George Washington And Christianity

January 10, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Reference and Education

The faith of the founding fathers, including that of George Washington will probably always be debated among Christians. It is always risky business judging the state of a man’s soul. We’re on firmer ground evaluating the documents the founders produced.

Why is this important?

But we will go ahead and succumb to the temptation to debate their Christianity. Far too many Christians take the approach that if we can only prove the genuineness of the founder’s faith, that in turn will prove the Biblical legitimacy of the U.S Constitution. Others respond that the Constitution is clearly a secular document and we should accept that unpalatable fact and move on.

Most American Christians have concluded that Washington was beyond question a born-again Christian. Others find it a hard pill to swallow.

A Study Of Source Documents

They ask questions like, why did Washington conspicuously exit the church building whenever it came time to celebrate the Lord’s table? Why did he swear allegiance to all of the anti-Christian oaths of the Masonic Lodge to attain to the rank of Grand Master? Why did he virtually never mention the name of Christ in his voluminous writings, the few which do exist occurring in childhood?

When it comes to Washington’s religious/philosophical bent there is too much of a mythical or legendary nature to rely on anything other than primary source documents. Almost half a century ago Professor Paul Boller conducted an exhaustive study of Washington’s writings, public and private, together with reliable statements by his contemporaries. He compiled a book entitled, “George Washington & Religion” (SMU Press, 1963).

The picture that emerged from these primary sources is far different from the vast body of myth and legend that had been built up by a succession of pietistic biographers. The latter popularized an encyclopedia of stories about Washington’s religiosity based on hearsay and scanty evidence that could never hold up in a court of law.

The Real Washington

People who knew Washington well were in the best position to tell it like it was. Chief among these is Washington’s pastor during the 8 years of his Presidency. Dr. James Abercrombie expressed doubt about the reality of Washington’s faith based on his actions. In contrast with his wife Martha, Washington always walked out when it came time to participate in the Lord’s Supper.

We have these words from Dr. Abercrombie, “That Washington was a professing Christian, is evident from his regular attendance in our church; but, Sir, I cannot consider any man as a real Christian who uniformly disregards an ordinance so solemnly enjoined by the divine Author of our holy religion, and considered as a channel of divine grace.”

There is no doubt that George Washington thought and spoke highly of Christianity as a socially cohesive force and the sovereignty of God. He strongly encouraged chaplains in the Army and was a leader in his church, attending about once a month. However, do not confuse “Churchianity” with Christianity. His church attendance was a social obligation and expression of humanitarianism.

Washington, Madison, Jefferson, Franklin, and Adams were typical of others who denied the Divinity of Christ and therefore also denied his Kingship in the realm of civil government. Thus it is probably more accurate to describe the key founders as “unitarian” rather than Deistic. Most contemporary Christian historians are quick to deny the latter at the same time they ignore the former. But the implications for subsequent American history cannot be ignored and they have been devastating.

For more on the anti-Christian nature of the U S Constitution visit the America Betrayed website. Webmaster at “America Betrayed” is Oliver Woods, who also serves as headmaster at King’s Way Classical Academy an online classical, Christian school for grades 7-12.

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