Were America’s Founding Fathers not truly Christians, but in actuality, Deists?
That question and related others are being asked more and more frequently these days as the United States shakes its fist at God and rebels against His Word. The 412 Church senior pastor and host of the Hope For Our Times video program, Tom Hughes, has written an insightful book titled America’s Coming Judgment: Where is Our Hope? in response to this crucial question. We were blessed on Christ in Prophecy to have Pastor Tom as our guest on our television program to discuss this vital topic.
The Deist Deception
Nathan Jones: What about those who deny our Christian heritage in America by claiming that the Founding Fathers were Deists? Deism meaning the view that God wound up the universe and then left, therefore mankind has been abandoned with no personal God active in the world’s affairs. Is that true? Were the Founding Fathers Deists?
Tom Hughes: I hear that all the time, especially from Atheists. They often claim our nation’s founders were not Christians, but instead were Deists. They claim only a very few founders were actually Christians.
Just the opposite! Most of the Founding Fathers were Christians. They were believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. History proves only a few were Deists, such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, who were the most famous of the Deists. There’s two of them. In truth, there really weren’t very many.Most of the #FoundingFathers were #Christians. They were believers in the Lord #JesusChrist. #History proves only a few were Deists. Click To Tweet
As for those few founders who actually were Deists, again meaning God wound up the universe and now man is left up to his own devices, even Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin still understood that the Bible had to be the nation’s guide. They understood the truth that was contained in the Bible, even if they didn’t agree with the miraculous events recorded in the Bible.
For example, Thomas Jefferson created his own version of the Bible by cutting out the words that he didn’t like and kept the rest. Jefferson removed all of the miracles from the text. He didn’t believe in the miraculous and thought miracles were an absurd addition to the Scriptures, so he got rid of them. And yet, Jefferson still understood that the Bible contained true moral principles and he understood the need for mankind to live by them in order to function successfully.
Dr. Reagan: Yes, both Jefferson and Franklin in their writings emphasized the fact that our nation simply could not have the kind of democratic government they were setting up without a strong spiritual base. Whether the founders were true Christians are not, each still firmly believed the nation required a spiritual base founded on Judeo-Christian values, or this system would eventually cease to work.
Nathan Jones: Didn’t Jefferson when he said, “My heart trembles when I reflect that God is just,” meant that our republic could not exist unless we were a moral nation founded on God? Our third president was no fan of organized religion, but he did believe in the foundational necessity of godly virtue.
Dr. Reagan: Speaking of Jefferson, Tom, you put a lot of emphasis in your book on the Declaration of Independence. Why?
Tom Hughes: The Declaration of Independence stands as our nation’s charter. In fact, I think it was Michael Farris whom I quoted in my book who as a constitutional attorney affirmed that our Declaration of Independence is our nation’s charter. A charter charts the course for a ship. It maps the course across the ocean. So, we have the Constitution of the United States which tells us how the nation is supposed to operate based on certain laws, but all of those laws must follow the charter. The Declaration of Independence exists as America’s map.
Everything we do in government and law must be interpreted according to the Declaration of Independence. Ultimately, in looking at the Declaration of Independence, we understand it was written to declare the colonies independence from Britain’s King George, while at the same time declaring our dependence upon God and our submission to God. So, the Constitution ultimately must be interpreted under the guidelines of the Declaration of Independence, and the declaration is dependent upon the auspices of a moral God and Creator. Therefore, in a way, our Creator inspired our founding documents.