David Grosvenor, of Grafton, left his pulpit and, musket in hand, joined the minute-men who marched to Cambridge. Phillips Payson, of Chelsea, is given credit for leading a group of his parishioners to attach a band of English soldiery that nineteenth day of April. Benjamin Balch, of Danvers, Lieutenant of the third-alarm list of his town, was present at Lexington and later, as chaplain in army and navy, won the title of the ‘fighting parson.’ Jonathan French, of Andover, Massachusetts, left his pulpit on the Sabbath morning, when the news of Bunker Hill arrived, and with surgical case in one hand and musket in the other started for Boston.” Alice Baldwin, New England Clergy and the American Revolution.

[viii] Ellis Sandoz. Political Sermons of the American Founding Era, 1730-1805: 1.

[ix] Robert R. Mathisen, Critical Issues in American Religious History, 135.

[x] 1789, federal government had 350 federal civilian employees for a population of three million. Today, there are over three million civil service employees for a population of 218 million. Total of civil service employees has increased 8,571 times since 1789. Total ratio of civil service employees to private citizens was 1:8,500 in 1789, to 1:70 today. John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution: 389.

[xi] For the post-modernist mentality, how does one possibly understand where these ‘unalienable rights’ come from? If being ‘true to yourself’ is key, then how do ‘rights’ not fluctuate in definitions between persons and generations? How can one possibly approach the Constitution, and not be in error?

[xii] “The United States Census in 2000 showed that two-parent families now represent less than 25 percent of all households in America, down from 45 percent as recently as 1960. Over the same forty-year period, the percentage of single-parent families tripled, the divorce rate doubled, the percentage of people getting married dropped lower than ever before, cohabitation increased 1000 percent,” “and the rate of illegitimacy (births to unmarried women) rose by more than 500 percent.” Daniel Heimbach, True Sexual Morality: 30-31.

[xiii] John Adams, 1789; quoted in War on Religious Freedom. Virginia Beach, Virginia: Freedom Council 1984: 1.

[xiv] Convincing work on the correlation between increased sexual immorality, familial corrosion, and societal breakdown have been made evident in the work of sociologists J.D. Unwin’s Sex and Culture and Carl Zimmerman’s Family and Civilization. Both trace historical evidence concluding that a breakdown in traditional family structure and a libertine approach to sexual morality correlate to a breakdown in government and society. Interesting enough, America is heading down the same path recognized by the work of these sociologists.

[xv] This paper does not argue for a fusion between Church and State. I am in agreement with historic Baptists such as Leland and Backus who taught a necessary separation. What I am in favor of are pastors simply preaching the reality of biblical principles relevant to political and societal organization, which are then foundational to the American governmental model.

[xvi] Thomas Jefferson. The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 4. Query XXVIII.


The Moral Liberal highly recommends: Political Sermons of the American Founding Era, 1730-1805 (2 Volume Set)