What Are the Main Principles of the American Christian Constitution

ABSTRACT:  The best we can say is that the American Christian Constitution has a democrat heart in a republican skeleton.  The oath-bound covenant to a criminal justice system based on God’s law is replaced by a social contract based on majority rule. Until American Christians come to grips with this reality there can be no deliverance. Principles of Republican representation, Federalist division of power, and horizontal separation of power comprise the lifeless, secular skeleton. We cannot enjoy the gifts (liberty) of God apart from God, Himself.

Failure of Attempted Reform

After the Civil War, the National Reform Association recognized this and sought to amend the Preamble to make Jesus Christ the Lord of the nation – to no avail.  And so, the 20th Century ushered in a spirit of political polytheism, or pluralism based on the 2nd phrase of the 1st Amendment. That phrase says, “Congress shall make no law…prohibiting the free exercise thereof [religion]”. That statement makes the United States officially polytheistic. The law of any god may be adopted and thereby worshipped.

In a single passage, God condemns freedom of religion and at the same time guarantees freedom of conscience. Moses wrote, “He who sacrifices to any god, other than to the Lord alone, shall be utterly destroyed (freedom of religion.) And you shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt (freedom of conscience)” (Ex. 22:20,21).

The Supremacy Clause

Moreover, Article VI asserts that “this Constitution and all the laws of the United States made in pursuance thereof…shall be the supreme law of the land” There is no reference to the Higher law of God whatsoever. This is the heart of God’s great controversy with America. God will not be mocked — or ignored:  “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” Here is the heart of America’s Godless civil religion. The law of any god is free to compete in the public square of pluralistic America.

We would not be so blunt were the situation not so dire. Over 50 future American founders were steeped in this right-wing Enlightenment, social contract dogma. That included James Madison, the Father of the American Christian Constitution. He learned this from Pastor John Witherspoon who was called from Scotland to preside at Princeton.  He learned it from Scottish philosopher, Thomas Reid, who taught that God-ordained human rights were the source of liberty, rather than God-ordained responsibility to obey His law.

Great Bible Reset Paramount

Only a nation submissive to Christ the King will experience the blessing of obedience (Dt. 28). It is not an automatic, human right. The Bible says that man is born “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1), with no human rights apart from the grace of God in Christ. The result of rejecting Christ has been 200+ years of pluralistic, man-made laws, divorced from the perfect justice of the law of God. Virtually all Christian schools extol this Enlightenment view of history. Unless this changes there is no hope.

We are left teetering on the cliff of judgment.  We are like the ancient Hebrews who cried, “The temple, the temple, the temple” on the brink of the Babylonian captivity (Jer. 7:1-7).  They were staking their hope of deliverence on ritual devoid of devotion or obedience.

Likewise, today’s American Christians are under the thrall of this same empty patriotism. They cry out to a feckless idol, “The Constitution, The Constitution, The Constitution” expecting deliverence. Deliverence will only come from a return to “the original intent” of the law of God. It will not come from a return to “the original intent of the U.S. Constitution.”

I. Introduction

A. The Secular Constitution

1. Right-Wing Enlightenment

The notion that the U.S. Constitution is inherently Christian has been a persistent belief among certain Christian and American historical groups since 1787. There is no question that some framers were influenced by Christian values and were church members. However, the Constitution itself is largely a product of Scottish, right-wing, Enlightenment ideals introduced via John Witherspoon, thus revealing its secular foundation. 

To save their country, Christians have to stop kidding themselves. They have to snap out of the Enlightenment trance. This analysis aims to dismantle the myth of an American Christian Constitution and highlights the importance of acknowledging its secular roots. This is essential for an accurate understanding of American history and government.  Otherwise, we will continue to grope toward the mirage of America’s secular, civil religion and its flowery promise of liberty that will never materialize.

The framers preferred a representative system to safeguard against direct democracy. They had concerns over democratic mob rule, such as occurred in ancient Greece.  However, the emphasis on representation in a secular context reflects Enlightenment values of reasoned government rather than the model of the Hebrew republic described in the Old Testament.  

2. Left-Wing Enlightenment

Likewise, the influence of left-wing Enlightenment thinkers like Englishman John Locke and Frenchman Montesquieu was profound. Founding Fathers such as Madison and  Jefferson looked to them for guidance in crafting the Constitution. Enlightenment ideals of reason, human rights, and the social contract were foundational to the Constitution, contributing to its inherently secular nature.

Upon careful reflection, Christians of all denominations and persuasions should be able to detect and reject the secular roots of Enlightement thinking. We trust that all Christians will be eager to subscribe to God’s perfect law of justice and liberty for people of all ages and nations (Dt. 4:6-8). If Christians are going to be involved in political action what other standard do we have? Salt and light? The standard of being “salt and light” is no standard at all when it comes to legal infrastructure.

B. The Natural Law Constitution

The only other standard for any legal system is some variation of natural law. That is law that derives from Satan’s original temptation of Eve: “ye shall be as God, knowing Good and evil.” Why would Christians accept any other standard than God’s “perfect law of liberty?” as the goal of their political action? The rationale is ALWAYS that natural law will quite naturally be more appealing to the natural man, than God’s narrow-minded statutes and ordinances. Naturally. So let’s follow the path of least resistance. And we all know what the road to Hell is lined with. We are well on the way.

But that natural law argument contradicts God’s promise in Deuteronomy 4: 8-12 that Israel’s obedience to God’s law would be a beacon of hope for all the surrounding nations. They will respond, “what great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole law which I am setting before you today?” (Dt. 4: 8). The problem is not that God’s law doesn’t work. The problem is it’s never been tried. We default to some version of our own made up natural law and then try to baptize it with Christian iconography. We substitute style for substance.

1. American Christian Constitution Iconography

Some argue that phrases like “In God We Trust” on currency and the use of “Creator” in the Declaration of Independence automatically make the Constitution Christian. These people hold that because the religiously neutral Constitution “flows out of the Christian Declaration,” it too must be a Christian document.  

The one oblique time reference to the Declaration in the Constitution is meaningless. To claim that it represents some vital connection is grasping at straws. Yes, it’s true that some framers were Christians and most attended a church. However, these elements are more reflective of the common beliefs of the time rather than a deliberate Christian framing of the Constitution. Even if there was a connection, so what? Having denied the Deity of Christ, Jefferson’s mention of God in the Declaration has to be something other than the God of the Bible. It was in fact the Latitudinarian god of John Locke, The Father of the Enlightenment. According to I John 2:22 the one who denies the Deity of Christ is the antichrist. Thus, Jefferson’s denial of the Deity of Christ makes him an antichrist and unfit to draft anything resembling a Christian form of government.

2. Secular Features in the American Christian Constitution

The Constitution’s alleged division of power in the “limited, delegated power” catch-phrase was adamantly challenged by the anti-Federalists. Patrick Henry railed against it in the Virginia state ratifying convention.  What power haven’t you granted the Federal government, he wondered. But, even this was a pragmatic concern related to vertical checks and balances. 

Even worse, the exclusion of explicit Biblical qualifications for officeholders is a glaring problem. It underscores the secular approach to government embedded in the Constitution. Specifically, the Constitution focused on qualifications related to citizenship and age. Without religious prerequisites, such as we find in the book of Exodus and Deuternomy 1:15 (heads of tribes, wise and experienced men) all other credentials are meaningless. The lack of religious qualifications reveals the naivette of the framers in creating a government based on alleged competence rather than religious commitment.

Likewise, the Federalist Papers aligned more with Enlightenment thought than a strictly Christian worldview.  The Bible is not mentioned as a source of government authority in the Federalist. Instead the Framers simply emphasized the need for a robust central government to ensure stability during times of national emergency. They assumed that establishment of a horizontal separation of powers for the legislative, executive, and judicial would hold the central power in check. This also was designed to prevent the concentration of authority, but again not rooted in Christian theology.

C. Reforming the American Christian Constitution

1. Original Intent of the Law of God

We must return to the original intent of the law of God, NOT the original intent of the U.S. Constitution. The two are not the same. They are in fact, polar opposites. How can we make such a statement? Please read carefully with a mind open to the idea that the road we have been traveling is a dead end. We have to go back to the roadmap and be willing to retrace our steps.

Our thesis is that the so-called, American Christian Constitution lacks any substantial incorporation of Biblical principles required to be considered a Christian document.   Certain structural elements of the Constitution might be found in the Bible. However, divorced from reliance on God they comprise a secular foundation — a republican skeleton with a democrat heart.  In particular, the Constitution’s rejection of the biblical, oath-bound, covenant model is a fatal flaw. It contrasts sharply with the humanistic, social contract template adopted in the Preamble.  The key question is, what is God’s attitude toward such a humanistic arrangement?

2. Post-Civil War Reform Fails

Christians of the late 19th Century, following the Civil war were more clear-headed about the American Christian Constitution thesis than those of the last 100 years or so.  The Civil War was the catalyst.  A group called the National Reform Association blamed the War on the Founding Fathers neglect of Christ the King in the Preamble. They sought to introduce an Amendment to the Constitution in Congress.  Unfortunately, they were never able to get the Amendment out of Committee. And so they turned to direct political action to change the constituency of Congress and garner the necessary votes.  Sadly they were then sidetracked from their primary mission:

“WE, THE PEOPLE OF THE UNIED STATES, [recognizing the being and attributes of Almighty God, the Divine Authority of the Holy Scriptures, the law of God as the paramont rule, and Jesus, the Messiah, the Saviour and Lord of all,] in order to form a more perfect union…do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Why we might ask, if the Founding Fathers were so committed to a Biblical worldview, did they not do something like this in the first place?


II. Analysis of Constitutional Structure

A. Republicanism in American Christian Constitution

1. The Republican Framework In the American Christian Constitution

The framers, cognizant of the challenges posed by direct democracy, sought to establish a representative system. Advocates like James Madison, in Federalist No. 10, articulated the need to mitigate the influence of factions and prevent tyranny of the majority. Madison insisted that a republic, where representatives were elected to serve the interests of the people, could effectively address these concerns.

Anti-Federalists, such as Patrick Henry, challenged this perspective in the state ratifying conventions. They argued that the proposed Constitution’s focus on representation did not go far enough in safeguarding individual liberties. The debate revolved around the extent to which a representative system could protect against potential abuses of power.

2. The Secular Nature of Republican Principles

The absence of explicit religious qualifications for officeholders became a point of contention. Proponents, including Madison and other Federalists, framed this omission as a conscious decision to ensure a secular approach. They asserted that qualifications based on merit, citizenship, and age were more relevant to the principles of a democratic republic.

Anti-Federalists, while not necessarily advocating for religious tests, were concerned about the potential erosion of moral values without explicit religious qualifications. The debate explored whether the framers intended a secular government or aimed to protect religious diversity.  Nonetheless, Article VI, Paragraph 3 explicitly prohibits any religious test with the words, “no religious test shall ever be required for any office or public trust under these United States.” Most of the colonial charters had considered such a religious test essential for Godly government.

B. Federalist Vertical Division of Power

1. Vertical Separation of Powers in the American Christian Constitution

The vertical division of power, often referred to as Federalism, involved the distribution of authority between the federal government and the states. Federalists like Madison and George Washington argued that the federal constitution granted only “limited, delegated powers” to the central government. They contended that the national government must be strong enough to maintain order and address collective challenges. Lack of such, they argued, had nearly cost the colonies a victory in the Revolution.

Anti-Federalists, led by Patrick Henry, opposed this perspective. They asserted that the proposed constitution stripped all meaningful powers from the states. The debate centered on the balance between state and federal authority, with Anti-Federalists fearing an overreach of central power.  For example, there are about 11 features related to defense delegated to the Federal government under the Constitution, leaving only two minor ones for the states.  The 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms left these structural abuses intact in the body of the Constitution. 

Conservatives often ask the question, “What part of ‘shall not be infringed’ in the 2nd Amendment don’t you understand?” The radicals can and do point to the body of the Constitution and ask, “what part of these these 11 restrictions don’t you understand?”

2. Secular nature of the Federalist

Notably, the framers did not draw inspiration from biblical principles of government during their discussions in the Federal Convention.  Aside from Ben Franklin’s call for prayer there are no references to the Bible in any of the notes Madison kept during the Convention debates.  Moses’ adopted a vertical division of power in the Hebrew Republic of Exodus 18, where lower courts were appointed for routine cases. But, the Constitutional Convention stripped the states of most of the meaningful powers.  Moreover, the Bill of Rights, added to restrict the Federal government, was turned on its head with the 14th Amendment after the Civil War. It applied all of the restrictions of the Bill of Rights to the states. 

C. Horizontal Division of Power in a Christian Constitution

1. Horizontal  distribution of power among branches

Interestingly, there was also a horizontal division of power in the Hebrew Republic, separating civil leadership (Moses) from ecclesiastical leadership (Aaron the priest). The convention, built a similar division of powers into the Constitution by designating three branches of government:  Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. However, their source of authority was Montesquieu, not the Bible.   

2. Secular Foundation of Separation in the American Christian Constitution

In summary, the framers sought to strike an intricate balance between representation, religious influence, and federal-state relations. But, there is a notable absence of explicit biblical principles in these discussions. This reveals the convention’s heavy emphasis on Enlightenment ideals and practical considerations of government.

III.  The Heart of the Constitution

A. Primary and Secondary Sources

A closer look at the “heart” of the U.S. Constitution reveals the primary influence of Enlightenment ideals, in particular John Locke’s Social Contract theory. This is especially evident in the Preamble and Article VI. When we examine the essential features of the U.S. Constitution in the Federalist Papers, the Convention Notes and the Constitution itself, we find a humanistic social contract, devoid of any Bible-based national covenant. “We the people” rather than God is the source of governing authority, as in Romans 13:1.

Almost all defense of the Constitution by the “American Christian History Experts” de-emphasizes analysis of those three primary sources. They rely instead on a number of secondary sources of evidence. First, books in print at the time. Second, accolades of other Federalists. Third, religious quotes by the founders. And fourth, subsequent Supreme Court pronouncements. Virtually all of these contradict the primary evidence mentioned above. In the parlance of Informal Logic, the are trivial arguments. The internal primary evidence is so sparse, that proponents have to resort to the inclusion of the phrase “year of our Lord” after the date as the only serious evidence of a Christian Constitution. They let God into the convention as the Divine time keeper. How generous.

B. Preamble is Lockean Social Contract

1. John Locke’s Majority Rule in the American Christian Constitution

The Preamble is a textbook example of John Locke’s Social Contract theory, articulated in Chapter 8 of his “Second Treatise on Government.” Locke proposed that governments derive legitimacy from the consent of the governed, and that alone. The Preamble echoes this principle by asserting that the Constitution is established by “We the People.”  There is no reference to the authority of God whatsoever.

Delegates, deeply influenced by Enlightenment thinking, embraced the idea that governmental authority should originate from the consent of the governed by majority vote. The Preamble reflects their consensus that the legitimacy of the Constitution rests on the collective will of the people, rather than the authority of God and His law. The latter is found in many of the earlier colonial documents.

In Chapter 8 of The Second Treatise of Government Locke specifically states regarding majority rule, that “this is that and that only which constitutes the beginning of any lawful government in the world.” Again, no mention of the authority of God whatsoever.

2. John Locke’s Social Contract

The heart of the Constitution distinctly reflects a humanistic social contract, a concept rooted in Enlightenment philosophy. The framers, inspired by thinkers like John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, conceived a government based on a social contract. With a Social Contract individuals voluntarily surrender certain freedoms in exchange for collective security and government. The Preamble’s opening words, “We the People,” encapsulate this voluntary agreement. The purpose is to establish a more perfect union, emphasizing the collective will of citizens as the foundation of government.  “We the people…do ordain this Constitution for ourselves and our posterity.” 

The Convention debates revealed a deliberate move away from theological language and a divine covenant.   There is little doubt that the Framers, influenced by Enlightenment dogma, sought to establish a government grounded in reason, rights, and collective consent. They self-consciously rejected the idea of a covenant with God, such as we find throughout the Old Testament and in most colonial charters.

C. Supremacy Clause Excludes Bible

1. No Higher Law in the American Christian Constitution

Furthermore, Article VI, declares “this Constitution and laws of the United States made in pursuance thereof shall be the supreme law of the land.” This solidifies the framers’ commitment to a secular legal framework. This provision, reflecting Locke’s emphasis on the supremacy of civil authority, establishes the Constitution itself as the ultimate legal authority. There is no appeal to the “higher law” of God in the Bible. 

They could easily have said, “This Constitution and the laws of the United states made in pursuance thereof…shall be subject to the higher law of God in the Holy Bible.”  They purposely made no such statement, to the eternal regret of their posterity. Imagine how much political grief might have been avoided for 200+ years had that one little phrase been included. But Madison wanted a secular republic – and he got it.

The inclusion of the Supremacy Clause was pivotal. With it the framers aligned on the need for a strong central authority to avoid the pitfalls of the Articles of Confederation. The debate centered largely on the appropriate balance between federal and state authority. The Supremacy Clause tipped the scales in favor of the former.

2. No Bible Covenant in the American Christian Constitution

Madison did not explicitly reference any biblical principles in the Notes from the Federal Convention, which he meticulously curated every evening. The Constitutional Convention and the Supremacy Clause neglects to acknowledge any higher law rooted in the Bible. Ironically, only Deist Ben Franklin quoted Scripture and called for daily prayer, but the assembly rejected his request.

This stood in contrast to a Biblically based covenant, such as we find in II Kings 23:3 and elsewhere:  “And the King stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord to walk after the Lord and to keep His commandments, and His Statutes, and His testimonies with all his heart and all his soul, to carry out the words of this covenant that were written in this book.  And all the people stood to the covenant.” 

The Constitution obviously lacks any such explicit reference to divine authority or a sacred pact between God and the people. Unlike ancient covenants in the Old Testament, the Constitution does not establish a covenantal relationship with a higher power. The absence of direct biblical language emphasizes the framers’ deliberate departure from religious authority and their reliance on secular principles.

3. No Bible Law in the American Christian Constitution

These omissions make ratification of the U.S. Constitution a sacrilegious, covenant breaking pact by the representatives of the people of the United States. God has honored his promise in Deuteronomy 28 to pour cursings on any such nation. That is why nothing less than a Great Bible Reset will suffice to deliver us from the Great Economic Reset of the World Economic Forum. God has raised up the latter as a modern day Babylon to discipline his disobedient church. No premature rapture will rescue us from this judgment. That is why the United States and it’s surrogate is now being humiliated in the eyes of the entire world. The United States is exceptional alright — exceptionally foolish in forsaking its covenant with the Triune God and thus provoking His wrath and judgment.

No creative blame-shifting of responsibility to an inexorable “antiChrist” will shield us from the Divine discipine. Matthew 24:21 tells us that the Great Tribulation occurred immediately after the Christians fled from Jerusalem in 70 a.d. That verse also clearly tells us that there will be no future “dual fulfillment” of the Great Tribulation. So the ridiculous fussing over pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib is a monumental waste of time and money. It was all accomplished 2,000+ years ago based on Jesus answer to the disciple’s question of when the stones of Herod’s temple would be scattered (Luke 21:6,7).

C. First Amendment and Political Pluralism

1. Prohibiting Free Exercise of Religion

The First Amendment, preventing Congress from establishing a religion and ensuring the free exercise thereof, embodies a commitment to religious freedom and political pluralism. This constitutional provision allows for the coexistence of diverse religious and non-religious beliefs within the framework of government.

This may sound good on paper, but it’s consequences are deadly in that it fails to distinguish between freedom of religion and freedom of conscience.  The latter is guaranteed by the Bible, but the former is regarded as a violation of the First Commandment:  “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”  The words “….nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof” referring  to “religion,”  leave the door wide open for those who have no qualms about violating the First Commandment.

The distinction between freedom of religion and freedom of conscience are juxtaposed in Exodus 22: 20,21 – “He who sacrifices to any god, other than to the Lord alone, shall be utterly destroyed. And you shall not wrong a stranger or opress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

2. Minority Rights

This assumes a Christian nation under covenant to the God of the Bible as mentioned above. Although unbelievers are prohibited from participating in government under such a covenant, their rights are strictly protected under Biblical law. “And you shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt…If you afflict him at all, and if he does cry out to Me, I will surely ; and My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall become widows and your chilren fatherless” (Ex. 22:21-24).

The framers, aware of the European wars of religion, sought to avoid the establishment of a state religion. The debate on the First Amendment centered on crafting a balanced approach that protected religious freedom without endorsing any specific denomination.  The problem is they threw the baby out with the bathwater. Bible law may be established as the law of the land and the basis for criminal law by covenant oath, without requiring the establishment of any specific denomination.

3. Freedom of Religion vs. Freedom of Conscience

The First Amendment promotes religious freedom, as distinguished from freedom of conscience.  It thus inadvertently opens the door for political pluralism, allowing the influence of diverse religious and non-religious perspectives in the legislative and judicial process. Critics argue that this pluralism dilutes the influence of biblical principles in shaping legislation, and ensures endless bickering that may lead to overt Civil War. 

In essence, this examination of the heart of the American Christian Constitution reveals a deliberate embrace of Enlightenment ideals. These include in particular, John Locke’s Social Contract theory for crafting a government based on the consent of the governed. The debates surrounding these principles reveal the framers’ capitulation to a position of neutrality regarding principles of criminal justice. This was and is an exercise in futility. Jesus said, “he who is not for Me is against Me.”

This humanistic social contract forms the heart of the Constitution, shaping the relationship between citizens and government based on Enlightenment ideals rather than theological principles. The deliberate omission of any explicit covenant commitment to God’s law marks a departure from the historical idea of Christendom. It solidifies the framers’ commitment to a secular foundation for the fledgling nation.

IV. Historical Context of Enlightenment Influence

A. Enlightenment and American Christian Constitution

Pastor John Witherspoon, President of Princeton University was the key Christian leader who smoothed acceptance of Enlightenment ideals among America’s intellectual elite. The Enlightenment was a powerfully deceptive intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th centuries. Its central tenets fooled most of the clerical thought leaders in colonial America. These included the supremecy of reason, innate human rights, and the social contract. Enlightenment thinkers like Englishman John Locke and Frenchman Montesquieu, who championed ideas of natural rights and the separation of powers, provided the intellectual underpinnings for the U.S. Constitution.

There is little doubt that the framers blended Enlightenment ideas with practical considerations in drafting the Constitution. In so doing, they created a uniquely secular, American political philosophy – a civil religion.  The Apostle Peter captures the tenor of the spirit exactly when he writes, “For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved” (II Pet. 2: 18,19).

B. Witherspoon Kills American Christian Constitution

1. Training Over 50 Future American Founders in Enlightenment Principles:

John Witherspoon, a Scottish Presbyterian minister and president of Princeton University, played a pivotal role in disseminating Enlightenment ideas among future American leaders. Witherspoon’s teachings were an admixture of both theology and Enlightenment philosophy. He influenced over 50 individuals who would become prominent figures in the American Revolution and formation of the United States.

Witherspoon’s students included James Madison, who would later be recognized as the “Father of the Constitution,” and future Presidents like James Monroe. Witherspoon personally taught all of these graduating seniors in his class on Moral Philosophy.  Problem is, there is very little Scripture in his class notes.  These individuals absorbed Witherspoon’s blend of theological and Enlightenment principles in the process of forming their political thinking.

2. James Madison’s Key Role In the American Christian Constitution

So, James Madison became the key framer and architect of the American Christian Constitution. He embodied the Enlightenment’s imprint on the founding generation. Madison’s meticulous notes during the Constitutional Convention and his articles in the Federalist exposed his deep commitment to Enlightenment ideals. His intellectual prowess stands out, along with a complete dearth of insight regarding Biblical principles of government. But he could cite his Montesquieu forward and backward when it came to principles such as the separation of powers and checks and balances. He knew all the key concepts which shaped the constitutional framework.

Madison is celebrated as The Father of the Constitution. He is said to have erected a unique blend of checks and balances with limited, delegated powers and practical economic concerns in a document to endure for the ages. But, from our vantage point a mere 225+ years later, in a collapsing culture devoid of Divine imprint, his experiment with political pluralism is a disaster. 

Hindsight is 20-20, but he and his clique of institutional wizards should have known better than to ignore the Bible. There are after all a couple of Old Testament books going by the name of “Kings” that might have a thing or two to say about civil government. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. In other words, we might want to stop thinking of the founders as demi-gods who could do not wrong.

V. Consequences of Enlightenment Influence

A. Pluralistic, Man-Made Law

The enduring consequences of Enlightenment influence on the American legal and societal framework are evident today. The secular nature of its laws, the detachment from divine justice, and the fatal ramifications of refusing to consult the Bible are reaching a boiling point in 2024

The 18th Century emphasis on human reason, human rights, and the social contract laid the groundwork for a retributionary legal system devoid of Biblical restitution. Over the past two centuries, the evolution of an impenetrable system of criminal justice and a soulless bureaucracy is the result.

We are left with three symptoms of a serious socio-political disease. First, we have the emphatic exclusion of explicit religious qualifications for office in Article VI. Second, we have the First Amendment’s protection of political polytheism or pluralism. And third, we have the legal framework detached from the perfect law of liberty. It’s every man for himself in a dog-eat-dog legal environment.

B. Rejection of God’s Perfect Law of Liberty

Critics argue that the secular legal framework, while claiming to promote individual liberties, detaches society from the perfect justice enshrined in God’s law. The absence of explicit biblical principles in the creation and interpretation of law exposes the crumbling moral foundation on which the legal system stands.

The framers’ deliberate omission of overtly Christian law, replaced by a secular legal system have been both praised as a triumph of pluralism and criticized as a departure from a higher moral standard. The debate revolves around whether man made laws can adequately reflect divine justice?

They cannot apart from an oath-bound commitment to the revealed law-word of God. There’s not a lot to debate for the average citizen who gets caught up in the maze of America’s bewildering system of litigation and legalism. The multiplicity of legal systems stands in stark contrast to God’s command to have “one law” for both the stranger and the home-born citizen.

C. Autocratic Rulers

In spite of grand pretensions to human rights and individual freedom, the Enlightenment era was haunted by numerous autocratic rulers and wars of aggression. The bloody French Revolution brought the Enlightenement era to an abrupt close in the 1790s. Closer to home the French and Indian War was ignited by the ineptitude of an inexperienced George Washington. This war spread quickly to the European Continent as the Seven Years War, from 1754-63.

Many Christian Constitutionalists like to contrast the peaceful Constitutional settlement of 1787 with the terror of the French Revolution, but a secular spirit animated both. The American commitment to pluralistic neutrality has simply taken a longer time period to self-destruct. Anti-federalists like Patrick Henry were quick to criticize the pivot to Empire that was inheritant in the Constitution. The Founders emphasized alleged weaknesses in the Articles of Confederation that to Anti-federalist eyes were emblems of freedom unique to a Confederacy.

D. Central Power in American Christian Constitution

As noted before, the Federalists called it a document of limited, delegated powers, but Patrick Henry pushed back with charges that the federal government had usurped virtually all meaningful powers. We have earlier alluded to the concentration of almost all the powers of “defense” on the federal side of the ledger. Henry added to that the criticism that powers of defense and the power of the purse were both held by a single branch of government — the legislative.

We find the exact same sequence of events in I Samuel 8 where the children of Israel traded in the rule of God for the rule of an autocratic king. Samuel warned them that their king would recruit their sons for their armies and tax a tenth of their produce. It is ironic that Samuel considered a tenth to be a sign of tyranny in which a human ruler would presume to rival the tithe that was due to God.

VI. Teetering on the Brink of Divine Judgment

1. Societal Breakdown of the American Christian Constitution

The Enlightenment’s exclusion of explicit biblical principles of government set America adrift on a sea of natural law relativism and legal uncertainties. Yet there is no end of accolades heaped on the Constitution by self-proclaimed American Christian History experts. 

God sends spiritual blindness on those who reject His law, according to Moses. “The LORD will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of heart” (Dt. 28:28). Incredibly, most American Christian History Experts cling to the notion that our current cultural meltdown is the result of departing from the Constitution’s Enlightenment ideals. They are blind to the fact that they are ideals derived from the Enlightenment.

2. Current State of American Society in Light of Divine Judgment

The never ending debates over issues such as LGBTQ+ rights, social justice, and cultural values are symptoms of a nation adrift in the sea of humanist deception. As we’ve stated repeatedly the only remedy is a recommitment to God’s law in our legal system. Yet most Christians are entangled in the thrall of Enlightenment rhetoric and cannot discern the difference. 

3. Patrick Henry’s Warning of a Silent Coup

Patrick Henry had no such delusions in the Virginia Ratifying Convention. His arguments overwhelmed those of James Madison and he almost carried the day. He fell just a few votes short of rejecting the proposed Constitution in Virginia. Here is just a sampling of his powerful oratory:

“Here is a revolution as radical as that which separated us from Great Britain. It is radical in this transition; our rights and privileges are endangered, and the sovereignty of the states will be relinquished: and cannot we plainly see that this is actually the case?

“We are cautioned by the honorable gentleman, who presides, against faction and turbulence. I acknowledge that licentiousness is dangerous, and that it ought to be provided against: I acknowledge, also, the new form of government may effectually prevent it: yet there is another thing it will as effectually do — it will oppress and ruin the people.”

4. Patrick Henry’s Condemnation of the American Christian Constitution

Patrick Henry warned in the Virginia Ratifying Convention that adoption of “that document” (he pointed and sneered) would result in a bloody Civil War within 100 years.  Virtually every one of Patrick Henry’s dire warnings has come to pass.  “Here is a revolution as radical as that which separated us from Great Britain,” he thundered. His reason for not attending the Convention: “I smelt a rat!” https://csac.history.wisc.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/281/2017/07/Patrick_Henry_Speech_in_the_Virginia_Convention5.pdf

“My great objection to this government is, that it does not leave us the means of defending our rights, or of waging war against tyrants. It is urged by some gentlemen, that this new plan will bring us an acquisition of strength — an army, and the militia of the states. This is an idea extremely ridiculous: gentlemen cannot be earnest. This acquisition {48} will trample on our fallen liberty. Let my beloved Americans guard against that fatal lethargy that has pervaded the universe. Have we the means of resisting disciplined armies, when our only defence, the militia, is put into the hands of Congress? A standing army we shall have, also, to execute the execrable commands of tyranny;”

Patrick Henry almost carried the day in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, but he fell just 4 votes short. The objections of the antiFederalists have been swept under the historical rug. But we no longer have that luxury in the face of the inevitable cultural meltdown we experience today.

VI. Conclusion

A. Recapitulation of the Main Points

This analysis has emphasized the hidden inflence of the Enlightenment on the Framers of the U.S. Constitutoln. Structural elements such as republican representation, federalist principles, and the absence of religious qualifications give the illusion of securing our liberty, but their foundation is crumbling.  Understanding John Witherspoon’s impact and James Madison’s role as an Enlightenment-tainted leader is critical.  We can no longer afford to elevate these plaster saints to a patriotic pedestal without critical evaluation of their philosophy. 

To simply plead that the Founders were “Christian” will no longer suffice. The pluralistic, man-made legal framework that they bequeathed to us is emphatically not Christian. Allegedly designed to guarantee individual liberties, it has eroded our moral foundations and laid bare the consequences of rejecting or ignoring explicit Biblical principles of civil government.

B. Prevalence of Christian History Revisionism

In spite of all this, various Christian groups persist in assertng that the U.S. Constitution is a Christian document. Virtually all the American Christian History curriculum in America today falls in this genre. To cite a recent example, Sephen Wolfe of Canon Press has joined this group with his best-selling “In Defense of Christian Nationalism.” In the introduction he endorses the U.S. Constitution, then proceeds with a book length defense based on “Natural Principles,” and almost no reference to the Bible.

We don’t want to be intentionally rude or hurtful, but there is simply no way to sugar coat this. These men and groups have persuaded us to replace our national covenant commitment to the Triune God with a false god called “We the People.” The Social Contract of this false god is based on the authority of the majority. It is the authority of humanistic man versus the supreme authority of God. This is extremely serious. Two hundred plus years of bowing to this false god have brought us to the brink of destruction.

C. Dangers of Christian History Revisionism

Tragically, the Christian revisionists are more politically and spiritually dangerous than the secular revisionists.  The perspective of most, if not all of them, is based on ignorance, not pre-meditated deception. It is dangerous, nonetheless. It’s like a person who claims to be a doctor prescribing a bottle of poison and claiming that it is medicine.  It’s like a person browsing through the woods gathering mushrooms not being able to distinguish which are poison and which are not.  Then selling us the lot of the bad mixed in with the good. Some of these groups engage in historical revisionism by selectively highlighting evidence that seems to support their narrative while ignoring the obvious.

They invariably produce educational materials, books, and seminars promoting their perspective on the alleged Christian origins of the Constitution.  The use of such materials in Christian schools, homeschooling curricula, and churches is a serious threat to all legitimate attempts at reformation of the culture.  God cannot and will not bless any reform effort based on return to the “original intent” of a social contract that defies and denies His Word. It is extremely dangerous to mislead Christian young people in this manner.  The devotion it inspires is similar to that of a cult, a Christian Constituton cult built on an Enlightenment document masquerading as Christian.

Thus, an army of Christian teachers contribute to the widespread acceptance of this misguided interpretation among believers. They are swept along in a wave of misguided Patriotism. This is similar to the Jews just before the Babylon captivity, who cried “the temple, the temple, the temple.”

D. Jeffersonian Christian Revisionism

1. Jefferson’s Denial of Christ

Additionally, some connect natural law principles in the Declaration of Independence to Christian morality, suggesting biblical influences on fundamental rights. The author of the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson denied the deity of Christ and therefore the incarnation. This makes him an anti-Christ, according to I John 2:22 – “This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.” How can an anti-Christ produce a Christian document that God would approve?

2. Jefferson’s Religious References

Christian Constitutionalists may highlight religious language in documents like the Declaration of Independence, such as references to a “Creator,” to reinforce the idea of Christian influence. They connect natural law principles in the Declaration to Christian morality, contending that Jefferson was influenced by biblical values in his articulation of fundamental rights.

Likewise, they ardently contend that the U.S. Constitution is intrinsically Christian. There is no end of religious quotes by the Founding Fathers, but not much analysis of their worldview. The implication is that these expressions affirm a Christian foundation for the Declaration and the Constitution. But, this is a non-sequitor. It does not follow.

Emphasis is placed on the Declaration of Independence, specifically its acknowledgment of rights endowed by a “Creator.” Advocates argue that this Creator is implicitly understood to be the Christian God. But the Bible assigns no such human rights at birth. We are born “dead in trespasses and sins,” apart from the grace of God in Christ. Yet Christ, the King of kings, is studiously excluded from our public discourse

E. Colonial Christian Revisionism

Christian groups often point to early colonial constitutions that explicitly acknowledge God or Christianity. They then assert that such acknowledgments provide a precedent for understanding the federal Constitution as Christian.  The use of religious oaths and the requirement of religious qualifications in certain state constitutions is often cited to argue for the Christian character of the overall constitutional framework.

The presence of religious acknowledgments in these documents is presented as evidence supporting the notion of a Christian foundation for the federal Constitution. They fail to recognize the radical sea-change in philosophy that occured in the late 1600s, separating Puritan orthodoxy from 18th Century Enlightenment and esoteric influences. Additionally, the use of religious oaths and qualifications in certain state constitutions is cited to strengthen this argument.  They then jump to the conclusion – a logical non-sequitur – that the U.S. Constitution is likewise a Christian document

F. Secondary Source Christian Revisionism

Another source of Christian revisionism is Anecdotes, quotes, or events that align with the perspective. Citing these, they then dismiss alternative interpretations or context as “liberalism.”

Sometimes they resort to cherry-picked evidence of providential historical events. One oft quoted incident is Washington crossing the Delaware to attack British troops on Christmas eve. This is presented as Divine intervention, when in reality it broke the Christmas truce historically practiced by Chrisitan nations. Ignoring this, they then proclaim that the resulting Constitution reflects America’s favor with God.  Constant repitition reinforces the claim that the nation’s foundations are inherently Christian.

G. Alternatives to Christian Revisionism

1. Biblical Analysis of the American Christian Constitution

While these arguments resonate within certain Christian circles, it is crucial to acknowledge that the Christian nature of the Constitution is no longer a given among evangelical Christian historians. For example, a recent book called “Bible Law Versus the United States Constituton” does a paragraph by paragraph Bible analysis of the Constitution. It finds virtually every paragraph opposed to specific Biblical principles of government.

2.  Biblical Critics of the American Christian Constitution Thesis

Moreover, critics point to three critical flaws. First, the deliberate omission of overtly religious commitment in the alleged Christian Constitution. Second, the secular nature of its laws. And third, the absence of explicit religious qualifications for public office.

These all indicate a departure from a Christian constitution explicitly grounded in Biblical principles. The debate reflects a failure to grasp the comprehensive nature of Christ’s Great Commission to disciple the nations. Christians fail to understand the tragic implications of the move towards a secular framework for government in terms of the Great Commission. Early Christians who would rather die than deny the supremacy of Christ over a secular ruler put us to shame

3. The Bottom Line

We are forced to conclude that the American Christian Constitution was dramatically distorted by Enlightenment values. It betrays the framers’ commitment to human reason, human rights, and a social contract.

For example, the U.S. Constitution stands in stark contrast to the covenantal structure of the original Massachusetts Body of Liberties. The latter incorporated the laws of Moses, word-for-Word. The same was true of the laws of Alfred the Great.  God and His law are conspicuously absent from the U.S. Constitution. The effect of this broken covenant has been catastrophic in American History.  Words have meaning. The absence of words has meaning. If an alleged Party to any covenant or contract is not named, it is not a Party.

The bottom line is that there are virtually no Biblical Principles of civil government in the American “Christian”  Constitution. On the contrary, It is in fact opposed to Scripture. The best that can be said is that the U.S. Constitution has a democrat heart in a republican skeleton.  Principles of Republican representation, Federalist vertical division of power, and horizontal separation of power comprise the lifeless, secular skeleton.  Until American Christians wake up to the gravity of this threat, there can be no relief from the judgment of God.



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